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Name: Fender Bender
Subject: RE: How original was Elvis?
Date: Friday, May 05, 2017
Time: 8:08:10 AM
Remote Address: 220.127.116.11
Message ID: 308237
Parent ID: 308234
Thread ID: 308234
Presley was original beyond measure, and while I enjoy certain recordings of his I'm not a huge fan. Before Elvis, producer Sam Phillips who operated a small storefront Sun Records in Memphis had a stable of local artists consisting of white country and black R&B singers. Phillips had theorized that if he could come up with am appealing white singer who sounded black, he would have the makings of a huge star. Elvis came along and fit the Bill as a hillbilly kid who could also do justice to black R&B material (Arthur Crudup's "That's Alright Mama" for example) while retaining his country appeal. He doesn't sound all that "black" today but at the time many who first heard him thought he was. The by-product of blending styles was rockabilly, and that's what is heard on the original 1954 Sun Recordings. As time went on, Presley's music got more refined to provide a broader radio-friendly appeal, and sadly it got watered down once he got into mediocre B-grade movies as the main feature of his career. Still there were some great singles that surfaced throughout his career. The constant was his charisma and was the quintessential teen idol, having it all -- good looks, a great voice, just the right amount of tempered attitude, the ability to break down musical barriers, and a measure of controversy as well (The early Sullivan shows where he was shown on TV from the waist up lest America's Puritanical sensitivities be offended). Many followed Presley and he was widely imitated but few could ever match him.
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