Elvis Presley's Influence On Society

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Nicole Tomy THE HISTORY OF AMERICA’S MOST MONUMENTAL MUSICIAN Elvis Aaron Presley was born to Vernon and Gladys Presley in Tupelo, Mississippi, on January 8, 1935. From an early age, Elvis was constantly surrounded by music which evolved into a lifelong career. Elvis’ talent allowed him to soar to the top of the music business and gain millions of fans. He had an immense effect on the musical society because he influenced legends such as Buddy Holly, Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins, and Jerry Lee Lewis. Although Elvis seemed to be an extraordinary role model, the underlying truth was that Elvis was a heavy drug and alcohol user and allowed sexual gyrations to dominate his performances. To adolescents, especially girls, Elvis was a heart-throb,…show more content…
He starred in 33 successful films, made history with his television appearances, and earned great acclaim through his many live concert performances. His American sales have earned him gold, platinum and multi-platinum awards. Among these were 14 Grammy nominations and being named One of the Ten Outstanding Young Men of the Nation for 1970 by the United States Jaycees. However, his popularity also brought criticism and warnings of new trends in teenagers. After a show in La Crosse, Wisconsin, an urgent message on the letterhead of the local Catholic Church’s newspaper was sent to FBI director J. Edgar Hoover. It warned that “Presley is a definite danger to the security of the United States. ... [His] actions and motions were such as to rouse the sexual passions of teenaged youth” (Greenwood 112). After the show, more than 1,000 teenagers tried to barge into Presley's room at the auditorium. Indications of the harm Presley did in La Crosse were evident in two high school girls whose abdomen and thigh had Presley's autograph. His concerts generated riots and a crazed epidemic of teenage promiscuity. Elvis was considered a sex symbol and represented sexual liberation. Many adults viewed his performances as a “strip tease with clothes on”. When Elvis was questioned about his antics he replied, “No, I haven't, I don't feel like I'm doing anything wrong. ... I don't see how any type of music would have any bad influence on people when…show more content…
Thompson thoroughly investigated Elvis’ drug habits and documented the findings in his book The Death of Elvis. “Elvis Presley had become a grotesque caricature of his sleek, energetic former self. Hugely overweight, his mind dulled by the pharmacopoeia he daily ingested, he was barely able to pull himself through his abbreviated concerts” (Thompson 137). Elvis suffered from multiple ailments such as: glaucoma, high blood pressure, liver damage, and an enlarged colon, each aggravated, and possibly caused, by drug abuse. Thompson also discovered that Presley was scheduled to fly out of Memphis on the evening of August 16, 1977, to begin another tour. And, that afternoon, he was discovered unresponsive on his bathroom floor in his Graceland home. Attempts to revive him failed; Elvis’ death was officially pronounced at 3:30 pm at Baptist Memorial

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