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Elvis Has Left the History Book!
Topic Started: Mar 21 2009, 01:34 PM (4,367 Views)
mort bakaprevski
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Hey, hereís somethiní we can have fun with (or not). Hereís the question:

What would pop music of the last Ĺ of the 20th century be like if Elvis had never existed?

Iím gonna take the position that it wouldnít really have been that much different. ďWhy?Ē, you ask (or maybe that was just a stifled yawn). Well, Iíll give you one of the reasons for my position (definitely not missionary):

The late 50ís were a very exciting time in the world of pop music. Mainly, the big labels (RCA, Columbia, Decca, Capitol & (maybe) Mercury & MGM) had lost the tight control they used to have over the marketplace. Small labels (Imperial, Dot, King, Chess, Cadence, Atlantic, etc., etc.) were now regularly appearing on the charts. As a matter of fact, the only rock act on a major label was Elvis on RCA. True, Buddy Holly was on Decca, but his records were released on their subsidiary labels (Brunswick & Coral). In short, the tastes of America were changing & the majors didnít have a clue.

But, thatís enough for today! Anybody else got an opinion??? Sure hope so. Would hate to see this thread die an early death.
"Nov Shmoz Ka Pop."
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Greypilgrim
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Elvs was just a fad that overstayed its welcome.

I've never been a huge Elvis fan, but I do enjoy some of his music.

Nothing Elvis ever did had any effect on the music industry except to sell records.

He didn't write any of his own stuff--lyrics or music. He didn't really do more than sing and gyrate.

Buddy Holly wrote some his own stuff, orchestrated the band, used violins and other instruments not normally associated with rock and roll. Holly was more in control of his work than Elvis could EVER have been of his own.

If Holly had lived I think the music world would have been very different.

The Beatles changed the music world by doing diffeent things and using other means of recording.

Elvis just sang and sweated and threw scarves to ladies in the front row at Vegas.

You can sit and try to think what Elvis gave to the music industry, but all you're going to come up with is that he sang songs and was very popular.
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Stony Brooke da Mesquiteer
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I don't have much time tonight, so quickly I'll say that I don't think the pop music world would be much different. I never listened to Elvis much while growing up (I'm STILL doing that!) but I bought his #1 hits CD a few months ago and enjoy it. The earlier tunes have a basic sound, especially that stand up bass I heard in a few songs, and I like his voice. He was about as creative as The Backstreet Boys, though.

Many years ago I saw a documentary on Elvis, and it showed a drugged out dude, who could've had it all, or maybe did have it all, and he thought "it all" meant prescription drugs. Very sad. The Elvis doing martial arts in the film are either sad or funny, depending on your view of The King. He certainly was The King Of Pop, IMO.

His life as an afterthought, might have brought drug addiction to the public eye, and therefore he could've been influential in rehab centers being built, before the late 70s' coke heads, who thought that cocaine was a recreational drug.

Lately I've listened to Elvis and Hank Williams, artists I haven't listened to very much. Next on the horizon...THe Kinks. What that has to do with this thread, I don't know, guess I'm just a thread changer.
It's like Rodney King used to say, "Can't we all get a bong."
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mort bakaprevski
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Good grief, this is no fun. Surely thereís at least one Elvis fan here. Well, looks like Iím gonna have to play devilís advocate.

Maybe most of you are too young to remember the tremendous impact he had with his initial TV appearances. He created a furor that was at least as big as the ensuing one for The Beatles. At the time, he definitely wasnít the clean-cut fellow he ultimately evolved into in his films. He looked like a truck driver from the wrong side of the tracks (which is exactly what he was). Many parents were violently opposed to himÖ which, of course, only made him that much more popular. Definitely a counter-culture hero of the time.

Also, it amazes me how many subsequent rock stars credit him with their initial inspiration. I remember one article where John Lennon just oozed with admiration for Mr. Presley. And just yesterday I was watching a Youtube interview with John Fogerty. Even though I canít hear a single trace of Elvis in his voice, he too claimed Presley was a strong influence in his early development.

In addition, Iím not sure that the fact that Elvis didnít write any of his material is really a factor in whether he was ultimately influential or not. Neither Crosby nor Sinatra wrote their own material either & yet their impact was tremendous. In fact, Sinatraís influence on singing is still with us today!!
"Nov Shmoz Ka Pop."
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Laughing Gravy
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Elvis changed everything. C'mon, folks, the Pilgrim is clearly trying to pull our collective legs; nobody could possibly be that entirely ignorant about how Elvis changed music. You may as well claim Poland invaded Germany in '39, GP, or that Pete Best was the true force behind the Beatles. Thanks for the good laugh!

R&R was "rhythm music" and relegated to the back of the bus before Elvis. The music needed a symbol, and a dirt-poor white country boy who loved his mama was not only a good role model, but he was sexy (right, girls?) and charismatic and "cool". His taste in music was eclectic, and the guy had a way with a song. He was a huge movie star. Buddy Holly was doing hillbilly songs until he saw Elvis perform in Lubbock, and immediately switched to R&R. (By immediately, I mean when he got home from the concert that night. *L*) Eventually, maybe R&R would've broken through with some inferior symbol (who th' hell was #2 behind Elvis, folks? Ricky Nelson? Jerry Lee Lewis? Pat Boone? Fabian? None of them would've existed with Elvis, and Chuck Berry and Little Richard would've been about as popular as Howlin' Wolf, which is to say, not all that much).

Elvis was the most influential rock performer ever and it is impossible to imagine what possibly could've happened without him any more than you can say, "What if Abraham Lincoln had been born a horse?"
"I'm glad that this question came up, because there are so many ways to answer it that one of them is bound to be right." - Robert Benchley
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mort bakaprevski
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Laughing Gravy
Mar 22 2009, 08:40 AM
None of them would've existed with Elvis, and Chuck Berry and Little Richard would've been about as popular as Howlin' Wolf, which is to say, not all that much).
Ahhhh, now we're gettin' somewhere. I assume you meant to write that none would have existed without Elvis. And, while this may be true, I take exception to your latter remark. Chuck Berry & Little Richard were there before Elvis came on the scene... and I know 'cause I was also there at the time.

The times they were a-changin' musically... and they would have continued to change with or without Mr. Presley.
"Nov Shmoz Ka Pop."
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Laughing Gravy
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Of course they were there, but it took Elvis to take rhythm music to the public.

And, yes, I meant "without".

I suspect that Fats Domino - who had more of an adult mainstream sound - would be an example of the type of R&R performer who would've proven to be much more popular than guys like Chuck Berry ever could've been in an Elvis-less world. Frankly, in the absence of Elvis Presley, somebody probably would've invented one, and the ersatz King of Rock & Roll would've been a poor substitute to the one we got.

"Before Elvis, there was nothing." -- John Lennon
"I'm glad that this question came up, because there are so many ways to answer it that one of them is bound to be right." - Robert Benchley
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mort bakaprevski
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Laughing Gravy
Mar 22 2009, 10:09 AM
Of course they were there, but it took Elvis to take rhythm music to the public.


Hmmmm?? What public are we talking about? I know that we were listening to r&b at least 2 & 1/2 years before Elvis made the scene. Now, admittedly, when I speak of "we", I'm talking about SoCal. Can't speak for the rest of the country. I do know that when the (white) Crew-Cuts had a big hit with "Sh-Boom", the hit here was the original recording by The Chords on Cat Records (a subsidiary of Atlantic).

Quote:
 
I suspect that Fats Domino - who had more of an adult mainstream sound - would be an example of the type of R&R performer who would've proven to be much more popular than guys like Chuck Berry ever could've been in an Elvis-less world.


And you'd be right. As a matter of fact, he WAS more popular than Chuck in the short run.

Quote:
 
"Before Elvis, there was nothing." -- John Lennon


What the hell did he know? He was an ocean away. Besides, I remember seeing a Brit rock show in the early 60's. Almost every act was some guy doing an Elvis imitation. The U.S. had gotten a long way from that by then!!

"Nov Shmoz Ka Pop."
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Stony Brooke da Mesquiteer
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Laughing Gravy
Mar 22 2009, 10:09 AM
"Before Elvis, there was nothing." -- John Lennon
That's like saying if one person thinks Billy Joel sucks, then it must be so! Before Elvis there were (gr?) the blues. Hell, before Sinatra and Crosby there were Delta Blues.

Elvis was a BIG influence, no doubt about it. But the question was (damn, I should've read that 1st post again) if Pop Music would've been the same without Elvis. God, I hope that was the question. The British Invasion was mainly blues based, with an exception being The Beatles.

Pop Music would've gotten to the point it is today, it may have taken longer, but it would've gotten here all the same. Someone would've picked up the baton and ran with it.

I don't see much about the influence Country Music had on Pop Music, and Elvis for that matter.
It's like Rodney King used to say, "Can't we all get a bong."
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Chandu
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mort bakaprevski
Mar 22 2009, 10:35 AM
Laughing Gravy
Mar 22 2009, 10:09 AM
Of course they were there, but it took Elvis to take rhythm music to the public.


Hmmmm?? What public are we talking about? I know that we were listening to r&b at least 2 & 1/2 years before Elvis made the scene. Now, admittedly, when I speak of "we", I'm talking about SoCal. Can't speak for the rest of the country. I do know that when the (white) Crew-Cuts had a big hit with "Sh-Boom", the hit here was the original recording by The Chords on Cat Records (a subsidiary of Atlantic).

Quote:
 
I suspect that Fats Domino - who had more of an adult mainstream sound - would be an example of the type of R&R performer who would've proven to be much more popular than guys like Chuck Berry ever could've been in an Elvis-less world.


And you'd be right. As a matter of fact, he WAS more popular than Chuck in the short run.

Quote:
 
"Before Elvis, there was nothing." -- John Lennon


What the hell did he know? He was an ocean away. Besides, I remember seeing a Brit rock show in the early 60's. Almost every act was some guy doing an Elvis imitation. The U.S. had gotten a long way from that by then!!

As far as I'm concerned, it was Bill Haley and The Comets who brought R&R to public awareness with "Rock Around The Clock," which was also featured in Blackboard Junge a tremendously popular movie at the time.
Not plane, nor bird, nor even frog. It's just little ol' me...
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Stony Brooke da Mesquiteer
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Laughing Gravy
Mar 22 2009, 08:40 AM
... any more than you can say, "What if Abraham Lincoln had been born a horse?"
I feel comfortable saying that if Billy Joel had been born a horse, Gravy would've beaten him to death 10 times over! Probably more!!!
Sometimes I just crack myself up!
I'm gonna toot my own horn today mort!
It's like Rodney King used to say, "Can't we all get a bong."
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Laughing Gravy
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Elvis changed everything; this isn't a matter of opinion. You naysayers: stop being wrong. Go read something and come back when you know what you're talking about. If you don't care for him and his music, fine. I don't care; your loss. Go listen to Billy Joel (which is I'm sure what greypigrim, who talked smack about Elvis but defended Billy, is probably doing. I do feel sorry for anybody who has to share the shit that goes in gp's ears, and hope he uses headphones).

Bill Haley was a novelty singer, and would be today what The Big Bopper is if it hadn't been for Elvis.
Edited by Laughing Gravy, Mar 22 2009, 02:24 PM.
"I'm glad that this question came up, because there are so many ways to answer it that one of them is bound to be right." - Robert Benchley
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Stony Brooke da Mesquiteer
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"Elvis changed everything."

So then, without Elvis, would we have had The Stones? The Who? The Kinks? Traffic? The Beach Boys? The Beatles? That last one is a trick question.
It's like Rodney King used to say, "Can't we all get a bong."
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Chandu
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Laughing Gravy
Mar 22 2009, 02:16 PM
Bill Haley was a novelty singer, and would be today what The Big Bopper is if it hadn't been for Elvis.
Bill Haley may be a novelty singer to you historians and quotable experts, but for those of us who were there he was a headliner who could draw as big or bigger crowds than Elvis at that time. That wouldn't be true in a couple of years, but Haley did have a whole string of hits and starred in several R&R movies in the '50's, long before Elvis did. I'm guessing it was the music of the '60's that killed Haley's popularity as he apparently couldn't or wouldn't adapt, but it's only a guess.

I should add that I do like Elvis, very much, but at the time was probably one of them guys that was a little jealous of all the gals my age being so ga-ga over him. I was in high school from '55 - '59.
Edited by Chandu, Mar 22 2009, 04:30 PM.
Not plane, nor bird, nor even frog. It's just little ol' me...
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mort bakaprevski
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Laughing Gravy
Mar 22 2009, 02:16 PM
Go read something and come back when you know what you're talking about.
Well, obviously you HAVE to read something inasmuch as (if my calculations are correct), you were swimming in amniotic fluid about a year after Elvis made his debut. You simply weren't there!!

Trust me, Bill Haley was NOT considered a novelty singer back in the mid-fifties. Even the blacks chose "Rock Around the Clock" to dance to on Al Jarvis' afternoon TV program!!
"Nov Shmoz Ka Pop."
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