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Elvis Presley died more than 30 years ago, but despite this so great is the legacy he left behind that his music still lives on to this day.
Simply known as “The King”, he started out his career singing hillbilly country type of music. His soothing, crooning voice; good looks; manly physique and pelvis breaking onstage performances drove women crazy from all around the globe.
Elvis Presley was the one who injected life to music as it was known at a time when bands and one-man balladeers ruled the airwaves in the 1950’s. His boyish good looks also played a major factor in his popularity especially among the female species although the king of rock and roll was initially known to be a shy and timid person during the early part of his singing career.
He stood out from the crowd because he preferred to dress in wild, flashy clothes. Performing with his trademark guitar, sideburns, skintight leather jeans and jacket with the upturned collar, Elvis dances, or rather, gyrates to every beat of his songs such as “Hound Dog” and “Jailhouse Rock” when he goes onstage. He caresses his guitar to the tune of “Love Me Tender” much like a man does to a woman, almost as if seducing it much to the delight of the mostly salivating female crowd.
Conservative critics viewed his concert shows as vulgar and taboo, while others, well… women in particular saw him as a yummy sex symbol. There were even instances during some of The King’s concerts where nutty gone crazy women fans would throw their undergarments (mostly brassieres) at him just to get his attention, much to the chagrin of the conservative types.
Although gospel music played a major influence in his life, Elvis was innovative enough to inject different musical styles to his songs. His accomplishments in the music industry cannot be measured in any way, his popularity stretching far beyond the borders of the United States even though he didn’t perform a single concert outside the country. Elvis’ bankable fame and reputation soared to new heights even conquering the film industry at one point.
The movies (mostly musicals) he starred in were instant hits with the masses, albeit most of them were regarded as low budgeted and simply made for profit. Whenever he appeared in television shows, people would tune in. Elvis wasn’t even a good actor but the people just didn’t seem to care during those days; he was “The King” and he was the hottest ticket in town. Everybody wanted to be with him, be seen with him or be associated with him and that was the price of his fame. His addiction to drugs, and alcohol, all started to the time when he served in the U.S. Army during the war.
Yes, even celebrities are not excused from serving their country in times of war and even the famous king of rock and roll got his turn at the foxhole during World War II.
And in a series of unfortunate events, drug use found its way to Elvis and he eventually became dependent on it after the war. This addiction led to career and health problems and in the long run, to his untimely death at a young age of 42. But even death could not stop Presley’s claim to prominence. He is the only celebrity to have garnered multiple copycats after his death.
Heck! Even my uncle still impersonates him after all these years! Such is the magnitude of Elvis Presley’s fame. As of present day, many people still pay their respects to honor the memory of the legendary king of rock and roll in his final resting place in the famed Graceland Mansion in Memphis. This is where Elvis keeps his estate, made famous during his glory days. It is where The King held court with his wife (or should we say The Queen…) Priscilla and their only child Lisa Marie.
Elvis Presley is seen as an icon at a time when there were few or none to be had. His unfortunate passing at such a young age came as a shock to everyone, most especially to his millions of adoring fans.
No, Presley didn’t die as a flamed-out performer. He had every chance to resurrect his career after the war, after the drug dependence and alcoholism, even when all the pundits have viewed him as done and gone- simply left out and forgotten.
Death robbed him of the chance to reclaim his fame and by the looks of it, rightly so. The turn of the tides was going against him and his career was on the decline and in effect, he would have had a difficult time climbing up the hill anyway. It was simply time for him to go out in flames, so to speak. In a good way, his passing even helped keep his legacy intact.
Now in the present and looking back, Elvis Presley’s accomplishments have put him in the record books. His four Hall of Fame awards; classic songs which mixed black rhythm and white country music; versatility; all-world fame and record breaking concert shows , not to mention his influence in the music scene, is something to be admired as an inspiration for those in the music industry.
His musical style and performances broke the musical barriers and paved the way for others to follow in his footsteps. This is The King’s legacy. Truly a legend and rightfully so; and not even today’s technology can dispute that.
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