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Presley became close to both parents and formed an especially close bond with his mother. The family attended an Assembly of God church, where he found his initial musical inspiration. Vernon moved from one odd job to the next, evincing little ambition.

In , they lost their home after Vernon was found guilty of altering a check written by his landowner and sometime employer.

He was jailed for eight months, while Gladys and Elvis moved in with relatives. The contest, held at the Mississippi—Alabama Fair and Dairy Show on October 3, , was his first public performance. The ten-year-old Presley was dressed as a cowboy; he stood on a chair to reach the microphone and sang "Old Shep". He recalled placing fifth. Presley recalled, "I took the guitar, and I watched people, and I learned to play a little bit.

But I would never sing in public. I was very shy about it. The following year, he began bringing his guitar to school on a daily basis.

He played and sang during lunchtime, and was often teased as a "trashy" kid who played hillbilly music. By then, the family was living in a largely African-American neighborhood. Presley was overcome by stage fright the first time, but succeeded in performing the following week. After residing for nearly a year in rooming houses , they were granted a two-bedroom apartment in the public housing complex known as the Lauderdale Courts.

Humes High School , Presley received only a C in music in eighth grade. When his music teacher told him that he had no aptitude for singing, he brought in his guitar the next day and sang a recent hit, "Keep Them Cold Icy Fingers Off Me", in an effort to prove otherwise.

They and three other boys—including two future rockabilly pioneers, brothers Dorsey and Johnny Burnette —formed a loose musical collective that played frequently around the Courts. By his senior year, he was wearing those clothes. Presley recalled that the performance did much for his reputation: I failed music—only thing I ever failed. And then they entered me in this talent show It was amazing how popular I became after that.

He also frequented record stores that provided jukeboxes and listening booths to customers. King recalled that he had known Presley before he was popular, when they both used to frequent Beale Street. First recordings See also: He aimed to pay for a few minutes of studio time to record a two-sided acetate disc: He later claimed that he intended the record as a gift for his mother, or that he was merely interested in what he "sounded like", although there was a much cheaper, amateur record-making service at a nearby general store.

Biographer Peter Guralnick argued that he chose Sun in the hope of being discovered. Asked by receptionist Marion Keisker what kind of singer he was, Presley responded, "I sing all kinds. Presley came by the studio, but was unable to do it justice. Despite this, Phillips asked Presley to sing as many numbers as he knew. He was sufficiently affected by what he heard to invite two local musicians, guitarist Winfield "Scotty" Moore and upright bass player Bill Black , to work something up with Presley for a recording session.

The session, held the evening of July 5, proved entirely unfruitful until late in the night. Moore recalled, "All of a sudden, Elvis just started singing this song, jumping around and acting the fool, and then Bill picked up his bass, and he started acting the fool, too, and I started playing with them.

Sam, I think, had the door to the control booth open The interest was such that Phillips played the record repeatedly during the remaining two hours of his show. Interviewing Presley on air, Phillips asked him what high school he attended in order to clarify his color for the many callers who had assumed that he was black.

A combination of his strong response to rhythm and nervousness at playing before a large crowd led Presley to shake his legs as he performed: According to Moore, "His movement was a natural thing, but he was also very conscious of what got a reaction.

The Shreveport -based show was broadcast to radio stations in 28 states. Presley had another attack of nerves during the first set, which drew a muted reaction. A more composed and energetic second set inspired an enthusiastic response. In January, Neal signed a formal management contract with Presley and brought him to the attention of Colonel Tom Parker , whom he considered the best promoter in the music business.

Having successfully managed top country star Eddy Arnold , Parker was working with the new number-one country singer, Hank Snow. There was just no reference point in the culture to compare it. According to Neal, many country-music disc jockeys would not play it because he sounded too much like a black artist and none of the rhythm-and-blues stations would touch him because "he sounded too much like a hillbilly.

So many of them, through some sort of jealousy, would practically hate him. In mid-October, they played a few shows in support of Bill Haley , whose " Rock Around the Clock " track had been a number-one hit the previous year. Haley observed that Presley had a natural feel for rhythm, and advised him to sing fewer ballads. Songwriters were obliged to forgo one third of their customary royalties in exchange for having him perform their compositions.

The program, produced in New York, was hosted on alternate weeks by big band leaders and brothers Tommy and Jimmy Dorsey. Joined by five previously unreleased Sun recordings, its seven recently recorded tracks were of a broad variety. There were two country songs and a bouncy pop tune. The others would centrally define the evolving sound of rock and roll: As described by Hilburn, these "were the most revealing of all.

Unlike many white artists He not only injected the tunes with his own vocal character but also made guitar, not piano, the lead instrument in all three cases. His performance, on the deck of the USS Hancock in San Diego , California, prompted cheers and screams from an audience of sailors and their dates. The shows were poorly received by the conservative, middle-aged hotel guests—"like a jug of corn liquor at a champagne party", wrote a critic for Newsweek.

It became the new closing number of his act. It warned that "Presley is a definite danger to the security of the United States. Indications of the harm Presley did just in La Crosse were the two high school girls Presley has no discernible singing ability. His one specialty is an accented movement of the body Elvis, who rotates his pelvis Allen, no fan of rock and roll, introduced a "new Elvis" in a white bow tie and black tails. Presley sang "Hound Dog" for less than a minute to a basset hound wearing a top hat and bow tie.

As described by television historian Jake Austen, "Allen thought Presley was talentless and absurd A few days later, Presley made an outdoor concert appearance in Memphis, at which he announced, "You know, those people in New York are not gonna change me none.

Throughout the following performance, he largely kept still, except for wiggling his little finger suggestively in mockery of the order. According to Elvis legend, Presley was shot only from the waist up.

Watching clips of the Allen and Berle shows with his producer, Sullivan had opined that Presley "got some kind of device hanging down below the crotch of his pants—so when he moves his legs back and forth you can see the outline of his cock.

This is a family show! Though the camerawork was relatively discreet during his debut, with leg-concealing closeups when he danced, the studio audience reacted in customary style: Igniting the "biggest pop craze since Glenn Miller and Frank Sinatra Presley, more than anyone else, gave the young a belief in themselves as a distinct and somehow unified generation—the first in America ever to feel the power of an integrated youth culture.

Problems playing this file? The album includes "Old Shep", which he sang at the talent show in , and which now marked the first time he played piano on an RCA session. According to Guralnick, one can hear "in the halting chords and the somewhat stumbling rhythm both the unmistakable emotion and the equally unmistakable valuing of emotion over technique.

After the performance, crowds in Nashville and St. Louis burned him in effigy. The film was panned by the critics but did very well at the box office. Though Phillips no longer had the right to release any Presley material, he made sure that the session was captured on tape. The results, none officially released for 25 years, became known as the " Million Dollar Quartet " recordings. Some commentators have claimed that Parker orchestrated an appearance of censorship to generate publicity.

Leaving behind the bland clothes he had worn on the first two shows, he stepped out in the outlandish costume of a pasha, if not a harem girl. From the make-up over his eyes, the hair falling in his face, the overwhelmingly sexual cast of his mouth, he was playing Rudolph Valentino in The Sheik , with all stops out. At the end of the show, Sullivan declared Presley "a real decent, fine boy". Already an international star, he was attracting fans even where his music was not officially released.

The songwriting team effectively produced the Jailhouse sessions and developed a close working relationship with Presley, who came to regard them as his "good-luck charm".


This article has multiple issues. Please help improve it or discuss these issues on the talk page. (Learn how and when to remove these template messages). ANTRIM HOUSE EVENTS, AWARDS AND RECOGNITIONS (alphabetical by author -- all events free and open to the public unless otherwise listed).

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