how Elvis got started

14 07 2011

Today I saw a “week in review” article for this week throughout America’s history concerning music, and I got to thinking about how you never know where certain paths will lead.

This week in 1953, a young sideburned truck driver by the name of Elvis Presley went to the Memphis Recording Service studio, paid $4, and recorded “My Happiness” to give as a gift to his mother.  The same week of the next year, 1954, Elvis went to Sun Studios to record his first commercially available single, “That’s Alright Mama”.  Later that week, he performed on the back of a flatbed truck for the grand opening of a drugstore in Memphis.

You know the rest of the story.  I just thought it was interesting how humble his beginning was in his musical career.  I wonder how many people in the audience at that drugstore thought he would ever make it big…

So the next time you see a singer or band performing at a downtown park or on a flatbed trailer, don’t assume they’re “nobody” and will never make a name for themselves.  And even if they never become famous, they may be as good as someone who is famous.  Just because someone sells a million albums doesn’t mean they are more talented than people in your own town.

Actually, I know a musician who lives in Conway but has played around the country (even Carnegie Hall) and is going on a tour across Europe this summer.  He’s not famous here, but he’s extremely talented.  He teaches at UCA, and you can hear him perform for free sometimes.  You don’t have to buy $100 tickets to hear great music.  The question is whether we are interested in finding good music or just consuming whatever “Top 40” music is played on the major radio stations.




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