With an estimated one billion units sold and counting, Elvis Presley is thought to be the most commercially successful solo musical artist of all time (Meacham 1) Born in Tupelo Mississippi and later relocating to Memphis Tennessee, Elvis was a natural star. Elvis won a high school talent show by singing and playing his guitar, earning the most applause out of any of the contestants. He would soon after that become a trucker, but his dreams of becoming a star were not crushed yet. Elvis gyrated his hips into America's heart as the most influential figure in American history.
Society was not prepared for the steamy storm that would be Elvis Presley, yet when it hit, they loved it. One of the most fascinating things Elvis has done is change society from prim to promiscuous. “In the 1950s , things were on the safe side. No one was provocative , especially celebrities -ranging from dancers to movie stars. …show more content…
Coined by black artists, none of the whites listened until Elvis conquered the charts. His music, which was blues, gospel, jazz, and boogie-woogie, all created by black artists, blended to make rock n roll brought whites audiences to accept black culture. “Presley’s music broke the racial barriers of that time, and was a key to the movement of racial tolerance between whites and blacks. Presley was one of the first singers to be appreciated and loved by both the black and white communities,”(Introduction 3). Elvis tearing down barriers opened the world to so many opportunities. Opportunities not only arrived for white people, but mostly for the black. “Elvis Presley’s music was a representation of the idea of racial tolerance and supported the concept, which stated that just because your skin color is different that doesn’t mean you don’t matter.” (Introduction 3). Whites were now supporting blacks, which was unheard of before the 50’s. Without Elvis, it would have taken longer for whites to appreciate black
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He had been known for many works of music and acting. As his career went on many said "[h]e [was] an enduring icon" ("KING OF JOCK &"). Presley’s music yielded a strong influence on the youth culture. His music was more of a hard rock n’ roll tone than most of the music that was published at that time. Multiple parents disapproved of the genre Presley’s music fell into, but the children who listened to his music thought of him as a hero and did not care about what the parent’s thought.
One way Elvis Presley propelled himself into superstardom was his mix of blues, R&B, country, and rockabilly. Although some adults of the generation found this music to be too dangerous for the mainstream, many teenages of the day found this new music to be very exciting and electrifying. In a way this made Elvis even more popular in the eyes of his now large and constantly growing
Elvis combined different types of music to form a style called rockabilly, which became one of the key sounds in rock ’n’ roll. He spread rock ’n’ roll music across the country, making it popular to a wide audience, especially teenagers. In that regard, he was a true innovator (.http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/elvis-presleys-musical-influence-on-america.html) Elvis also joined the army to serve his country.
Smokey Robinson said: “I would come to the South in the early days of Motown and the audiences would be segregated. Then they started to get the Motown music and we would go back and the audiences were integrated and the kids were dancing together and holding hands” This shows the increasing respect for African American
Early on, much of America viewed music African Americans were making as negative, and without much meaning coming from the suburb areas. But as time progressed, white Americans became more open to African American music, and this helped to desegregate much of the nation in the industry. “At long last, African American culture, via rock & roll, was being presented to mainstream American society in dignity-endorsing and unambiguously uplifting ways that ran counter to the antiblack racist assumptions that were previously projected onto African American life, culture, and aesthetics” (Rabaka 113). Rock and roll gave a large group of individuals, in a country that had dealt with all sorts of racist stereotypes for centuries, a feeling of freedom, and a chance to develop a serious social dialogue and cultural understanding to
To start the switch in styles of Rock and Roll, the Alabama White Citizens Council came out with a pamphlet titled A Manual for Southerners . This literature acknowledged that it is the music industry that has the biggest influence on how kids present themselves from the way they dress to their mannerisms. The white, southerners who wrote this pamphlet were afraid their children would start interacting in interracial manners and wanted to protest this vulgarism by boycotting “Negro records”. (Larson page 53) This did not help in the upcoming battle towards civil rights for African Americans.
Elvis born in Mississippi. He was a southerner, but in his teenage years he spent a lot of time in urban parts of the city and grew to love African American music. When Elvis kicked off his music career he performed a lot of Blues music which was typically consider, African American music. Seeing a white man perform this music opened some people's eyes and they realized that if everyone can like the same music everyone can be treated the same. So without Elvis helping along with integration through his music, we might not have had as many people sold on the idea of integration.
We all know that the power of the Black community in America came from deep in their soul. Their strength and will to fight segregation , and their love can be felt in the civil rights movement. Their ability to express their minds in a non- violent way connects to the soul music that James Brown created. James Brown’s music was a mixture of R&B and gospel. Which in a way connects to what Dr. Martin Luther King was trying to do during the civil rights movement.
Motown was a transformative sound that arrived just at the height of the civil rights movement. Such success coming from a black business and black artists forced the rest of America to reexamine their racial prejudices that they still clung to. It seemed that it’s founder, Berry Gordy, knew from the start that Motown was something special when he hung a sign that read “Hitsville USA” above the recording studio’s headquarters. The success was almost instant for most Motown artists with song after song becoming number one hits on major music charts. However, the success was not easy, as it took strenuous amounts of work to mold the artist’s looks and sounds into something that would popularize them among the white population.
Shaking the Foundations Since the founding of the United States of America, culture, religion, and race have always been interlaced. If one of these changed, the others struggled to adapt. There was never a time in America’s short history that these three matters collided more brutally or ferociously than during the emergence of rock ‘n’ roll. It is quite obvious that not one single event, action, or phenomenon caused the turmoil during this era, but rather a perfect storm of cultural and racial revolutions that collided head on with tremendous religious backlash. All Shook Up: How Rock ‘N’ Roll Changed America showcased how one aspect of the Cultural Revolution during the 1950s and 1960s supplemented the perfect storm of social reforms.
had the unique skill to merge genre’s together and form something that was entirely different and new for the generation, and which led to other generations to merge other genres. Presley’s inspiration of genres was greatly impacted by the African American culture; however, brought his country-side to his music, which is what gave his music his own creative sound. He was the first artist to basically merge black and white music together, and widening his fan base. Elvis Presley not only changed the way entertainers performed, he also changed the way it was marketed. Teenage fans were soon to be seen as important consumers of goods, who bought products like records, tickets to concerts, and movies.
During the early years of his music career Elvis song many songs that were in that time considered black music. “Legend has it that Presley was the white boy singing black music that Sam Phillips was seeking in order to make a fortune” (Elvis Presley). This caused a huge eruptions in his fans because he was drawing in both white and African American youth to his songs. Because of the explosion of fans he had Elvis became one of the most loved and admired artist at the
The History of Pioneer Black Musicians Music Influence on that of Michael Jackson Michael Jackson was a great singer in his time and one of Americas’ prolific singers to ever grace the music scene. From the time he graced the music scene, he would go on to become a great singer that inspired other great singers during his period and in the future generation. Music has got a unique element that is so unifying and touching depending on the type of music one could be listening. In the history of the United States, black musicians from way back in the early days of singers such as James Brown, Prince, and Smokey Robinson have had an influence on the music culture. There are many genres today that can be traced from black musicians who popularized
He made it able for black performers to perform without being afraid to get judged. He once said “I don’t understand racism. We are all the same and I have the perfect hypothesis to prove it. I play to all those countries and they cry in all the same places in my show. They laugh in the same places.
Popular artists and authors shared their talents. Blacks fought for the idea of a “New Negro” which had a purpose of changing the way people viewed African Americans. Many of them battled against racial inequality for higher social positions (Parker). In addition, the change in gender roles was remarkably apparent through this time period.