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LostInParadise's avatar

What accounts for the fascination with Elvis?

Asked by LostInParadise (28188points) July 6th, 2010

There is a scene in the film Pulp Fiction where Uma Thurman’s character says that the world can be divided into Beatle fans and Elvis fans. I belong to the former group. I do not care particularly for Elvis’s singing style, but for the sake of argument I will accept that he had singing talent. What puzzles me is the fascination with his persona. It is not just the singing, but his entire style and appearance that people try to emulate. There was just a worldwide Elvis competition. I can’t think of anything comparable for any other performer. His home at Graceland has become a kind of shrine. What’s the deal with all this?

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14 Answers

knitfroggy's avatar

He was the first performer to cause such an uproar from fans. They loved him because they’d never seen anything like him. That’s what I think anyway. Even my great grandma used to love to watch him on Ed Sullivan. from what I hear And in my opinion, there will never be another man quite as handsome as Elvis. He died when I was 2 years old, but I’ve always loved him.

john65pennington's avatar

You had to live it to believe it. wife and i did.

marinelife's avatar

I don’t get it.

tranquilsea's avatar

Elvis was, simply, Elvis. As @knitfroggy stated North America had never seen that particular combination before. He had a rich voice and unusual dancing style and he was handsome.

The day he died I came home from school to find my mother and her best friend sobbing at the kitchen table. I thought someone from our family had died. That was the kind of effect he had on women.

CMaz's avatar

He is/was the King of Rock and Roll.

Disc2021's avatar

That’s like asking “What’s the deal with Lady Gaga?”. Or “What’s the deal with Cheesecake?”

Things that people just objectively love.

john65pennington's avatar

2nd Answer: it all started in the mid-50s. rock and roll was just a baby. new songs and new artists flooded the recording studios to record their music, in hopes of hitting the big time. one person did, Elvis. he was born a golden child. the wars were over and America was looking to having a great time to celebrate. music was it, along with really cheap everything. Elvis filled the bill for someone the people could associate a good time with. his music was new, he was new, and rock and roll was new. this is what the American people were looking for. Elvis had a style that no one in America had seen before. his music had a solid beat and he also had the looks to go with it. the rest is history.

aprilsimnel's avatar

It’s partially a demographic thing. There were millions of teenagers around with money to spend when Elvis became a star. Elvis was the first to give white American teens exactly what Sam Phillips said: the “sound and feel” of African-American dance music in the package of an extremely handsome, talented and modest young white man. As gorgeous and talented as, say, Sam Cooke may have been, Sam was NOT going to be promoted in a way that would have white teenage girls of the day screaming over him. Hell, even Elvis got pushback from the adults back then about his look and style of performance.

None of my relatives are or were into Elvis, let’s put it that way. I’m more of a casual fan.

LostInParadise's avatar

A lot of these Elvis impersonators are from the generation (or two) after Elvis. Are the people who watch these things mostly older or is there an appeal to today’s kids?

Jude's avatar

Redonkulous, thank-ya very much..

ucme's avatar

The fact that he died in the shithouse munching on a cheeseburger does it for me.Rumour has it that Love me Tender was inspired by him drooling over a steak.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

The posts above seem to address the reasons he was, and still is, so popular.

I live in Memphis, and the annual Elvis Death Week held here is one of the most surreal experiences that I’ve ever had. Elvis Presley Blvd. is blocked off. Elvis songs are played on a public loudspeaker. Tens of thousands of people from all over the world mill about in front of Graceland waiting for their turn to walk up the driveway with a lit candle and pass his grave. Men, women and children dress up in Elvis costumes. People display their paintings, sculptures and other works of art commemorating him. Women cry.

And some people who visit write messages on the stone wall in front of Graceland. An acquaintance published a book with some of the postings (Dear Elvis by Daniel Wright). My favorite is the one read on a visit there….“Dear Elvis, My mother thinks that I’m your son. -Jason”.

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

His role in introducing what was called “Black Music” to “White America” was a major contribution. His significant influence on many of the great musicians of the 60’s and later can not even be accurately estimated.

zenele's avatar

The greatest singer, bar none, of all time. Period. That’s it. Very simple.

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