Elvis Presley, King of Rock n' Roll, blues, black music, black gospel
When we think of Rock n' Roll, one of the first names to spring to mind is that of Elvis Presley. Elvis Presley, often referred to as the "King" of Rock n' Roll, is often credited for inventing this genre of music. By integrating various styles and genres of music, borrowing heavily from black gospel and blues, Elvis revolutionized popular music by starting off his career as a radical. Disregarding the popular music of the time and choosing to remain loyal to a style that was uniquely his own, Elvis moved between different styles and genres, expanding his audience but also receiving sharp criticism from many contemporaries.
[...] He defied the popular music of the time, and in doing so, he angered a great deal of his audience. According to Inglis, this sort of approach is necessary in order for a musical development to become a success. Inglis writes, each new musical trend or development becomes attractive and successful precisely because of its perceived radical nature. By ostentatiously opposing the established patterns at any one time, its visibility is increased through consequent media inspection; so too are the opportunities it offers to audience and performers to adapt a stance which attention—the stance of a rebel (Ingles 57). [...]
[...] After his military service was finished, Elvis practically reinvented himself and began to appeal to older and more conservative audiences. Setting himself apart from the image of Elvis as a radical, out-of-control rock n' roll star, Elvis made recordings that were much slower, more composed, and reminiscent of an older and more orthodox style. Some of these songs included you Lonesome Tonight,” “It's Now or Never,” and “Surrender” (Ingles 62). These songs became hits both with the fans he acquired before his career in the military, as well as those who initially rejected him. [...]
[...] He set the trend for the popular music of his time, and his influence remains prevalent throughout today and into the future. Today, there is a large Elvis fan club, and his music can be heard on many radio stations, especially those which play classic rock. A 2001 film called miles to Graceland” starring Kurt Russell and Kevin Costner was a tribute to Elvis because it took place at the annual Elvis convention in Las Vegas, which continues on to this day. [...]
[...] Elvis Presley integrated various styles of music to create his own genre of Rock n' Roll, he pushed popular music beyond its original borders and brought out completely new forms, he used body language and sexual movements on stage to convey further meaning as well as to arouse controversy, and he changed the way people think about popular music. In order to achieve a revolution in music, it was necessary for Elvis to adapt a style that was extraordinarily different from anything that Americans were used to. In the beginning of his career, Elvis was able to do this by appearing as a radical. [...]
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