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Writing Off The Untalented Mr Presley

March 24, 2018 Weird & Wacky No Comments Email Email

IT’S just as well he had a pretty thick skin, for had he not the world quite possibly may never have known Elvis Presley.

Because while teens crammed into sell-out venues at which he gyrated almost bizarrely around the stage to their screaming and yelling, when he first appeared on TV his pelvic gyrations were slammed by older critics as overtly sexual and bordering on obscenity – one network even ordering that he be filmed only from the waist up.

And after performing on the mass-audience Milton Berle Show in 1956 in which he sang Hound Dog, New York Herald Tribune columnist John Crosby dismissed Presley as “unspeakably untalented and vulgar,” adding that his hip-and-pelvic antics “may doom rock ’roll.”

New York Times TV reporter and critic, Jack Gould also weighed-in, writing that Presley’s TV performances showed “he had no discernible singing ability,” while a major American high school’s head of music told any journalists who would listen that Elvis’s performances “bordered on obscenity (and) were such an assault to the senses as to repel the most tolerant observer.”

Another critic slammed Presley as a “convulsive shouter of rock ’n roll songs,” and a band-leader who rejected Elvis’s suggestion he sing with that band, told him he should have stuck to truck driving, “because you can’t sing” (Presley’s first job was driving for an electrical goods company.)

And a California police officer after watching Elvis at a concert told TV reporters: “If he did that on the street, we’d arrest him.”

Ironically Elvis Presley had no formal music training, could not read music, and his school music teacher described him as having no aptitude for singing – so much for the eventual King of Rock ’n Roll, whose sales of 1.5 billion records and albums world-wide made him the biggest selling solo artist of all time.

David Ellis

ELVIS Presley belts it out in concert. Despite being slammed variously by critics as unspeakably untalented, vulgar, bordering on obscenity, and an assault to the senses, he sold 1.5 billion records and albums world-wide.

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