"ELVIS" Is he still the King? Just yesterday I was watching television and a new Toyota commercial came on. What struck me about the ad was not the car, but the music it had playing in the background. A brand new single by Elvis Presley called "Rubberneck in." The song gave instant satisfaction to my ears and I started rocking my head forward and back as the music played. After the thirty second ad was over I was left hungry for more.
I wanted and needed the song to listen to it the whole way through. Then a strange thought hit me, how does he do it? How does a man, that's been dead for twenty five years, come out with music that blows everything else clear out of the water? Elvis Presley is known as "The King of Rock and Roll." To this day Elvis sells more records and merchandising than any other artist today. His popularity seems to grow with every new generation. Elvis impersonators fill Las Vegas hotel lounges, and make appearances in movies at least once a year. Elvis' movies play regularly on VH 1, Time Warner classics, and major networks whenever an Elvis anniversary comes. The soundtrack to Disney's most recent children's movie "Stitch" is filled with Elvis Presley tracks.
As many as seven hundred thousand people visit Elvis' Graceland every year. It is estimated that half of all those visitors are under the age of thirty five. Elvis has been gone for twenty five years, yet his popularity is as strong if not stronger than it ever was today. The question is what keeps Elvis on top? Elvis changed the face of rock and roll and led the way for white people to do "black people's music." He had it all, good looks, charisma; the ability to drive the girl's wild by swiveling those hips. Elvis could act, had a sense of humor and most importantly, had a singing voice to die for. When Elvis took the stage, people watched and listened.
Everyone wanted to be Elvis. Even the Beatles, arguably the greatest band of all time idolized Elvis Presley. John Lennon grew up wanting to be Elvis. If not for Elvis there would be no Beatles. I remember the story that my father once told me. That when he was boy and first heard Elvis he would paint sideburns on his face and ride his bike down the street.
Elvis has a unique effect on people to make them feel cool. Even today when I play an Elvis song on my guitar I can't help but curl my upper lip. Rock and roll is Elvis and Elvis is rock and roll. It is estimated that Elvis has sold over 1 billion records world wide, more than any other artist in the history of the record industry. A hundred and forty of his albums have either gone gold, platinum, or multi-platinum in America alone. Forty percent of Elvis' record sales have come from outside the U.
S. despite never recording a single album in any language other than English. Elvis has had one hundred and forty nine singles on the billboards top one hundred chart. An unprecedented one hundred and fourteen of those made it to the top 40. Elvis continues to live today through his music, and still inspires new bands to form and write music.
When rappers like Eminem sing about Elvis in their songs, the young generation listens. If it's good enough for a tough rapper like Eminem, it must be good enough and cool to listen to for me. In 2001, JUL remixed an Elvis song which ended up going to number one. Elvis is everywhere. Children hear their parents talk of Elvis as if he were a god. People will continue to impersonate him.
His music will continue to play on the radio. His face will continue to appear on t-shirts, lunch boxes, and television forever burning his image in our minds. In 1992, the U. S. Postal service released a stamp commemorating Elvis Presley and ended up printing five hundred million of these stamp which was three times more than the usual printing of a commemorative stamp.
Today there are over six hundred and twenty five Elvis fan clubs throughout the world. Elvis' legacy is far too great to ever disappear from the minds of people. I think I speak for everyone when I say "Elvis Presley is, and always will be The King of Rock and Roll.".