Thu Oct 18, 2007 2:05 am
Thu Oct 18, 2007 2:47 am
Thu Oct 18, 2007 3:10 am
Gallivant1234 wrote:That picture was taken in Memphis, in the second quarter of 1956, at what was then called a show for african americans, or something to that effect. What Elvis is doing is throwing a ball, to get a prize, or something like that.
Thu Oct 18, 2007 6:19 am
E-Cat wrote:Are more details available..?
Thu Oct 18, 2007 6:57 am
Thu Oct 18, 2007 2:03 pm
drjohncarpenter wrote:Hope this helps.
In the summer of 1956, The World reported, "the rock 'n' roll phenomenon cracked Memphis's segregation laws" by attending the Memphis Fairgrounds amusement park “during what is designated as 'colored night.'"
Thu Oct 18, 2007 4:32 pm
Thu Oct 18, 2007 5:33 pm
drjohncarpenter wrote:E-Cat wrote:Are more details available..?
Yes, indeed. Unfortunately, Gallivant1234 doesn't quite get the story right.
On Tuesday, June 19, 1956, Elvis went with gal pal Barbara Hearn for a night of fun at the Memphis Fairgrounds. But this was on "colored night" -- in the mid-fifties, segregation was still in effect, and African-Americans were not allowed to mingle on other days of the week. Yet, Elvis felt more than OK attending. So much for Presley being a "racist."
This was a typically significant act by our young hero to most, the controversial star of 1956, although he probably didn't see it as such.
Brian Petersen's terrific web site has a page devoted to this unique evening -> June 19, 1956
Hope this helps.
Thu Oct 18, 2007 5:38 pm
Thu Oct 18, 2007 6:37 pm
Thu Oct 18, 2007 6:58 pm
Cryogenic wrote:He was a very cool cat.
BTW: Does anyone know why his shirt is so open? Did a bunch of fans maul him?
Thu Oct 18, 2007 7:44 pm
drjohncarpenter wrote:Brian Petersen's terrific web site has a page devoted to this unique evening -> June 19, 1956
Joe Car wrote:This is what EPE should be working on, getting rid of the perception of EP being a racist, at least in the black community. There is ton of evidence to suggest that he certainly wasn't!
He wasn't my king
For black people, Elvis, more than any other performer, epitomises the theft of their music and dance
Thursday August 15, 2002
As another celebration of a dead white hero winds up, in this hallowed Week of Elvis, shouldn't the entertainment industry hold its own truth and reconciliation commission?
It needn't be a vehicle for retribution, just somewhere where tales of white appropriation of black culture, not to mention outright theft, can finally be laid to rest. Following Michael Jackson's recent outburst accusing Sony chief, Tony Mottola, of racism, perhaps he could officiate and champion all black musicians who have been ripped off by nasty white music business CEOs.
This won't happen of course. Media arrogance and dishonesty means we are eternally bound to live in a skewed world where Elvis is king of rock'n'roll, Clapton is the guitar god, Sinatra is the voice and Astaire is the greatest dancer. Accustomed as we are to this parade of white heroes, the case of Elvis is particularly infuriating because for many black people he represents the most successful white appropriation of a black genre to date.
Elvis also signifies the foul way so many black writers and performers, such as Little Richard, were treated by the music industry. The enduring image of Elvis is a constant reflection of society's then refusal to accept anything other than the non-threatening and subservient negro: Sammy Davies Jnr and Nat King Cole. The Elvis myth to this day clouds the true picture of rock'n'roll and leaves its many originators without due recognition. So what is left for black people to celebrate? How he admirably borrowed our songs, attitude and dance moves?
Public Enemy's prolific commentator, Chuck D, was clear on why he felt compelled to attack the pretender's iconic status. In their 1989 song Fight the Power, he rapped: "Elvis was a hero to most/ But he never meant sh*t to me you see/ Straight up racist that sucker was simple and plain/ Motherfuck him and John Wayne."
To contend that Elvis was a racist is hardly shocking. ("The only thing black people can do for me is shine my shoes and buy my music", he once opined.) And, as a dirt poor Southerner raised in close but separate proximity to black people, his racism would hardly have distinguished him from millions of others. Chuck D's attack was not aimed at Elvis the person, but Elvis the institution.
But in the face of much black criticism of Elvis, some writers have offered their own theories as to why the singer should be awarded more, not less accolades. Michael T Bertrand's Race, Rock and Elvis contends that the arrival of Elvis and rock'n'roll helped white Southerners to rethink their attitude to race and gave as yet unacknowledged impetus to the burgeoning civil rights movement. And this week the Daily Mirror's Tony Parsons imagined a world without Elvis as a cultural armageddon. "Elvis changed the soul of modern music," he argues. "Without him, Madonna would be a teacher in Detroit." He also quotes John Lennon's remark that "before Elvis there was nothing". An Elvis-free world would have seen black music remaining "underground" and "segregated", Parsons suggests.
But the reality is, black music never stays underground. White people always seek it out, dilute it and eventually claim it as their own. From Pat Boone's Tutti Frutti to current boyband sensations N Sync and Blue. This is fine, but be honest about it.
Putting Parsons's vision into practice, let's imagine that instead of Elvis mania, Big Momma Thornton - author of Hound Dog - reigns supreme with her ode to no-good men. Big Momma's cultural conquest gives birth to a radical white teen culture and a complete and lasting overhaul of America's putrid racial politics. White teens frighten their parents silly with their extreme bids not to become Elvis's pale imitation of the black performers he witnessed, but the very image of Big Momma. Sounds outlandish? Any more audacious than stubbornly maintaining that this talented - but more importantly white - man deserves to be king of a genre created by black people?
Whether we remember him as an obese, drug-addled misogynist or a hip-swinging rebel, let's call him what he is - the all-conquering great white hope - and demand the entertainment industry never again makes such a deceitful claim.
A short story from Alice Walker's You Can't Keep A Good Woman Down holds particular poignancy. "Nineteen Fifty-Five" begins when an emerging rock'n'roll star, Traynor, accompanied by his musical svengali, visits the home of black songstress Gracie May Still. The svengali tells Gracie: "The boy learned to sing and dance livin' round you people out in the country. Practically cut his teeth on you." The pair buy up all of Gracie's songs and Traynor quickly triumphs as the "emperor of rock and roll". Walker tells how little white girls ate him up. "They was so proud. He was a genius," she writes.
But many years later, spoilt by wealth, sycophants and too many chitlins, Traynor revisits Gracie May. The deflated emperor admits that he hasn't understood the meaning behind his greatest hit. It is recommended reading this Elvis week.
Helen Kolawole is a journalist and commentator on black issues. She is a former arts editor at Pride magazine - firstname.lastname@example.org
Elvis, you ain't nuthin' but a thief
Thu Oct 18, 2007 8:45 pm
Fri Oct 19, 2007 2:52 pm
Cryogenic wrote:I remember that Guardian article. I hate that paper -- it's a smug, cretinous, shit-stirrin' tabloid in disguise.
Fri Oct 19, 2007 4:00 pm
Sat Oct 20, 2007 1:00 pm
Sat Oct 20, 2007 1:24 pm
Keith Richards, Jr. wrote:.... those gifted artists that were rockin' and a-reelin' long before Elvis made his first reord.
I mean, Howlin' Wolf, The Louvin Brothers, Ivory Joe Hunter...
Those artists were "nothing"?
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