The birth of a myth
Elvis Presley was a different boy, his way of dressing attracted a lot of attention, with bright and striking colors. His long hair combed with a high slicked-back quiff and his sideburns completed an image that was difficult to forget and accompanied by a guitar. His character was introverted, shy and sensitive... the reason could be the maternal influence and that difference in the way he was compared to the boys of the time.
In many cases he was rejected for that particular way of dressing, even at his job they threatened to fire him if he didn't cut his hair. But the most important thing was that in spite of everything, Elvis would continue his path in his own way, with his style and marking distance with the rest of the others.
His mother sometimes accompanied him on the piano, where Elvis improvised hymns, songs that he listened to in the radio... he had an innate ear and a warm, penetrating voice... his way of singing pleased everyone who was lucky enough to listen to him at the time. At the age of 18 he worked for Crown Electrics, driving a truck and had the hobby of go to the movies twice a week, I also visited the radio.
He earned 40 dollars a week and every Friday he gave the money to his father, he was a responsible and careful young man. At this time he had a girlfriend named Dixie Locke whom he dated often and intended to marry.
He sang a lot of songs to her, sweet, ballads like "Tomorrow nights" or "My happiness". They shared hobbies, the movies, visits to the WMPS radio station to see the rebroadcasts offered by Bob Neal... At that time he had the dream of being able to sing in a quartet of voices called the Songfellows, an amateur group with which he auditioned and was refused. He still didn't have a very clear idea of what he wanted to do, but the truth is that he always walked around with his guitar and music was part of his being.
On July 18, 1953 it would be the first time that Elvis would enter Sam Phillips' studio, Sun Records, a modest label that gave the opportunity to record to all kinds of artists. His assistant Marion Keisker, who was known and highly regarded in Memphis for her radio fame where she worked, would be the first person to notice a nervous, unknown young man who wanted to record a song to give to his mother.
Elvis who had often passed in front of the studios at 706 Union Avenue, she would finally decide to enter the door and ask to record a double-sided vinyl. Marion's memory of a question she asked Elvis is anecdotal: "Who do you look like?" singing?", the answer would be: "I don't look like anyone"
Obviously, the reality is that Marion thought it was different from the first notes... her feeling would be that it didn't sound like anyone. Elvis would record two songs "My happiness"
and "That´s when your heartache begins"
Sam who was in the booth wrote down the boy's name... "good ballad singer. Pending". Despite the recording, Elvis left with the intuition that something big was going to happen to him... but it would take a long time for him to be called back into the studio and given the chance that he could sing something other than ballads. . Elvis came by from time to time, but nothing... It is important to know the importance that Marion Keisker had due to her influence on Sam Phillips.
She was impressed by this young man and advised him to include him in further recording sessions. Although Elvis's spirits were unsettled by the lack of interest, he would once again return to Sun Records. Finally, in January 1954, he decided to record another record: Joni James's
"I'll Never Stand in Your Way."
and the song "It wouldn´t be the same without you" by Jimmy Wakely
But Elvis was very nervous that these recordings would not yet show the potential that he had hidden. Elvis was like a stone yet to be polished, a raw material... his shyness and his nervousness meant that he still couldn't control what he was doing when singing. But fortunately, the vision of the businessman and his assistant Marion went beyond the moment and knew how to envision the artist's future.
On Saturday, June 26, Elvis would finally get his big break... Marion Keisker called him to go to the Sun Records, at the request of Sam Phillips who was looking for a voice to record a song he would be interested in called "Without you", a tender lament that could use a special voice. Although Elvis tried his best on this recording, the result was not what Sam had hoped for. But he knew that this boy kept something very big and he listened to him for a long time the rest of the songs... he was different and he had something that he could not explain...
Sam wanted to find someone special, who sang differently, his vision went beyond all evidence and would give him the opportunity to prove it once again.
On July 4, 1954, Elvis Presley accompanied by a young guitarist named Scotty Moore and Double Bass Bill Black would meet at the request of Sam Phillips, to meet and thus be able to play together.
It was the first time they were going to improvise at Sun Records, everything would start there...
The rest is history.
"Following the Path of the King..."