History of Rock & Roll
Elvis Presley (1935-1977) was a working-class southerner who rose to fame in the 1950s as a rock and roll superstar. A memorial outside his childhood home proclaims, "Presley's career as a singer and entertainer redefined popular music."
In July 1953, eighteen-year-old Elvis Presley entered Sun Records Studio to record two songs for his mother as a birthday gift. Within one year, Presley had become Sun Records' most promising artist with the hit single "That's All Right (Mama)," a cover of a blues song by Arthur "Big Boy" Cruddup. By 1957, Presley had a string of hits including "Don't Be Cruel," "Hound Dog," "Love Me Tender," and "All Shook Up." He earned a tremendous fan base, but also drew criticism from those who found his hip-shaking performances to be profane, becoming one of rock and roll's first controversial superstars.