Living in Memphis, Elvis musical horizons expanded. He often hung out at listening booths and played old records. He loved music. He then went on to blues and hillbilly hot spots. In time, he wanted to hear what his voice sounded like recorded.
As a young man in order to help with the family
expenses, Elvis worked during the evening. He
also performed in the Annual Minstrel Show
where he received a round of applause after
singing Cold Cold Icy Fingers.
After graduating, he took a machinist job at
the Parker Shop. But this didn't stop his love
for music. Since he grew up in Memphis, Elvis
was exposed to jazz and blues. Where he was
working, the Sun Records Company was just
inches away. Elvis was determined to find out
how his voice sounded when it was recorded.
To hit two birds with one stone, he recorded My Happiness and
That's When Your Heartaches Begin to find the answer to his
question and to also serve as a belated birthday present for his
mom. He didn't expect that this would open him to another
He made a demo acetate which included recordings of I'll Never
Stand In Your Way and It Wouldn't Be The Same Without You. He
returned to the Sun Studios to present his demo.
Alongside his band mates Scotty Moore on guitar and Bill Black on bass (who left their previous band The Starlight Wranglers so they could work full time with the King), Elvis started doing regular live performances all around Memphis promoting his first single.
The famous trademark moves of leg shaking
and hip gyrating was all because of Elvis
nervousness whenever he performed onstage
and in front of a huge crowd of women. This
was how he concealed his anxiousness.
Audiences had never heard the kind of music
Elvis played. Neither had they seen anybody
perform the way he did. It was amazing to see
the once polite, shy and mumbling boy gain
self-confidence at every public appearance and performance. The
rest, they say, is history.
American children see standing before them this stunning guy who
is over six foot tall, his hair greasy and long, with blue eyes and a
curling, self-mocking lip. He comes on stage in a casual and relaxed
manner, as if he’s always had the spotlight, owning the stage.
He picks up his guitar and lightly strums it, pretending to play. Elvis
sees his audience, he grins at them. That’s all it took. They were
overcome by his charm.
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