We all know the saying: America has had over 40 presidents, but only one king! He left this mortal coil over four decades ago, making the 16th of August an important day for any rock’n’roll fan worth their salt. On this day, in the summer of 1977, Elvis Aaron Presley passed away aged just 42. Though his time on Earth was short, he made an immeasurable impact on music, culture and America itself. He embodied the very essence of rock music; he truly had it all: the voice, provocative moves, the looks. It was these attributes that helped ensure every inch of the global icon that Presley would become was perfectly polished. Though he started out as an idol for rebellious teens in the late 50s, it wouldn’t be long until he became a hero for people all around the world.
The King was the first to combine rock’n’roll with a good dose of attitude. It was in Memphis, in the Sun studios (founded by the great producer Sam Phillips), that this unprecedented combination of rhythm and blues, country, hillbilly, gospel, blues, and bluegrass started to take shape (all wrapped up with a deliciously raucous energy to boot). The twenty or so songs recorded between 1953 and 1955 with guitarist Scotty Moore and bassist Bill Black boast a beautiful simplicity infused with stunning energy and visceral purity. His first self-titled album in 1956, the first for RCA, showcases this from the very first seconds of 'Blue Suede Shoes' (written by Carl Perkins).