Was Elvis Presley a Racist?

Op-Ed Contributor

How Did Elvis Get Turned Into a Racist?

By PETER GURALNICK Published: August 11, 2007 NY Times

ONE of the songs Elvis Presley liked to perform in the '70s was Joe South's "Walk a Mile in My Shoes," its message clearly spelled out in the title.

Sometimes he would preface it with the 1951 Hank Williams recitation "Men With Broken Hearts," which may well have been South's original inspiration. "You've never walked in that man's shoes/Or saw things through his eyes/Or stood and watched with helpless hands/While the heart inside you dies." For Elvis these two songs were as much about social justice as empathy and understanding: "Help your brother along the road," the Hank Williams number concluded, "No matter where you start/For the God that made you made them, too/These men with broken hearts."

In Elvis's case, this simple lesson was not just a matter of paying lip service to an abstract principle.

It was what he believed, it was what his music had stood for from the start: the breakdown of barriers, both musical and racial. This is not, unfortunately, how it is always perceived 30 years after his death, the anniversary of which is on Thursday. When the singer Mary J. Blige expressed her reservations about performing one of his signature songs, she only gave voice to a view common in the African-American community. "I prayed about it," she said, "because I know Elvis was a racist."

And yet, as the legendary Billboard editor Paul Ackerman, a devotee of English Romantic poetry as well as rock 'n' roll, never tired of pointing out, the music represented not just an amalgam of America's folk traditions (blues, gospel, country) but a bold restatement of an egalitarian ideal. "In one aspect of America's cultural life," Ackerman wrote in 1958, "integration has already taken place."

It was due to rock 'n' roll, he emphasized, that groundbreaking artists like Big Joe Turner, Ray Charles, Chuck Berry and Little Richard, who would only recently have been confined to the "race" market, had acquired a broad-based pop following, while the music itself blossomed neither as a regional nor a racial phenomenon but as a joyful new synthesis "rich with Negro and hillbilly lore."

No one could have embraced Paul Ackerman's formulation more forcefully (or more fully) than Elvis Presley.

Asked to characterize his singing style when he first presented himself for an audition at the Sun recording studio in Memphis, Elvis said that he sang all kinds of music - "I don't sound like nobody." This, as it turned out, was far more than the bravado of an 18-year-old who had never sung in public before. It was in fact as succinct a definition as one might get of the democratic vision that fueled his music, a vision that denied distinctions of race, of class, of category, that embraced every kind of music equally, from the highest up to the lowest down.

It was, of course, in his embrace of black music that Elvis came in for his fiercest criticism. On one day alone, Ackerman wrote, he received calls from two Nashville music executives demanding in the strongest possible terms that Billboard stop listing Elvis's records on the best-selling country chart because he played black music. He was simply seen as too low class, or perhaps just too no-class, in his refusal to deny recognition to a segment of society that had been rendered invisible by the cultural mainstream.

"Down in Tupelo, Mississippi," Elvis told a white reporter for The Charlotte Observer in 1956, he used to listen to Arthur Crudup, the blues singer who originated "That's All Right," Elvis's first record. Crudup, he said, used to "bang his box the way I do now, and I said if I ever got to the place where I could feel all old Arthur felt, I'd be a music man like nobody ever saw."

It was statements like these that caused Elvis to be seen as something of a hero in the black community in those early years. In Memphis the two African-American newspapers, The Memphis World and The Tri-State Defender, hailed him as a "race man" - not just for his music but also for his indifference to the usual social distinctions. In the summer of 1956, The World reported, "the rock 'n' roll phenomenon cracked Memphis's segregation laws" by attending the Memphis Fairgrounds amusement park "during what is designated as ‘colored night.'"

That same year, Elvis also attended the otherwise segregated WDIA Goodwill Revue, an annual charity show put on by the radio station that called itself the "Mother Station of the Negroes." In the aftermath of the event, a number of Negro newspapers printed photographs of Elvis with both Rufus Thomas and B.B. King ("Thanks, man, for all the early lessons you gave me," were the words The Tri-State Defender reported he said to Mr. King).

When he returned to the revue the following December, a stylish shot of him "talking shop" with Little Junior Parker and Bobby "Blue" Bland appeared in Memphis's mainstream afternoon paper, The Press-Scimitar, accompanied by a short feature that made Elvis's feelings abundantly clear. "It was the real thing," he said, summing up both performance and audience response. "Right from the heart."

Just how committed he was to a view that insisted not just on musical accomplishment but fundamental humanity can be deduced from his reaction to the earliest appearance of an ugly rumor that has persisted in one form or another to this day. Elvis Presley, it was said increasingly within the African-American community, had declared, either at a personal appearance in Boston or on Edward R. Murrow's "Person to Person" television program, "The only thing Negroes can do for me is buy my records and shine my shoes."

That he had never appeared in Boston or on Murrow's program did nothing to abate the rumor, and so in June 1957, long after he had stopped talking to the mainstream press, he addressed the issue - and an audience that scarcely figured in his sales demographic - in an interview for the black weekly Jet.

Anyone who knew him, he told reporter Louie Robinson, would immediately recognize that he could never have uttered those words. Amid testimonials from black people who did know him, he described his attendance as a teenager at the church of celebrated black gospel composer, the Rev. W. Herbert Brewster, whose songs had been recorded by Mahalia Jackson and Clara Ward and whose stand on civil rights was well known in the community. (Elvis's version of "Peace in the Valley," said Dr. Brewster later, was "one of the best gospel recordings I've ever heard.")

The interview's underlying point was the same as the underlying point of his music: far from asserting any superiority, he was merely doing his best to find a place in a musical continuum that included breathtaking talents like Ray Charles, Roy Hamilton, the Five Blind Boys of Mississippi and Howlin' Wolf on the one hand, Hank Williams, Bill Monroe and the Statesmen Quartet on the other. "Let's face it," he said of his rhythm and blues influences, "nobody can sing that kind of music like colored people. I can't sing it like Fats Domino can. I know that."

And as for prejudice, the article concluded, quoting an unnamed source, "To Elvis people are people, regardless of race, color or creed."

So why didn't the rumor die? Why did it continue to find common acceptance up to, and past, the point that Chuck D of Public Enemy could declare in 1990, "Elvis was a hero to most... straight-up racist that sucker was, simple and plain"?

Chuck D has long since repudiated that view for a more nuanced one of cultural history, but the reason for the rumor's durability, the unassailable logic behind its common acceptance within the black community rests quite simply on the social inequities that have persisted to this day, the fact that we live in a society that is no more perfectly democratic today than it was 50 years ago. As Chuck D perceptively observes, what does it mean, within this context, for Elvis to be hailed as "king," if Elvis's enthronement obscures the striving, the aspirations and achievements of so many others who provided him with inspiration?

Elvis would have been the first to agree. When a reporter referred to him as the "king of rock 'n' roll" at the press conference following his 1969 Las Vegas opening, he rejected the title, as he always did, calling attention to the presence in the room of his friend Fats Domino, "one of my influences from way back." The larger point, of course, was that no one should be called king; surely the music, the American musical tradition that Elvis so strongly embraced, could stand on its own by now, after crossing all borders of race, class and even nationality.

"The lack of prejudice on the part of Elvis Presley," said Sam Phillips, the Sun Records founder who discovered him, "had to be one of the biggest things that ever happened. It was almost subversive, sneaking around through the music, but we hit things a little bit, don't you think?"

Or, as Jake Hess, the incomparable lead singer for the Statesmen Quartet and one of Elvis's lifelong influences, pointed out: "Elvis was one of those artists, when he sang a song, he just seemed to live every word of it. There's other people that have a voice that's maybe as great or greater than Presley's, but he had that certain something that everybody searches for all during their lifetime."

To do justice to that gift, to do justice to the spirit of the music, we have to extend ourselves sometimes beyond the narrow confines of our own experience, we have to challenge ourselves to embrace the democratic principle of the music itself, which may in the end be its most precious gift.

ARE JEWISH SONG WRITERS RACIST AS WELL? (Addendum by Ralph Deeds)

Many great American song writers are Jewish, including Irving Berlin who wrote what may be our most popular Christmas carol "White Christmas," and George and Ira Gershwin and Dubose Heyward who wrote "Porgy and Bess" and Jerome Kern the composer of "Showboat." Harold 'Arlen's "Come Rain or Come Shine" and Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein's "Old Man River" were recorded by Billie Holliday and Paul Robeson. Also, many may forget that Bob Dylan, America's greatest singer-song writer of the second half of the 20th century, was Jewish; I don't recall any of these Jewish song writers being criticized for appropriating black or Christian culture, let alone being called racists.

Heartbreak Hotel--Elvis' First Hit Song

Love Me Tender

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Comments 90 comments

countrywomen profile image

countrywomen 8 years ago from Washington, USA

I don't know what the truth is whether elvis was racist or Michael Jackson a child molestor but I do know they ruled their respective eras with their music & dancing. Lets not try to dig dirt unnecesarily unless we are absolutely sure of it.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 8 years ago Author

You apparently didn't read the article very carefully. It's entire theme was that Elvis was NOT a racist as some have mistakenly tried to claim. Michael Jackson, IMHO isn't in the same league with Elvis or Bob Dylan or the Beatles.


countrywomen profile image

countrywomen 8 years ago from Washington, USA

Oh ok you were trying to disprove that Elvis was a racist. Got it. Both sides arguments were presented and wasn't sure which side you were on (Actually I never even knew in the first place he was called a "racist") About MJ I don't think anybody on the planet danced better than him in his heydays and that's just my personal opinion. Ofcourse Elvis/Dylan/Beatles were great no doubt about that.


AEvans profile image

AEvans 8 years ago from SomeWhere Out There

I am glad someone wrote an article on Elvis as that is correct he was definitely not racist and many adore him still till this day. Personally myself a put a CD or two on and listen to him as well. :)


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 8 years ago Author

Tnx for the comments. I was and am still an Elvis fan. Dylan is my favorite. Elvis is second. I enjoyed his movies although they weren't up for Academy Awards. Hank Williams was the idol of my high school. I remember well the day he died of a drug-alcohol overdose in his Cadillac on his way to a concert in Tennessee if I remember correctly.


victoria 7 years ago

i love elvis and im glad he turned out not being racist


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 7 years ago Author

Me too!


jxb7076 profile image

jxb7076 7 years ago from United States of America

When I was growing up in the South in the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s I considered Elvis to be a racist, until I joined the military and started thinking for myself.  My conclusion is that Elvis was an innocent victim of the era of segregation, like many musicians during that time. Black musicians were developing a new radical form of music but were not allowed in White clubs to sing it. The music was a hit among the young white population but they were being censored in how they responded to it.  The industry needed a white face and so Elvis was born.  Black musicians were upset at first because they felt like he was stealing their music and getting the credit for it, therefore he became a racist.  Mature Black musicians like BB King and Bobby Blue Bland and others were grateful to Elvis because he opened many doors for them by recognizing them as originators and mentors.  Elvis took the new music and added his own flavor and created a cross over form of music later titled rock-n-roll.  Musical creativity was on the rise back then. Black musician took White gospel, added their flavor and made it Black Gospel. There was nothing racist about. It was the same music with a different flavor, targeted at a totally different population which became acceptable by all groups.

After a while Elvis only problem was Little Richard who felt he should have gotten the title of “King of Rock-n-Roll.”   

 


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 7 years ago Author

Thanks for the interesting comment. African American blues and jazz musicians are rightfully proud of their influence on music in America. I'll never forget an opportunity I had to dance to live music by Louie Armstrong--"A Kiss to Build a Dream On" and "I Get Ideas." He was a great one.


jxb7076 profile image

jxb7076 7 years ago from United States of America

Those were the days.......


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 7 years ago Author

When I was in high school we used to shoot pool in a big, old-fashioned pool hall near our school where the rack "boys" (pardon my French, but that's what they were called) always had the radio tuned to "Blues and Jive Til Half Past Five" on a local "black" music station.


Pamela Laird profile image

Pamela Laird 7 years ago

Unofrtunately, when you are Southern, you get labeled as a "racist" just because of the proxemity of your birth, and probably why Elvis has been been labeled a racist. We are not all racists in the South.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 7 years ago Author

Very true. And there a plenty of racists in the North.


mega1 profile image

mega1 7 years ago

You know that ERA of segregation? It's not over! Alls ya have to do is look at images of crowds cheerin' and carryin' on at all the modern gladiator shows to see how segregated we really are. Of course, looking beyond the skin color, kind a talk, and where a human was born is probably always gonna be real difficult thing for some of us. For others looking beyond that small crowd they were born with who seem to always just limit the stuff they can do is what they kinda think is the real fun of life. Gotta go now, here come some o those crazy ERA girls, lookin for a contribution! Will they just EVER just get over it? What's love got to do with it? ELVIS was the very first hippy, and I love him too, now. O course I was tooooo late. Damn. If he had known all that was gonna get done with, to, and at him would he have even been born?


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 7 years ago Author

I agree. In some ways segregation has increased.

Thanks for your comment.


ixwa profile image

ixwa 7 years ago

The issue of music, sports art and entertainment has been tainted by racism. As Patricia Williams wondered: "How can it be that so many well-meaning white people have never thought about race when so few blacks pass a single day without being reminded of it?" Racism needs to be attacked, addressed and done away with. It hurts very badly. Music and musicians are loved all over the world, as to whether Elvis was racist or not, I'd leave it to those who know the story better. He really added some flavor to his music and had Black singers backing him in some of his concerts.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 7 years ago Author

I agree. Music and sports are antidotes to racism. Thanks for your comment.


T_Augustus profile image

T_Augustus 7 years ago from Detroit, MI

The issue of Elvis being a racist was born in the 80s. Many in the Black community still feel this way, and I am one of them. First let me clarify, I'm not here to rock the boat or disturb the peace, and your article is a fantastic piece of work. However, what it leaves out, and what Black people of that time didn't realize (that we learned in the 80s) is that while Elvis performed Black music...it was not HIS music. The artists who's songs he "re-made" did not "get paid". In essence, he stole songs from great Black blues and rock-n-roll greats with no compensation to them.

B.B. King used to say "Blues had a baby and they named it Rock-N-Roll". Little Richard, who was not only ripped off several times by Elvis, but also other White artists of that time, including most notably Pat Boone. While Elvis and other White artists were living high on the hog and eating well off of the record sales of songs like "Good Golly Miss Molly", Little Richard (the songs writer or "originator" as you put it) was having to tour year round and record new albums on the road while touring...just to put food on the table.

Do I "know" Elvis was a racist...of course not. Am I entitled to that opinion...of course yes. Again, not trying to start a fight, just pointing out one of the main reasons the "Elvis is a racist" conversation grew legs.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 7 years ago Author

T_Augustus, those are good points. Thanks for your comment. I wonder if you caught the NPR program a couple of months ago on Fats Domino. I'd never paid much attention to him, but what a revelation that program that was. It was called Fats Domino's Last Concert--at Tipintino's in New Orleans. What a wonderful artist and down-to-earth person he is.


T_Augustus profile image

T_Augustus 7 years ago from Detroit, MI

No I haven't had the pleasure, but will look for it. Sounds interesting.


jonjo2009 7 years ago

I dont think Elvis was a racist.The rip offs of Little Richards songs were probably the work of Col Tom Parker who used to insist that songs recorded by Elvis included his name as joint songwriter so part of the royalties came his way as Col Parker took 50% of Elvis earnings.Dolly Parton refused to agree to this when Elvis showed an interest in recording some of her songs.As T Augustus rightly pointed out Pat Boone also recorded Little Richard songs but although i bought Elvis and Pat Boone records it didn't stop me buying Little Richard as well.No one could sing a Little Richard song like he could.Tutti Frutti by Pat Boone was terrible and Elvis Rip It Up wasn't as good as the Little Richard version.I recall a story about an elderly black couple standing at a car showroom window admiring a new Cadillac car Elvis went into the showroom and bought the car for them.Hardly the actions of a racist.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 7 years ago Author

I agree that Elvis wasn't a racist. Thanks for your comment.


lmmartin profile image

lmmartin 7 years ago from Alberta and Florida

Why is it these days we seem to be looking for racists everywhere? Everywhere I look someone's calling someone else a racist. And there's all kinds of 'em. Lately I heard a new term -- food racist!! It hit me as so funny I had to write a hub about it. It's all starting to sound like the McCarthy era. No sir, I am not now, nor have I ever been a racist. Elvis was great! Maybe he was, maybe he wasn't, but why is it such a big issue now? Who cares?


Ralph Deeds 7 years ago

I don't think it is a big issue now. I wrote the Hub for no particular reason other than I ran across a couple of articles two years ago on the subject. Apparently there was some resentment on the part of black artists over the amount of money Elvis made singing in a style that was borrowed from or influenced by black artists. I have been a fan of Elvis almost from the beginning of his career. This issue first arose years ago and the articles that I quoted above were written before Obama became a candidate and allthe current hoopla about racism started. However, racism is alive and well in many parts of the United States and is a legitimate issue, in my opinion. A certain amount of the anti-Obama invective is racially motivated.


eddie mc 7 years ago

Not my writing but I found this interesting answer to some comments very similar here..

I have to correct the person who wrote in his comment :

"Media continually mentions his name in the same sentence as the likes of Ike Turner, Chuck Berry, Little Richard, and Fats Domino. Yet, those black pioneers were already established by the time Elvis Presley came on the scene."

Elvis first record was released in early 1954. Chuck Berry and Bo Diddley did not record before 1955. Little Richard recorded in the early fifties but in a different style than in the rock and roll style he became later famous for. His first rock and roll record was "Tutti frutti" for the label specialty which reached the charts in December 1955. If Little Richard would have been a "white" singer some people would have accused him that he stole the song from Eddie Bo(cage) another singer/pianist from New Orleans (name of the song was "I got wise"). Since Eddie Bo is an afro-american like Little Richard Penniman nobody seems to care. By the way Berry never paid his co-composer and pianist Johnnie Johnson anything for his ideas on songs like "Johnny B. Goode". Since both musicians are black nobody seems to bother that the royalties were never shared. If Berry would've been white he would not be a legendary composer but a thief who stole from the black community. Strangly Berry's first hit and record was "Maybelline". The original title of that song was "Ida Red" and a country and western song not composed by Berry. Did Berry got accused for stealing "white" country music since other songs he recorded in 1955 were derived from Country tunes as well (downbound train, 30 days)? No and right so, he was influenced by white music like Elvis was influenced by black music.

Ike Turner never sang on his early rock and roll records but people like Billy Gayles or Jackie Brenston who even wrote big parts of "Rocket 88" but Turner did not pay him any royalties. Since both men were black it seems political correct to many ( american?) people and no one got blamed.

For many black people there was no reason to pay a relative expensive ticket for a Presley concert because they had the same music in their own backyard to a much lesser price. On the other hand at that time many blacks turned their backs to down-home blues or City blues derived from rural country blues and listened to Brook Benton, Dinah Washington or Jesse Belvin not to mention all the doo-wop groups who were more pop.

It is unfair that Presley gets always critized for that phenomen. Bo Diddley, Chuck Berry, Fats Domino and Little Richard did never make it as soul musicians. Their music style did not fit the taste of the younger black listeners anymore. At that time they were glad that a young (white) audience was interested in their music. If they had not that audience nobody would ever heard from them and their ancestors in Europe. Without people like the Beatles, Stones and Clapton nobody would care for Berry and all the others. Today`s younger Black people would have never heard of them, too because their parents had already lost any interest. I think people like public enemies Chuck D are liars when they state Berry, Penniman and Domino still "are in the house". You can't blame Presley that Domino and Berry were not able to develop their style like Elvis did after the 50's (especially after 1967) and that every of their records sounded like recorded in 1960 and their "own people" lost interest.

To come to an end Jimi Hendrix started playing guitar because of a Presley concert in Seattle. He said he was amazed about Elvis and his stage personality. When Presley began the concert he asked the audience to raise for the anthem but played "blue suede shoes" instead. He said there was no blues scene in Seattle. And even Little Richard who had relatives in Seattle who knew Hendrix and managed that Penniman stopped for saying hello in Hendrix neighbour did not have the impact that Elvis had on the teenager Hendrix.

According to Elvis' first guitarist Scotty Moore the made sessions in black clubs being often the only white people. That happened not only during the sun record days but after that. Moore remembered a jam with Lowell Fulson in Texas 1957/58. Of course nobody was interested then.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 7 years ago Author

Eddie, thanks! That's a great commentary on the music scene of the 1950s and 1960s. I saw a great show not long ago on PBS about Fats Domino. I'd never paid much attention to him, but the show made me a fan as I am of Elvis and the others mentioned in the above note. I used to shoot nine ball when I was in high school in a pool hall adjacent to the LSU campus where they played black music all afternoon. I remember one program called "Blues and Jive til Half Past Five."


eddie mc 7 years ago

As I said, not my words but on the ball I think. To quote Elvis Presley, " I wish I could sing like Fats Domino, but I know I cant." To quote Fats Domino," Elvis was.. the man." There is no arguing with either point.


bugmenot 7 years ago

.......


bugmenot 7 years ago

THE COMMENT: "The artists who's songs he "re-made" did not "get paid". In essence, he stole songs from great Black blues and rock-n-roll greats with no compensation to them."

FACT: Royalties were paid to the rights holders following normal industry standards on songs Elvis recorded. That doesn't mean the rights holders got those rights legitimately, or that they passed on the payments appropriately, however that is not and has never been the responsibility of the recording artist.

THE COMMENT: The rip offs of Little Richards songs were probably the work of Col Tom Parker who used to insist that songs recorded by Elvis included his name as joint songwriter so part of the royalties came his way as Col Parker took 50% of Elvis earnings

FACT: Elvis received undue cowriter credit on four songs, none of them Little Richard songs.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 7 years ago Author

That was very unfair. However, it doesn't make Elvis a racist. He may have gotten some bad advice. Thanks for your comment. I don't know the facts, but I have no reason do dispute your comment.


T_Augustus profile image

T_Augustus 6 years ago from Detroit, MI

I had to come back to let you know that I finally saw the Fats Domino show you referred me to, that was fantastic!!!


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 6 years ago Author

Thanks. Talking about a mellow man. Fats is about the mellowest I've ever seen.


T. James 6 years ago

Who gives a damn about some loser like Mary J. Blige, who can't sing worth dog-mess!


Ian Egurr 6 years ago

This is soo stupid! Since when is racism just classified to be racist towards one race? If he wasn't racist towards black people he was definitely racist towards Mexicans! He was quoted as saying, "he'd rather kiss three black girls than one Mexican". He's a racist biggot regardless...


kayedsc profile image

kayedsc 6 years ago

One of your readers asked who cares if Elvis was racist. Well the millions of African Americans who’ve endured the hatred, discrimination and the pain of racism just might. Ask our Jewish brothers and sisters if we should care about the holocaust. I’ll bet the answer is yes and I’ll wager that lmmartin wouldn’t dare ask who cares about that.

Asking who cares about whether or not one is is or was a racist is symbolic. It is an example of the folk who don’t even know that they themselves are in fact racist. Sighting something as trivial as a marketing term about food as an example of this subject being frivolous is, to me, a sign of the bigger problem..

Well I care. I care that although Elvis was talented he rode to fame on the backs of men and women far more talented than he who never got a shot. I also care that he too was a victim of racism. While he may not have harbored hatred he did nothing to change the mindset as he lived in the comfort and benefited from opportunity his white skin afforded him. It’s this attitude that keeps us in the throws of this sickness and until we all care about our past, present and future we will remain ill. If you have never walked a mile in the shoes of the victim you can’t possible determine what being racist is. So to answer the original question YES, Elvis was a racist.

And to T_Augustus who thinks that African Americans were so ignorant that they couldn't even identify their own music (until the 80's) you are wrong young man we always knew.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 6 years ago Author

Thanks for your comment. Your points are well taken. I'm sure it was not your intention to compare Presley's actions with the Holocaust. That would be a big stretch. The issue of whether Presley was a racist is still relevant today when racism still is prevalent in this country.


Manuel 6 years ago

The quote of Elvis on Mexican women originated from gossip columnist Federico de León, and doesn't have any credibility.

Refried Elvis; The Rise of the Mexican Counterculture

Eric Zolov

UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA PRESS

Berkeley · Los Angeles · Oxford

© 1999 The Regents of the University of California

http://www.escholarship.org/editions/view?docId=ft...


Manuel 6 years ago

Reply to kayedsc.

The great Jackie Wilson said: “A lot of people have accused Elvis of stealing the black man’s music, when in fact, almost every black solo entertainer copied his stage mannerisms from Elvis.” He and Elvis had a long friendship and mutual admiration.

http://www.elvis.com.au/presley/jackie_wilson_elvi...

Elvis always credited black musicians from being the originators of rock and roll, and he had the friendship and respect of many of them. Like Little Richard said: "He was an integrator. Elvis was a blessing. They wouldn’t let black music through. He opened the door for black music."

Mind that Elvis was an interpreteer and not a composer, but he didn't only make covers of blues; he recorded songs of hillbillies like Bill Monroe, Carl Perkins and Jerry Reed. Hound Dog wasn't actually composed by Big Mama Thornthon but jews Leiber and Stoller. Otis Blackwell and Leiber & Stoller wrote for Elvis many of his hits.

Despite covering old songs, Elvis started in 1954 a new style of r'n'r now called rockabilly, that is nothing like the blues or the New Orleans or Chicago r'n'r. When he moved from Sun Records to RCA his style transformed into mainstream rock and roll, but leading the wave rather than coping anybody. In 1961 Labern Baker recorded "Hey Memphis", an answer song to Elvis' "Little Sister".

So Elvis got the biggest fame and fortune, but his music and attitude did a lot to change the mindset and bring acceptance of black culture in the US. It was trough Elvis that most people first heard of Arthur Crudup, Roy Brown, Smiley Lewis or Clyde McPhatter (and I doubt that those names mean anything to people calling Elvis a racist).


Right Black profile image

Right Black 6 years ago from Huntington Beach, California

Ralph, Elvis a racist? Imagine that. I remember when I was a little kid and my sisters took me to the drive-in movie, we saw Viva Las Vegas. I remember because my father was so mad at my sisters for the dents left on the hood of his brand new 1964 Ford Fairlane. That's right, they were dancing on the hood of his brand new car. Elvis a racist, not in my family. I still like Elvis music and it makes my 13 year old daughter laugh with hysterics when she hears it. Okay, and sometimes she looks at me like I'm crazy. That's one point you and her might agree on. Good hub.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 6 years ago Author

Thanks, Manuel and Right Black! RB, here's one we can agree on. As you may have noticed, I didn't write the article. I bet you didn't know that Big Mama Thornton recorded "Hound Dog" in 1952, three years ahead of Elvis. Also, its interesting that there was a lot of interaction/collaboration between Jewish songwriters and black artists. http://hubpages.com/entertainment/A-Fine-Romance-J...


tweetybird409 6 years ago

elvis is dead and that's where he needs to stay he did wrong on both sides but we must forgive and forget because we are not perfect and we are all GODS children no matter the color


musicman9982007 6 years ago

I'm a music historian and I can honestly say Elvis wasn't a racist. He was HEAVILY influenced by black american music.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 6 years ago Author

Thanks for your comment. I'm with you on the issue. He was a great musician. Up there with the Beatles and Bob Dylan of that era. Too bad he didn't live longer.


Shaun 6 years ago

I'm Black and I Know Elvis was not a Racist. He was influenced and befriended by so many Black artists and People. For Example, James Brown (The Godfather of Soul) was an Activist in the movement towards rights for black people. He was also a very good friend of Elvis. Come on people- wake up, smell the coffee, do the research, its easy to use the race card. Ignorance gets nobody anywhere in this life.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 6 years ago Author

I agree. Thanks for your comment. Many great artists (and composers) besides Elvis owe a debt to great black blues, jazz and rock artists. There was great admiration and mutual respect among artists of all races and religions long before the civil rights revolution.


Alexander Simon 6 years ago

May 25th, 2010

Mr. Elvis Presley,

King Star of Soul,

Graceland/Elvis Presley Enterprises, Incorporated,

3734 Elvis Presley Boulevard

Memphis, Tennessee

AMERICA 38116.

1-800-238-2000, Toll-free in North America

HeartbreakHotel@Elvis.Com

Mr. Alexander Simon,

Writer and Clairvoyant,

Sir William Place,

Apartment #305'c',

8820 – 85 Street,

Edmonton, Alberta,

CANADA T6C 3C2.

Call: (780) 466-9719

alexandersimonea@gmail.com

With respect, for Mr. Presley:

“ELVIS STRIKES BACK!.”.

One of the Premiere Films I vision following thumbling through “ELVIS BY THE PRESLEYS;” by the Editor Mr. David Ritz; I find the bold American style and on August 16, 1977; I knew the media combined lied regarding your passing away.!

The 'Memphis Press-Scimitar' on the following day as revealed in this award winning true account of the great Gospel sage and Rock Performance; my need then was as is today a successful career in field investigation, sir!

It remains well the age of the Fuhrer of rhythm and folk, blues plus Oriya; began his Career in singing on the year 1941 and reported by the Federal Bureau Of Investigation; and confirmed authentic by rehearsal and birth Certifying 19 as his age and born remarkably on February 18th, 1936; the proof that Mr. Presley died is heresy; a Mr. Presley owns a Colt® 1944; not a Ukrainian Barretta; (p. 9). I-kon the photograph (p. 30-31); the Strata-caster, is really now in the Smithsonian Museum in Austin, Texas, so why does not his kin own this valuable 'tar!!?

In TRIBUTE: Please as loving fans for the Matador of presentation and reach; consider an overview of how the media lied; for proof; Mr. Elvis Presley's mother is not shown together, rather; a humorist and polite lady

Aunt Gladys is Elvis' honey girl.! An Uncle Vernon, from Edmonton, Alberta; and proven with a

Social Insurance Number (S.I.N.); 622-116-212; and with permission; one great gab; and true as a Canadien Confederate sailing to the U.S. for aide; and according to the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (C.I.A.); the reason, the media is misleading, all who view and see a lie perpetuating; and as a media Graduate lead by the prestigious Director Mr. Waldorf Adam West of the then two year Advertising & Public Relations Program. Mr. West Colleagued with Mr. Richard (Dick) Zwicker who Dictated 'hard core' journalism; always smiled and with undo recourse, challenged the 'media' way.!

-2-, Mr. Alex (Big Al') Simon. FOR ELVIS FANS, ONLY..

With an affable Ms Leslie Howard-Stafford; she never yelled like a Texan in Alberta with his great looking wife or gal; the point is love is always looking well and minding your manners; and with Texas … it means a kool, song, and now here's one (I was kidding about yelling loud in 'Big-Rig'; and …

“AND YOU'RE NEVER

ALONE IN

TEXAS!”

“ON HILL-BILLY BLUES;

“THE WAY SHE SEE'S;

THAT'S WAY SHE LOVES, ME;

LIKE THE BLUE MOON,

PALE AND LONELY;

BIG RIVER; MIGHTY,

HIGH; I RIDE THROUGH,

THE VALLEY, AND I HEAR,

HER SONG; A MELODY,

HER HAIR, LONG AND FREE,

JULIE ANNE SINGS AND YOU'RE

NEVER ALONE IN TEXAS!

YOUR NEVER ALONE IN TEXAS!,

THE RYE IS BROWN AND THE STALK IS BLUE,

THE LINCOLN CONTINENTAL,

IS OWNED BY ME; SHE WAVES HELLO;

I DRIVE IN TO EL PASO HEADING TO AUSTIN,

THROUGH DALLAS; SHE SMILES CALM; AND,

WE SING TOGETHER, 'TILL, WE MAKE LOVE;

FOREVER TOGETHER ALONG WITH MOM,

AND DAD AND A PUPPY I CALL TOM.”

-30-

Yours Most Sincerely:

(Big Al')

Alexander Simon

Mr. Alexander Simon.


SpanStar profile image

SpanStar 6 years ago

If someone is saying Mr. Elvis Presley did not say "The only thing Negroes can do for me is buy my records and shine my shoes." then they don't know what they're talking about. It was in one of Elvis's movies- I saw the movie on TV and I heard him say it. He didn't use Negroes. It's been a while but I seem to remember him and 2 other guys next to a bench in this movie when he said it. It is if it hasn't been cut out in one of his movie reels.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 6 years ago Author

I doubt that Presley wrote or agreed with the script.


moncrieff profile image

moncrieff 6 years ago from New York, NY

Right, a guy who sang Negro songs and had black gospel quartet on stage was a racist. That's how absurd statements like this sound.

I'm surprised that people may think it and the article is pretty good clarifying this misconception.


Dolores Monet profile image

Dolores Monet 6 years ago from East Coast, United States

Ralph - I think that one of the reasons people today might call performers like Elvis a racist is that many younger folks just don't pay attention to the past. They seem to have a 'flat' view of how people behaved, what they did, and what they stood for, based on nothing.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 6 years ago Author

Thanks, Moncrief and Dolores. We're on the same wavelength.


Chris Miller 6 years ago

I am black. And I don't know if Elvis was racist, only he and God knows. But to use the fact that he was influenced by black music does not mean that he was not racist. I read one comment that he used a black back-up singers...that does not mean he wasn't racist. That not any different than slave owners using black labor. My question would be did he use them or was he taking advantage of them. I don't know. Again, for all of you who believe that liking something that comes from black culture and even participating in it does not exonerate one from being racist. There are plenty of racist cheering on there favorite black football players on Sundays. The better way to determine this would be...What would Elvis's thoughts have been when Lisa Marie married Michael Jackson? How did Elvis feel about blacks when he wasn't around them, when he was only with white friends, and when he was alone?


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 6 years ago Author

Perceptive comment. I agree. Thanks.


elvispresley 6 years ago

its really disturbing to me to hear that elvis was a racist. i dont really beleive it but it might be true. im an african american too, and i think elvis is the best entertainer in the world despite of all the bad comments and racism. i think people like to point the finger a lot. i do think elvis stole a lot of music from black people but that's besides the point. he's the man of the 50s, 60s, and 70s. point blank.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 6 years ago Author

I agree. Thanks for your comment.


bherron 6 years ago

Ralph,my ex-father-in-law was Elvis' escort on the train ride for two hours before he went to GE.while he was in the ARMY.He was an MP Capt. and was assigned the job by his Commander. He was not very excited about it at first, because of everything he "heard" about Elvis, but after spending 2 hours with him totally changed his opinion about him. When I asked him about his experience he said,"he was one of the most polite persons I've met." Elvis was always saying "yes, sir and yes ma'am." Dutch(my father-in-law)did not mention ANYTHING about the way he behaved towards coloreds or anyone else for that matter. I have a lot of DVDs and books that were written by his friends and a lot of them talk positively on the way he behaved. He hired a black gal that came across at a car dealership. She needed a car to get back and forth to school, so he bought her a car, gave her a job at Graceland answering phones and helped pay her way through college. I would have to look in one of my books to get her name, but would someone who is "racist" do something like that.........I don't think so. Sure, I know what all the African Americans are thinking...he did it just to make himself look good. Could it be that Elvis was actually just a good human being that helped out other human beings, that's why God put us hear on this Earth for...help each other out.One thing I learned in the ARMY...we all have "green" skin, not "white","black","red", etc. That's the way God sees it too!! 'Nuff Said!!


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 6 years ago Author

Thanks for your interesting comment. Works for me.


Mark Monroe profile image

Mark Monroe 6 years ago from Dover De

Very Good hub


eddie mc 6 years ago

I really disagree with the earlier remark about Elvis riding on the back of greater talents. What an ignorant statement. He was completely unique, he was not a white copy of any other singer. We as humans are the sum of our experiences, our lives are influenced by everything around us growing up. He was an unconcious fusion of many different genres, and not, like everyone else a master of one. His style of singing came from his influences in Country & Western, Rock n Roll, Rythm and Blues and most importantly Gospel. He was unique, and THAT was what kicked down the door towards musical integration. Most black artists of the era are gratefull to Presley for paving the way to their acceptance in white America. None of them were anything like Presley and vice versa, in popular musical terms he was The Big Bang.The nonsense about him stealing "black" music just doesn't stand up to scruitany, show me one performance or song it is clear Elvis stole for his own? The vast majority of Elvis' early hits were written by white men, in particular Jerry Lieber and Mike Stoller, [Hound Dog, Jailhouse Rock, King Creole etc] two white Jews from New York. Did he record music written by black musicians? Certainly, were they paid? Definetly,try reading my earlier post regarding Little Richard etc, the biggest problem it seems was Presleys success, it eclipsed everyone of his and other generations and rather than find it remarkable we try to find ways to make it less so, which is a great shame. The real irony is that Elvis himself in typical humility said many times over that he was no better than any other singer, black or white, the problem lies with us, not him.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 6 years ago Author

Thanks for your perceptive comment. Elvis was one of the greatest of his era along with the Beatles, Louis Armstrong and Bob Dylan. When I was in high school in the South Hank Williams was our idol.


D-Rock 6 years ago

I am a 25 year old white male who is obsessed with Elvis Presley, Fats Domino, Sam Cooke ...pretty much all the old 50's music that helped kick off Rock N Roll. I grew up listening to it, my parents listened to everything from country, rhythm and blues to soul. I understand I wasn't alive during the life of Elvis Presley, but I have researched this topic beyond comprehension. I have came to this conclusion as Elvis isn't here to defend himself and nobody actually knows if he was or was not a racist. Go back and look at all the postive comments and quotes that came from alot of 50's black musicians...

Al Green, Jackie Wilson, B. B. King, Issac Hayes, Chuck Berry, Sammy Davis Jr., Little Richard, Fats Domino, James Brown, and even Mahaamad Ali. Myrna Smith of the Sweet Inspirations was quote as saying, "There wasn't a racial bone in Elvis's body."

And my favorite quote by Ernest Withers, "Elvis was a great man and did more for civil rights than people know, to call him a racist is an insult to all of us."


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 6 years ago Author

Thanks for your comment. We're on the same wavelength. I'm a Fats Domino fan also. I watched a great program about him on PBS not long ago. He's still playing in New Orleans.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SjX1vFk384s


gummybearsrcool 5 years ago

Elvis is not racist. Elvis loved all his fans no matter what color of their skin was. he was such a sweet guy. btw in the movue viva las vega when he said "all a negro can do is polish my shoes and buy my records" it was a DAMN script dont take it personal he probably didn't even aprove of it at first. when it comes to acting u gotta do what u gotta do.and last thing in the 1950s and 1960 it was hard for african american to get to places proabably expecaially his concert it wasn't like he had his manger block 0ppl for coming thiere like putting up a sighh saying "colored only" i luv u ELVIS RIP


bigelvisfan1024 5 years ago

i luv ELVIS BUT HE ISN'T RACIST HE LOVED all HIS FANS NO MATTER WHAT THE COLOR THEIR SKIN WAS AND THAT'S WHAT I LOVE BOUT HIM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!R.I.P I LUv U ELVIS


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 5 years ago Author

I agree. Thanks for your comment.


elvisfan1024 5 years ago

ur welcome ralph btw not to be dispectful but the question is............................... are u racist im just saying cause i was readint through this whole comments and i saw "Thanks, Manuel and Right Black! RB, here's one we can agree on. As you may have noticed, I didn't write the article. I bet you didn't know that Big Mama Thornton recorded "Hound Dog" in 1952, three years ahead of Elvis. Also, its interesting that there was a lot of interaction/collaboration between Jewish songwriters" once agaain not to be i just wanna know i hate being drisccrimtated by my race

(im black btw) sincerely ,elvisfan


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 5 years ago Author

elfisfan, thanks for your comment. I don't think we have any disagreement. I'm also an Elvis fan, and a fan of many black artists as well. Two of my favorites are great New Orleans artists, Louis Armstrong and Fats Domino. I did an anrticle on them here:

http://hubpages.com/entertainment/Louis_Armstrong_...


elvisfan1024 5 years ago

dear ralph,

i think ur maybe right cause seriously he was the one who who sang Negro songs and had black gospel quartet on stage while others where to ingorent people didn't to even have the nerves to even do that. that also remindes me of my dream i had yesterday.......... elvis was at the airport like a public airport giving out autographs and kissing women (like little kisses) so polite and hotlike the hunk of a man he is and i was like trying to get his autograph and he did and i started to cry like ridicoulsly and he gave me a kiss and i left crying lol!!!!!!!!!

sincerely,

elvisfan1024

p.s i wont write u anymore lol!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

im not a stalker

elvisfan1024


elvis1024 5 years ago

p.s i toatally forgot to say that he did give me an autograph and a kiss and when he gave me the autograpgh i started to cry like a baby and when he gave me a kiss i was cry like ridcoulous there where other girls there to looking for his autograph and a kiss for him so he left. at first before he gave me the autograph i was tugging on him cause he was on the stairs of somwhere so i was tugging on his shirt to get his atteion and he did........ so that kinda proves he not racist.

p.s dpnt mind my puccutaion thee last comment i made i was typing to fast okaii byee


roscluvsiwatermelon203 5 years ago

Elvis is not racist and if u dont believe me then cheak out this page:http://www.elvisinfonet.com/image-files/SammyDavis... to see for urself i also have a pic so enjoy!!!!!!!!!! RI.P love u elvis


Tom 5 years ago

Elvis a racist? People will invent anything to take down the biggest entertainer of all time! First they began by telling that he stole black music. Then Barbara Hendricks who is a black classical singer is a racist, she’s singing white Italian classical music! Come on children, you must grow up now! If Elvis was first because he was the best. Influenced by black music? Of course, but also by country music, by gospel music, AND BY CLASSICAL MUSIC! He adored opera. No one (black or white) had the 1/10 of the talent that had the King. How can you tell that if he became famous is because of black music, do you know that the majority of Elvis’s no1 hits are even not rock n roll! “It’s now or never”, “love me tender”, “All shook up”, “Are you lonesome tonight”, “Surrender”, “Suspicious minds” and many many others… Elvis was not only a limited rock n roll artist like Bill Halley or L Richard (I must site at least one white artist too, otherwise I’ll be a racist!). How many other rock n roll artists can sing songs like “It’s now or never” or “Hurt”, or “Surrender”? They are sooooo limited comparing to Elvis.

Don’t be medias puppet and try to have your personal opinion. I’m from an Arabic country and I know that Elvis was not racist. That wouldn’t surprise me if he was a one because he was born in the south and like many other white children, he was brain washed with some weird ideas. But this was definitely not the case with Elvis. And some small researches on his friendship with blacks can convince you (except if your goal is to take down an innocent). Ali who used to hate the white American society used to adore Elvis!

God! Ignorance is the worst thing!!!


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 5 years ago Author

Hey! I didn't express my opinion that Elvis was a racist. I'm an Elvis fan. Anyway, thanks for your comment.


Tom 5 years ago

Hello Ralph, sorry my comment was not for you but for some weird people who hate a humble and talented artist for nothing.

Personally I began to be an Elvis fan in the 80’s when I lived in Asia (now I live in France). The guy had such impact that it’s difficult to imagine (someone had to live the experience to understand). Elvis had much greater impact in the rest of the world than in America, although he had never visited these countries! And the strangest part is that Asia preferred much more the King in the 70’s (69 to 77) than the young Elvis! Me too :o)


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 5 years ago Author

For my generation the BIG THREE were Elvis, Bob Dylan and the Beatles.


N.E. Wright profile image

N.E. Wright 5 years ago from Bronx, NY

Hi Ralph,

Thank you so much for posting this article.

I am sorry I have never read it in the ... Times before you posted it.

The part of that rumor my siblings and I were told was, "... The only things Blacks can do for me is shine my shoes." We learned this in the '70s. Sad, because I was crazy about Elvis before that. Just crazy about him in general.

In the '70s when commercials would come on I would put away my toys until my favorite show came back on. During the commercials I would hear Elvis, or The Everly Brothers, the Platters, & etc. This went on for about a year. I learned their songs that way. LOL.

Then one day I actually completed my chores and I saw the commercials with Elvis first. I was stunned to see he was white. LOL. Then I saw that the Everly brothers were white, and The Platters were Black. OMG. LOL. None of them were the races they sound like to my ears. I kind of like that innocents. I wish I could have kept it forever, but life intrudes. LOL.

I shared this Hub on my Face-Book page, because I really believe people need to learn something more nuanced about Elvis and not just assume he was racist, because of rumors.

Hey, I fought against the rumors about Tommy Hilfiger. I would not believe what I was told.

It takes a Google search now a day, but people seem to want to spread lies and not fine out the truth. When it comes to race we need to research rumors.

Again, thank you so much for sharing this informative Hub.

Take Care,

N.E.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 5 years ago Author

Thanks for your thoughtful comment sharing your experience. Here's a related Hub about Jewish songwriters--

http://hubpages.com/hub/A-Fine-Romance-Jewish-Song... Music is something we all can share and enjoy regardless of race, religion or other issues.


N.E. Wright profile image

N.E. Wright 5 years ago from Bronx, NY

Thanks Ralph, I am going to check it out.

Take Care,

N.E.


N.E. Wright profile image

N.E. Wright 5 years ago from Bronx, NY

I just clicked on your link, and it states it longer exist.

HubPages is always taking away. LOL.

Thanks anyway.

N.E.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 5 years ago Author


Mr. Alexander Simon 4 years ago

BLUE TEXAS COOL!

“How I love your embrace! Wine blonde and en grace!”

Blue Texas cool … lady loving Marilyn sister I love you!

All Star white and pearl; dance with me my girl;

All long and hair of blonde;

I love Lady Marilyn and today!

Blue day happy say;

When do you oust love?

Well bring me a cup for warm.

Lady warm Gypsy above!

Girl warm and sweet;

Every English and German day

We meet!

Ounce nonce one dace the ray;-

Hey girl give it whirl of loving mayl!

Walk! Talk! Chalk! And Stay …!

All Star white and pearl; dance with me my girl;

All long and hair of blonde;

I love Lady Marilyn and today!

Girl warm and sweet;

Every English and German day

We meet!

Walk! Talk! Chalk! And Stay …!

Blue Texas cool … lady loving Marilyn sister I love you!


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 4 years ago Author

Thanks again, Alexander Simon.


Mr. Alexander Simon 4 years ago

April 17, 2012

Mr. Alexander Simon

Sir William Place,

#305, 8820 – 85 St.,

Edmonton, Alberta T6C 3C2

CANADA

(780) 466-9719

Ms Marilyn Monroe,

Set Director,

Co/: Chief Executive Officer,

Mr. Stephen Blairson,

10201 West Drive on. Pico,

Boulevard,. District of Los Angeles,

California, 90035

AMERICA

(310) 369-1000

Dear Ms Monroe:

RE: The Academy Award winning movie “Niagara;”!

This movie is policing on child and baby theft with a brilliant chorus of famous care! Your hair like your mind is Scotland Yard with the Federal approval and so is the careful Set in setting a reason no adoption is legal and marriage is the only answer to being a family accepted in American for the only politic Democracy! Behind the scenes; a daring lady is mixed with a capable lady in brunette heading undercover espionage to set matters well near the Capital of Canada! Lost is why babies are not shown in mother’s arms smiling and finding the heroine and hero welcoming more policing careful and not communist to raid the dirt from caring society! The sad moment is a friendly American Federal Bureau of Investigation Agent is mislead and strangles a lady in blue; why? She is nail clear and healthy!

Sincerely,

AS


Annmarie louise white 4 years ago

elvis presley is annmaire louise white real father i like him All time be with and he is so nice man he is great dancing and sing ang Acton he in hollywood and America he leave before die graceland he was merried to priscilla and got daughter baby girl lisa marie presley and got more daughter annmarie louise white i like it ever happy thank you


yourname 4 years ago

all i have to say this this... anyone who speaks anything about the dead is a bigot.


ANN 3 years ago

Yes he was ,and i am old enough to remember him and in his youth just like governor wallace he was , but when he got older and it was not so exceptable he did change even apologise.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 3 years ago Author

Thanks, Ann, for your comment.


Annmarie louise white 3 years ago

elvis presley was married to Annmarie louise white i like so much in may 1. 1967 that why be with in the world be with 12 year a go for long time in las vegas


markLazar profile image

markLazar 3 years ago from Scranton, PA

How dare you talk negative about Elvis he is the greatest entertainer of all time and one of the best people that ever lived.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 3 years ago Author

Mark, you apparently didn't read the NYT article very carefully. I'm an Elvis fan, and I agree that Elvis was a great entertainer and a good person.


Alexander Simon 2 years ago

“ATTILA!”

A, new exciting television Series is now finding the Canadian “This Hour has Twenty Minutes;” and Stars new Hungarian talent! “Mary Cynthia Walsh, CM (born May 13, 1952) is a Canadian actress, comedian and social activist;” dines well for Budapest new Stars!! The satire is on a rare spokes-dog all Hungarian that can drive news well!! He is pure Hungarian and studies comedy with a Hungarian smile!!

A, born Moncton and fast funny on Canadian humor “Richard Vincent "Rick" Mercer;” enjoys the talent of Hungarian comedy too!!

The Hounding for being a real dog!

The first Episode is why dogs love to bark!!

To be a real Dog requires heat-on-run!! That is a true Dog!! ! Attila is a rare Hungarian name for a king like ambassador who likes his woman dog!! All comedy is a happy ending!! The British and Magyars agree!! With Budapest as with “every dog must have his way.

Mr. Jonathon Delaney of Sheffield is a master on comedic ah ha!!

He is reported interested in “Attila;” a Hungarian recipe on humor!!

With true reporting one antic is women in need of a marriage true!!

A sexy Hungarian lady opens a resume and finds a potential employer. She drops her true Birth Certification as evidence she is still unmarried and asks her father in Hungarian why she is proposed?

Her father a well-known Mayor makes a serious inquiry on behalf of his only daughter! He disguises himself as a police officer inquiring on made lured! And in true Hungarian comedy; a sexy look alike enters in with sexy Magyar dress whow what tight thighs and appeal!! She examines the employer and finds he is clean and the brother to the same father!! With demanding care; she calls her father and retorts: it’s your brother and wants her niece for marriage!! And slams the caller with true Hungarian style!!

Both brothers are scoffed and ride high in Buda side for a real game of golf and wait for more proposal!!

The ladies decide to Beauty Salon in Pest and gurl angry!!

(Well all comedy aside; ladies are neat and men do care especially about their er War that’ Drobe!!)

Merry Fun Festival!!

Alexander Simon

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