65 Years Ago Today Elvis Presley Becomes “The King”
The ghost of Elvis Presley still lives with all of us. If you turn on the radio, doesn't matter the genre or artist, you hear his influence. The Swagger that young men today have was created and brought to the masses by guys like Elvis and Jerry Lee Lewis. For us in Shreveport, you can't drive down the street without seeing a little (or big) nod to the King.
He's literally everywhere. He's in our hearts. In our minds. And in the great melting pot we call American Culture. Elvis has touched our lives in ways that we may not even realize. While, I can't overstate the importance of Elvis Presley on American life (one of these days I need to full breakdown why Elvis is the greatest artist of all time), today is the day that put him on the map.
You see, when Elvis started out his music career, he wasn't the guy we all know. He didn't have the rockabilly sound or any kind of swagger...he was a punk kid from Tupelo Mississippi who wanted to record a couple of songs for his mom. One of those songs was a cover of the Inkspots, the other was the song "My Happiness" which was made famous by Ella Fitzgerald among others.
Anyway, Sam Phillips owner of Sun Records, thought that maybe this kid had some talent and set him up for a real recording session. Elvis recorded a couple of ballads that went nowhere. Did nothing. Fell flat.
Sam kept trying with Elvis, but nothing seemed to work for the kid. Then, on the evening of July 5th, it all came together. After hours of wasted tape, Sam was at wits end. But, in between takes, Elvis began fooling around and Sam finally heard something he could sell. Elvis' upbeat and unique take on the Arthur Crudup song “That’s All Right" was just the sound Sam was searching for. Yearning for.
That moment changed Pop and American culture forever. It put the Louisiana Hayride on the map. Today is quite possibly the most important day in American music.