Indeed Elvis Presley is the undisputed King of Rock and Roll. And he is a
phenomenon in the world of popular music and entertainment.
Well, he did not pioneer the rock and roll genre. Yet, he was the first rock and roll superstar. He gave a new dimension to this form of music and took it to a new high with his plaintive
emotions and vocal magic.
Elvis's style was unique in the sense that his music would bear the strains of blues laced with the country which again bore the influence of his childhood world of gospel. And
with these inherent styles, he brought together the music from both sides of the color line.
As an entertainer Elvis was great. He proved himself to be a cool rebel. Perhaps a struggling childhood molded him that way. Initially his natural hip swiveling might have attracted a lot of flak from the conservatives. Yet, he became a role model of his genre, with fans across the United States and even beyond.
He privately did his first records "My Happiness" and "That's When Your Heartaches Begin," at Memphis Recording Service, the home of Sun Records. They were meant as a birthday present for his mother. And that was enough to trigger his musical career that only shot up and up. By the next year, "That's All Right" and "Blue Moon of Kentucky" were released as Elvis Presley's first single album, bearing the legend "Sun 209" logo. And it catapulted Elvis to the mainstream Rock and Roll. The first public appearance, in Memphis the same year, showed Elvis' talent as a performer. This set the beginning of a period of wild performances matched by riotous receptions.
Between 1956 and 1977, Elvis received three Grammy Awards, three RIAA Platinum Record Awards, thirty-five RIAA Gold Record Awards, and had a total of one hundred and six Top 40 hits. He also appeared in thirty-three films. In 1986 he was honored with the posthumous Rock N' Roll Hall-of-Fame.
Elvis's debut in silver screen was with Jailhouse Rock (1957). This was one of his most critically acclaimed films. In fact, Jailhouse Rock and King Creole (1958) have become classics of their era. In all he starred in 31 feature films as an actor and two theatrically released concert documentary films, all of which enjoyed financial success. For a number of years he was one of Hollywood’s top box office draws and one of its highest-paid actors.
On January 16, 1971,The United States Junior Chamber of Commerce (the Jaycees) named Elvis, One of the Ten Outstanding Young Men of the Nation for 1970'.
In the same year National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS) also recognized him with their Bing Crosby Award, now the famous
'Lifetime Achievement Award'. Elvis was 36 years old at the time.
Elvis Presley’s trophy room at Graceland is filled with gold and platinum records and awards of all kinds from around the world.
Though except for five shows in three Canadian cities in 1957, he did not perform in concert outside the United States.
Yet, his recordings and films enjoyed, and continue to enjoy, popularity all over the globe, and he is known throughout the world by his first name.