Fri 18 Apr, 2003 03:41 am
It has to be tough to be Elvis's daughter. Wanting to be your own person, but hounded by the media and the public because your DNA is worshiped. Yet, her smirk and certain body motions signal the presence of the KING.
I remember dancing with Patty Howard's sister to the sounds of LOVE ME TENDER, touching her, smelling her, and scared to death. For me, dancing was an unnatural act...and holding a girl was normally shear fantasy. Elvis may be mixed into my DNA.
Elvis Schmelvis. I prefered Little Richard, Gene Vincent, Eddie Cochrane, Jerry Lee Lewis, Fats Domino, and so on & so forth.
I was never a dancer. You can't dance and hold a beer in one hand and a ciggie in the other
hi there M/P, how's things. does your DNA need a top up yet ?
mine does , but hell, who's got time
Elvis opened the door. My appreciation of him as a personality and artist has grown with the years. It is becoming popular to play him down in some quarters, but the ones who do it are making a mistake. I loved Jerry Lee Lewis the most, followed by Buddy Holly and Little Richard, but I can't even contemplate rock 'n' roll witout Elvis.
As a kid, Elvis sort of was interesting to me as a phenomena of our times. I actually never bought any of his records.
However, my personal preferences at the time were:
Jerry Lee Lewis
to expand the topic a little broader, in folk music, I liked:
Peter, Paul, and Mary
Elvis is definitely a legend!
His talent, good looks, sensuality, charisma, and good humor endeared him to millions, as did the humility and human kindness he demonstrated throughout his life. Known the world over by his first name, he is regarded as one of the most important figures of twentieth century popular culture.
Hi all. there is only one ballad that Elvis did that I even bothered to listen to. That song was "I Can't Help Falling in Love with You." The one that did swing that he sang was "Money Honey"; however, I appreciated the fact that he caused a total social realignment among teens. We must also remember that Colonel Parker created Elvis. Had it not been for the good colonel, Elvis might still be with us, but we wouldn't know him.
Chuck Berry and Buddy Holly defined Elvis he was a copy of the music being created on the Mississippi Delta during that period. Memphis gave birth to rock and roll. Many people contributed to what Elvis became he had a great voice and good looks but was only imitating black musicians and never wrote his own music just imitated. Of course he was important but never quite a real rock & roller in my opinion just a pop music idol.
Ragman's list would suit me and I love all of the artists he has named.
Edgar is right in saying Elvis opened doors, for other musicians the listening public. Yes it is hard to visualize rock and roll without his contribution and influence.
Joann's comments hold a lot of water and the people she has named led me to a very broad spectrum of musical styles.
I bought a compliation set of everything he recorded from the earliest through the end of 1959. There are some really remarkable performances in there. Many are forgetable, but all artists have their songs that don't come off very well. I call him "The King" without embarrassment or reservation.
The early Elvis was astounding and influential.
The later Elvis a pathetic example of purposeful ignorance, drug abuse and a total isolation from the real world.
A sad, major league waste of a talented and charismatic individual.
Also, it may be noted that Elvis had zero diversity racially in ANY of his movies. Aware movie-goers have noted (with anguish) that no blacks appear in his movies.
A friend of mine who was from Guyana said that Elvis and entourage arrived there on a jet plane in the late '60s and had to re-board and fly back due to the hostile reception.
Elvis was the King in a narrower sense as he brought what was created in the black community and took it into the mainstream, making it palatable for the then-mainstream American public.
Borrowing songs from other genres was not limited to Elvis or Pat Boone. It is something that has gone on practically since the advent of recorded music. Look what Fats Domino did for Gene Autrey's BLUEBERRY HILL, Jimi Hendrix for Dylan's ALL ALONG THE WATCHTOWER. Pop singers covered black music, but they also covered country and western, folk and jazz. The black artists Elvis covered, such as Clyde McPhatter and Lloyd Price, had already sold about all the copies they were going to sell by the time he did those songs. He may not have had black actors in his movies, which he did not create, but Otis Blackwell wrote many songs with Elvis specifically in mind. I hope no one is putting the taint of racism on him.
My point was NOT that he was a racist, but that his movies were lacking diversity. As a performer, he was a product of his times and he discovered "social consciousness" later in his career as was evinced by his song, "In the Ghetto". I am saying that it is a shame that he squandered his life and celebrity as well as stellar opportunities to make a difference with the civil rights movement.
Many black performers were his friends - one being singer James Brown, who cried publicly at his funeral.
That being said, see the following article about Presley and his (non-) racism issue:
"Was Presley A Racist?
On the occasion of the recent 25th anniversary of Elvis Presley's death I read a truly stupid piece in the London Guardian, "He Wasn't My King" by Helen Kolawole, to the effect that:
Elvis stole songs like 'Hound Dog' from black folks,
that Willie Mae (Big Mama) Thornton wrote Hound Dog and sang it better
and that anyway Elvis was a racist, noted for having said, The only thing Negro people can do for me is to buy my records and shine my shoes.
Wrong on every count. Jerry Lieber and Mike Stoller, white men, wrote Hound Dog
and Big Mama Thornton's version is markedly inferior to Presley's, made three years after her's.
Peter Guralnick, in his Last Train to Memphis, The Rise of Elvis Presley (1994), cites a good story that appeared in Jet magazine on August 1, 1957.
"Tracing that rumored racial slur to its source was like running a gopher to earth", Jet wrote. Some said Presley had said it in in Boston, which Elvis had never visited. Some said it was on Edward Murrow's on which Elvis had never appeared. Jet sent Louie Robinson to the set of Jailhouse Rock "When asked if he ever made the remark, Mississippi-born Elvis declared: 'I never said anything like that, and people who know me know I wouldn't have said it ."
Robinson then spoke to people "who were (itals) in a position to know" and heard from Dr W. A Zuber, "a Negro physician in Tupelo" that Elvis Presley used to "go 'round to Negro 'sanctified meetings'; from pianist Dudley Brooks that he "faces everybody as a man" and from Presley himself that he had gone to colored churches as a kid, like Reverend Brewster's and that "he could honestly never hope to equal the musical achievements of Fats Domino or the Inkspot's Bill Kenny." "To Elvis," Jet concluded in its Aug 1 1957 issue, "people are people regardless of race, color or creed."
Visiting Memphis, Ivory Joe Hunter was invited by Presley to visit with him in Graceland and Ivory Joe was worried about the stories of prejudice that had been circulating about Elvis through the spring of 1957. Presley received him with warmth and admiration, sang his composition "I Almost Lost My Mind" with him, and they hung out for the day singing. Hunter said later, "He showed me every courtesy and I think he's one of the greatest." (Jimmy T-99 Nelson told Jeffrey St Clair the other day that Ivory Joe had the biggest feet he'd ever seen. Bigger than Howlin' Wolf's, Jeffrey asked. Bigger by far, said Nelson. When Ivory Joe stamped, the whole stage shook.)
If you want to look at some great photographs of Elvis in black locales and with black musicians in Memphis in the 1950s, get Daniel Wolff's wonderful edition of Ernest Withers' photos, The Memphis Blues Again."
You guys forget I had an Elvis imitator living in my basement for five years, I was Elvised to death.
There are worse ways to go. You might have had Slim Whitman for a neighbor.
Elvis duped and duper
The music indrustry needed a white face to put on it's new "Rock & Roll" a non-controversal southern christian boy who wouldn't make southern affiliates mad as Alan Freed did when he had Frankie Lyman (from Frankie Lyman and the Teenagers) dancing with a white girl...Oh my!
Elvis, with his mild southern accent looked enough like the "All American Boy" to pass into mainstream radio.
The King? Doubtful, he never wrote any of his own music, and he did what His (dictitorial thieving manager) told him to. These helpful hints eventually killed him.
Having said that, his rendition of the old R & B tune "Can't help falling in love with you" and His "In the Ghetto" duet with Sammy Davis were great music.
Elvis as a racist? Can't comment on that! but, show business people (with exceptions like David Allen Coe, and Johny Horton) are seldon racist.