Personaje Americano: Elvis Presley (Part II)

elvis presley debut album cover

El otro día empecé a contar la historia de Elvis Presley. Hoy seguimos aprendiendo, con la segunda parte. 

Vocabulario para hoy:

soften: suavizar (v)

savage: salvaje (adj)

riot: disturbio (sust)

stage: escenario (sust)

draft: reclutar para el ejercitio (v)

In the early months of 1956, Elvis made his first recordings for RCA, which became his self-titled debut album. He gave special prominence to the guitar in songs that had been written for the piano. Unlike most white artists at the time, he didn’t soften the songs for the audience–he preferred to keep them wild. His album was the first Rock and Roll album to hit the top of Billboard magazine’s list of best-selling records.

He continued touring, through the year 1956, and also appeared on television several times. His concerts were received very well in some cities and badly in others. A critic for The New York Times made fun of him, saying that he had no apparent ability, and sang like an amateur sings in the shower. His only talent, said the review, was to gyrate his hips in the style of Marilyn Monroe. The consensus among “respectable” Americans seemed to be that Elvis was savage and animalistic, constantly attempting to incite young people to rebel against their parents. 

Even Frank Sinatra, who had had the same success and incited the same type of response from teenage girls only a decade earlier, wrote a magazine article in which he said that rock music was “brutal, ugly, degenerate and vicious.”

Audiences went wild over Elvis’ energy and dancing, and many concerts ended as riots until finally the National Guard had to send soldiers to keep order when Elvis took the stage. In 1957 he released a couple of films, which were highly successful despite bad critical reception, and continued recording.

In 1958 he was drafted into the military (military service was obligatory for young men in America until the 1970s, through the wars with Korea and Vietnam) and it looked to many as if Elvis’ career in music was over. 

We’ll see what happened, of course, in a few days, right here on the this ESL blog.

Más canciones de spotify, aquí:

Elvis Presley – Hound Dog

Elvis Presley – Heartbreak Hotel

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