November 8, 2016
Everyone has a favorite musician, and they could probably name their favorite songs, the places and dates of when they saw them, but if asked, would they be able to talk about their favorite artist before they were famous? Could they discuss their favorite musician’s childhood, such as where they were from, when they first became interested in music, and if they were even good in the beginning?
Before he would be known as the King of Rock n’ Roll, Elvis Presley led a simple life. His mother, Gladys Presley, was carrying twins, Jesse Garon and Elvis Aron; both were delivered on January 8, 1935; Jesse Garon would be pronounced as a stillborn.1 Although Elvis did not have a chance to actually meet his brother, he would grow up visiting his brother’s grave; he would always refer to Jesse as his twin.2 Gladys believed that even though Jesse Garon did not survive, Elvis would always carry his brother with him. Gladys believed that Elvis carried the strength of both babies, but without Jesse Garon, Elvis always felt he was missing half of himself.3 People that lived around them noticed that Elvis seemed unusually close to his mother.4 Gladys, only having one child, hovered over Elvis as he was growing up; because of that, Elvis would always be by his mother’s side.
It was very hard for the family to lose Jesse Garon at birth, but they made the best of it, and loved Elvis fiercely. Elvis’s father, Vernon, and his mother loved him very much and wanted to protect him from everything, but showed restraint in allowing him be his own person. After losing Jesse, the family was heartbroken, but leaned on one another for strength. They knew that family would always be there for them if they needed help and the Presleys kept their little family of three close. With the tragedy of knowing that someone was missing in their family, Elvis made sure that he was there for the both of them, always promising that he would do whatever he could for his parents.
Elvis started going to school, and although he was not the brightest student, he did his best in his classes and followed the rules. He was always on his best behavior when at school, and was polite to those around him. Elvis was shy and tried to get along with his classmates, trying out for football and ROTC, getting out of his shell.5 Elvis was not good with attention on him in his early life; he was a loner. He was always alone, and found himself more at ease being around teachers than his fellow classmates.6
Elvis started showing interest in music at a young age, but only truly did something with music when he was older. When he was two, Elvis attended a church sermon with his mother and upon hearing the choir sing Shake Rag, a rhythm-and-blues song; he ran from her lap to join the choir.7
His love for music was instinctual; he drank it in, allowing it to flow through his veins like a drug; he had a channel stuck in his head hooked up to the divine gods of music.8
He was passionate even at a young age and to be this passionate, he knew what he wanted to do with his life. The sounds he would hear around him affected him to make his sound, to find what he did or did not like.
Elvis soaked up all the musical sounds around him, the train whistle, the white country singers, the poplar sound on the radio, the jamboree performers at the courthouse, the gospel music at his church, the flux of sounds in Shake Rag, the gospel at the African American churches and the tent revivals.9
Wherever he went, he always found a sound that intrigued him. The hold music had on him would prove to be the most powerful bond he had ever felt in his life.
I really like this article’s introduction, it pulled me in and made me want to continue reading. After reading the Part 2 article first its very interesting to hear about one of America’s most beloved icons. I did not know much about him in his music career and noting about his childhood. It’s sad to find out that he was actually a twin but lost his brother at such a young age.
Personally, I am a huge fan of Elvis Presley’s music. I adore his style and have listened to his beautiful musical creations throughout my life. I have known of his troubles and some fun facts about his adult life, but never of his childhood, definitely never about his twin. I find it adorable that he was a boy so aware, and so close to his family. I find this article to be wonderful! To be able to learn more about such an iconic character, who not only took the heart of millions but revolutionized music majorly is a great privilege.
Growing up my grandparents always enjoyed Elvis Presley’s music. Other than the basic knowledge I got from my grandparents, I didn’t really know much about this article. First off, I had no idea he had a twin! It was great knowing he was raised in such a great home, not many great musicians come from such good backgrounds. Your writing style was really unique. I look forward to reading more of your work!