“Rock and roll music, if you like it, if you feel it, you can't help
but move to it. That's what happens to me. I can't help it.”
Birth: January 8th, 1935
Death: August 16th, 1977
Elvis Aaron Presley was born in a two room house in Tupelo, Mississippi, to Vernon and
Gladys Presley. Although a twin in the womb, his brother, Jessie Garon was a stillborn, and Elvis
was left to grow up an only child. Elvis spent most of his childhood in Tupelo, but moved to
Memphis, Tennessee in 1948, and graduating from Humes High School in 1953.
After graduating high school, Elvis singing career began in 1954 with Sun Records label.
Late the next year, Elvis was sold to RCA Victor and became an interantiocal sensation. With a
combination of all his musical influences, including pop, country, gospel, and R&B, his music
was a whole new era in the American music world. By creating a sound that combined diverse
amounts of music, Elvis blurred the racial lines of the time period.
His groundbreaking singles were always brought to the top of the charts. Songs like “I
Forgot to Remember to Forget”, “Heartbreak Hotel”, and “Don’t Be Cruel”, were some of his
less famous songs, but still were very popular for fans during his rein as the King. Along with his
music, Elvis was also known for his advancement in movies, which he did mostly during the
Sixties. Not only was he on the big screen, but he also made several debuts on the television as
well. The Fifties were devoted to his rock and roll, movies in the Sixties, and the Seventies were
a time for his performances. Touring constantly until his death of a heart attack in 1977 at the
age of 42.
Contributions to America
Changed the course of American culture in terms of music
Created a whole new type of music, which was enjoyed by all people
Defining figure who greatly impacted society throughout the 50’s
His legacy still continues, effects, and influences the music business today
Was a key component in the sexual revolution of the 50’s
Served in Germany with the U.S. Army
Contributed greatly to the movie and television world, as well as music
Influenced other musicians, like the Beatles and Bob Dylan who only wanted to be “the
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Elvis Presley. http://www.jamescampion.com/elvis.html (accessed May 20, 2011).
Elvis Presley Biography. 2010. http://rockhall.com/inductees/elvis-presley/bio/ (accessed May 20, 2011).
How and why Elvis has changed us all. August 10, 1997.
http://www.cnn.com/SHOWBIZ/9708/10/elvis.impact/ (accessed May 20, 2011).