When Paul Simon was a kid in the 1950s, he was enamored with the new Rock’n’Roll sounds he heard on the radio.
During this era of music, the likes of Little Richard and Chuck Berry were pioneering innovators who permanently changed the art form, wrapping it in their own DNA.
While both men put Rock’n’Roll music on the map, it wasn’t until Elvis Presley changed his style that Rock’n’Roll music became mainstream.
Elvis had every corner of America humming his tunes, and as an impressionable young man, Simon became utterly obsessed with ‘The King’.
During an interview with ‘SPIN’ in 1987,
The New Yorker talked about his biggest influences.
Simon: “…Elvis was there. He was the biggest force in Rock’n’Roll, no doubt about it. No one even comes close. It was his invention, he mixed the music of black and white, and that is the most powerful idea that has emerged from Rock’n’Roll, and he also had the voice.
When I first heard Elvis perform my composition ‘Bridge Over Trouble Water’ it was amazing, and I thought, how the hell can I compete with that?
He also called The Everly Brothers a significant influence on his art and admitted that “there would have been no Simon and Garfunkel without the Everly Brothers.”
But Simon’s discovery of Elvis turned out to be one of the most important of his life, hearing Presley on the radio for the first time is a memory he’ll never forget.
“…I remember in that parking lot I was in the back seat of my parents’ car when they were shopping and I heard Elvis Presley for the first time on the radio,
The announcer said, ‘there’s a singer here called Elvis Presley, every time he performs in the south, there are riots.’
Following Presley’s death, like millions of others, Simon paid tribute to the musical icon and embarked on a trip to Graceland, which inspired his next album of the same name.
His emotions went out of control once the singer-songwriter saw Elvis’s grave.
“Graceland itself is just a business. Big parking lots, you buy your ticket, get on a bus and wait in line. There’s a tour, guides, and they take you around the house and show you ‘Elvis is this and Elvis is that’.
But when this is over, you go out into the field and there are the graves of his mother, father and him.
Even though it’s so commercial, the plaque on Presley’s grave says he was given the gift of this incredible voice that has touched millions of people around the world. And that’s just what it is. A gift.”
Source: FarOut Magazine/Elvis InfoNet
Information provided by Elvis Shop Argentina https://2001elvisfanclubargentina.blogspot.com/p/principal.html?m=1
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