who gave elvis his big break in show business?

THE QUESTION IS OLD: “Who gave (fill-in-the-blank) her big break in country music?” or “Who gave (fill-in-the-blank) his big break in the major leagues?” Those ques­tions are asked about singers and bands and base­ball and bas­ket­ball players, among others. It usu­ally comes from someone who has never been a big suc­cess in any field of en­deavor, let alone ones as de­manding as en­ter­tain­ment and sports.

So the ques­tion was asked, pos­sibly rhetor­i­cally, on Quora: “Who gave Elvis Presley his big break?” Here is my an­swer:

“No one ‘gave’ Presley any kind of break. Talent, am­bi­tion, and hard work got him to the top. The same ap­plies to most people who get to the top of any field where talent or skill is re­quired and then stay there for a while.

Fifty years ago, it was not un­common to hear people who just didn’t ‘get’ Elvis that the only reason he got so big was that he had a clever man­ager. Honest to Grom­mett, there were people that lis­tened to That’s All Right and Good Rockin’ Tonight and Don’t Be Cruel and One Night and thought it was Colonel Parker that had made Elvis a suc­cess!

To this day, there are still sup­pos­edly smart, ed­u­cated, ar­tic­u­late people who, when the topic turns to Elvis, cannot seem to keep them­selves from making asi­nine state­ments.

If reading smart people saying un­be­liev­able things about topics they know little about, here is the in­tro­duc­tion to a se­ries of ar­ti­cles by John ‘The Round Place In The Middle’ Ross about stupid stuff people say about Elvis: ‘Sayin’ Some­thin’ Dumb and Stupid about Elvis.’

That’s it.

But if you’re a fan who has had to listen to clue­less people making stupid state­ments about Elvis, read the ar­ti­cles in the link above. None of them may be as in­sulting as non-participants who at­tribute the suc­cess of black ath­letes to their “nat­ural talent” while over­looking the ex­tra­or­di­nary de­ter­mi­na­tion, am­bi­tion, and drive that these players have ex­hib­ited, but some are pretty damn close.”

Elvis KingCreole movie photo kissing 1200

FEATURED IMAGE: I don’t nor­mally take a shine to pub­licity stills for movies as they are often hammy or the ac­tors too posed. This photo for the King Creole movie of 1958 is both hammy and posed but charming nonethe­less. Girl-next-door De­lores Hart is kissing on the right cheek while femme fa­tale Car­olyn Jones is bussing the left. I’m guessing that the gals in the back are Jan Shepard and Lil­iane Mon­tevecchi.

There were people that lis­tened to ‘That’s All Right’ and ‘Good Rockin’ Tonight’ and ‘Don’t Be Cruel’ and ‘One Night’ and thought it was Colonel Parker that had made Elvis a suc­cess! Click To Tweet

 

 

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