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Elvis n : street name for lysergic acid diethylamide [syn: acid, back breaker, battery-acid, dose, dot, loony toons, Lucy in the sky with diamonds, pane, superman, window pane, Zen]

User Contributed Dictionary


Proper noun

  1. a male given name, possibly derived from the surname Elwes
  2. Elvis Presley, a popular American rock and roll singer (1935-1977)
  3. An impersonator of Elvis Presley.
    (plural Elvises or (jocular) Elvii)

Extensive Definition

Author Samuel Roy has argued: "Elvis' death did occur at a time when it could only help his reputation. Just before his death, Elvis had been forgotten by society."
Biographer Ernst Jorgensen has observed that when Presley died, it was as if all perspective on his musical career had been lost. His latter-day song choices had been seen as poor; many who disliked Presley had long been dismissive because he did not write his own songs. Others complained—incorrectly—that he could not play musical instruments. Such criticism of Presley continues.fn i The tabloids had ridiculed his obesity and his kitschy, jump-suited performances. Sade Adu said about Presley: "when I see him in his fifties movies, Jailhouse Rock and King Creole, that's an image I desire to look like. But when he's in his jumpsuit I just think of him as a drag queen." His film career was mocked. (In 1980, John Lennon said: "[Presley] died when he went into the army. That's when they killed him, that's when they castrated him." This was only countered by the uncritical adulation of die-hard fans, who had even denied that he looked "fat" before he died.fn j Any wish to understand Elvis Presley—his genuine abilities and his real influence—"seemed almost totally obscured."
However, in the late 1960s, composer and conductor Leonard Bernstein remarked: "Elvis is the greatest cultural force in the twentieth century. He introduced the beat to everything, music, language, clothes, it's a whole new social revolution... the 60's comes from it."
It has been claimed that Presley's early music and live performances—unlike Pat Boones'—helped to lay a commercial foundation which allowed established African American acts of the 1950s to receive due recognition. Performers like Fats Domino, Chuck Berry and Little Richard, came to national prominence after Presley's mix of musical styles was accepted among White American teenagers.fn ac Rather than Presley being seen as a white man who 'stole black music', Little Richard argued: "He was an integrator, Elvis was a blessing. They wouldn't let black music through. He opened the door for black music."
Presley's recorded voice is seen by many as his enduring legacy. Music critc Henry Pleasants writes: "Elvis Presley has been described variously as a baritone and a tenor. An extraordinary compass... and a very wide range of vocal color have something to do with this divergence of opinion. The voice covers two octaves and a thirdfn ad... Moreover, he has not been confined to one type of vocal production. In ballads and country songs he belts out full-voiced high G's and A's that an opera baritone might envy. He is a naturally assimilative stylist with a multiplicity of voices—in fact, Elvis' is an extraordinary voice, or many voices."
Gospel tenor Shawn Nielsen, who sang backing vocals for Presley on tour, said: "He could sing anything. I've never seen such versatility... He had such great soul. He had the ability to make everyone in the audience think that he was singing directly to them. He just had a way with communication that was totally unique." John Lennon said: "Nothing really affected me until I heard Elvis. If there hadn't been an Elvis, there wouldn't have been a Beatles." Deep Purple's Ian Gillan said: "For a young singer he was an absolute inspiration. I soaked up what he did like blotting paper... you learn by copying the maestro." Rod Stewart declared: "Elvis was the King. No doubt about it. People like myself, Mick Jagger and all the others only followed in his footsteps." Cher recalls from seeing Presley live in 1956 that he made her "realize the tremendous effect a performer could have on an audience."
Presley's informal jamming in front of a small audience in the '68 Comeback Special is regarded as a forerunner of the so-called 'Unplugged' concept, later popularized by MTV.
The singer has been inducted into four music 'Halls of Fame': the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (1986), the Rockabilly Hall of Fame (1997), the Country Music Hall of Fame (1998), and the Gospel Music Hall of Fame (2001). In 1984, he received the W. C. Handy Award from the Blues Foundation and the Academy of Country Music’s first Golden Hat Award. In 1987, he received the American Music Awards’ first posthumous presentation of the Award of Merit.
Presley has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 7080 Hollywood Boulevard. He was also honored by the Mississippi Blues Commission with a Mississippi Blues Trail historic marker placed in Tupelo, his birth place, in recognition of his contribution to the development of the blues in Mississippi.
In 1994, the 40th anniversary of Presley's "That's All Right" was recognized with its re-release, which made the charts worldwide, making top three in the UK.
During the 2002 World Cup a Junkie XL remix of his "A Little Less Conversation" (credited as "Elvis Vs JXL") topped the charts in over twenty countries and was included in a compilation of Presley's U.S. and UK number one hits, Elv1s: 30.
In the UK charts (January 2005), three re-issued singles again went to number one ("Jailhouse Rock", "One Night"/"I Got Stung" and "It's Now or Never"). Throughout the year, twenty singles were re-issued—all making top five.
In the same year, Forbes magazine named Presley, for the fifth straight year, the top-earning deceased celebrity, grossing US$45 million for the Presley estate during the preceding year. In mid-2006, top place was taken by Nirvana's Kurt Cobain after the sale of his song catalogue, but Presley reclaimed the top spot in 2007. The singer continues to be imitated—and parodied—outside the main music industry. Presley songs remain very popular on the karaoke circuit, and many from a diversity of cultures and backgrounds work as Elvis impersonators ("the raw 1950s Elvis and the kitschy 1970s Elvis are the favorites.")
In 2002, it was observed:


  • fnb a Presley's genuine birth certificate reads "Elvis Aaron Presley" (as written by a doctor). There is also a souvenir birth certificate that reads "Elvis Aron Presley." When Presley did sign his middle name, he used Aron. It reads 'Aron' on his marriage certificate and on his army duffel bag. Aron was apparently the spelling the Presleys used to make it similar to the middle name of Elvis' stillborn twin, Jesse Garon. Elvis later sought to change the name's spelling to the traditional and biblical Aaron. In the process he learned that "official state records had always listed it as Aaron. Therefore, he always was, officially, Elvis Aaron Presley." Knowing Presley's plans for his middle name, Aaron is the spelling his father chose for Elvis' tombstone, and it is the spelling his estate has designated as the official spelling whenever the middle name is used today. His death certificate says "Elvis Aron Presley." This quirk has helped inflame the "Elvis is not dead" conspiracy theories. Elvis also ranked second for BBC's "Voice of the Century", eighth on Discovery Channel's "Greatest American" list, in the top ten of Variety's "100 Icons of the century", sixty-sixth in The Atlantic Monthly's "100 most influential figures in American history", and third in Rolling Stone's "The Immortals: The Fifty Greatest Artists of All Time" for which he was chosen by Bono.



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  • Baden, Michael M.; Judith Adler Hennessee (1992). Unnatural Death: Confessions of a Medical Examiner. New York: Random House. ISBN 0804105995.
  • Bayles, Martha (1996). Hole in Our Soul: The Loss of Beauty and Meaning in American Popular Music. University of Chicago Press. ISBN 0226039595.
  • Bertrand, Michael T. (2000). Race, Rock, and Elvis. University of Illinois Press. ISBN 0-252-02586-5.
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  • Carr, Roy; Mick Farren (1982). Elvis: The complete illustrated record. Eel Pie Publishing. ISBN 0-906008-54-9.
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  • Cook, J., Henry, P. (ed.) (2004). Graceland National Historic Landmark Nomination Form (PDF). United States Department of the Interior.
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  • Finstad, Suzanne (1997). Child Bride: The Untold Story of Priscilla Beaulieu Presley. New York: Harmony Books. ISBN 0517705850.
  • Gamson, Joshua (1994). Claims to Fame: Celebrity in Contemporary America. University of California Press. ISBN 0520083520.
  • George-Warren, Holly; Patricia Romanowski, Jon Pareles (2001). The Rolling Stone Encyclopedia of Rock And Roll. Fireside. ISBN 0-7432-0120-5.
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  • Guralnick, Peter (1999). Careless Love. The Unmaking of Elvis Presley. Back Bay Books. ISBN 0316332976.
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  • Lisanti, Tom (2003). Drive-In Dream Girls: A Galaxy of B-Movie Starlets of the Sixties. McFarland. ISBN 0786415754.
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  • Naylor, Jerry and Steve Halliday (2007). The Rockabilly Legends; They Called It Rockabilly Long Before they Called It Rock and Roll (Book and DVD). Hal Leonard Publishing Corporation. ISBN 142342042X.
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  • Verswijver, L., (2002). Movies Were Always Magical: Interviews with 19 Actors, Directors, and Producers from the Hollywood of the 1930s through the 1950s. McFarland & Company. ISBN 0786411295.
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Further reading

External links

elvis in Afrikaans: Elvis Presley
elvis in Arabic: إلفيس بريسلي
elvis in Azerbaijani: Elvis Presli
elvis in Bengali: এল্‌ভিস প্রেস্‌লি
elvis in Bosnian: Elvis Presley
elvis in Breton: Elvis Presley
elvis in Bulgarian: Елвис Пресли
elvis in Catalan: Elvis Presley
elvis in Czech: Elvis Presley
elvis in Welsh: Elvis Presley
elvis in Danish: Elvis Presley
elvis in German: Elvis Presley
elvis in Estonian: Elvis Presley
elvis in Modern Greek (1453-): Έλβις Πρίσλεϊ
elvis in Spanish: Elvis Presley
elvis in Esperanto: Elvis Presley
elvis in Basque: Elvis Presley
elvis in Persian: الویس پریسلی
elvis in French: Elvis Presley
elvis in Western Frisian: Elvis Presley
elvis in Irish: Elvis Presley
elvis in Manx: Elvis Presley
elvis in Galician: Elvis Presley
elvis in Korean: 엘비스 프레슬리
elvis in Hindi: एल्विस प्रेस्ली
elvis in Croatian: Elvis Presley
elvis in Ido: Elvis Presley
elvis in Indonesian: Elvis Presley
elvis in Icelandic: Elvis Presley
elvis in Italian: Elvis Presley
elvis in Hebrew: אלביס פרסלי
elvis in Georgian: ელვის პრესლი
elvis in Swahili (macrolanguage): Elvis Presley
elvis in Latin: Elvis Presley
elvis in Luxembourgish: Elvis Presley
elvis in Lithuanian: Elvis Presley
elvis in Hungarian: Elvis Presley
elvis in Macedonian: Елвис Присли
elvis in Malay (macrolanguage): Elvis Presley
elvis in Dutch: Elvis Presley
elvis in Japanese: エルヴィス・プレスリー
elvis in Norwegian: Elvis Presley
elvis in Norwegian Nynorsk: Elvis Presley
elvis in Occitan (post 1500): Elvis Presley
elvis in Uzbek: Elvis Presley
elvis in Pali: एल्भिस प्रेस्ली
elvis in Papiamento: Elvis Presley
elvis in Polish: Elvis Presley
elvis in Portuguese: Elvis Presley
elvis in Romanian: Elvis Presley
elvis in Quechua: Elvis Presley
elvis in Russian: Пресли, Элвис
elvis in Albanian: Elvis Presley
elvis in Sicilian: Elvis Presley
elvis in Simple English: Elvis Presley
elvis in Slovak: Elvis Presley
elvis in Slovenian: Elvis Presley
elvis in Serbian: Елвис Пресли
elvis in Serbo-Croatian: Elvis Presley
elvis in Finnish: Elvis Presley
elvis in Swedish: Elvis Presley
elvis in Tagalog: Elvis Presley
elvis in Thai: เอลวิส เพรสลีย์
elvis in Vietnamese: Elvis Presley
elvis in Tajik: Элвис Пресли
elvis in Turkish: Elvis Presley
elvis in Ukrainian: Елвіс Преслі
elvis in Urdu: ایلوس پریسلے
elvis in Volapük: Elvis Presley
elvis in Yiddish: עלוויס פרעסלי
elvis in Samogitian: Elvis Presley
elvis in Chinese: 埃爾維斯·皮禮士利
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