The True King of Rock-N-Roll
To many, Elvis Presley, is the "King of Rock-N-Roll", however, I simply beg to differ. True, Elvis impacted and influenced several, but he was a product and manufactured by Colonel Tom Parker. Elvis did not compose his own material, he rarely played any instruments, he was essentially style over substance.
During the same time that Elvis emerged onto the scene, there was this 20 year-old from Lubbock, TX, named Charles Hardin Holley who incorporated a blend of Country Western music along with what was developing into the newest craze, aptly titled Rock-N-Roll. Charles Holley soon changed his name to Buddy Holly and him along with three of his close friends soon became the Crickets and they immediately started generating hit after hit. Most were penned by Buddy himself and he began creating a style (with immense substance) of his own in both his vocal delivery and guitar playing. He at that tender age became a revolutionary, but he did not receive the immediate recognition that Elvis did because several were gravitated by Elvis' image. Both were obviously contrasting in their appearance. Buddy which to some in our generation would call "Dorky" look to what several would say Elvis was a "Rebel". If however you just were familiar with their respected sounds you would think of the complete opposite, that indeed Buddy pushed the envelop in every regard. Just listen to the chord progressions of his earlier hits, the subject matter he was writing about, he set the standard for several generations since. Elvis on the other hand inspired the future "Boy Bands".
What is so shocking of course is how both Buddy and essentially Elvis respective careers peaked quickly and only lasted for a brief period of time. Buddy of course was "The Day the Music Died" and just prior to his death he was starting to compose songs that would have elevated the standards of music even further. He was a trailblazer and we will never know how different the music industry would be today if he remained alive and was able to contribute more.
Elvis on the other hand went to the army, was discharged, focused more on his film career, and then he tried to make a comeback in '68, but already so much had passed him by. The Beatles (heavily inspired by Buddy Holly) had made so much of an imprint on music that Elvis even became jealous to the extent that he was also involved in trying to get John Lennon deported. Elvis by that time became more of a nostalgia novelty act. He lost his "sex appeal" and could not continue without that. Buddy if still alive would have again elevated music to newer heights.
Buddy Holly to me will always be "King" because he was a true visionary who accomplished more in music over 2-3 years more than several have in a lifetime and his legacy will never cease.