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Elvis Presley: Entertainer or Educator?

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One day I realized that the techniques I had been teaching my students were mirrored in Elvis's signature moves. Those classic heart-stopping, hip-shaking gyrations weren’t only sexy—they made him a better singer. Strong legs gave him his power base. He kept a wide stance and pushed into the floor, while his upper body stayed loose and resonant. As long as there are singers who emulate Elvis's moves, he will never leave the building. Anybody else use Elvis as a technique example?

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i remember watching elvis as a kid and this particular song is one of the songs that inspired me...

as a kid i was thinking if i could sing like him, i'm guaranteed chicks.......lol!!!

when i was in college, i did a big research paper on him....

his bad boy looks coupled with his vulnerability and approachability were the keys to his success.

and when terry stafford came along with his elvis sound alike voice (video below), although it's never been proven, i'll bet cha dollars to donuts the recording industry and colonel parker helped squash stafford's career.

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I always thought Elvis sang Suspicion!

Elvis is the reason I wanted to get into music in the first place. Of course then I heard Aerosmith. Oh and the beatles... Jimi Hendrix...Led Zepplin.....

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oh, i forgot to add elvis definitely had technique. he was so seemless with the registers.

as a teen, I once had the opportunity to accompany a journalist friend to an interview with dio. I asked him if he had elvis as an inspiration, because I thought I sometimes heard similarities. He was quite insulted and said no, he didnt consider elvis a particularly skilfull singer. just a fun memory...

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Colonel Parker was the best and worst thing that happened to Elvis. He had him do all the spupid crap in the movies. Elvis wanted to grow but Colonel didn't want to change the format that was bringing in the bucks.

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as a teen, I once had the opportunity to accompany a journalist friend to an interview with dio. I asked him if he had elvis as an inspiration, because I thought I sometimes heard similarities. He was quite insulted and said no, he didnt consider elvis a particularly skilfull singer. just a fun memory...

I love Dio just as much as the next guy, but I would have to disagree with him here. Elvis' success was based on more than just his voice, but to say he wasn't a skillful singer? I don't know about that.

If that were true, unskilled singers all across the globe would be emulating him effortlessly, wouldn't they?

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well, Im not going to defend or not defend Dio here. Just relating a story which, to tell the truth, I found a little peculiar even then. Dio did get visibly huffy about the comparison. I remember thinking, "uh oh, bad question"

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i remember watching elvis as a kid and this particular song is one of the songs that inspired me...

as a kid i was thinking if i could sing like him, i'm guaranteed chicks.......lol!!!

when i was in college, i did a big research paper on him....

his bad boy looks coupled with his vulnerability and approachability were the keys to his success.

and when terry stafford came along with his elvis sound alike voice (video below), although it's never been proven, i'll bet cha dollars to donuts the recording industry and colonel parker helped squash stafford's career.

Videohere - Terry Stafford is very good, but he lacks a certain X factor that proves the case that Elvis' was and always will be the King!

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It's possible that Elvis had some coaching along the way. But, at first, he had no coach. He was born in Tupelo, Mississippi and grew up in the "black" part of town and went to church, there. So, his first singing experiences and models of emulation were black gospel singers. So much so, in fact, that when his singles were first heard on the radio, which is how most people heard music back then, long before they ever saw the performer, many thought he was a black man. And were surprised to find he was pasty white.

Later exposure to other music professionals and styles outside of what he was raised with, plus some possible coaching (I don't know, either way) I think, modulated his tone.

Looks, good tone, a sense of a rollicking good time, and even a self-deprecating sense of humor made him the darling of everyone.

He was an entertainer par excellence. In so doing, could serve to educate, even by accident, how it should be done. So my answer to the question of the thread title is, both.

Thankyouverymuch.

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It's possible that Elvis had some coaching along the way. But, at first, he had no coach. He was born in Tupelo, Mississippi and grew up in the "black" part of town and went to church, there. So, his first singing experiences and models of emulation were black gospel singers. So much so, in fact, that when his singles were first heard on the radio, which is how most people heard music back then, long before they ever saw the performer, many thought he was a black man. And were surprised to find he was pasty white.

Later exposure to other music professionals and styles outside of what he was raised with, plus some possible coaching (I don't know, either way) I think, modulated his tone.

Looks, good tone, a sense of a rollicking good time, and even a self-deprecating sense of humor made him the darling of everyone.

He was an entertainer par excellence. In so doing, could serve to educate, even by accident, how it should be done. So my answer to the question of the thread title is, both.

Thankyouverymuch.

Right on! I know my students appreciate it when I connect a technique with an Elvis-ism. Hey, if Elvis did it, it must be cool.

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i'd say elvis has vocal trained somewhere along the line.

there's a marked difference in his early sun sessions sound and his later, more somewhat operatic sound.

this one really shows off his skills i think...you really have to blend this well and smooth, you're so vulnerable singing this.

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Im sorry, I dont really like his voice. I think basically, it could be a nice voice, almost a little freddy mercury, but he makes it a little dopey and the vibrato is too fast and exaggerated

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It's possible that Elvis had some coaching along the way. But, at first, he had no coach. He was born in Tupelo, Mississippi and grew up in the "black" part of town and went to church, there. So, his first singing experiences and models of emulation were black gospel singers. So much so, in fact, that when his singles were first heard on the radio, which is how most people heard music back then, long before they ever saw the performer, many thought he was a black man. And were surprised to find he was pasty white.

Later exposure to other music professionals and styles outside of what he was raised with, plus some possible coaching (I don't know, either way) I think, modulated his tone.

Looks, good tone, a sense of a rollicking good time, and even a self-deprecating sense of humor made him the darling of everyone.

He was an entertainer par excellence. In so doing, could serve to educate, even by accident, how it should be done. So my answer to the question of the thread title is, both.

Thankyouverymuch.

Don't you think he probably got some informal training from some of those gospel singers he was going to church and listening to? I suspect that's probably how many of these great singers who never "took a lesson" learned. They may have never trained with somebody who had a degree in music, or somebody who could explain what the TA and CT muscles are (none of that vocal science was really even developed back then anyway). But one doesn't need that to be a teacher. They just need to have some sense of what they're doing, and be able to pass it on.

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I think some people can learn to sing healthily just by listening to healthy singers and emulating them as kids. A nice sounding voice is generally nice sounding because it sounds relaxed, healthy and has a ring. If thats the sound youre musical enough to pick up on when copying favorite singers, if you can hear whether its relaxed or not and want that same sound, chances are youre going to be producing it in a similar manner to them, else it wont have that sound

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I agree with remy and matt. I think it is totally possible for someone to be a unique singer, and be on pitch, and do what they do fairly instinctively, without ever having formal lessons. In the case of Elvis being a mega-superstar, I can envision record execs and Col Tom getting him vocal coaches to preserve that golden egg, so to speak.

I think Elvis could naturally sing and was influenced by the churches he went to. Later, in singing different genres, he may have had a coach who gave pointers on how to make a different sound, but I don't think he went through any formal training and I don't think they made him give up the first half of his career and declare it all wrong. And then start from scratch, all over again.

I know that happens to some but not him, I think. He was special.

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i'm no expert, but it just seems very likely and logical for a professional singer who hasn't had a voice lesson or coaching to get some sometime, somewhere.

if it isn't a realization made by the singer himself, then it's some manager's or record company producer's suggestion.

here we go...i'll make this up.....lol!!

colonel parker to elvis:....

"say elvis, we've got a big tour ahead of us. son, i've hired a professional who will help you ease the strain with night after night singing...all the great singers in the world go and see this guy on a regular basis to keep their voice in tip shop shape...you know what i mean, don't ya son?

he'll be here next week. he's the best in the business son. isn't that great?

yes sir, thank you sir.

lol!!!

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