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Elvis Presley broke all conventions of good performance as he rose to huge fame in the 1950s. He was a good boy turned bad. He was the master seducer whose stage performance was all about making provocative dance moves. Women swooned over his drooped glance, his hip thrusts and "come-hither" gestures. He was flirting with a million women at a time. And each woman felt that Elvis had eyes only for her. That was the power of his persona.
And then came his music. Presley's music style was revolutionary. At a time when racial segregation and disparity among black and white Americans loomed largely, Presley taught tame, white Americans how to love black music for its upbeat rhythm, wild energy, and power.
Television sets had burst onto the scene just before Presley did, and suddenly American teenagers had access to the sexually charged, rebellious music that Presley brought to the fore. This was exactly the kind of person American parents wanted their kids to stay away from because they considered him a bad influence on their kids. And what did the kids want? Well, they wanted to rebel. They wanted to step over the line, shed their decency and express their sexuality. Presley helped them with that. Naturally, they had found their king. He was known simply as The King or Elvis, such was his enormous fame.
There is more to Presley than just his repertoire of songs. Known as the living legend in rock 'n' roll, Presley revolutionized the way the world understood and loved music.
Presley died in 1977 at age 42 at his mansion,Graceland, in Memphis, Tennessee. Impersonators of The King and rock fans have continued to keep his memory alive. If Presley continues to live in your heart, you might find his voice reverberating with these quotes.
Childhood and Family
"My mother, she never really wanted anything. She stayed the same through it all. There are a lot of things that's happened since she passed away. I wish she could have been around to see them. It would have made her very happy and proud, but that's life, and I can't help it."
"I don't know why she had to go so young. But it made me think about death. I don't feel I'll live a long life. That's why I have to get what I can from every day."
"I never felt poor. There were always shoes to wear and food to eat -- yet I knew there were things my parents did without just to make sure I was clothed and fed."
"The only thing worse than watching a bad movie is being in one."
"Hollywood had lost sight of the basics. They're a lot of fancy talkers who like to pigeonhole you."
Being a Rock Star
"The image is one thing and the human being is another. It's very hard to live up to an image."
"I'm so lucky to be in the position to give. It's really a gift to give."
"People ask me where I got my singing style. I didn't copy my style from anybody. Country music was always an influence on my kind of music."
"Then I can sit on my back porch at Graceland and remember the good ol' days."
"You only pass through this life once; you don't come back for an encore."