Thanks. But I'm not trying to score points here, or prove that I'm right. I genuinely believe I was misunderstood, and, for some reason, I can't leave that alone.
I am going to add "lighten up" to my list of New Years resolutions. Also on the list will be the perennial "Think before you hit ENTER, fool."
Elvis certainly was not a songwriter, but I think he was siginificantly different from the other white cover "artists" of the day. I imagine you would agree with me that it wouldn't be right to stick him with the same label that is rightfully applied to Pat Boone and others, like the Crewcuts, who recorded bleached versions of songs originally recorded by Black artists.
On the other hand, Elvis was notorious for taking songwriter's publishing rights as a condition for recording their material. I personally blame the infamous Colonel Parker for this behaviour, and for a lot of other unfortunate moves that made Elvis a lot of money but which complicate his legacy.
I agree that Elvis brought a sound and sensibility to white radio (and not just in the south) that had previously been completely off limits. But I also think that it's an oversimplification to say that he was merely presenting a Black artisitic sensibility to white audiences. As I said in a previous post in this thread,
Elvis's music always included elements of country music. To me, that's the essence of rock n roll; it's not purely R&B, and it's not purely country. It's a super-heated combination of the two.
Exactly. Just try telling a kid "now don't you touch this cookie" and then leave the room. Trying to prohibit something makes it seem exotic and attractive.
All of the pioneering Black rock n roll artists were subjected to various forms of discrimination, and in some cases, persecution. Look at Chuck Berry's first trial, on charges of violating the Mann Act. If I remember correctly, the first jury was thrown out on grounds that it was biased against him on racial grounds. In that day and time, a jury would have to be practically wearing Klan garb for that to be recognized and admitted to.
And there are those who will argue that Allan Freed - a white disc jockey who was one of the earliest to play Black records - lost everything, including his life, for daring to mess with the established order.
And I couldn't agree more about Elvis's voice. It is one of the defining sounds of rock n roll, and it continues to reverberate down through the years. All of those silly inpersonators are, in a way, just emphasizing how iconic his sound really was.
Of course, and the same applies to anything and everything that I post here. I think I tend to lob rhetorical hand grenades too readily, and I'm not careful to emphasize that I speak only for myself, and with a clear sense of my own insignificance. That might be part of what got me into trouble in this thread (Ya think?).