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Elvis Presley had a big impact on music in the USA in 1956.

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Introduction

Matthew Kelsall 10/1 York 15/05/02 History Coursework - Elvis Presley 1. Elvis Presley had a big impact on music in the USA in 1956. This is shown as the writer compliments Presley and talks very positive about his career. The article illustrates just how successful his career was. It tells us that he sold a vast number of records and that he was a top earner for his record company, RCA. It also tells us he had six hit singles in the company's list of top 25 best selling singles, and compliments Presley by referring to him as a "winner" and "amazing". The writer also displays a sarcastic tone as he refers to Presley as "HOT AS A $1 PISTOL". This comment could be taken as a flattering remark, or a slight on Presley's talent. Its insulting aspect would be the fact that the writer could be calling Presley cheap and simple, and like a $1 Pistol after a few good shots would be useless. Another slur on Presley's ability is the fact the writer refers to him as a "country warbler", implying that he cannot sing and his words are indistinguishable. This article was written for an American music magazine called "Billboard". This shows that Presley must have had some impact as he was popular enough to be featured in magazines and was regarded as a celebrity. This article is a primary source of evidence of Presley's impact from 3rd March 1956. 2. The evidence in Sources C and D disagree with the evidence in Source B, which is very biased. ...read more.

Middle

Source F is proof of Presley's success and popularity during the mid 1950s. In 1955 all songs in the top five list are ballads with Bill Hayes - The Ballad of Davy Crockett at the top. However, next years results are much different. In 1956, Presley takes up four of the top five single spaces, with Don't Be Cruel/Hound Dog at the top of the chart. This shows just how quickly Presley became popular, in the space of a year, from being a lorry driver he was now one of the country's most famous people. He had become a sensation in one year. In 1957 Presley occupied three of the five top single spaces, and All Shock Up at the top of the charts. His only rival was Pat Boone, dubbed the acceptable face of Rock and Roll. These results heavily contrast with the evidence from Source E and show that the majority of America's society disagreed with their opinions. However, all evidence from Source E is from adults, racists and members of the establishment. His popularity was mainly with teenagers and it is them that promoted Presley to the top of these charts. Source F shows Presley's sudden impact on America that occurred almost overnight. 4. By 1958, many attitudes had changed towards Presley, especially of those who were against him. One reason he became more acceptable was because his record company, RCA, was toning down his image. They tried to make him more acceptable to the public by stopping his controversial movements during his performances. His songs were also toned down, his earlier work a lot more energetic than his later work. ...read more.

Conclusion

is the statement from Congressman Emmanuel Cellar who says that Rock and Roll should stay with "the coloured people" but that it is not good enough for the whites. Source E ( ii ) shows the racist reaction of a member of the Ku Klux Klan whose plan is to 'do away with this cannibalistic, negro-loving rock and roller'. This is a very important impact, no matter how controversial, as it is an impact on a group of people. In Source E ( iii ) the religious reaction is demonstrated when Billy Graham, an evangelical preacher claims he 'would not let his daughter cross the street to see Elvis'. Another religious reaction is from the Reverend Albert Carter who states "The effect of rock and roll on young people is to turn them into devil-worshippers...and to stimulate self-expression through sex...it is an evil influence on the youth of our society". This shows us the impact on the religious community. At first the whole idea of Presley was his image of rebelliousness. Although this changed by 1958 when Presley joined the army as shown by source G. This source shows Presley being illustrated as a patriotic hero for his country, and this had a massive impact on both his fans and those who did not like him. He was also made more acceptable as his image was toned down and his songs became much calmer, no longer shouting or brimming with energy, as he had been manufactured by RCA. These points and source of evidence prove my point that it was not just his television appearances or his music that had an impact, but the combination of both of them. ...read more.

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