Psychobiography of Elvis Presley
Elvis Presley was one of the most popular American singers, song producer, and actor who rocked the world in the 20th century and was also called the king of Rock and Roll music. He was born in Tupelo, Mississippi, on January, 1935, and his parents were Vernon and Gladys Presley. His twin brother, Jessie Garon was born in a stillbirth condition thus leaving Elvis as the only child in the family. Presley mother had a hard time keeping her job and Elvis decided to work on part basis after school and on weekends to sustain his family. The situation worsened for the family when Vernon, Presley father, was sent to the state prison for a period of three years for allegedly forging a check. Presley and his mother lost their home and they had no other alternative but to move with their relatives. When Presley was celebrating his eleventh birthday he acquired his first guitar and was assisted by the church pastor to learn how to play it. This became the first step in which Elvis started his music career. After the return of his father from prison in 1948, Elvis continued attending school and working in part time jobs to support his family. Furthermore, Presley proceeded with amateur classes to further his talent. His career of music begun in 1954 where he worked with Sun Records co-owner Sam Philips who wanted to promote the African American music to a level that most audience would admire and embrace. Presley is regarded in the global history as one of the most powerful personalities of 20th century pop culture. He possessed a multitalented voice and uncommon variety by successfully adapting to different genres, which include blues, gospel, pop ballads and country (Goodman, 2006).
Presley’s early musical influence began from gospel music. His mother says that when Presley was at the age of two at Assembly of God church located in Tupelo, he would run into walkway and struggle to climb the platform where the slingers were dancing. After their family migrated to Memphis, Presley more often attended night gospel extravaganzas at the Ellis Auditorium, which featured the most popular gospel artists. While he was a teenager, Presley’s musical tastes varied and were well acquainted with the African American and the white people’s phrases as well the phrases of the white people. Presley was good at memorizing despite having attended any formal training in his life. In addition, Presley had considerable knowledge in music by the time he made his first professional production in the year 1954 when he was only 19 years old. According to music historians, Presley was the main figure in the development of rock music. In addition, many artists describe him as the pioneer and the father of Rock and Roll genre of music (Dine, 2012).
Presley’s first recording was in 19054 with the single of Arthur Grudup’s song “That’s All Right (mama).” In the following year, Colonel Tom Parker became his producer and manager and Presley rose to a stardom level. Presley dominated the music charts in 1956 and 1958 with his single hits where he was branded “the King “ of roll ‘n’ rock .His music career was further boosted by the his first appearance in television in January 1956. The most remembered appearance on television was the one on the fashionable “Ed Sullivan Show” in fall and winter in 1956. In the same year, Presley ventured on the film production career when he stared on Robert D. Webb’s “Love Me Tender.” He continued in the following year and produced his second and third film where he received many commends for his unending composition of the song, which later became the hit. In March 1958, Jailhouse Rock recognized Presley’s image as an insurgent possessing a guitar and Presley voluntarily complied with the draft notice and he was selected to serve in a private army based in Germany, relatively than joining the entertainment division. He served in Germany until 1960 when he returned back to his career (Goodman, 2006).
When he returned from Germany in 1960, he picked up his career from where he had left before induction. Presley released a movie “G.I.Blues” for post-service movie in 1960. The film featured the original station where he was based in Germany but the image on the film was his original and honest image. The future films’ setting was shaped by the release of” Blue Hawaii” which was released in 1961. The other movies captured the exotic and romantic setting. Presley became a catalyst for the cultural transformation through his career of pop music. He was not only popular in defining its musical genre but, he positively impacted on youth culture and rebellious nature. His racial mixed foundation in pop occupation of key positions in the mainstream American culture promoted fresh recognition and praise of the black culture. In this regard, he opened a door for black music in America and at this time his career earned him global recognition and he has motivated a multitude of impersonators. Though he is dead, he remains the most powerful force in the twentieth century through his popular music. Through his successful career, he transformed and implanted a culture in the aspects of clothes, music and language (Elms, 1997).
Presley’s divorce case succeeded in 1973 when he was becoming gradually more unwell. In the same year, he was involved in drug overdose of barbiturates, and spent three days while he was in unconsciousness state in hospital. In the end of 1973, Presley was admitted from the effects of addiction of Dimerol drugs. Despite his deteriorating state of health, Presley continued with his live performances and was able to stage 168 concerts in 1973, which became his busiest schedule after his comeback. At this time, Presley had turned completely to drugs. Towards the last days of his career, Presley would gibberish incomprehensibly on the stage and removed his pants when he had grown quite obese and could collapse once while in stage. He continued with his uptight schedule for performances despite his health concerns due to drug addiction. Presley was on stage for less than an hour and he could comprehend and articulate his performance (Dine, 2012).
Cancellations of most of his performances took centre stage, as were digressive individual monologues on stage. In 1974, he used too many sleeping pills thus causing confusion on stage. Presley was admitted to Baptist Hospital in January 1975 after his lover, Linda Thompson, found him with breathing problem. Many fans blamed the drugs for the continued deterioration of Presley’s health status. There was also a growing mistrust on his opinion and his manager about Memphis Mafia; and Elvis and Parker communicated less frequently. Despite his health status deteriorating, he had insatiable urge for women and at that time he was introduced to another woman called Alden Ginger. In 1977 he was able to complete 53 live concerts and there was no single show he performed after his return in Las Vegas. In the same year, most shows were called off at the last minute. In June, while he was in Baltimore, he walked out at the middle of performance and his final live performance was in Indianapolis’s Market Square Arena on 26th, June. Presley was impressed about his fasting, getting back in form, and reenergizing himself for the next stage performance, which was to start in August (Goodman, 2006).
The death of Presley came at a time when his fans were still expecting more of him. The public and his fans were much astonished by the death of the one of the America’s most key entertainers and the king of rock and roll music. Presley was not ready to die on the morning of August 16, 1977, when he was found by his girlfriend, Alden, being unconscious in the bathroom at Graceland. The same day, Elvis, was to leave to Memphis for a concert. Presley was pronounced dead that evening at Baptist Memorial Hospital. His death was connected to cardiac arrhythmia case but his doctor ruled out any drug cause to his death. Elvis always rose when confronted by new challenges but his producer and manager would discourage him not to follow his preference as an actor and a musician. Primarily, Presley was the victim of ravenousness, self-interested director and required to proceed to sustain his lavish lifestyle. He was always afraid of standing for himself and culminated by persons afraid to stand up to him, Presley’s mental, physical, and emotional well-being declined on the ceaseless grind of the road (Goodman, 2006).
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