Elvis Presley: An American Icon

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Elvis Presley: An American Icon

Megan Thompson, Writer

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Touching the hearts of Americans, Elvis Presley remains the king of rock’n’roll, and a staple for youth in the 1950’s. Though his dancing caused an uproar with the older generation, Presley captured the hearts of many through his music, an interesting blend of gospel, pop, rock, and country. Rising to stardom quickly, Elvis’ short, but iconic musical career started in 1954 and ended when he died on August 16, 1977.

Starting out with the Suns Record label in 1954, his contract later belonged to RCA Victor in late 1955, Presley sensationalized a unique style of music that blurred racial and social boundaries of the time that seemed impossible to ignore.

Presley brought a new sound, and a new era of music and social change. Presley’s draft into the Army did nothing to stop his influence on the music world, or on how the people viewed him; a charismatic and kind young man with a passion for music and people.

Elvis Presley not only dominated the music world, but also starred in over 30 movies. Though starring in movies did not appeal to Presley, the music within the movies made the often exhausting work worth it.

King Creole, Blue Hawaii, Viva Las Vegas, and Love Me Tender represent a few of several movies Presley starred in. If not for his contracting demanding movies, the chances of seeing Presley on the big screen decrease dramatically, preferring to stay away from acting.

Elvis Presley died quite young, but his spirit and passion remain today in the films he acted in, the songs he sang and the memories he left behind. Introducing the world to the new wave of music and challenging the racial and social norms, Elvis Presley gifted America with a leap in progress. Listening to his music, even after all of these years, still induces feelings of teenage rebellion, spirit and pride; all while bringing everyone a little closer together.

Elvis Presley–fans still love him tender!

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