August 17, 2007

A Moment in History

Yesterday marked the 30th Anniversary of the death of Elvis Presley at his home, of a drug overdose, and represented a huge loss for the music community. To some, he was the first real rock star. To date, he's recieved over one hundred and thirty certifications from the RIAA for his records with a hundred and forty-nine singles that cracked the top forty.
Presley was the only survivor of a pair of twins, (born in 1935), growing up as an only child. He learned to sing at an early age, through his church, and recorded his first song in 1953, and would later return to make his debut release in 1954, to a huge response from the local radio station. By 1956, he was well known, with a number one single and an unprecedented $35,000 dollar contract from RCA. Over the next couple of years, he was on fire, scoring numberous chart topping hits.

Such fame wasn't without controversy, as he was viewed as vulgar with his movements on stage, and for some televised performances, was filmed from the waist up. In 1958, he entered the US Army, where he served in Germany and was later discharged in 1960. By the mid-1960s, he was making over a million dollars per film he worked in and would marry in '67, although the marriage would dissolve by 1972. It was also during this time that he began to take drugs and became increasingly reclusive from the public. Presley's last performance was June 25th, 1977 in Indianapolis, and he would die just months later. Thousands of devoted fans attended the burial, and Elvis's estate would later (after some court drama), pass to his only daughter, Lisa Marie Presley. Graceland was opened to the public in 1982, where hundreds of thousands of people visit every year.
Elvis is undoubtably one of the cornerstones of American Rock & Roll, having influenced huge numbers of musicians, such as Buddy Holly and the Beatles, as well as set many of the trends for Rock & Roll in a time of change that has had lasting influences to even today.

Hound Dog - Elvis Presley