Elvis Aaron Presley was an amazing talent in his own right. He took the black sound of the South, which he grew up listening to and singing in Church and made it his own. Elvis was working as a truck driver and went to Sun Studios in Memphis and cut a record for his mother’s birthday. Sam Phillips liked Elvis’ sound and wanted him to cut more records and Elvis got airtime. Colonel Tom Parker became his business agent and marketer. The Colonel was amazing at his job, although Elvis suffered greatly due to the demands of his touring schedule. It was at this point of his life he was introduced to the uppers to get him through the performances and the downers to sleep.The big question is would Elvis have become "The King" without the guidance of the business savvy and not so caring Colonel? And was it worth it? The extreme fame, the reclusive lifestyle, and the drug use eventually costs Elvis his life.
Great topic. Colonel Tom was a piece of #$@%; Presley was a gift. And thank you for reminding us that Presley's sound was black. I recently bought his complete gospel recordings and there was at least one denial of that fact in the liner notes. When I read that garbage I thought of Sam Phillips' famous quote - "If I could find a white man who sounds black I'd be a billionaire" - and Elvis running home from school to hear Sister Rosetta Tharpe on the radio. Black and white American music have been tied together for a long time. – Tigey5 years ago