Rock and Roll: Elvis Presley

Juliette Song

How did this musical artist or group change Rock and Roll/Rhythm and Blues forever?

Elvis' version of rock and roll became widely popular during the mid-1950s. He spread rock ’n’ roll music across the country, making it popular to the whole nation. Elvis also participated in being a strong influence on American culture. Due to the economic prosperity of the generation teens enjoyed a disposable income that they could spend on themselves. They then started to dress themselves in fashion to their age group, went to movies, and listened to music that appealed to them. Therefore Presley’s rock ’n’ roll music, his hairstyle, and his fashion sense became a part of this new culture for teenagers.

What components of this this artist made them so appealing in the 1950s, 1960s, or 1970s?

In 1955, Presley developed fans that were being drawn to his unusual musical style, dancing, and good looks. That year, he had signed with RCA Records. The contract was made due to a deal worked out by his manager, Colonel Tom Parker. Presley was on a streak, scoring his first No. 1 single with "Heartbreak Hotel," as well as his first No. 1 album, Elvis Presley. He had also signed a movie contract with Paramount Pictures. Despite the uproar that his provocative dance moves caused, he became a popular guest on numerous television variety shows. Presley was soon everywhere including the radio and television working as a musician and actor. His first film, Love Me Tender (1956), was a box office hit. He received his military draft notice in 1957, and was soon inducted into the Army the following March. He served in Germany for a year and a half.

Summarize the Roots of Rock “n” roll/Rhythm and Blues.

Rock and roll emerged as a defined musical style in the United States in the early to mid-1950s. It derived from rhythm and blues music of the 1940s, it developed from earlier blues and swing music, and was influenced by country and gospel, and traditional folk music. Rock and roll provided the main basis for music that has been known simply as rock music. The phrase rocking and rolling described the movement of a ship on the ocean, but was used by the early twentieth century, both to describe a spiritual fervor and a sexual analogy. Various gospel, blues and swing recordings used the phrase before it was used more frequently, in the late 1930s and 1940s. In 1951, Cleveland-based Freed began playing this music style while popularizing the term rock and roll to describe it.

Today, what makes this musical artist or group still popular?

Elvis' main fans were white teenagers a more commonly geared music aimed for black individuals. He was a wonderful performer and had a great voice. He had a unique style and an interesting personality. Almost every major recording artist acknowledges Elvis as the King. His movies were not usually acclaimed but still screened on TV and made new generations aware of the artist we all love. It was live on TV in the 50s that Elvis showed America what he could do.

Top Songs:

  1. That's all Right
  2. Mystery Train
  3. Heartbreak Hotel
  4. Don't be Cruel
  5. Jailhouse Rock
  6. Viva Las Vegas
  7. How Great Thou Art
  8. In the Ghetto
  9. Suspicious Minds
  10. Burning Love