That's Alright Elvis, Any Way You Do
by Sheree Homer - firstname.lastname@example.org - Posted January 6, 2003
When it came to style, Elvis Presley was in a
league all his own. He epitomized coolness with a
dash of sex appeal from the way he moved to the way he
dressed. Every part of his style was unique,
especially when compared to the rigid conservativeness
of the 1950s.
A major part of his personality was his movements
when singing. Some people considered them to be
vulgar and a contributing factor to juvenile
delinquency; however, he even said that his movements
were just a part of who he was, and if he stopped that
would be the end of his career: "Rock and roll music
if you like it, you can't help but move to it."
Scotty Moore, his guitarist, accentuated Presley's
moves. They complemented one another. Moore's guitar
licks and Presley's hip swiveling helped to define the
true spirit of rock and roll.
Presley had severe stage fright, so shaking his
hips and twitching his legs acted out some of this
anxiety. His gestures were actually involuntary and
unthreatening; even though some people went so far as
to say he did it purposely. Every time he moved, the
girls would scream. Reporters got wind of the story
and started nicknaming him "Elvis the Pelvis": "That
is the most juvenile name I have ever heard, but if
they want to call me that, then there's nothing I can
do about it." It seems he had jumping beans in his
jeans, which could not be controlled. Even Ed
Sullivan could not keep him still. When he was shot
from the waist up only, he improvised by moving his
Another aspect of Presley's personality was the
way he dressed. Even in high school, he stood out
from the crowd by wearing pink and black and sporting
a ducktail. Other teenage boys wore more demure
colors and sported crew cuts. Due to his
unprecedented fashion sense, he was often ridiculed.
Presley bought his clothes from a Memphis men's
shop named Lansky's and was one of their best
customers. Bernard Lansky was his personal clothier.
Hi boy collars, peg legged slacks, and bright colors
became part of his trademark look. Presley's good
friend, Carl Perkins, first wore the black slacks with
the ribbon on the side. Perkins had admired tuxedo
pants but was not able to afford them. Tuxedo pants
are black with shiny black ribbon on the legs.
Perkins' wife came up with the idea to take his newly
bought pair of black pants from Lansky's and sew pink
ribbon into each side. Presley saw a show of his and
commented that he loved those pants. After
discovering the secret, Presley had his tailor develop
many pairs of those same kinds of pants with ribbon of
every color. Hence, the hillbilly cat was born. His
profound style and sex appeal had begun to reach the
masses. Guys wanted to be like him, and girls wanted
to be with him.
From his first recording in 1954 to his first #1
in 1956, he had transformed himself from a shy country
boy to a world famous icon. He had become a force to
be reckoned with, and someone who would inspire people
for ages to come. He continues to this day to be one
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