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.’
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.”
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
Mystically liberal Virgo enjoys long walks alone in the city at night in the rain with an umbrella and a flask of 10-year-old Laphroaig who strives to live by the maxim, “It ain’t what you know that gets you into trouble; it’s what you know that just ain’t so.
I’ve been a puppet, a pauper, a pirate, a poet, a pawn, and a college dropout (twice!). Occupationally, I have been a bartender, jewelry engraver, bouncer, landscape artist, and FEMA crew chief following the Great Flood of ’72 (and that was a job that I should never, ever have left).
I am also the final author of the original O’Sullivan Woodside price guides for record collectors and the original author of the Goldmine price guides for record collectors. As such, I was often referred to as the Price Guide Guru, and—as everyone should know—it behooves one to heed the words of a guru. (Unless, of course, you’re the Beatles.)