All In

Does Elvis Still Matter?

As part of our ongoing celebration of Elvis' birthday week, Rocks Off asked our writers the simple question in the headline.

Chris Gray: Absolutely he still matters. When I was compiling that list of quotes and lyrics about Elvis earlier this week, I wasn't that surprised to see that even Beyonce and 50 Cent acknowledged their debt to E. If you want to talk about "swagger," the discussion pretty much begins and ends with Elvis. I bet Jay-Z has some TCB memorabilia lying around his office somewhere too.

And consider this: As far as I can tell, besides his Memphis bud Johnny Cash's "Folsom Prison Blues," Elvis is the only artist from the '50s whose songs are still in regular rotation on Houston commercial radio, over on Country Legends 97.1. Frank Sinatra? Buddy Holly? Fats Domino? Chuck Berry? Little Richard? All gone. But the King remains.

Neph Basedow: Elvis is still undoubtedly still relevant. He was the first rock and roll rebel, censored for simply swaying his hips; rock and rebellion have gone hand-in-hand ever since. He was also among the first performers to introudce such sex appeal and fan mania into the musical equation.

KEEP THE HOUSTON PRESS FREE... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
The Houston Press is a nationally award-winning, 32-year-old publication ruled by endless curiosity, a certain amount of irreverence, the desire to get to the truth and to point out the absurd as well as the glorious.
Contact: Houston Press