1935 - 1977
"...I was born, early on one frosty morn, look away, look away, look away Dixie Land...Glory, Glory Hallelujah... Glory, Glory, Hallelujah... Glory, Glory Hallelujah, His Truth Is Marching On" One of the most stirring songs ever written in the English Language, Mickey Newberry's "An American Trilogy," made up of three historically significant pieces: "Dixie," " All My Trials," and "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" was frequently sung with incredible power and emotion by the greatest entertainer the world has ever known- Elvis Presley.
With a vocal range from a growling "G" to a stunning and thrilling "B", Elvis sang and sang and sang with over 800 recognized official recordings and perhaps a hundred more songs in someone's attic. Elvis Aaron Presley was born on January 8, 1935 in Tupelo, Mississippi. As he grew up, Gladys, Elvis' mother took him to Church almost daily. The worship services were filled with spirit and singing and enthusiastic preachers who would "shake, rattle and roll" throughout the sermon to get their message across. That experience may have given him the life-long enthusiasm for music and singing that made him such a great entertainer.
During the 1950's, Americans were ready for a change and when Elvis hit the road as did so many other legends at the time: Jerry Lee Lewis, Marty Robbins, Buddy Holly, Roy Orbison, Johnny Cash, to name a couple, he started a revolution with his unique sound and style that continues to be exploited to this very day. You will amazed to discover that Elvis is the only entertainer that is regularly referred to at least once a week in movies and on television. In fact, I would bet that you could find an Elvis Tribute Artist (commonly called Elvis Impersonators) any week of the month performing somewhere in the United States and even other countries.
During the 60's Elvis had established himself as a prolific performer with a voice and style that could thrill Country, Rock, Gospel, Blues, and Pop fans not only in the United States, but all over the world. As if recording and performing wasn't enough of a career for one life-time, the King of Rock-N-Roll became a Movie-Star with over 30 successful movies to his credit. By the end of the 1960's Elvis' small group of ground-breaking musicians (Elvis, Scotty Moore, and Bill Black) had grown to include super-performers like the Jordanaires, Donnie Sumner, J. D. Sumner and The
Stamps, The Sweet Inspirations, Kathy Westmoreland, the Joe Guercio Orchestra, James Burton, Floyd Cramer, D.J. Fontana, Charlie Hodge, Ed Hill, Glen Hardin, Buddy Harmon, and Ben Weisman...to name a few.
Just when we thought it was all over, Elvis thrilled millions of fans during the 1970's. In this third epoch of American music with a new look and dynamic full sound. Elvis, wearing his famous jumpsuits, forever burned the image of the American King of Rock-N-Roll into the heart and soul of the world. He became the most recognized and unique symbol in music history. On January 14, "Elvis: Aloha From Hawaii" was beamed worldwide by satellite into the homes of over one billion people in forty countries...an unprecedented television broadcast. Elvis' concert schedule was set at an incredible pace often performing day after day in different cities (sometimes two shows per day) for months at a time.
On a sweltering day on August 16, 1977 in Memphis, Elvis Aaron Presley, grew tired and gave his spirit to the ages...as in the final verses of that great song An American Trilogy...a haunting "all my trials will soon be over..."
Written by Bernd Wieshaupt
© 1999 Eddie Bear Productions