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Elvis Presley

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Elvis Presley Essay

When historians look at history and at reasons why society changed many focus on conflicts like wars, civil rights, and poverty. However, there is so much more that over time changed America. One of the most influential subjects that helped this change was Elvis Presley. Through his music, which was influenced by black artists, he allowed white Americans to view a new group of performers. He tested social boundaries that helped him change American culture. His appearance and singing would end up changing the teenage world by introducing new trends in fashion and music. Presley was the reason why we have Rock-N-Roll. As a business and a singer, he brought America together into a new type of society; therefore he is a major reason why America turned out the way it is today.

Elvis Presley is seen as being the king of Rock-N-Roll. At the time Elvis did not realize how this would entirely effect the country. A month after the decision of the Supreme Court case, Brown v. Board, Elvis would be signed to a producer and would being so much change though his music, dancing, and clothing. New treads would be formed and teenagers would begin to pick up those treads. Different appearances on talk shows and in concerts could be seen in the streets and in school on young teenagers. Teenagers from ten to eighteen would drool over Presley which caused a large controversy. Elvis’s lyrics to his songs were not anything bad but just something that would make listeners dance and have fun. His music was the first thing that got American’s attention. B.B. King once said that Elvis was “a white guy but sounding black.” This was true. Elvis’s music was a mix of African-American blues, Christian gospel, and Southern country. Elvis, as a singer, gave his music a feel of a black singer. At this time, white children could not listen to music performed by a black person. Elvis’s music allowed them to be able to hear the amazing sound that came from this specific type of music. This began to bring the younger generations of different races together by liking one specific thing causing a huge change in society. Elvis’s clothing would also help to change America. White adults believed that Elvis dressed like a black person. He would wear baggy pants, leather jackets and a pink shirt with its collar up. More white teenagers would start to wear more types of clothing like this. White teenagers started to shop in stores that were owned by black businessmen. This was something that was just simply never done. Elvis’s dancing was the last part of him that would cause tension in America. He would dance sexually with hip thrusts and moving that was inappropriate. This would start a tread of new dancing though the teenagers. This upset adults that their children were more open about their sexuality. Simply, Elvis would start treads which can still be seen today. This was the start of the African American culture being mixed with mainstream culture.

Teens would change not only by the new treads but by the mixing of different races and cultures. White and black teenagers would be in the same audiences listening to the same type of music. Today this does not seem like a very big deal but during this time the civil rights movement was just beginning to start to go in full blast. Children of different races could not even be educated together so how are they allowed to have fun together. During Elvis concerts the majority of the audience was black teenagers. White teens would sneak into these concerts to enjoy the music. The young generation did not care about segregation during these concerts and most of the time outside of the concerts they did not really care either. Elvis’s music was for all teenagers by all teenagers.

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