My third inductee into my Music Hall of Fame is Elvis Aaron Presley, dubbed “The King of Rock and Roll”. While, unlike my first two inductees, he didn’t write many of his songs, “All Shook Up”, “Don’t Be Cruel”, “Heartbreak Hotel” were three he penned and some of my favorites.
Mother had his 78rpm record of “Don’t Be Cruel”/”Hound Dog” that I wore out as a kid. “Hound Dog” was a cover of Big Mama Thornton, August 13, 1952, written by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller. The Elvis version was released July 1956 and was number 1 on the US Pop, Country and R&B charts at the same time. It stood at the top of the Pop chart for 11 weeks.
He was a unique artist… an original in an area of imitators.Mick Jagger
Elvis was born January 8, 1935 in Tupelo, Mississippi relocating to Memphis, Tennessee at the age of 13. He starting singing in church and in 1954 he would be recording at Sun Records with founder and producer Sam Phillips who wanted to bring the sound of African-American music to a wider audience. Sam would produce the likes of Roy Orbison, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash, and Howlin’ Wolf.
There have been a lot of tough guys. There have been pretenders. And there have been contenders. But there is only one king.Bruce Springsteen
My Dad loved his religious songs and both my Mom and Dad loved his movies. It’s been so long since I’ve seen them, while I know I liked them, I don’t remember them at all. I re-watched Speedway, with Nancy Sinatra, back in the late nineties.
On March 24, 1958, just before I was born, Elvis was drafted. He wanted to serve as an ordinary soldier. His Mother, who he was extremely close to, would die during his service. The men he trained and served with all thought that he was a wonderful person and he donated his Army pay to charity, purchased TV sets for the base, and bought an extra set of fatigues for everyone in his outfit. He was discharged March 5, 1960 with rank of Sergeant.
When we were kids growing up in Liverpool, all we ever wanted to be was Elvis Presley.Paul McCartney
Elvis was quite the movie actor, starring in 33 movies with actors such as Walter Matthau, Steve Forrest, Barbara Eden, Ursula Andress, Ann-Margret, Barbara Stanwick, Shelley Fabares, Donna Douglas, Harry Morgan, Pat Priest, Bill Bixby, Burgess Meredith, Rudy Vallee, Victor French, Mary Tyler Moore, Charles Bronson and Leif Erikson.
Nothing really affected me until Elvis.John Lennon
He had 24 studio released albums from Elvis Presley (1956) to Moody Blue (1977). There was 17 soundtrack albums (with original material) from Loving You (1957) to Speedway (1968). Elvis released 117 singles from “That’s All Right” (1954) to “Way Down” 1977. Twenty four more were released posthumously.
Elvis Presley is the greatest cultural force in the twentieth century. He introduced the beat to everything and he changed everything—music, language, clothes. It’s a whole new social revolution—the sixties came from itLeonard Bernstein
Mother had the LP, Elvis’ Golden Records an RCA Victor record LPM 1707. It was a compilation of his hit singles released in 1956 and 1957. This may be the first rock and roll greatest hits album. I remember playing it over and over with Mother never asking me to turn it down. He had 108 Hot 100 hits, 80 Top 40 Hot 100 hits, 18 UK #1 hits and in the US 53 #1’s.
More than anything else, I want the folks back at home to think right of me.Elvis Presley
Elvis died August 16, 1977, at the age of 42, in Memphis, Tennessee. He won three Grammy Awards and received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award at age 36. He is in many hall of fames and was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, at 6777 Hollywood Blvd, on February 8, 1960.
Elvis Presley had energized interpretations of all the songs he performed along with his sexually provocative performance style. He broke ground with these unique styles while being a really nice guy. He certainly deserves my third induction into Doyle’s Space: Music Hall of Fame.