The Relevance of Elvis

by Kidman J. Williams

There is a huge resurgence in Elvis Presley’s popularity with the Baz Luhramann movie “Elvis” starring Tom Hanks and Austin Butler as The King. There has also been a considerable amount of surprising backlash from some so-called influencers and Rolling Stone and their pretend-time music journalists.

Brittany Spanos of Rolling Stone Magazine claims that gen Z isn’t going for this Elvis stuff. Spanos claims in her article, while she promotes her Rolling Stone sponsored podcast (Don’t Let This Flop) that he was “black culture appropriation” and then the “Priscilla of it all.” Making claims that he was grooming the teenage girl to be a housewife while eluding that Presley was a racist in an attempt to get people to google the key words Elvis Racist.

Of course they’re going to find something on the internet to fortify it. I could find something about racist alien donkey rapists in the Brazilian jungles if I put the right key words into the search engines.

Black culture appropriation is a whole other subjective area. We are living in a society that will label Elvis Presley with this cute little buzzword but allow Woah Vicky to walk around making money on YouTube while doing a parody of black culture that would have made Al Jolson in blackface blush under his makeup.

People like Elvis, Eminem, Justin Timberlake, every single white girl R&B act including Christina Aguilera, Justin Bieber; this list can go on and on and on. This is not black culture appropriation, this is influence. Presley himself was further from appropriation than any of the others examples I gave above.

Elvis Never Pretended

Elvis Aron Presley was born on January 8, 1935. His middle name was given to him in honor of his stillborn twin brother, Jesse Garon Presley. He grew up in a predominantly poor and black area in Tupelo, Mississippi until him and his parents moved to Memphis, Tennessee. The Presley’s station in society didn’t change much with their move.

Birthplace of Elvis Tupelo, Mississippi

Presley grew up in and around black culture throughout his formidable years. He went to black churches, hung around black kids, and took a lot of flack from his white peers for it. The Blues was still being called race music during this time.

Presley, as much as he was The Blues, he was country and gospel music as well. He was a true original and broke down a lot of racial barriers with the style of music he was making. Let’s face the truth, if it wasn’t for Sam Phillips and Sun Records along with Chess Records in Chicago, many black artists may not have reached the heights of success that they did.

Presley was a pretty-boy from the south. He was young, smooth, humble, and dangerous. He made women faint and parents cringe.

Throughout Presley’s career he never seemed to forget his roots.

Presley in his ’68 Comeback Special, one of the segments showed him in a song and dance number provocatively with a woman of color. He also sang the famous “If I Can Dream” during the television special. It was a song about all men and women of all colors and creeds standing united.

There was another song he did which went against the wishes of Col. Tom Parker. The song was penned by Mac Davis called “In the Ghetto.” The song depicted the hopelessness of Chicago while showing the pathway to the light. It was an uplifting song about changing your station in life.

There are more stories of Elvis from the people that knew him depicting his generosities and compassion for men and women of all colors. He would give away many vehicle and money to total strangers. One story goes that he was just walking down the street handing hundred-dollar bills to people.

Elvis in Jailhouse Rock

Elvis personified the idea of being a man of the people. And frankly, for a bunch of Gen-Z and young millennials to attempt to cancel and rewrite Presley’s legacy without reading a book or listening to an interview… it is deplorable. Spanos and Rolling Stone, suck a hound dogs dick in the same desolate room in Hell that Col. Tom Parker is residing in.

Important to be noted: Brittany Spanos and her eluding towards a cancelation of Presley, “Elvis” is the number one movie in the US as of this week. They may not like it, they may not want to acknowledge it, and they just may want to test their influence by using this. Society and those conservatives who hated Rock ‘n’ Roll couldn’t stop Presley in the 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s; you aren’t big enough to do it now.