Monday, July 23, 2012

Summer School of Rock - Elvis

The look, the raw talent, the mysterious voice, the gift of talent, and the hips.  He had it all.  


He'd become the King.

Actor, singer, legendary performer and heartthrob.

There can't be many people over the age of 20 or so who don't know at least part of his story.  Born in Tupelo, Mississippi in 1935, he began his career in Memphis.  He loved the sound of the music being made by the African American bands and artists, and wanted to do what he could to bring it to the masses in the 1950's.

What made Elvis a sensation were his television performances.  He shook his hips and rocked the world.  One of the most famous of his appearances was seen on The Ed Sullivan show by over 80% of the viewing audience, unimaginable statistics for any time or place.

His live shows drew crowds full of screaming girls, the crowd just couldn't get enough of his new sound.

He starred in movies as well, he was a media whirlwind.

Then, like so many other young men in those days, his draft card was pulled.  He enlisted in the Army, and would meet a 14 year old Priscilla while in Germany.

After he was discharged honorably, he returned to music in the States.  The drug use he'd picked up in the Army continued, as did alcohol abuse.  He married Priscilla and churned out marginal movies and soundtracks.  His costumes got more elaborate, the hair got bigger, he became more and more about excess.

By the time of their divorce in 1973, he was overdosing on a fairly regular basis and his health was declining. He struggled to get through concerts, when he bothered doing them.  He was found unresponsive on the bathroom floor August 16, 1977 and pronounced dead.

What he left behind is a to-this-day unrivaled string of hits.  He changed music, he changed performances.  He crossed lines and brought different kinds of music to people who'd never heard it.  Thousands have spent their entire career just impersonating him.

He is the King.

1 comment:

  1. No one sings a better song about the Ghetto. Gotta love the King!


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