Elvis Presley was one of my first favorite musicians. Around 1994, my parents had signed up for one of those ridiculous 99 cent CD clubs, getting endless amounts of CDs.
An Elvis Presley compilation was one of them. I found myself jumping around my house doing my own kind of five-year-old version of a sock hop to his music to the point that it irritated my parents. Well, I remember something along the lines of accidentally breaking a large antique vase. I was a funny, ahem, rock and roll kid. No shame in what I did there.
Then, at age six, this became my favorite CD:
Regardless of the large spectrum of music I love now, that little Elvis compilation sparked my interest in discovering more music with that kind of soul. I'm not saying anything along the lines of Elvis has soul and Justin Bieber is soulless and Lil' Wayne and dubstep have destroyed music as we know it today.
Lil' Wayne is great with puns. Bratty Bieber can sing and dance. Good for them. What Elvis performed, some of his most simple tunes, just make me happy.
Then comes the slew of other common questions with the most common one being, did he really steal music, considering countless musicians have recycled and inspired themselves with other people's music?
In the end, the delivery of the song is what makes the song, isn't it?
It's the nature of the beast called music. Corny metaphor aside, Elvis' delivery of the song is really what makes the song its own.
Many musicians have covered songs that were in fact copied from other, older songs.
And here's footage of Elvis singing "Long Tall Sally", which is actually a cover of a cover that's been covered on another cover.
It's grainy, but you get the point.
The Beatles happened to later cover this song, along with several others of his. Their versions are equally as great, but different. The Beatles are considered a pretty good band, or so I've heard.
Also, did he not become famous during a greatly confusing time in America's moral values?
Basic cultural lines were crossed, and people didn't know what to think of him. At the same time, everything about him at the time was new and exciting, and then with his rock and roll he inspired many others to follow suit, blah, blah, blah. Many have gone on this spiel.
Now I can parallel this back to five-year-old me getting really excited about this new sound that made me want to dance, or hop... in my socks. I sock-hopped. That's how that happened.
Elvis in all his 50's glory:
The Million Dollar Quartet, a musical featuring the early hits of Elvis, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins, opens at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Hobby Center, 800 Bagby Ste. 300. See more info on Theatre Under the Stars' Web site.
Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.