Elvis Presley’s First Mention in a Magazine Came With Perfect Description of His Act

by Madison Miller
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Elvis Presley released his self-titled debut album through RCA Victor on March 23, 1956.

This album would be what launched him into stardom as it sat comfortably on the No.1 spot on Billboard’s Top Pop Albums for 10 weeks.

Even before that, Elvis Presley had recorded two songs, “My Happiness” and “That’s When Your Heartaches Begin” as a birthday gift for his mom. However, these were not publicly released at the time. Instead, a demo recording session with Sun Studio and Sam Phillips is what launched Presley’s career. In 1954, he released “That’s All Right,” his very first single.

Elvis Presley First Magazine Article

Soon after magazines and crazed fans began to follow the life and music of Presley. In 1955, he already had millions of fans for his unique musical style. His provocative and attention-worthy dance moves, as well as his good looks and charm, also brought him fans.

According to IMDb, in September 1955, he was featured in his first-ever magazine article. He was in the “Country Song Roundup” magazine as an exclusive. The magazine happened to call him a “folk music fireball.”

Elvis Presley’s music at the time was an interesting mix of genres that had yet to completely mesh into one. He combined rock ‘n’ roll, pop, country, gospel, rhythm and blues, and folk into a cohesive sound. He had a wide range. His songs included intimate ballads like “Can’t Help Falling In Love” or pop-rock smash hits like “Jailhouse Rock.”

This magazine is no longer in circulation. However, if you’re desperate to read his exclusive, there is a magazine on sale on eBay. It’s a steep price of $150.

In August 1956, after Elvis had five No.1 hits under his belt, the very influential LIFE magazine wrote a feature on the 21-year-old. The magazine took the approach of talking about his controversy rather than openly praising his music.

“Up to a point the country can withstand the impact of Elvis Presley as a familiar and acceptable phenomenon. Wherever the lean, 21-year-old Tennessean goes to howl out his combination of hillbilly and rock and roll, he is beset by teenage girls yelling for him. They dote on his sideburns and pegged pants, cherish cups of water dipped from his swimming pool, covet strands of his hair, boycott disc jockeys who dislike his records (they have sold some six million copies).”

The media had both loved and grown to hate Elvis Presley and his sometimes controversial style.

Presley in Genre-Defining

Elvis Presley could also be considered under the genre of “rockabilly.” This is one of the earliest versions of rock ‘n’ roll music. It blends Western styles with rhythm and blues. It is also described as bluegrass mixed with rock and roll. The word itself mixes rock and hillbilly.

Artists that contributed to this genre were Wanda Jackson, Johnny Cash, Buddy Holly, Carl Perkins, and Jerry Lee Lewis.

“But it is Presley’s singing, halfway between a western and a rock ‘n’ roll style, that has sent teenagers into a trance; they like his wailing in a popular song like ‘Blue Moon’ or such western tunes as ‘I’ll Never Let You Go’, but they go crazy over the earthy, lusty mood of such rock ‘n’ roll numbers as ‘Money Honey’; and the reason is simple enough: Presley sings with a beat; and you can be certain that there’ll always be music with a beat and that, whether you like it or not, there will always be an Elvis Presley,” Helen McNamara, a Canadian music writer wrote for “Saturday Night Magazine” in 1956, according to the Elvis Australia official fan club site.

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