Title

Rebel for the Cause: An Exploration of the Rebellion of Pre-Army Elvis Presley

Poster Number

17C

Lead Author Major

Film Studies

Lead Author Status

Senior

Format

Poster Presentation

Faculty Mentor Name

Keith Hatschek

Faculty Mentor Email

khatschek@pacific.edu

Faculty Mentor Department

Music Management

Abstract/Artist Statement

Abstract: The Rebel in Question

Elvis Presley is often described as one of the most popular and influential musicians in history by industry professionals, music historians, and fans alike. However, his significance was not simply because of his talent and good looks. Particularly in his Pre-Army years, Elvis was able to both reflect and develop the rebellious outlook of the day. This paper will document and denote Elvis’ role as a key instigator and influencer of the rebellious mindset that took hold of late 1950s American adolescents.

Elvis’ connection to rebellion is particularly prominent in three key areas of 1950’s society. These are religion, race, and the younger generation. Elvis’ role as a rebel and a social instigator was clearly quite effective and widespread, as it infiltrated many levels on society. All three of these areas are connected to his early influences from childhood that colored his musical and stylistic choices. Because of the strong influence his Pentecostal upbringing, his proximity to and infatuation with African-American culture, and his ability to connect with the younger demographic had on his image as an artist, he was able to directly affect those areas upon his rise to fame.

The circumstances surrounding Elvis at this time also had an impact on his ability to cause such profound variation in society. Elvis rose to the top right in the middle of the postwar period, a time when a stark contrast between the old and the young was already simmering, only needing a firecracker like Elvis to really explode the issue. Secondly, this period was the time right before Presley was drafted into the United States Army. This is important because there is a distinct difference between the Elvis known before his time of service, and how he was after his return.

There are many factors at work in this equation. Elvis came from a very diverse background of influences and was able to use those influences to tell the world around him something new, exciting, and rebellious.

Location

DeRosa University Center, Ballroom

Start Date

29-4-2017 1:00 PM

End Date

29-4-2017 3:00 PM

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Apr 29th, 1:00 PM Apr 29th, 3:00 PM

Rebel for the Cause: An Exploration of the Rebellion of Pre-Army Elvis Presley

DeRosa University Center, Ballroom

Abstract: The Rebel in Question

Elvis Presley is often described as one of the most popular and influential musicians in history by industry professionals, music historians, and fans alike. However, his significance was not simply because of his talent and good looks. Particularly in his Pre-Army years, Elvis was able to both reflect and develop the rebellious outlook of the day. This paper will document and denote Elvis’ role as a key instigator and influencer of the rebellious mindset that took hold of late 1950s American adolescents.

Elvis’ connection to rebellion is particularly prominent in three key areas of 1950’s society. These are religion, race, and the younger generation. Elvis’ role as a rebel and a social instigator was clearly quite effective and widespread, as it infiltrated many levels on society. All three of these areas are connected to his early influences from childhood that colored his musical and stylistic choices. Because of the strong influence his Pentecostal upbringing, his proximity to and infatuation with African-American culture, and his ability to connect with the younger demographic had on his image as an artist, he was able to directly affect those areas upon his rise to fame.

The circumstances surrounding Elvis at this time also had an impact on his ability to cause such profound variation in society. Elvis rose to the top right in the middle of the postwar period, a time when a stark contrast between the old and the young was already simmering, only needing a firecracker like Elvis to really explode the issue. Secondly, this period was the time right before Presley was drafted into the United States Army. This is important because there is a distinct difference between the Elvis known before his time of service, and how he was after his return.

There are many factors at work in this equation. Elvis came from a very diverse background of influences and was able to use those influences to tell the world around him something new, exciting, and rebellious.