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The site this month of a panel discussion with Priscilla Presley, a sold-out “Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest Showcase” and a vigil on the anniversary of his death, Graceland is among the most-visited private homes in the nation along with the White House, which is fitting, since the Presley phenomenon has particular resonance in the age of Hillbilly Elegy.“What he did was earthshaking,” says Tim Mc Graw, the country-music superstar who counts Presley as a huge influence.The Presley legend has proved durable and intriguing not least because it mirrors much of American culture in the artist’s lifetime and beyond.His fantastic rise and long, sad slide into an overweight, gun-toting, prescription-drug-abusing conspiracy theorist about communism and the counterculture (he hated the Beatles, once telling President Nixon that the British band threatened American values) tap into fundamental questions about race, mass culture, sexuality and working-class anxiety in a postwar America.Before Diana, before Michael, before Kim, before Trump, there was Elvis. RISING SUN Presley was born in Tupelo, Miss., in 1935 in the hilly upcountry region of the state that the writer Julia Reed has described as the Balkans of the South.(The other two distinct Mississippi worlds are the Delta and the Gulf Coast.) His father struggled to eke out a living, working different jobs and signing up for FDR’s Works Progress Administration after doing time at Mississippi’s Parchman prison for forging a check.
A few weeks later, at an open-air performance at Overton Park Shell in Memphis, Presley played the two songs from that recording.We recommend that all our users opt for the Flash-version of the chat (currently in use). To become a premium (GOLD) member for life and unlock this feature, all you have to do is buy any amount of tokens one time! A longtime lieutenant of TIME and LIFE founder Henry Luce, journalist Richard Clurman found himself chatting one day in the late 1960s with Leonard Bernstein, the legendary composer and conductor of the New York Philharmonic. Forty years after Presley’s August 1977 death in an upstairs bathroom at Graceland, his Memphis mansion, the revolution Bernstein identified unfolds still.As Joel Williamson, a scholar of Southern history, observed, Presley took “That’s All Right” (written by an African-American blues musician, Arthur Crudup) and “Blue Moon of Kentucky” (written by a white bluegrass man, Bill Monroe) and made them his own.
“Elvis, using his God-given rich and versatile voice, perfected by practice, gave [the songs] a different turn,” Williamson wrote.Last year, the Recording Industry Association of America certified the Essential Elvis record platinum, and in 2016, Presley was, according to Forbes, the fourth top-earning dead celebrity in America, trailing only Michael Jackson (who, in an only-in-America twist, was once married to Presley’s daughter), cartoonist Charles Schulz and golfer Arnold Palmer.Legions of fans–many of whom were born after the King was found lifeless, his body wracked by opioids–treat him as a Christ-like figure, a man born on the fringes who attracted a great following and who some still believe is not dead.If you are unhappy with the way Flash Player is functioning on your computer, please try switching to the HTML-5 site version by pressing on the "rocker".