Elvis: alive at 75.

Today marks the seventy-fifth birthday of Elvis Presley, a fellow I too often overlook in my rock & roll ruminations. (I tend to favor revolutionaries like Chuck Berry and Little Richard who broke the mold with their strikingly original tunes in the mid '50s.)

But given the biases of those times it took a white guy to make this new music acceptable to a wider demographic swath, and Elvis was the one who lit up the pop world with his bluesy singing and pelvic swagger.

He was also the lightning rod for bizarro attacks against "the devil's music" from religious conservatives, many of whom assumed Elvis was black until they saw him on TV. (Also who knew R&R was a KGB-engineered Stalinist conspiracy?)

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