Elvis Presley’s name has been circulating the news in light of a new musical, drama film debuting this summer simply titled, Elvis. The late, great “King of Rock and Roll” is known most for his signature sound and unforgettable dance moves. However, the Black community recognizes him as a musical thief, stealing from lesser known Blues artists.
The upcoming film Elvis will explore Elvis Presley rises to fame in the 1950s while maintaining a complex relationship with his manager, Colonel Tom Parker. It is set to debut in theaters June 24th.
Presley has had an affinity for Black music and culture since he was born in Tupelo, Mississippi. He grew up on the Black side of town. Presley would later run with the likes of Ike Turner and B.B. King. It is evident that Black musicians greatly influenced him, yet because of his whiteness, doors were opened for him that were not available to Black musicians.
“I always wanted to sing like Billy Kenny of the Ink Spots,” Presley told Jet Magazine in 1957 according to The Daily Beast. “I like that high, smooth style. I never sang like this in my life until I made that first record—‘That’s Alright, Mama.’ I remembered that song because I heard Arthur (Big Boy) Crudup sing it and I thought I would like to try it.”