“America. betaking herself to formative action(as it is about time for more solid achievement, and less windy promise), must , for her purpose, cease to recognize a theory of character grown of feudal aristocracies, or form’d by merely literary standards, or from any ultramarine, full-dress formulas of culture. polish, caste, &c., enough, and must sternly promulgate her new standard, yet old enough, and accepting the old, the perennial elements, and combining them into groups, unities, appropriate to the modern, the democratic, the west, and to the practical occasions and needs of our own cities, and of the agricultural regions.”1 Walt Whitman wrote this poem back in 1855. A hundred years before rock and roll was invented, people like Walt Whitman could sense that a change needed to happen in America. In the 1880’s, the Robber Barons had a dramatic impact on America. Some of them, such as Andrew Carnegie showed that people could rise from rags to riches. The 1920’s were called the Roaring 20’s, partly because people were carefree and willing to have fun. Jazz became the dominant form of music. Finally along comes the 1950’s. America has gotten out of WW2 and is now ready for a new evolution. People are feeling how they did back in the 20’s; carefree and willing to do anything for fun. On March 5, 1951, a rhythm-and-blues band, Jackie Brenston and His Delta Cats, recorded “Rocket 88”, a frenetic, toe-tapping tribute to a customized car.2 This was the birth of Rock and Roll. The music didn’t catch on until 1955 though, when Bill Haley produced “Rock Around the Clock”. The song soared up the pop charts, and became the first rock and roll song to ever-hit number 1. From the music of Elvis Presley and Buddy Holly, to Little Richard and Jerry Lee Lewis, no other style of music has so greatly impacted the lifestyle of the American people.
All of this combined gave Elvis the persona of Rock and Roll. He didn’t invent it, surely no, but he did perfect it. He made Rock and Roll about rebellion, he made music that teenagers loved and parents hated. He paved the way, with this album, for future generations of rock musicians and created a new landscape for them to stand. He is a landmark that set in motion a new era for Rock, and many succeeding artists took from him and continued leading us to where we are now in Rock and Roll history.
The 1950s had many types popular music with Rock n' Roll being the most influential on the nations youth. Elvis Presley was the greatest Rock n' Roll star and was a symbol of youth rebellion. He was an American singer, actor, and best known as the king of rock n' roll. His successful performances in a variety a genres made him the most popular performer of his day and one of the most influential figures in pop-culture history. "Elvis Presley's 1956 appearance on TV's Ed Sullivan Show touched off a frenzy of teen adulation - and a flood of letters from parents scandalized by his 'gyrations'" (Norton, Mary Beth. Chapter 25: America at Midcentury 1945-1960. In A People & A Nation, p. 767). Other famous and influential singers were Bill
Born on January 8th, 1935 in Tupelo, Mississippi, Elvis Presley grew up like any other boys in his town, but his hair styled with oil made him stand out among them. Without
Elvis Presley, born January 8, 1935 was one very talented boy. As in his young years Presley did not know of what talents he had been blessed with but yet he was soon to know what he had been born to do. As you all know Elvis Presley became an amazing singer that changed the music culture as a whole forever.
Throughout Elvis’s childhood and into his teenage years, the Presley family struggled to get by, but they never left their strong Christian faith. Elvis was inspired by gospel music and loved singing in church. When he was ten years old, he sang on stage for the first time at the Mississippi-Alabama Fair and Dairy Show in Tupelo and received a standing ovation. A few months later for his eleventh birthday, Elvis’s mom bought him a gift that would forever change history (www.history.com). It was a guitar that she purchased from the Tupelo Hardware Store for $6.95 because it was all that they could afford. Two years later, in search of a better life, the Presley family packed up everything they owned and moved to Memphis, Tennessee. Elvis attended L.C. Humes High School and graduated on June 3, 1953. That summer, he stopped by The Memphis Recording Service and recorded a demo for $4 as a gift for his mom. The owner was pleased with Elvis and wanted him to team up with two local musicians, Scotty Moore and
Elvis Presley is not known as the King of Rock and Roll for any old reason. He revolutionized the music of his time and greatly affected the music that would come after him. The development of the music style known as Rock and Roll stemmed from many different types of music that were already in existence. Elvis’ musical style was generated from three main genres. He fused African American blues, southern country western and Christian gospel music together to form his unique sound (Jeansonne). His early music fell under a genre known as “rockabilly” which then evolved into his own style of Rock and Roll. Rockabilly is known as one of the earliest, rawest forms of rock and roll. It is the blending of bluegrass and rhythm and blues which led to an upbeat lighthearted musical style and lyrics.
I can relate to the fact that Elvis was a person that didn’t grow up wealthy and didn’t have all the things he wanted but no one can compare to the fact that he was a well respected musician from the 1950s. He influenced so many people with the new types of music that blew over the world. Elvis struggled with school and friends just like any other teenage kid. He struggled with how people looked at him because he wanted to be different. But that all paid off in the end. All of these factors is what made Elvis a strong, hard headed man that the world has come to love and idol for many years to come.