Three Songs by Elvis Presley

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Three Songs by Elvis Presley

Elvis Presley is not only a household name in the United States but is also known and recognized across the word as among one of  the founders of rock ‘n’ roll. His songs reached many in America and they transformed the consciousness of many Americans. To older Americans he represented things they considered  bad and questionable among the young. This was because of the sexuality, rock ‘n’ roll music, too long hair and what was seen as a rejection of many traditional values.  However, to the young people, he represented what they aspired  for instance, music with hard beat, disregard to many traditional values and independence.

Elvis was born in 1935 to parents who were a working  class. He was one of a set of twins  however the other died.  At high school he had fair performance but he also worked to help his family(Stephan & Holland).   At the age of 16, his mother bought him a guitar (1946).  By this age his mother had noticed his interest in singing which he had acquired in chuch from listening to gospel singing.  Elvis teenage years were mainly spent listening to music and watching movies.  With the help of friends and family he taught himself the basics of playing guitar such as a few  cords. Therefore, as a teenage he played guitar while singing.  Elvis career began as “The Hillbilly Cat” and his first recording was made in 1953 while his first hits began trickling in 1956 (Hason). Three Songs by Elvis Presley

Heartbreak Hotel was the first big hit song that Elvis sang under RCA contract.  The lyrics of the song tell a story of a man who has been left by his love and he finds himself living in a what is a symbolic “heartbreak hotel” (Editors). He describes the hotel as a place that is filled by many lovers who have been heartbroken.  The song has five stanzas which give the song its meaning.  Mae B. Axton, Tommy Durden, and Elvis Presley wrote the song.  The videos was taken from a live performance in 1956  but the TV show during which it was taken is not mentioned.  Elvis is dressed in black shirt and pants with a necktie as he plays  his guitar in front of three other musicians that is a guitarist, a bass cello and drums.  In the performance and in the song, there are many shots showing Elvis perform his best and famous dance moves. The shots also show the audience in the foreground who were all in a jovial spirit.  In his performance, Elvis sounds confident and self-assured even though the sound in the video is not always loud and clear.  At the end of the performance, the jovial audience cheers loudly demonstrating their approval and admiration of his performance.  This video provides a clear picture of how Elvis used to perform at the start of his career.Three Songs by Elvis Presley

After Heartbreak Hotel the next big hit for Elvis was Blue Suede Shoes which was written by Carl Perkins.  The vide was also of a live performance on a TV show, Milton Berle Show, in 1956.  Everything is this video is almost the same as in the Heartbreak Hotel video. For example the costumes and the backup are from the previous hit song, Heartbreak Hotel. In this video Elvis himself introduces the song.  The song has six stanzas as well as several chorus refrains (“Elvis Presley – Blue suede shoes – 1956”). The lyrics explain several things that may happen to Elvis but the all-important warning is against stepping on his blue suede shoes. The lyrics says… “You can do anything but lay off of my blue suede shoes” (“Elivis Presley–Blue Suede Shoes Lyrics”). All the lyrics in this song are concrete and not abstract. In this video, there are shots that show Elvis doing his famous dance moves.  He is shown as a composed performer who is self-assured as well as a person who enjoy performing.Three Songs by Elvis Presley

Elvis also performed, Lawdy Miss Clawdy, which was written by Lloyd Price. The video has shots showing Elvis performing the song and interacting with Ann Margaret. There are also other shots which purely show Elvis dancing (“Elvis Presley Lawdy, Miss Clawdy 1956”).  The lyrics only has four stanzas  and they describe a girl the Elvis has loved but at the end of the song he leaves the girl. Unlike in the other songs described above, this video has professional shots  of films that are well taken from performance. The other songs were taken from TV show but this one is more professional and thus shows Elvis maturing as a performer.  The video shows an Elvis who has become of age and is now a polished movie performer. He is no longer the energetic and spontaneous performer that appeared on TV shows to perform.

 

 

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