“Truth is like the sun. You can shut it out for a time, but it ain’t goin’ away.”(Elvis Presley). This is spoken from a true hero who helped make the world a better place. He challenged moral values and social values, he did not just follow the normal he was challenging everything people thought was normal. He helped start the big revolution of people questioning things, instead of people just doing what has been normal for almost ever. One example is he would always shake his hips and thrust his pelvis. This which started the breakdown on racial segregation and his most influencing song changed people and how his dancing helped breakdown sexual barriers.
If you do not know who Elvis Presley is, he is one of the most significant figures of rock and roll history. He was born on January 8, 1935 in Tupelo, MS. He is also the third most highest certified artist in the United States, Also referred as the king of rock and roll. He did not grow up with a lot of money at all he had to help work so he could help with the finances. He started being interested in music at church he would attend church gospel groups. He picked guitar at only 11 years old, He first wanted a bike but his parents could not afford it so he was ok with his parents getting him his first guitar for 12.95$. When he was in high school he did not do the normal, everyone had short hair with no sideburns. Elvis had long hair slicked back and nice long sideburns which a lot of people did not understand why he would do stuff like this. Later in high school he performed with his guitar at the school talent show and got more applause than he ever hoped for. He ended up winning the talent show and performing a encore which really spiked his music intentions. In 1955 he signs Bob Neal to be his manager, he starts recording with RCA right away. He started going on talk shows and people start knowing his name and who he is. Instantly he started becoming famous for his music and started playing concerts. He sold over 1 billion records worldwide, also he has the record for most top 40 hits. Toward the end of his career he died August 16, 1977 in Memphis Tennessee.
Elvis Presley started the breakdown of racial segregation from his music. His music was from the blacks so all the white people that liked his songs now like the black’s songs which started the breakdown of racism. It was not just that simple he was singing for most of his life and he did not come up with his music himself. He as you can say “borrowed” music from other people like Chuck Berry and spiced it up a little. He did not just take it without giving credit he actually had a lot of respect for coloured people. Presley said A lot of people seem to think I started this business. But rock ‘n’ roll was here a long time before I came along. Nobody can sing that kind of music like coloured people. Let’s face it: I can’t sing like Fats Domino can. I know that.” he truly really liked coloured people and gave them credit and was not private about it he was very open telling everyone. Many blacks hated him but some of them saw what he was doing he helped coloured people be able to walk down road without being judged. He helped more people in the end then most coloured people would’ve ever thought.
Elvis Presley’s number one most influential song “If i can Dream”. He is saying how he wants everyone to have peace with each other. This song was taking place in the 1960’s so it was during the vietnam war. He is saying that the war is a destructive “cloud with to much rain”. He later towards the end of the song says how with enough faith and determination anything can be accomplished, which in his eyes is world peace. Another very influential son is “In the Ghetto” In the song in the Ghetto it talks about how there’s poor people that need help and people just look the other way and ignore the fact that they are their and exist. Also saying he has no clothes and all you have to do is help them but people just look the other way. He also says in the last stanza he makes the point that since they have nothing and nobody helps anyone they have no chance so they learn to steal and do illegal things to make money and get by. So in the end he is proving the point that they fight and steal because they have no other options. No one helps the kids in the ghetto so the cycle continues and more stealing ghetto kids get in fights because they do not even know what is right. The cycle will just keep on repeating until they somehow realize there are ways around it.
Elvis Presley reached the people on how his music communicated to them. He spoke to the people through his very distinctive music and his way he danced. Some people would say he dances like a black person but looked like a white person and this could be a reason why everyone really liked him. One other thing is how many people were totally affected from his music and how it spoke the truth about life and challenged many peoples ways of thinking. Like wearing shorts in winter as an example he challenged people to do different, nobody wears shorts in winter. He borrowed a lot of stuff from black singers and bands to create what he had and many people like it because he was white. But the songs he borrowed from never got famous because of how society treated black people back in this day. His dancing he got from coloured people but some reason everyone liked it even though he was touching his balls and thrusting his hips. He got the nickname Elvis the pelvis and after shows in the 1950’s police would tell elvis he was not allowed to shake his hips and thrust on stage the way he did. He did not stop and which broke down barriers and everyone would dance like Elvis. It helped change people’s minds about what was ok and not ok.
Without Elvis Presley on this earth we would never have someone that made a huge change in racial segregation and sexual segregation. He influenced a lot of people differently and no matter what he made a positive outcome making black singers and dancers more popular. He changed peoples look on rock and roll and made rock and roll very popular for another 60 years. Just by singing and dancing he had changed many people’s thoughts. Only if he had a chance to realize what a huge difference he has made and he does not even know. He may of only lived a short 42 years but his impact would last many more years after that and change America’s standpoint on racism and sexual barriers.
Article by Jason Garrahan
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