Fortunately for fans of The King, the Elvis Presley estate has an amazing Twitter feed. Earlier today, they posted a photo that captures a candid moment in one of the most important recording sessions in rock and roll history.
The photo was taken on either January 10th or 11th 1956. At that time, Elvis was in the studio working on his debut full-length album. That album would go on to change history.
There’s a good chance that they didn’t know what kind of history they were making that day. However, the songs they cut in that studio would go on to change the world forever.
At the time, rock and roll wasn’t commercially viable. This was mostly due to racial issues of the time. But Elvis Presley put a white face to what was largely seen as black music. This combination knocked the bobby socks off of the entire country.
Elvis Presley’s Debut Album Changed the World
Elvis Presley’s debut album was more than just his first full-length LP. It was the first rock and roll album to reach number one on the Billboard pop charts according to Pop Expresso. It didn’t just hit the top of the chart, though. The album stayed there. In fact, Elvis’ debut album got really comfortable at that top spot and stayed there for over two months.
It wasn’t just a Billboard hit, though. It was also the first rock album to sell a million copies. At the time an album in that genre moving anywhere near that many copies was unheard of. For this reason, major labels didn’t deal with rock music much at all. Elvis Presley’s debut changed that almost overnight.
Colonel Tom Parker, Elvis Presley’s manager, knew that he had a rare talent on his hands. He pushed for RCA to buy out Presley’s Sun Records contract and put some serious resources behind the singer. Parker had to do some real smooth talking to get it done, though.
It wasn’t just the music that was untested in the wider market. Elvis Presley was pretty much nobody at the time. Sure, he would later become the King of Rock and Roll. However, when that photo was taken, he was just a good-looking kid from Tupelo with a nice voice and some soul. For all the folks at RCA knew, Presley could have been just a flash in the pan.
Luckily, the folks at RCA took a chance on Elvis Presley. Their gamble ended up paying off in a bigger way than they could ever have hoped.