Seeing a lot of talk about the Elvis movie

EsquireOK

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Elvis was by no means the "King of Rock-n-Roll" in my book, but when he was good, he was REALLY F-ING good. He did great songs, his bands were hot, his production was awesome, and he was the man.

He's just highly over-credited and overrated by mainstream culture, and he put out a lot of real crap as well. He was also exploited and mismanaged, and didn't have full control over his career, for much of it.

He absolutely did have soul, and swagger, and he did indeed come from dirt. He worshipped R&B music and its practitioners, and probably grew up closer to them in economic status and culture than most who would criticize him for plagiarism. From very early in his career, he cited their influence on him, starting at a time when most white men outside of the world of jazz wouldn't have done so. Also, blues and R&B are a genre in which the range from "referencing" to "straight-up lifting" were common, and accepted.

Cultural appropriation is a double-edged sword; it can do good as it is doing bad, and vise versa. Whether what he did had a positive effect or a negative one, and for whom, can be debated, but we can't say he didn't have a significant cultural impact, on blacks, whites, the rich and the poor. He changed music, and in some ways, the world.

I can greatly enjoy Elvis, and also put him in perspective. I don't need to denigrate him in order to prove how much I love R&B. I love them both. If it sounds good, I like it...and a fair deal of Elvis music sounds really damned good to me, regardless of how much "better" the "source material" might be.
 
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smartsoul72

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At this point of the thread I'm not adding anything new. But Elvis had a gift for making any song his own. I've heard the same about Sinatra, although you are less likely to hear disparaging remarks about him.
And Elvis often acknowledged his influences.
I haven't seen, or intend to see, the movie btw
 

burntfrijoles

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Elvis was by no means the "King of Rock-n-Roll" in my book,

He's just highly over-credited and overrated by mainstream culture

Before Elvis the Top 40 radio was Pat Boone, Rosemary Clooney, Perry Como, Mitch Miller, Sinatra, Dean Martin, circa 1955
Then 1956 and Elvis had 5 top 50 songs charted. After Elvis it was Elvis, Chuck Berry, Everly Brothers, Gene Vincent, Sam Cooke, Fats Dominoe, Little Richard and soon after Buddy Holly. It took more years until the British Invasion catapulted Rock to a new level.
Regardless, Elvis was the launching pad or touchstone of what was to come.
He WAS the King but Kings die and there is a succession to a new King. "The King is dead, long live the King".
 

Cosmic Cowboy

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I take issue with the whole "culture appropriation" thing in music. The world IS cultural appropriation. In America we speak English. My family came here from Sweden and Russia, yet we speak English. Elvis came from the same Beale St scene as BB King and was completely aware of the segregation and social barriers in the Southern States in those days.

He never once referred to himself as the King of Rock n Roll. That was the press.. the same press that lobbied for him to be imprisoned for playing "negro music" and making lude gyrations.
 

Papanate

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I guess it’s just me.. but I’m not a big fan. I get he “paved” the way for rock. But blatantly stole a lot of his stuff. I get “influences” but Hound Dog? That’s alright momma? He and Sun Records stole those from old black blues singers (not to mention his “hound dog” sucks in comparison)
He didn't steal anything - just like any musician he was influenced by different performers - and in the case of Hound Dog and That's Alright Mama he did (IMHO) his version of each - whether you like it not in inconsequential.

As for the Movie - I'll not be watching it - Elvis personal life was a bit creepy - and his singing aside - he couldn't get out of a paper bag if he didn't have someone telling him what the opening looked like - his whole cadre of 'Yes' men and their parasitic existence was gross - and never much progressed beyond 17 years old.
 

JeffroJones

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Elvis personal life was a bit creepy - and his singing aside - he couldn't get out of a paper bag if he didn't have someone telling him what the opening looked like - his whole cadre of 'Yes' men and their parasitic existence was gross - and never much progressed beyond 17 years old.
I read "Aboard the Mystery Train", Scotty Moore's autobiography. Really, the story of a nice young guy with a good voice, not overly bright, but musically gifted. He turned into a helluva singer, and got everything he wished for.
Which begs the riposte: "Be careful of what you wish for!" :)

:::
 




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