Ferry is writing short themed articles, decorated with fitting pictures on Facebook. Gladly he gave permission to copy them here.
Back in the real early days of Elvis there was much controversy about the movements he made on stage. Parents, Disc jockeys, churches, all had an opinion about this devilish boy from Tupelo. Although way back in 1954, while performing the eagles nest there wasn’t that much movement on stage. Most of the time Elvis was standing behind the microphone in an upright position doing his songs. Mostly part of a show or jamboree he did about 4 songs and left the stage again.
Later on in 1955 he (I recon) he discovered some exotic movements he made his own. He made them unique. He made them Elvis. Girls were screaming, Police were trying to get the fans away from him, and more than once they had to rescue Elvis of being torn apart by the fans. The shirt from 1954 with the rolled up sleeves made place for a jacket in 1955. The upright position behind the microphone made place for swinging and swaying. Rolling around on stage. Pointing at fans. Hugging the RCA dog ‘Nipper’ on stage. Leg movements. Looking like de devil possessed him. He made it better every performance.
In 1956 he went on. Making 6 appearances on National television that year, things changes somewhat. During the Milton Berle show, where they let Elvis do his thing on stage, he sang “Hound Dog”. He swayed, he made love to the microphone, he dances his socks off. The performance was called as ‘appalling lack of musicality’ or vulgar, animalistic, by the critics. Even the Catholic Church takes up the criticism. In its weekly organ there was a headline: “Beware Elvis Presley” Reverends were talking about juvenile delinquency started by the beat, the beat, the beat. Ed Sullivan declares he will never hire Presley. Steve Allen booked him already but promises that he will not allow the singer to offend. Therefore Elvis came on dressed in a formal tux. Steve won from Ed Sullivan that night almost forcing Ed Sullivan to book Elvis After all. In that show they started to shoot him from the waist up. And still, head tilted down, looking at fans, pointing at them. Wiggling his hands and arms. He knew what he had and used it fully. Scored his first national hit “Heartbreak Hotel” and first movie “Love me Tender” in the cinema’s he was at the top of his career so far.
Then in 1957 police were ordered to film some shows to look at Elvis. Was he really doing things that should be forbidden by law? Should he be arrested? Was the atomic powered singer indeed a devil on stage? Later in the NBC tv special Elvis would talk about that show, telling that he only could move his little finger like that. He had to stand still, the whole show.
He changed the music field. He changed the stage appearances for the rest of time. He stole the youth from the country and western scene in the mid 50’s. And made them his own. Then in 1958. After 4 movies and many number 1 hits he was drafted. He went to Germany. But Colonel Tom Parker had loads of songs pre-recorded to keep him alive in America. And he did till his arrival back again in the US in 1960. The moves changed. The sound changed. Elvis was changed. Was all the fuzz for nothing? See for yourself in black and white and colour photo’s how the Memphis Flash took the world in the 50’s.