One of the most influential people in the 20th century was Elvis Presley. Born in a small two-room house in Tupelo, Mississippi, Elvis Presley began his singing career with Sun Records by releasing the regional success, “That’s All Right”. Elvis then went on to work with RCA Victor whom he worked with for the rest of His life. Elvis Presley released 149 hits, and 47 Movies, and received 101 golden records, before his death. Apart from revolutionizing music, Elvis Presley changed culture not only in the United States but across the globe.
It is very difficult to describe Elvis Presley’s music with one word, the closest word that describes it would be special. Elvis’ music was a beautiful mix of blues and country with deep roots in Gospel and RnB. Elvis Presley toppled racist, racial boundaries with his music— not only was he a white boy singing African American music, his music was listened to by white teenagers in the conservative south. Elvis Presley received a lot of trouble because of his music, yet he had millions of young fans across the United States listening to his music.
As soon as Elvis sang Hound Dog on the Ed Sullivan Show, he was accused of many things without proof, people have tried and continue to try and bring Elvis down by tarnishing his reputation. Even with all of this hate coming from many angles, Elvis persisted and sang for years releasing some of the best and most popular songs of all time. Even without his songs, Elvis is still one of the most recognizable people of the 20th century. His charisma, sense of style, flashy performances, and energetic way of life helped him revolutionize music.
I only discovered Elvis Presley about a year ago, yet his music has heavily impacted me since then. I have used Elvis’ music in many ways. One way that I have used Elvis’ music is by listening to it when my emotions start to get out of hand and I need to relax. By helping me relax, his music has helped me become a calmer person. Elvis has also helped me become more open as a person, this is because Elvis Presley has a wide range of music from fast-paced party music, to slow calm music, and with all of his music, I have learned that sometimes you have to learn to love. An example is that I have learned to love a lot of his music I went from only loving his early 1950’s music to falling in love with his later 60’s and 70’s from fast paced hidden gems such as, “I Got Stung”, to extremely popular and slow songs such as, “Always On My Mind.
Elvis, one of the most impactful people in the 20th century. Influencing music, style, and racial relations between the white and black community. Elvis has impacted me and many others across the world. He should be recognized for his accomplishments and his acts in his short, yet heavily impactful life.
Emmanuel Hernandez – St. Paul’s School – DMSF Class of 2026