Elvis was not the first true rocker!


Elvis not the first true rocker: EIN welcomes your views on the following item published in the East African Standard:

'Folks imagine that rock began when Elvis Presley stormed into the scene in 1956, but the first two true rockers were blacks - Chuck Berry and Little Richard. But in the segregated 1950s, many radio stations would not play their songs (just watch 'Dream-Gals' this weekend to catch the drift)

So that when white boy Elvis with his duck-a** hairdo and blue suede shoes rolled into the scene, the white World of Radio christened him the "first rock star" and handed over the airwaves to his guitar. That is sort of like Marshall Mathers (Eminem) being declared the "first rap star," with men like 2-Pac and the Notorious BIG's roles totally ignored. Travesty, if not outright tragedy.

So the next time you hear a heavy rocker like Marilyn Manson screeching with passion like a man whose mansion is on fire, and raging against "gods who don't exist," don't just say white folks are nuts.

Back to the sixties, the British Beatles ran with a new branch of rock called "pop rock" and mesmerized the planet. The Doors, led by singer Jim Morrison described in the Steven Davis biography as a "seer, an adept, a bard and a drunk" opened up the doors to rock as we know it today, although this millennium, rock has become a lot more sanitised (albeit with a few potty-heads like Amy Winehouse, although she isn't really a rocker).

In the 1960s, according to Guitar magazine, rock tours were "primitive and disorganised." The pretty groupies gave you herpes and the clap. The drugs and alcohol turned you into a crazy imbecile.

Not all Blacks had turned the R&B and soul route after Elvis stole the lyrics from their rock boat. In the 1960s, the greatest rock guitarist was Jimi Hendrix, an original rock and roll rebel with an afro and outrageous tricks like burning a guitar live on stage after humping the amplifier. Of course he died young. At 28! But his antics and genius inspired other rocker guitarists, from the great Eric Clapton to the priceless artiste we know as Prince.

In the early 1970s, rock was all about sex and excess, with groups like Led Zepellin taking the lead. From 1975 to 1980, the anarchists of the punk rebel movement ruled and wrecked the rock scene, with groups like Sex Pistols (whose Sid Vicious viciously stabbed his girl to death, then later killed himself in 1979) raging: "God save the Queen, and her Fascist Regime!" (Comment, Source: Tony Mochama And Robert Gicheru, East African Standard, 27 Oct 2007)

Your Feedback

Marty Lacker: In answer to your first story for Saturday written by the two guys in East Africa, I believe they have their history and information wrong.
Actually, Chuck Berry came a year after Elvis in 1955.  Little Richard was a year or so before Elvis but what he played was basically R&B or as it was known back then, Race Music.  They called it Race Music because that type of music had always been done by black people.  What he played was not Rock N' Roll back then.
The term Rock N' Roll was first used by Cleveland disc jockey Alan Freed but he was talking basically about dancing not the genre of music but it stuck and Elvis was looked at as the first Rock N' Roller.
Freed used that at a dance in Cleveland when he was getting ready to play a record he asked the kids at the dance, "Are you ready to rock and roll?"  Basically describing how they moved when they danced.

Don Cooper: here we go again! every time you turn around elvis fans have to hear about some idiot exclaiming either, "elvis didn't create rock 'n' roll" or "elvis wasn't the first true rocker" ,but we have it shoved down our throats that jimmy hendrix was the "greatest guitarist" or that accused child molester michael jackson is still "the greatest". first of all, i never said that elvis created rock 'n' roll or that he was the "first rock star". elvis never even claimed to be the first. elvis was and forever will be pop and rock's first "megastar".

yes, there were some like bill haley who created some buzz  with "rock around the clock" and others ,but they never reached the heights of elvis' megastardom. only a select few have ever reached or came damn near to reaching thar kind of fame. below are a list of those select few. here are the guys and gals who reached elvis' level of megafame.

1. the beatles
2. michael jackson
3. madonna

that's it. these three are the only three that has reached elvis' kind of fame. there are other famous singers, but those that i've mentioned are the big three. they did something that other singers have only dreamed of. they were also the first at accomplishing what they did.

Bernadette: Elvis never stole anything in his life!!! He always paid tribute to black artists & their music and was always respectful to them.

T.E Thorbjornsen, Norway: When are people going to understand that Elvis didn`t "steal" black people`s music. Elvis was a young simple man in the mid-fifties , and he felt inspired by rythm`n`blues , gospel and country.

He didn't have this great idea to turn black music white (!) Elvis was a singer, not a songwriter and he recorded songs that he felt he could sing HIS way. And for the so-called music-critics, what was Elvis supposed to do.. appologize for being himself , for being a young music-lover, for being in Memphis in 1954.. Appologize for having the most talented voice the world has ever known, for having the best looks and an unbeaten charisma.. Some people just don't get it, and they never will either.

Steve C: This old chestnut raises its ugly head every year. It has always been a fallacious argument undeserving of attention. The writers should have checked their facts first. If anything, Elvis gave many black artists a real chance at their own successful careers.

Celia Thompson: #**##!!#!!#!**##


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