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The Beginning The King of Rock and Roll!
Brought to you with the compliments of Theresea Hughes and her Fan site: Elvis Presley Forever http://www.elvis-presley-forever.com
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The Boy Who Would Be King: Elvis Presley Biography 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 opportunity; stardom. 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. He was signed on at Sun Records Company later on.
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.
Elvis’ Early Stage Days:
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. No one knows were he picked up his confidence, charisma or his public ease. He was quite shy.
Back stage he might bite his fingernails, tap his foot on the floor, nervously fidget and tap his finger in an uncontrolled spasm—but once he steps on the stage a glow of confidence fills his body instantly, because he knows he can do it, he is in control. When he leans toward the mike, when he caress it, there is a passion in his performance and he is willing to share how he feels. He is cool, with a dangerously sexy charm that will transport his audience briefly to heaven. His rise to local fame involved performing on the back of trucks, in schools and stadiums; he has driven across the south, across Texas, to the nation; he would get through those long nights with any scares of rejection. The crowd screams, wet the seats, jumping up and down, pulling at their own hair and clawing their faces with excitement. Elvis is aware of what he is doing, twisting his lips as he reaches out for the microphone stand, slowly sliding his fingers down the stand, taking grip and rocking it gently. He then puts in place his crowd teasing growl, flicks his hair from his eyes. He has them going totally wild. Elvis stands in the spotlight and gives them what they want, enjoying every bit of the hysteria surrounding him. As he starts to sing he will start off slow and easy, sways his body, shakes a leg, rolls his groin, with an innocent but sexy come-on, and then quickens all movement with his guitar. His guitar will soon become a symbol, no more than just a prop. In 1955, Elvis Presley starts touring with the Grand Ole Opry. This is television program covering the East. He plays at the arena in
Norfolk, Virginia, wearing a cowboy outfit with a red silk scarf and a round brimmed black hat, holding his guitar in his hand. 1956, 25 September, Elvis returns to his home town Tupelo to perform in the Mississippi-Alabama fair, where he first performed at the age of 10 years of age and sang “Old Shep.” He starts his performance off with a little sly but wicked charm. As he leans towards the mike with his lop-sided grin, his slicked back hair style and sideburns looking out into his crowd with deep passion in his eyes, setting his audience on alive. Then, just to tease, he starts with a ballad, holding the mike so close he is almost kissing it, lowering his long eye-lashes modestly, and luring his audience with every move. The crowd is mesmerized by his stunning grace; he had them right in the palm of his hands. The guitar, in his early performances become no more than a musical instrument to strum, toy with, an accessory, but it was just more like a symbol that was part of his early stage days. And his voice, in such ballads would be tuned to almost a groan, drawing his audience right into his world. It is obvious he knows what he is doing. As he continues, he will let his left hand hang limp, then twitch, just enough to watch his audience go wild.
Elvis Presley knew only to well the effect he had on his audience, and this developing knowledge is something he will never lose. He will watch his audience with his eyes, and his attracting grin. But it is his own instincts he would depend on. If after performing a ballad, he sensed tension, he would then slightly turn, mumble a few words, in his deep southern accent charm with a soft warm romantic tone – then unexpectedly he will just let lose with “Good Rock’n Tonight” along with “Bill Blacks” bass to set the change the crowd will experience. With this change, Elvis would start to shake his left leg, tap one hand on his thigh; he would jerk his shoulders around and rock back on his heels, while watching his audience lose control. The audience is so pumped up by now; Elvis knowing this will shake his head, moving his hair away from his eyes, then let lose with the magical spine tingling drawn out first word “weeellllll…” there’s good rockin tonight. His rendition of this number works like a charm because of the way he phrases “rock” in the performance. By 1957, Elvis knows exactly what works for his audience when performing on stage; he has control of them, firstly when he grabs the mike and pulling it down on an angle, then when he begins to gyrate his pelvis. He is totally wild and outrageous. On stage he cuts lose like a maniac. On stage the monster is alive. The music, the song, the crowd, or something laying low until he gets on stage, once he feels the rock ‘n’ roll beat the feeling takes his body and he has to move, his hands, feet, knees, legs, head, his whole body just goes with the beat and feelings of being alive.
While everyone gets a little of what they need. The Hillbilly cat is now Elvis the pelvis, giving the audience his new hard core material. Singing about sweat, about the highs and lows of love, about blue suede shoes and black cedillas, he will sing of the hidden life. Letting lose with “I want you, I need you”, then groans. “Make me thrill with delight.” Then he stings with a real sense of power: “Don’t you step on my blue suede shoes”, he has his head back, left leg shaking, his guitar slanting upwards, with his pelvis rocking. Then he drops to his knees while he still has hold of the mike running his right hand along it and quivers, the crowd goes crazy with an explosion of excitement, almost blocking out the musicians and his vocal group behind him on stage. Off stage he is a saint. He doesn’t smoke or drink, he is perlite, sings hymns, has a collection of teddy bears, loves his folks, and never touches the devils brew. Dating only nice girls, taking them to the movie theatre, he never took his dates to nightclubs or bars; he’s not a gambler and doesn’t smoke. He loves his parents and family members, worships God and his Country, he is grateful for all he has.
Elvis Presley came a time when the world for the young was
at a stand still, somewhat stale. His style opened the door to freedom - his performances are lively with unseen movement, with his bump “n” grind defiant gestures, he thrusts his groin, falls to his knees, crows over the stage, leans into the mike attracting the desire and passion of his young audience. Nevertheless, Elvis would soon be a tamed man. His voice will change as will his acts become toned down. He will live in a mansion with a swimming pool, have is own 24-7 security, body guards. These men won’t even think twice about speaking out, only to offer positive comments. Elvis will along with the changes willingly give control to the Hollywood promoters, salesmen. Leaving it in their hands how he is to look act and feel, his appearance now includes eye makeup, painted lips, layering on the foundation to his face so any rough features visible would be smoothed out. The promoters took the steps to make Elvis’s appearance perfect, Plastic! Once the perfect appearance was achieved, next was to sell Elvis Presley to the globe. Elvis will be only too happy to agree and obey, accepting their control with the Southern obedient upbringing replying yes-sir and no-ma’am. Read the rest of the Elvis Presley Biography here:
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