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Thread: Did Elvis invented his singing style and moves?

  1. #1

    Exclamation Did Elvis invented his singing style and moves?

    When Elvis burst into the music arena in the late 50's, he introduced a different concept of performance using body language and a unique singing style. I read some articles on how he developed this new concept and I wonder if it is true they are the product of what he borrowed from other performers?

  2. #2
    PeacockLady Diane's Avatar
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    I think he did borrow both a little from the blues singers around Tupelo and Memphis but most of it was from the unique personal feeling he got from music.

    Diane

  3. #3
    TCB Mafia KPM's Avatar
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    Every performer has influences and Elvis was no different. But rock and roll is not blues, nor country, nor pop-but has elements of all three. As for his stage moves I think -at first- they were instinctive so they were his.

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    International Level Rover's Avatar
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    Don't you know Elvis stole his dancing style to a poor little 8 years old boy named Forrest?
    Seriously, some moves in the 50s remind me a little of what Chuck Berry did at the beginning of his career. Maybe Chuck is one of Elvis' inspiration, maybe that's just the rock n roll style

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    TCB Mafia KPM's Avatar
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    Elvis was doing the leg shakes and gyrations before he'd ever seen Chuck Berry. Chuck is a great talent but his first hit was recorded in May of 55. Chuck is from St Louis, he went to Chicago in 53 and was not really national until late 55 early 56. Elvis was well on to his style singing and performing long before that. Some have suggested his moves were inspired by the Pentacostal preachers he heard in his youth in church. Pentacostels are nicknamed "holy rollers" because they do jump about and dance some as the spirit moves them too. I have never felt he stole anything from anyone. What he did with Thats All Right was new-it was not country, not pop, not blues. He moved around like that in the studio even without an audience-he felt the beat.

  6. #6

    re

    afcourse his movements had influences,but it think most of it are just from himself...he had to move on his music,but this was also changing in the years following...probably because his music changed.
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    International Level Rover's Avatar
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    Ok, I should have checked the dates before talking about Chuck Berry (maybe he was inspired by Elvis?)
    One thing I'd really love to know is where he get his inspiration for the weird poses? You know, what he did in hmm...73 maybe? Perhaps after. Dancing and then, stoping in a sort of crappy kung fu pose

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    TCB Mafia Burning_Love's Avatar
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    Elvis, He had his own style, like Diane said, he moved with the music.

    Danielle x

  9. #9
    TCB Mafia KPM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rover View Post
    Ok, I should have checked the dates before talking about Chuck Berry (maybe he was inspired by Elvis?)
    One thing I'd really love to know is where he get his inspiration for the weird poses? You know, what he did in hmm...73 maybe? Perhaps after. Dancing and then, stoping in a sort of crappy kung fu pose
    I for one do not see them as crappy, but to each his own. In the art of karate there are stances one learns in the learning the different forms.
    In karate you also have what is called "Kata" It is a Japanese word describing detailed choreographed patterns of movements practiced either solo or in pairs. Kata are used in many traditional Japanese arts such as theater forms like kabuki and schools of tea ceremony (chadō), but are most commonly known for the presence in the martial arts. Kata are used by most traditional Japanese and Okinawan martial arts, such as aikidō, iaidō, jōdō, jūdō, jūjutsu, kendō and karatedō. His karate instructer Kang Rhee once commented on how Elvis used his "unique Kata" in his performances.
    I think when he began to use his Karate like moves in his performing that may be where he got the idea for certain poses. There were other poses he used to signal songs Like leaning over onto his knee to signal the band to get ready for "Hound Dog"

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    This is why a lot of black folks dislike him. It's the talk of how he created and started R&R when that's the farthest from the truth.

    The fact of the matter is.....Elvis didn't start R&R. He helped make it mainstream.

    Little Richard, Fats Domino, Chuck Berry all were performin R&R before Elvis appeared on television in 56. Ike Turned was in a band here before Elvis recorded TAR at Sun.

    Elvis didn't steal black music either, as so many black folks wanna believe. He borrowed it and added a lil to it and he gave it his own flavor. This was what 50 was sayin on the special.

    In the 50's, Elvis credited his black idols for bein the kings of Rock and never claimed he started anything. I love him for doin that at a time no otehr white singers would do that or give us any credit.

    He got his dance moves from black folks, both blues artists like Muddy Waters and BB King, and from goin to a black church. He got his singin styles from a mixture of black and white singers like Mahalia Jackson and Hank Williams.

    He dressed and wore his hair the way black men did. The pink shirt, black baggy slacks and white shoes. That was a black fad on Beale in those days.

    His slicked jet black hair was from the way black men wore theirs on Beale, and the sideburns came from truck drivers.

  11. #11
    Cadillac King T_J's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lakeisha View Post
    This is why a lot of black folks dislike him. It's the talk of how he created and started R&R when that's the farthest from the truth.

    The fact of the matter is.....Elvis didn't start R&R. He helped make it mainstream.

    Little Richard, Fats Domino, Chuck Berry all were performin R&R before Elvis appeared on television in 56. Ike Turned was in a band here before Elvis recorded TAR at Sun.


    Elvis didn't steal black music either, as so many black folks wanna believe. He borrowed it and added a lil to it and he gave it his own flavor. This was what 50 was sayin on the special.
    True, but in the case of Chuck, not before Elvis was already causing a stir. Elvis had been recording a year before Chuck had his first single out. It's always a joke to me when people say Chuck was the King because he was doing it first and Elvis simply copied. Just totally false. I realise you didn't say that, but some do. Elvis didn't copy Chuck and Chuck didn't copy Elvis. They had very different rock 'n' roll styles, but Elvis was doing it first. And yes, Elvis didn't create rock 'n' roll as such, as several artists were doing things that could fall under that banner. I think we can confidently say that he did create rockabilly, which was his brand of rock 'n' roll. Chuck, Little Richard and Fats all had more of an R&B quality on their cuts.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lakeisha View Post


    He dressed and wore his hair the way black men did. The pink shirt, black baggy slacks and white shoes. That was a black fad on Beale in those days.

    His slicked jet black hair was from the way black men wore theirs on Beale, and the sideburns came from truck drivers.
    No, not really. I'm with you on the flashy clothes, but his hair was more inspired by Tony Curtis, who he was an admirer of. See here...
    http://www.moviecrazed.com/images/curtis2.jpg

  12. #12
    TCB Mafia EnigmaticSun's Avatar
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    I think Hank Williams had songs that had some sort of rockabilly feeling to 'em ("Move It On Over", "Hey Good Looking"). If you're looking for Elvis' predecessor, as far as that may have existed, Hank is more of an option than Chuck Berry - though I do know the differences..!

    It's funny somebody mentioned those Pentecostal preachers - the hell-fire preaching ones, right?

    And yes, I've often thought about Mahalia Jackson's influence! She just did her thing out of faith and it worked - I'd call her earlier work "raw naturalism", the same way Elvis' early acting roles were inspired by James Dean, also "raw naturalism".

    Later on Elvis, Roy Orbison, Johnny Cash and Carl Perkins have done some rockabilly things. Maybe Jerry Lee Lewis is part of that as well, though he can be so rough at times..

    I think the influence of country (even blue grass) dress-code and music is underrated. "Blue Moon Of Kentucky" is a song I know by Bill Monroe. Remember they'd consider some country artists to dress "gay" (you don't get to read Elvis stole from homosexuals, ha)!
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  13. #13
    I believe Elvis is so natural and whatever he do it all come spontaneous when he perform.
    Accusation from some black perfomers that he stole their music is just a spill of jealousy why a white guy makes it big singing black music. The one thing I like about him is his original unique singing style that stands above all that even with your eyes close you can without any doubts tell who is singing. I love the Elvis shuffle and all the body language he do while singing. He is simply great and fantastic, one of a kind.
    Last edited by ricardo b. prospero; 09-27-2007 at 07:47 AM.

  14. #14
    International Level Rover's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KPM View Post
    I for one do not see them as crappy, but to each his own. In the art of karate there are stances one learns in the learning the different forms.
    In karate you also have what is called "Kata" It is a Japanese word describing detailed choreographed patterns of movements practiced either solo or in pairs. Kata are used in many traditional Japanese arts such as theater forms like kabuki and schools of tea ceremony (chadō), but are most commonly known for the presence in the martial arts. Kata are used by most traditional Japanese and Okinawan martial arts, such as aikidō, iaidō, jōdō, jūdō, jūjutsu, kendō and karatedō. His karate instructer Kang Rhee once commented on how Elvis used his "unique Kata" in his performances.
    I think when he began to use his Karate like moves in his performing that may be where he got the idea for certain poses. There were other poses he used to signal songs Like leaning over onto his knee to signal the band to get ready for "Hound Dog"
    Elvis did karate??? Didn't know that
    I called these pose crappy because they look totally weird, and picturing him doing that in a martial arts fight...I'm laughing just thinking about it. But using these poses in a concert, that's great! I think this is great dancing, sorry if my use of the word crappy was misleading.

    About the dressing style...I'm not sure it was inspired by black people or anything. It's really weird, and keeps evolving a lot through his career. Anybody know if it was part of a marketing campain? Something "the Colonel" would have an influence over?

  15. #15
    TCB Mafia KPM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rover;142332[B
    ]Elvis did karate???[/B] Didn't know that
    I called these pose crappy because they look totally weird, and picturing him doing that in a martial arts fight...I'm laughing just thinking about it. But using these poses in a concert, that's great! I think this is great dancing, sorry if my use of the word crappy was misleading.

    About the dressing style...I'm not sure it was inspired by black people or anything. It's really weird, and keeps evolving a lot through his career. Anybody know if it was part of a marketing campain? Something "the Colonel" would have an influence over?
    You know hes in the Karate Hall of Fame? He studied it since he was in the Army. The stances used in a martial arts fight are pretty fundamental. They are also varied depending on style. Not all his stances and poses were karate inspired but alot of them were. At the end of his shows he many times after taking his walk across the stage would stop and turn his arms and head toward his exit pose a second- then take off to leave the stage-he was just signaling the guys that he was getting ready to exit. He had a flare for the dramatic thats for sure.
    Elvis's way of dressing and style were his-he dressed pretty wild before he ever became a singer. In the 70s he wore what he liked and he liked flashy, bold clothes. Parker had no influence over how he dressed on or off the stage.

  16. #16
    PeacockLady Diane's Avatar
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    You are right KPM. Elvis started dressing in the flashy clothes even when he was in high school.

    Diane

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    International Level Rover's Avatar
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    Elvis in the karate hall of fame! I thought I couldn't like the man more than I did before I read that, but actually I could
    I don't really get what you call "rockabilly"...what is it exactly?
    And this is off-topic, but I don't understand at all how you can see some R&B style in what Little Richard did?

  18. #18
    TCB Mafia KPM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lakeisha View Post
    This is why a lot of black folks dislike him. It's the talk of how he created and started R&R when that's the farthest from the truth.

    The fact of the matter is.....Elvis didn't start R&R. He helped make it mainstream.

    Little Richard, Fats Domino, Chuck Berry all were performin R&R before Elvis appeared on television in 56. Ike Turned was in a band here before Elvis recorded TAR at Sun.

    Elvis didn't steal black music either, as so many black folks wanna believe. He borrowed it and added a lil to it and he gave it his own flavor. This was what 50 was sayin on the special.

    In the 50's, Elvis credited his black idols for bein the kings of Rock and never claimed he started anything. I love him for doin that at a time no otehr white singers would do that or give us any credit.

    He got his dance moves from black folks, both blues artists like Muddy Waters and BB King, and from goin to a black church. He got his singin styles from a mixture of black and white singers like Mahalia Jackson and Hank Williams.

    He dressed and wore his hair the way black men did. The pink shirt, black baggy slacks and white shoes. That was a black fad on Beale in those days.

    His slicked jet black hair was from the way black men wore theirs on Beale, and the sideburns came from truck drivers.
    Rock is not blues, country, nor pop-but has all in it. Its a little disheartening that many want to blame Elvis for being instrumental in creating and selling a new form of music- which opened new avenues for everyone blacks included.
    Having debated this "Stolen music" with some young black people on another forum I will tell you "they do not knowthe facts-and do not want to know them" No matter how much evidence I produced their argument was simple and not backed by anything except "Elvis ripped off our music and never gave credit" Some claimed no white songwriters ever wrote blues or early rock-They said Leiber and Stoller stole all their songs like -Hound Dog. It was unreal how they just believed because thats what they heard. They did not check it out for themselves and did not believe even statements made by Chuck Berry, James Brown, BB King about ELvis. Unreal.

    Here is a quote from the great Jackie Wilson on Elvis
    “A lot of people have accused Elvis of stealing the black man’s music, when in fact, almost every black solo entertainer copied his stage mannerisms from Elvis.”
    Jackie Wilson



    This is an age old debate. Elvis was working on his style from the moment he picked up his first guitar. He was working on his style in high school in the early 50s any time he played on his porch. Elvis had never heard any of these guy-Little Richard, or Chuck Berry or even Bo Diddley when he went into Sun Records. Their first hits were in 1955- Elvis recorded "Thats Alright Mama" in July of 54 a full year before Chuck Berry recorded Maybelline in 55. Chuck comes from St Louis near my town. None of these guys were known national until 1955. "Thats Alright Mama" was the big bang of rock according to rock critics a few years ago. Elvis was touring the south and on the Louisiana Hayride in 1954. Bargaining for his contract from Sun began in 1955 and he was already mentioned on National charts for the region.
    Fats Domino Elvis probably had heard but no one can compare Elvis and Fats they are worlds apart in style. IMO Elvis had influences from black artists but not these guys. R&R was sold to the world by Elvis.
    Chuck Berry listened to the Grand old Opry-some of the first music he heard and you can hear the influence in his recordings but no one says he stole it from hank Snow or Ernest Tubb. Same with Ray Charles he admitted country music was the first music he ever heard and it unfluenced how he played and sang.
    Elvis did admire the way blacks dressed and he did dress like them this is well known and he acknowledged it-but his hairstyle is not like the Black men on Beale he liked Tony Curtis and the truckers he met in Memphis-this also is well known.
    Last edited by KPM; 09-27-2007 at 02:28 PM.

  19. #19
    TCB Mafia EnigmaticSun's Avatar
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    Thanks KPM, that's a whole lotta relevant information!

    What I wanted to point out concerning "gay dress code" is what he wore in "Loving You", for example. I think insensitive macho people wouldn't think of wearing that, but it doesn't look bad in (older and real) country music. On top of that, Elvis did learn something from Liberace - but no gay man has blamed Elvis for stealing.

    I think what people would typically consider "black" is the "dragging"-sound you hear in the blues and the high-tempo beat (the quick boom-boom-boom in Dixieland). The instruments black people have used come from Europe, for instance guitar or piano. The English language came from Europe too. The things I've noticed about black elements is something you also hear in indigenous African music.
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