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Elvis Presley | The King of Rock 'n' Roll

By: David Troedson
Source: Elvis Australia
March 1, 2019
Elvis Articles, Elvis Biography, Elvis News, By David Troedson

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Who is the real king of rock n roll?

Elvis Presley is the undisputed King of Rock and Roll.

What is rock n roll music?

Rock and roll (often written as rock & roll or rock 'n' roll) is a genre of popular music that originated and evolved in the United States from singer and actor Elvis Presley. Presley's music was an evolution of his earlier creation of 'Rockabilly'. The roots of both styles can found in music from the late 1940s and early 1950s from musical styles such as gospel, jump blues, jazz, boogie woogie, and rhythm and blues, along with country music. Elements of what was to become rock and roll can be heard in blues records from the 1920s and in country records of the 1930s.

Although the name rock 'n' roll was around from 1954 and songs such as 'Bill Halley's Rock Around The Clock are often said to be the first Rock 'n' roll song, the reality is that it is given this title simply because it has the word 'Rock' in the lyrics. It has nothing to do with the actual performance. If you listen to the song it is not rock 'n' roll. Another often touted 'first rock 'n' roll song is Rocket 88. But again, take a listen, it is not rock 'n' roll. Even Ike Turner stated clearly it is Rhythm and Blues and not rock 'n' roll.

When was Elvis first called the king of rock and roll?

Elvis was initially called the 'Atomic powered singer' in the early-mid 1950s. However once Elvis (in 1956) became the greatest album, and 45 single, recording artist of all time he was dubbed 'the king of rock and roll'.

Elvis created the classic rock 'n' roll band

In arguably one of his greatest, and certainly one of his least recognized or remarked upon contributions to popular music, Elvis created the classic and enduring template of the rock 'n' roll band.

In 1955 faced with the combination of wants, needs and must, the young king agreed to the permanent addition of a drummer, to his Blue Moon Boys. Intentionally or not, in that one moment Elvis gave the world its first classic rock 'n' roll line-up, consisting of just guitar, bass, drums and vocal. Thousands of bands would follow and be inspired by the template, but it was Elvis Presley, Scotty Moore, Bill Black and DJ Fontana who were the first.

Scotty Moore, D.J. Fontana, Elvis Presley, Bill Black : The first Rock 'N' Roll Band.

Scotty Moore, D.J. Fontana, Elvis Presley, Bill Black : The first Rock 'N' Roll Band.
Scotty Moore, D.J. Fontana, Elvis Presley, Bill Black (November 1955) : The first Rock 'N' Roll Band.

The rockabilly lineup that musicians first emulated after seeing Elvis on stage in 1955 involved:

Vocals, rhythm guitar (Elvis Presley)
Lead guitar (Scotty Moore)
Acoustic bass (Bill Black)

After D.J. Fontana became a permanent member of the group in August 1955, and about a month where he missed touring because of an ailment, the quartet appeared nationally on CBS-TV's 'Stage Show', for six Saturday evenings between January 28 and March 24, 1956. These TV appearances served to popularize this four-man set-up, and was adopted by many of the same musicians who were captivated by Elvis in 1955:

Vocals, rhythm guitar (Elvis Presley)
Lead guitar (Scotty Moore)
Acoustic or electric bass (Bill Black)
Drums (D.J. Fontana)

Keith Richards can be a bit hard to listen too, but it is Keith Richards talks about Elvis Presley after all! Watch and listen as Keith talks about Elvis Presley.

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Elvis Presley Video Listen to Keith Richards talk about Elvis Presley AND his Rock 'N' Roll Band (04:42)

Click to view the video

Elvis News Latest Audio (and video) updates : Video courtesy of Elvis Presley Video Elvis Presley Video Central.

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Elvis Presley Video Tupelo's Own Elvis Presley DVD

Tupelo's Own Elvis Presley DVD Video with Sound.

Never before have we seen an Elvis Presley concert from the 1950's with sound. Until Now! The DVD Contains recently discovered unreleased film of Elvis performing 6 songs, including Heartbreak Hotel and Don't Be Cruel, live in Tupelo Mississippi 1956. Included we see a live performance of the elusive Long Tall Sally seen here for the first time ever. + Plus Bonus DVD Audio.

This is an excellent release no fan should be without it.

The 'parade' footage is good to see as it puts you in the right context with color and b&w footage. The interviews of Elvis' Parents are well worth hearing too. The afternoon show footage is wonderful and electrifying : Here is Elvis in his prime rocking and rolling in front of 11.000 people. Highly recommended.