Elvis as Icon Elvis Presley Essay

Pages: 3 (923 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 2  ·  File: .docx  ·  Topic: Music


Elvis represented freedom in every facet of the word. He was not afraid to use experiment with his music and sound, he was willing to use his sexuality, and most important of all, he was able to achieve the American Dream by overcoming poverty and helping to provide for his family at a young age. Elvis's generosity extended past his family and to his friends and family. Elvis became considered "a rock-and-roll Rockefeller who gave the gift of music, gave himself to is country, gave away scarves, cars, and expensive jewelry to friends and fans, and gave generously to charity" (15).

It is difficult for many people to deny the significance of Elvis Presley's television performances and subsequent public performances. Elvis's presence in the entertainment industry irrevocably changed it. He was able to successfully transition from radio to public performances to television performances to film performances seamlessly. Moreover, with the help of "Colonel" Tom Parker, Elvis was able to retain his music idol status during and after serving in the military. "Colonel" Parker realized the importance of merchandizing and promotion even while Elvis was unable and indisposed to perform (66).

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Despite his popularity and generosity of character, Elvis did not appeal to everyone and was considered to be a threat to the society. In fact, Ed Sullivan refused to have Elvis appear on his show until his archrival Steve Allen's television show beat him in the ratings (Rock & Roll Generation: Teen Life in the 50s 64). While Sullivan attempted to deny the pull Elvis had on a generation, realizing that shunning Elvis from his show only highlights the cultural and social significance of the artist. Moreover, it can be argued that if Elvis did not pose a threat to the "moral fiber" of society, he would not have been as scrutinized as he was, after all he was not the first white rock-and-roll artist, however, he was the most successful.

TOPIC: Essay on Elvis as Icon Elvis Presley Assignment

There are few people that can argue against the significance of Elvis performing on television. Even those that opposed his image and music recognized that television would allow him to reach more people and influence them. Moreover, Elvis's television performances highlighted the power of television and its influence on the general public.

Elvis Presley has had a lasting impact on music and entertainment. There are countless numbers of people who still worship the "King of Rock and Roll." His home at Graceland, where he is buried, has become a shrine to the man that changed the face of music. Moreover, people still sing his songs, watch his movies, and buy Elvis-inspired art and memorabilia.

Works Cited

Doss, Erika. Elvis Culture: Fans, Faith, & Image. Lawrence, Kansas: University Press of Kansas, 1999. Print.

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