Music has been an important factor relating to history since it began. Throughout the millennium there have been those who would experiment with new sounds and would be cheered for doing so. One of the most notable figures in the world of experimentation with music is Elvis Presley. He lived in poverty and moved around a lot during his early life claiming he would play music on the grandest stages in America. Little did they all know that he would actually end up as an incredibly successful musician.
Born on January 8th 1935 and died on August 16th 1977. Elvis Presley’s life was short but well lived. He lived in both Tupelo and Memphis during his early years and thus was exposed to different musical styles. He released his first single “Heartbreak Hotel” during January of 1956 and it quickly became a number one hit in the united states. However this may have been due to his sound was a combination of rock as well as soul. This blurred racial boundaries and thus made him popular but somewhat controversial as well.
On March 24th 1958 Elvis was inducted into the army. He could have easily became an entertainer for the troops and taken the “celebrity wimp out” but he refused and wished to be treated as an ordinary soldier. That choice is truly what keeps him as an ordinary Joe in my eyes and not just another self obsessed musician. He loved his music yes, but he was willing to risk his life for the rights and freedoms that he had become accustomed to. It is this moment where he surpasses countless others and thus should be recognized for it. This was not the only opportunity he was given to leave ordinary military service either. He was offered in 1959 to join special services but he refused. He was determined to not be treated as anything more than a soldier and that is incredibly admirable. Now just because he was an ordinary soldier does not mean that he did not do extraordinary things while in service. Elvis Presley both donated his army wages to charity as well as bought televisions for his squad.
He did well by all those that he could and throughout his life did countless live performances. He recorded many songs and was dubbed “the king of rock” or simply “the king”. Unfortunately the king’s greatest weakness was his food addiction. Some say that he ate close to 100 000 calories a day and this lead to his tragic heart attack on August 16th 1977. By that point drugs and his food addiction had made him a shell of his former self. His death was tragic but by that point he had already lost his life.
I am looking forward to learning more about Elvis for many reasons. He has been my favorite musician for quite some time and thus learning more about the man behind the music is a fascinating idea. Another reason that I wish to learn more about him is related to the fact he was a humble person that refused to dodge military service. He was willing to face his problems head on and that is something that this entire world could use more of. This quality in anyone is not only admirable it is respectable and thus I hope to honor it and the person that he was during this project.
All in all Elvis Presley life was short but bright and I hope that he will be remembered for his success and not his shortcomings.