Rock and roll history can arguably begin with the King of Rock himself, Elvis Presley.
Elvis was the shepherd ushering in the new wave of music that changed the world. Elvis Presley did not invent nor create rock music, but he was the catalyst that launched rock into mainstream America.
He was the King because his presence when he entered a room dominated anything else that was going on at that time. Elvis Presley was a force in music that built a large part of the foundation on which rock music stands. As the musical career of Elvis evolved, so too did the evolution in rock and roll.
A southern boy born in Mississippi Elvis bought his first guitar at a hardware store for $8.00. The first Elvis Presley songs began on that little old guitar. After graduating high-school in 1954, Elvis signed his first record contract with Hank Snow Attractions who eventually sold it to RCA.
By 1956, the Elvis Presley song “Heartbreak Hotel” was released selling over 1 million copies.
Later that year Elvis performed three shows on The Ed Sullivan Show which would change the course of history.
Elvis played many songs during those performances, though none as significant as when he played the song “Hound Dog” on his first appearance. Elvis Presley redefined what it meant to be cool during that song. The pop-culture at the end of the fifties had suddenly received an overhaul of biblical proportions.
The swagger, style, and sound in that Elvis Presley song were unequaled in the radical shift from conservative fifties music.
Elvis Presley was now the biggest thing on the planet.
The King of Rock was born and the door once closed to rock ‘n’ roll was now open.
Though Presley led the charge, he never claimed responsibility for being the creator of rock. Many have improperly labeled him with this title, but Elvis Presley has always maintained that rock music was born out of the utilization of various musical styles.
Presley came up during a time in music while a special group of musicians began to frequently play together. Chuck Berry, Jerry Lewis, Hank Williams, Little Richard and many others all throwing pieces of their music into what came out as rock and roll. Elvis Presley had the personality, talent, and face, to bring this new style to the public.
Rock and roll music is one of the highest selling and most popular genres of music on the planet. A style and sound that has evolved since Elvis Presley first bought a guitar for $8.00 in Tupelo, Mississippi.
Some of the most intriguing and polarizing people in the history of the nation are those musicians that lived and died playing the music that started with Elvis Presley songs. Elvis always maintained he did not create rock alone and that is why he is The King.