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Reply with quote  #31 
I think Elvis was very much an American thing. While his popularity is unquestioned abroad, gauge this before death and after death and watch the needle swing wildly to the latter.

I could not better the social and characteristic explanations already voiced in the thread thus far, some of which I think are thesis worthy because they speak to the creation of not only the person but with his connection to his medium and the masses. In essence though, while I recoil at the good ole boy metaphor, it is the very core as to why Elvis is revered, especially below the Mason Dixon Line in the States. He was a common man who made it to iconic status...Fame, fortune and all the trappings. Hence, he was the American dream who strangely lived his life to the tune of a Pete Townshend sentiment of hoping he'd die before he got old. He had it all, lost it and was miserable while hastening his own life in the process.

Not to go off topic but I have always had this fascination about those who have gone before us...Presley, Holly, Morrison, Joplin, Hendrix and Lennon to name a few and what would their legacy had been if based not on their brief rides but in a life with a 30 year career. Would they still be worshiped? I don't think so and dare I say I have a hard time believing many if any of those I mentioned (even though Elvis had 23 years in the spotlight, Lennon with about 16 years) if they would have stood the test of time. I mean, would some even had careers ten years on?

JK
okpeclark

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Reply with quote  #32 
OK now that we have talked ELVIS,How about our King of R N R John Wetton.

Without him,we wouldn't be sitting here chatting up.

Much Love to him

Paulie Waulie



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LadyShade

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Reply with quote  #33 

Waulie?


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Reply with quote  #34 
Sort of like Elvis Pelvis.

Cab please, preferrably a Cadillac. EP would expect no less.

JK
cracklepop

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Reply with quote  #35 
To get back on to the topic....The reason that started me with Elvis was that my Dad met him while in the service in Germany. 

Apparently my Dad and some other soldiers spotted Elvis in a movie theater.  They walked up to say hello.  After some time a crowd gathered around Elvis to which he told, "Spread out.  One arrow could kill you all."

I always thought that was funny.  The man had a sense of humor.

Anyway, that is one of the reasons I started listening to Elvis.
moonlightingmom

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Reply with quote  #36 
Quote:
Originally Posted by okpeclark
Here's a question for you guys and gals. There are alot of great musicians that have come and gone,why don't we hear about people hanging out in front of there houses with candles?

John Lennon
George Harrison
Freddy Mercury
Jimi Hendrix
Jim Morrison
Eric Carr

And I doubt anyone will be hanging out in front of Brad Delps house every year with candles,and to me that guy was one of the greatest singers ever. Dave Mcgrath let me know how the show went last night please????


Well, as far as John Lennon goes, a lot of people used to hang out in Strawberry Fields in Central Park on the anniversary of his death...Not sure if they still do.

As for Jim Morrison, I grew up near one of his childhood homes in Virginia, and so a lot of the kids went through a Doors phase, myself included. I really liked the cool that oozed out of his music, even though I was a super-preppy goody-two-shoes. There was something mysterious about it.

That being said, I did go to Pere Lachaise in Paris when I was 21 years old. I went mostly because I'd seen "Jim" with an arrow at the top of the Eiffel Tower, and I couldn't believe it. Yep---sure enough. There were people hanging out at his grave, including one girl who was about my age. She sat there sobbing, saying, "Jim...Why did you leave me..." Seriously, she MIGHT have been alive when he died, MAYBE. I thought there were much better ways she could be expending her energy.

LadyShade

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Reply with quote  #37 

I teased Paul so to make up for it, I'll give way to his request. Elvis had a bedroom voice a lot like the one John Wetton used for Sleep Angel... (how's that, Paul?)


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moonlightingmom

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Reply with quote  #38 
Oh! And Elvis....Yeah, I don't really get him.

I like "A Little Less Conversation" because I think it's funny.

I liked it when my husband sings "Teddy Bear" to me.

But otherwise, I can't say I'm a huge fan. Am I glad that he helped make rock-n-roll hugely popular. You betcha! Am I camping outside of Graceland? Nope.


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Reply with quote  #39 
No-one seems to mention the elephant in the room here:

Elvis was a common man, yes.

Was the first to embody those different styles which made up rock n roll, yes.

Was a hunk a-hunk o' burnin' love - big sex appeal, the pelvis etc. YES!

Elvis was also a white man.

Which meant that at that time and place he could be heard and seen by the rest of the country. His sound and appearance was not an impediment for him to be heard on the radio, seen on the TV or to appear on stages throughout the United States back in the 1950's...

I mention this only because someone played me an old (original?) recording of "Hound Dog" once, very much pre-Elvis. Sung by a black man, whose name I can't remember (if ever I was told it); it was slower, dirtier, groovier - altogether different delivery and flavour. As you might expect.

I'm in no way an old-time rock n roll afficianado nor am I an Elvis fan, but that experience opened my eyes a little as to what is possibly Elvis' greatest legacy: he brought this music - black music - to the masses. Made it "palatable", and hugely popular. I don't know whether he knew it at the time or not. But someone - maybe Sam Philips - knew what they were doing.

And it's kind of been happening ever since.


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Reply with quote  #40 
I wanted to comment on Elvis, but it's not nice to make fun of the dead.

April

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Reply with quote  #41 

I'm kinda with Denise on this one -- I never understood the hysteria.


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billy2112

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Reply with quote  #42 
The "real" king of rock 'n' roll, IMHO, is Buddy Holly. Some would say it's Chuck Berry, and while he's definitely high in the court of the king, Buddy's very brief career included groundbreaking songs, recording techniques, and performances. And he wrote all his own songs.

Elvis, while a captivating and innovative performer with an unforgettable voice, was a performer of other people's music and very much the product of a marketing machine. I certainly appreciate the impact of what he did (and still seems to be doing), but I'd give him a lot more credit if he'd written "Heartbreak Hotel."
Valkyrien

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Reply with quote  #43 

Quote:
Originally Posted by billy2112
The "real" king of rock 'n' roll, IMHO, is Buddy Holly. Some would say it's Chuck Berry, and while he's definitely high in the court of the king, Buddy's very brief career included groundbreaking songs, recording techniques, and performances. And he wrote all his own songs.

Elvis, while a captivating and innovative performer with an unforgettable voice, was a performer of other people's music and very much the product of a marketing machine. I certainly appreciate the impact of what he did (and still seems to be doing), but I'd give him a lot more credit if he'd written "Heartbreak Hotel."

Billy2112 - I think you hit the nail on the head, this is exactly what I was thinking! 

I have never been one to listen to much of Elvis' music, not because I dislike it, but probably because I was more into appreciating performers who sing and play their own material. 

This is probably the main reason why I have always been much more of a Beatles fan than an Elvis fan. 


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Reply with quote  #44 
Isn't that the qualifier between an artist and a performer, meaning the prior actually creates what they perform? Could be wrong but that is how I always looked at it.

JK
John

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Reply with quote  #45 
Yes,it's art and entertainment. The guy who can juggle three balls is only of interest
until the guy who can juggle four comes along.
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