Musings on Elvis

Who doesn’t know Elvis Presley?

Elvis Presley (1935-1977) has become iconic, caricatured, copied, lampooned and idolized. At some point an individual grows well beyond talent and into legend. Yes, the King lives on…

It all started with the King!

Pop and rock ‘n roll icon, fame, swagger, modern rock hero – it all started with Elvis (with a shout out to the Beatles of course…). Just consider his huge impact:

  • Made over 30 movies
  • Multiple TV appearances watched around the world
  • 14 Grammy nominations with 3 wins
  • Served in the Army
  • Played to sold out crowds
  • Generated an entire genre of rock music
  • Spun off multiple books and movies based on his character
  • Had over 150 albums and recordings certified platinum
  • and it goes on and on…

Some more interesting random trivia about The King

  • Elvis, as the legend that he is, so far has three more “Hall of Fame” inductions aside from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (in 1986): The Rockabilly Hall of Fame in 1997, the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1998 and the Gospel Music Hall of Fame in 2001.
  • He was voted as the third Greatest Artist of All Time by the music magazineRolling Stone.
  • Elvis was nominated for Grammy Awards 14 times, and won three competitive trophies, all for Gospel-related categories. He also received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award when he was just 36.
  • Elvis is related to President Abraham Lincoln! Seems incredible, but it’s true. Elvis is a direct descendant to Lincoln’s great-great grandfather, Isaiah Harrison. Talk about great American legends!
  • Elvis has sold over 1,300,000,000 albums worldwide. That’s more than any other artists, including the Beatles, have achieved.

Elvis Presley Jailhouse Rock 1957 colour

Why Elvis became a groundbreaking artist and a music legend he is today?

Just consider some of these movies, documentaries,TV shows with an Elvis theme (see here). Everything from the Twilight Zone to 3000 Miles to Graceland. So what is it about Elvis – why Elvis? I think we can boil it down to these factors:

  • Great looks – this is a must by and large – those swooning fainting women
  • Talent & Genius – with out talent you only go so far – there is no doubt he had talent with a wide range of musical genres
  • Ambition – There is no doubt he had ambition and drive – the number of TV shows, records and more
  • Mystique & Cool – This one is hard to define but he had it that certain something – period – every guy wanted to be him and every woman wanted to be around him – very strong charisma
  • Controversy & Edge – Elvis pushed the limits of the day – he expanded what was acceptable – that made him a magnet for media and attention
  • If you watch the following videos we can see the emergence of the music video genre. There is no doubt the impact of Elvis is still alive today and the roots of many of today’s musicians can be found directly back to Elvis Presley.

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