Elvis Remembered

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photoElvis Presley is widely considered the single most important figure in American 20th century music.

At a time when rock and roll was in its infancy, he was the first to successfully fuse the musics he grew up around.... from pop to gospel to country even bluegrass, and form a new and addictive sound.

The music blurred the social and racial barriers of the time and opened the doors for black blues musicians to the ears of white America.

His early recordings established the basic language of rock and roll while his stage presence set standards for the music's visual image. By the time of his death though, Elvis Presley had become less of an artist and more of an icon, an overweight diamond-studded, drug addicted, sweaty mess of innumerable bad Hollywood movies and over-caricatured mannerisms.

Even though Elvis-mania is back are we able to separate the artist from the icon? How is Elvis remembered and considered today now 25 years after his death.


Peter Guralnick, author of "Last Train to Memphis: The Rise of Elvis Presley" and "Careless Love: The Unmaking of Elvis Presley"

This program aired on July 19, 2002.


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