How Did Elvis Presley Influence Society

804 Words4 Pages
Elvis Aaron Presley, otherwise known as “The King” was born on January 8th, 1935. He came from simple beginnings; being born into a lower-class family in Tupelo, Mississippi. In 1948, at the age of 13 Elvis Presley and his family moved to Memphis, Tennessee. Soon he launched his incredibly successful music career with Sun Records at the age of 19 in 1954. His music was influenced by both African American and White artists causing his unique blend of country, pop, rhythm and blues, and gospel music. Presley was heavily influenced by artists such as Chuck Berry, Fats Domino, and Buddy Holly. Though Presley was widely known for his “provocative” dances moves and his popularization of Rock n’ Roll Presley impacted American culture in a much larger aspect. His influence on Americans and American culture aided desegregation and civil rights during his period of influence and helped create “youth culture”. Presley facilitated desegregation through his music genre and selection. He did this by creating music for both Black and White listeners “integrating” the two music genres. For instance, Elvis Presley’s first single released in July of 1954 began his career of integrating Black and White music. This record contained a cover of “That’s All Right” an R&B song which was originally written and recorded by the African American artist Arthur Crudup on side A. While side B was a recording of a cover of the bluegrass song “Blue Moon of Kentucky” by the white artist Bill Monroe. This representation showed the American people that both Black and White culture could live side by side beautifully. This record also displayed the beginning Presley’s attitude and complete disregard for segregation. This portrayal of mixing these cultures came at an especially tense time in American history. Two months before Presley released these songs the case of Brown Vs. Board of Education had come to a ruling. The Brown Vs. Board of Education case was a case filed against the Topeka, Kansas school board because a Black child was denied access to a White school. The plaintiff argued that the segregated schools were “separate but not equal” and violated the equal protection clause in the 14th amendment. In May of 1954 the U.S. Supreme Court
Open Document