Rock and Roll

Dhakshin Subbaiah

Change Rock and Roll

Elvis wasn’t the first to sing in a rock ’n’ roll style, so he can’t be credited with inventing it. But, his version of this new music became widely popular during the mid-1950s. He spread rock ’n’ roll music across the country, making it popular to a wide audience, especially teenagers. In that regard, he was a true innovator.


Since the beginning of his career, Elvis Presley has had an extensive cultural impact. According to Rolling Stone Magazine, "it was Elvis who made rock 'n' roll the international language of pop." Rolling Stone encyclopedia of Rock and Roll describes Presley as an American music giant of the 20th century who single-handedly changed the course of music and culture in the mid-1950's. His recordings, dance moves, attitude and clothing came to be seen as an embodiment of rock and roll. His music was heavily influenced by African-American blues, Christian gospel, and Southern country. In a list of the greatest English language singers, as compiled by Q Magazine, Presley was ranked first
and second in the list of greatest singers of 20th century by BBC Radio.


The more immediate roots of rock and roll lay in the so-called "race" music, or rhythm & blues, and "hillbilly" music, or county & western of the Forties and Fifties. Other significant influences include blues, jazz, gospel, boogie-woogie, folk and bluegrass.


While Time wonders whether Elvis Presley's popularity might be fading, news that he is the king of digitally streamed music argues that his reign continues. With songs like "Jailhouse Rock" and "Viva Las Vegas" and the movies they came from still popular more than three decades after his death, his name still makes the news. Read how Elvis's legacy lives on in tributes from fans, newly revealed details of how his personal life inspired his songs, and more.

Famous Songs

Jailhouse Rock

Viva las Vegas