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Elvis Presley - source based work.

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Introduction

Q.2.ii Why do sources A and B differ? Use your own knowledge and sources C and D to explain. The main reason why sources A and B differ is Elvis Presley's controversial appearance on the Milton Berle Show, which happened between the two dates, and was the first time Elvis ever appeared on television. This is why source B comments on his movements on stage, whereas source A does not - source B is mainly reacting to Elvis' suggestive dancing and animal-like movement onstage, which prompted a very negative reaction primarily from the older generation and parents. Source A and B also differ because they are aimed at different social groups. Source A consists of part of an article from a popular music industry magazine, which would probably have been read by younger people who, with the arrival of Elvis Presley; were just beginning to like different types of music than their parents. Young people in the 1950s had more money to spend on themselves then any previous generation (the average teenager was estimated to have between $10 to $15 a week to spend, compared with just $1 to $2 in the early 1940s), so companies responded with more products specifically aimed at them. ...read more.

Middle

The language used is also specifically aimed at young people, for example the use of the word 'hot'. The newspapers quoted in source B would be likely to read by older people, so this is why they are so critical of Elvis. The newspapers may also have put forward those opinions on Elvis because they are reacting to the threat in 1955 of the new media of television. The articles may be sensationalising Elvis Presley and the crudeness of his personal appearance on the Milton Berle Show to try and discourage people from watching TV in general. They would have wanted to do this as TV sets would be causing less to people to read the papers, so making TV unpopular with adults might win back adult readers. TV was such a threat because it mainly rose to popularity during the 1950s, when the USA's prosperous economy made electronic gadgets available for the working class. By 1952 half of American homes had a television set. For example, after Elvis' coast-to-coast TV appearance on Jackie Gleason's Stage Show in 1956, hosted by Tommy and Jimmy Dorsey, the success of Heartbreak Hotel was phenomenal: Number One in the USA charts for seven weeks and number two in Britain. ...read more.

Conclusion

of Elvis, so he may have been giving these particular views or exaggerating Elvis' actions on stage in a purposeful attempt to discredit him, which, with Elvis out of the way, would help him achieve a better audience for his music. Source D helps to explain why B is so outraged and shocked by Elvis, as clearly Roy Orbison personifies the type of middle-of-the road music people were used to up until Elvis' arrival on the music scene, and the fact that he himself finds it outrageous shows just how atypical and different Elvis' personal style and music must have seemed at the time. Source A and Source B differ because A is mainly informing people about the popularity of his music and his singing ability, but is also positive because it is aimed at teenagers who, unlike adults, were delighted by Elvis (his music and his performing). B, C and D on the other hand are mainly about Elvis' behaviour and the fact that he is on TV, because the people writing these articles are concerned about his influence on the young (and on the music business, in the case of Roy Orbison). Alistair Divorty ...read more.

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