“It was like he whispered his dream in all our ears and then we dreamed it.”

–Bruce Springsteen

 

On this day in history, 28 January 1956, the widely celebrated country rock singer, Elvis Presley, made his first appearance on Television on The Dorsey Brothers Stage Show singing ‘Heartbreak Hotel’, which took the entire American audience by storm and resulted in Presley gaining more prominence in the music scene.

Elvis Presley has been regarded as one of the most significant cultural icons of the 20th Century and is referred to as the “King of Rock and Roll”. From 1956 to 1958, his music dominated the top-charts in the United States, and his fame opened further avenues for rock musicians to enter the music industry. Presley received 14 Grammy nominations during his career, and won three times for his album ‘How Great Thou Art’. He was not only a successful rock musician, but he also proved himself as an actor in blockbuster movies like Follow That Dream, Flaming Star and Blue Hawaii amongst many others.

What was most unique about Presley’s music during the 1950s was that it cut across racial boundaries, as he appealed to the African-American audience in the United States. This had been relatively unprecedented at a time when racial segregation was at its peak in the country, and this made him a particularly controversial figure. However, his music is said to have inspired many rising musicians at the time, such as The Beatles and Rolling Stones.

Elvis Presley lives on as an icon even 42 years after his death, not only for his music that continues to live on but also his persona as a style icon. His timeless songs like Hound Dog, Blue Moon, Heartbreak Hotel and Can’t Help Falling in Love continue to be heard and adopted for modern renditions throughout the world.