- Published sources should be provided before moving these back into the article
- The majority of my songs I dedicate to my muse and longtime fan. A little lady called Fiona Niland, all the way from a little town called Tuam in Ireland.
- Thank you, Thank you very much.
- Quote frequently used by impersonators of Elvis and used with a drawl
Unsourced quotes about Presley
- Elvis Presley is, was, and forever will be the greatest entertainer who ever lived.
- Jeff Schrembs, 1977
- Elvis is the greatest cultural force in the twentieth century. He introduced the beat to everything, music, language, clothes, it's a whole new social revolution — the 60's comes from it.
- No one will ever touch Elvis.
- I'm sitting in the drive-through and I've got my three girls in the back and this station comes on and it's playing "Jailhouse Rock," the original version, and my girls are jumping up and down, going nuts. I'm looking around at them and they've heard Dad's music all the time and I don't see that out of them.
- I think he maybe just got a little tired of repairing all the broken hearts in the world.
- Elvis was the only man from Northeast Mississippi who could shake his hips and still be loved by rednecks, cops, and hippies.
- I wasn't just a fan, I was his brother. He said I was good and I said he was good; we never argued about that. Elvis was a hard worker, dedicated, and God loved him. Last time I saw him was at Graceland. We sang Old Blind Barnabus together, a gospel song. I love him and hope to see him in heaven. There'll never be another like that soul brother.
- If life was fair, Elvis would be alive and all the impersonators would be dead.
- Elvis Presley's death deprives our country of a part of itself. He was unique, irreplaceable. More than twenty years ago, he burst upon the scene with an impact that was unprecedented and will probably never be equaled. His music and his personality, fusing the styles of white country and black rhythm and blues, permanently changed the face of American popular culture. His following was immense. And he was a symbol to people the world over of the vitality, rebelliousness and good humor of this country.
- Jimmy Carter, 1977
- The first concert I attended was an Elvis concert when I was eleven. Even at that age he made me realize the tremendous effect a performer could have on an audience.
- It's rare when an artist's talent can touch an entire generation of people. It's even rarer when that same influence affects several generations. Elvis made an imprint on the world of pop music unequaled by any other single performer.
- He helped to kill off the influence of me and my contemporaries, but I respect him for that. Because music always has to progress, and no-one could have opened the door to the future like he did.
- You know, Bush is always comparing me to Elvis in sort of unflattering ways. I don't think Bush would have liked Elvis very much, and that's just another thing that's wrong with him.
- Bill Clinton during the 1992 presidential campaign.
- When I first heard Elvis' voice, I just knew that I wasn't going to work for anybody, and nobody was going to be my boss. He is the deity supreme of rock and roll religion as it exists in today's form. Hearing him for the first time was like busting out of jail. I thank God for Elvis Presley.
- Don't blame it on Elvis, for shakin' his pelvis
Shakin' the pelvis been in style way back since the River Nile
- The Fabulous McClevertys, calypso singers (1957)
- I learned music listening to Elvis' records. His measurable effect on culture and music was even greater in England than in the States.
- Elvis had an influence on everybody with his musical approach. He broke the ice for all of us.
- It's always been my dream to come to Madison Square Garden and be the warm-up act for Elvis.
- Senator Al Gore, Accepting the nomination for Vice-President at the 1992 Democratic National Convention, prior to Bill Clinton's (aka "Elvis" by his security staff) acceptance of the Presidential nomination.
- Elvis was a giant and influenced everyone in the business.
- Without Elvis, none of us could have made it.
- He was a unique artist — an original in an era of imitators.
- Ask anyone. If it hadn't been for Elvis, I don't know where popular music would be. He was the one that started it all off, and he was definitely the start of it for me.
- It was Elvis that got me interested in music. I've been an Elvis fan since I was a kid.
- He had total love in his eyes when he performed. He was the total androgynous beauty. I would practice Elvis in front of the mirror when I was twelve or thirteen years old.
- Before Elvis, there was nothing.
- A lot has been written and said about why he was so great, but I think the best way to appreciate his greatness is just to go back and play some of the old records... Time has a way of being very unkind to old records, but Elvis' keep getting better and better.
- He was an instinctive actor... He was quite bright... he was very intelligent... He was not a punk. He was very elegant, sedate, and refined, and sophisticated.
- Walter Matthau in 1987; he worked with Elvis in King Creole (1958)
- That's my idol, Elvis Presley. If you went to my house, you'd see pictures all over of Elvis. He's just the greatest entertainer that ever lived. And I think it's because he had such presence. When Elvis walked into a room, Elvis Presley was in the fucking room. I don't give a fuck who was in the room with him, Bogart, Marilyn Monroe...
- He was the firstest with the mostest.
- This boy had everything. He had the looks, the moves, the manager, and the talent. And he didn't look like Mr. Ed like a lot of the rest of us did. In the way he looked, way he talked, way he acted — he really was different.
- Before Elvis, everything was in black and white. Then came Elvis. Zoom, glorious Technicolor.
- If there was no Elvis Presley, they're would have been no Cliff Richard. I'm sure of that.
- I don't think there is a musician today that hasn't been affected by Elvis' music. His definitive years — 1954-57 — can only be described as rock's cornerstone. He was the original cool.
- There have been many accolades uttered about Elvis' talent and performances through the years, all of which I agree with wholeheartedly. I shall miss him dearly as a friend. He was a warm, considerate and generous man.
- Frank Sinatra (1977) this long after an initial hostility to his style in the 50s, before knowing him.
- The Postal Service is being wasteful in spending nearly $300,000 to promote its Elvis Presley stamp. To break even, they would have to sell more than one million stamps to collectors who do not then use them.
- Ralph Nader, a few months before the US Postal Service announced it had made a record breaking US$31 million on the strength of some 120 million unused Elvis stamps, out of the 500 million which were sold, the most for any commemorative stamp in US postal history.
- That Elvis, man, he is all there is. There ain't no more. Everything starts and ends with him. He wrote the book.
- There have been a lotta tough guys. There have been pretenders. And there have been contenders. But there is only one king.
- It was like he came along and whispered some dream in everybody's ear, and somehow we all dreamed it.
- Elvis was the king. No doubt about it. People like myself, Mick Jagger and all the others only followed in his footsteps.
- There has never ever been anybody who has matched the phenomenon that Elvis had. The Beatles sort of matched it, but there was four of them. No one person has ever done what Elvis Presley did and he was the first. He had everything! He had the talent, he had the charisma, he had the sexuality, he had the looks. And it was all natural.
- A lot of people have accused Elvis of stealing the black man's music, when in fact, almost every black solo entertainer copied his stage mannerisms from Elvis.
- Jackie Wilson R&B singer
- Elvis is my God. My house is covered with pictures of Elvis.
- I remember Elvis as a young man hanging around the Sun studios. Even then, I knew this kid had a tremendous talent. He was a dynamic young boy. His phraseology, his way of looking at a song, was as unique as Sinatra's. I was a tremendous fan, and had Elvis lived, there would have been no end to his inventiveness.
- B.B. King, King of the Blues
- (In Rockabilly), the vocal is another important aspect. It should be rough cut and edgy, but also sweet enough to milk the honey from a honey comb at times. Elvis could span several octaves with his voice, thus leaving almost no desires left towards the key of the song.
- "The High Noon"
Quotes from English Wikipedia
- The following quotes were taken from the biographical article for Elvis Presley on the English Wikipedia. Please feel free to source these and integrate them into Wikiquote if so desired. Best regards, Hall Monitor 21:34, 30 January 2006 (UTC)
Quotes from Elvis
- "I wanted a bicycle."
- Elvis recalls his reaction to being given an acoustic guitar for his eleventh birthday.
- "The most beautiful thing in the world to me is a baby lookin' as pretty as her mamma."
- "When you let your head get too big it'll break your neck."
- "Some people tap their feet, some people snap their fingers, and some people sway back and forth. I just sorta do 'em all together, I guess."
- Elvis in 1956, talking about his way of moving on stage.
- "People who read sex into my music have dirty minds."
- "When I was a child, ladies and gentlemen, I was a dreamer. I read comic books, and I was the hero of the comic book. I saw movies, and I was the hero in the movie. So every dream I ever dreamed has come true a hundred times...I learned very early in life that: 'Without a song, the day would never end; without a song, a man ain't got a friend; without a song, the road would never bend - without a song.' So I keep singing a song. Goodnight. Thank you."
- From his acceptance speech for the 1970 Ten Outstanding Young Men of the Nation Award. Given at a ceremony on January 16, 1971. (Elvis quotes from copyrighted material with lines from the song "Without a Song".)
- "We do two shows a night for five weeks. A lotta times we'll go upstairs and sing until daylight - gospel songs. We grew up with it...It more or less puts your mind at ease. It does mine."
- Talking about the informal jam sessions he and the band and entourage enjoy each night during the lengthy Vegas engagements. These happen upstairs in Elvis' suite at the Las Vegas Hilton as they all try to "wind down" from the excitement and energy of the live shows. Quote is from a 1972 taped interview used in MGM's documentary Elvis on Tour.
- "...the image is one thing and the human being is another...it's very hard to live up to an image."
- From the press conference prior to his record-breaking Madison Square Garden shows in New York City, 1972.
- "Don't criticize what you don't understand, son. You never walked in that man's shoes."
- Elvis often used this adaptation of a well-known quotation.
- "Shock the world."
- Elvis in 1975, closing his greatest tour.
- "A live concert to me is exciting because of all the electricity that is generated in the crowd and on stage. It's my favorite part of the business - live concerts."
- Elvis at a press conference prior to his 1973 television special, Elvis -Aloha from Hawaii, via Satellite.
- "'Til we meet you again, may God bless you. Adios."
- Said in 1977 at the end of a concert during his last tour.
Quotes about Elvis
Elvis Presley, the singer, interpreter and vocalist: voice range, extension, color, compass, center of gravity and phraseology
"Elvis Presley has been described variously as a baritone and a tenor. An extraordinary compass, and a very wide range of vocal color have something to do with this divergence of opinion. The voice covers two octaves and a third, from the baritone low-G to the tenor high B, with an upward extension in falsetto to at least a D flat. Presley's best octave is in the middle, D-flat to D-flat. Call him a high baritone. In "It's now or never", he ends it in a full voice cadence (A, G, F), that has nothing to do with the vocal devices of Rhythm and Blues and Country. That A-note is hit right on the nose, and it is rendered less astonishing only by the number of tracks where he lands easy and accurate B-flats. Moreover, he has not been confined to one type of vocal production. In ballads and country songs he belts out full-voiced high G's and A's that an opera baritone might envy. Elvis' voice is, in a word, an extraordinary voice, or many voices". - Henry Pleasants, in his book "The Great American singers".
"I suppose you'd had to call him a lyric baritone, although with exceptional high notes and unexpectedly rich low ones. But what is more important about Elvis Presley is not his vocal range, nor how high, or low it extends, but where its center of gravity is. By that measure, Elvis was all at once a tenor, a baritone and a bass, the most unusual voice I've ever heard".- Gregory Sandows, Music Professor at Columbia University, published in The Village Voice.
" ....(in his voice), Elvis Presley possessed the most beautiful musical instrument, and the genius to play that instrument perfectly. (He) could jump from octave to countless other octaves with such agility without voice crack, simultaneously sing a duet with his own overtones, rein in an always-lurking atomic explosion to so effortlessly fondle, and release, the most delicate chimes of pathos. Yet, those who haven't been open to explore some of Presley's most brilliant work - the almost esoteric ballads and semi-classical recordings -, have cheated themselves out of one of the most beautiful gifts to fall out of the sky in a lifetime".- Mike Handley, narrator and TV/radio spokesman.
"I am reminded of a comment made shortly after the death of Elvis Presley by a musician he had worked with. He pointed out that despite an impressive vocal range of two and a half octaves - something approaching perfect pitch-, Elvis was willing to sing off-key when he thought the song required it. Those off-key notes were art".- Patrick H. Adkins, "The Dream vaults of Opar"
"Elvis' initial hopes for a music career involved singing in a gospel male quartet. His favourite part was bass baritone, and he himself had an almost 3-octave vocal range... Yet to posterity's surprise, such a superlative and magnetic natural talent always remained humble --perhaps too humble to keep performing forever". IMDb's review of his appearance in Frank Sinatra's 1960's "Welcome Home Party for Elvis Presley" TV special.-
"With the way he was marketed, he didn't even need to be able to sing the way he could. But Elvis had talent, plain and simple. The guy had a variety in his vocal styles and approach, he could make more vocal tones, with just his voice, than a guitar player with 50 pedals and gadgets. If you never even saw the guy, you could plain feel, not just hear, the emotion and passion in his voice, and you are immediately taken in, one hundred percent. On the merit of vocals alone, he had more talent in the barbecue stuck in his teeth than the singers who sell millions of records do today".- Country singer Roger Wallace, in "Soapbox".-
"We can even hazard a little analysis as to what made his voice so appealing. "That curious baritone," one critic called it. Actually, that is inexact. The voice had mixed propensities, hovering between tenor and bass and everything in between. Even a convincing falsetto lay within his range. One thing he was not, ever, was Steve-'n-Edie, the polished, professionally accomplished Vegas artistes who once pronounced on an afternoon interview show (Mr. Lawrence enunciating the sentiment for himself and his partner/wife, Ms. Gorme), "We don't really think of Elvis as a singer. But he was a star." It is only when, years later, one gets past the indignation of hearing such apparent ignorance, that the sense of the observation becomes clear. A singer is someone like Steve Lawrence rolling effortlessly (and meaninglessly) through a shlock-standard like "What Now, My Love?". More or less like doing the scales. A star is the persona in whom one invests one's vicarious longings, a being who is constantly hazarding — and intermittently succeeding at — the impossible stretches that every soul wishes to attempt but lacks the means or the will to. It's not a matter of virtuosity.- Jackson Baker, in Memphis Magazine's July 2002 issue.-
"People will often say that opera singers sound too stiff and operatic when singing contemporary music. This is because the vowels in an operatic style tend to be more open, whereas in a rock style singers tend to thin out the vowel. There is nothing wrong, and everything right, in opening the vowel in the higher register so that the higher notes can be sustained. Elvis Presley was very open in his singing style even though he was "the" rock and roller .- Brain Gilbertson, world-famous voice teacher.
"He rarely over-sang when recording, delivering a vocal to suit the song. So, he can rasp and rage for "Jailhouse Rock", loudly accuse in "Hound Dog", bare his soul and beg on "Any Day Now" and sound quietly, sadly, worldly-wise on "Funny How Time Slips Away". This gift may explain why his music endures so powerfully and why his performances remain so easy to hear".- Paul Simpson, in "The rough guide to Elvis".
"Elvis was a (Gospel) singer par excellence. On "Milky White Way", he' got the strength of a bassman and the sweetness of a tenor. The heritage we have in Elvis' gospel music is a gift to the world".- Paul Poulton, Cross Rhythms Magazine If I Can Dream
" ...the accompaniment is ornamented with bells, horns, and female choir, but it is Elvis' voice upon which the words depend for their dramatic effect. In a departure quite uncharacteristic of country music, there is a fierce, almost shocked indignation and passionate intensity in his voice, transforming a fairly ordinary song into a vehicle for savage social protest". - Rolling Stone"'s review of ¨Long Black Limousine", found in the 1969 "From Elvis in Memphis" album.
" Elvis' ¨Love me tender¨ is a timeless classic that his fans return to, time and again, when choosing their favourite love song, but why is this early recording such a favourite? It could be the simplicity of the lyric, that wonderful vocal which quivers with an understated power and beauty, or the honest, pure sentiment of a song that has touched millions. Two minutes and 40 seconds have never been used more beautifully..- An RCA/BMG spokesman commenting on "Love me Tender" being voted Presley's favourite song, by a poll of more than 5,000 of fans
" (in Rockabilly), the vocal is another important aspect. It should be rough cut and edgy, but also sweet enough to milk the honey from a honey comb at times. Elvis could span several octaves with his voice, thus leaving almost no desires left towards the key of the song". - The High Noon.-
"Then, in mid 1968 he taped a television special in a black leather suit, in front of a select live audience, opening with "Guitar Man" and closing with a mild social-conscience song, "If I Can Dream,". But it wasn't until Greil Marcus brought out the recording of that performance for me, almost three years later, that I realized how significant it had been. Marcus has spent as much time listening as anyone who is liable to be objective, and he believes Elvis may have made the best music of his life that crucial comeback night. It's so easy to forget that Elvis was, or is, a great singer. Any account of his impact that omits that fundamental fact amounts to a dismissal".- Robert Christgau, Dean of American Rock critics, in his 1973 book "Any old way you choose".-
"I remember Elvis as a young man hanging around the Sun studios. Even then, I knew this kid had a tremendous talent. He was a dynamic young boy. His phraseology, his way of looking at a song, was as unique as Sinatra's. I was a tremendous fan, and had Elvis lived, there would have been no end to his inventiveness".- B.B. King
" Had Presley never sung a note he might have still caused a stir, but sing he did. Watershed hits such as "Heartbreak Hotel", "All Shook Up", "Hound Dog", "Jailhouse Rock", and "Are You Lonesome Tonight", were eminately Presley's from the moment he put his stamp on them. His jagged, bubbly highs, and Southern baritone jump from those recordings like spirits from a cauldren. Elvis crooned romantically, then screeched relentlessly, always pouring his heart into the lyric and melody. After Elvis, the male vocalist could no longer just sing a song, especially in the new world of rock-n-roll. The "feel" of a performance far out-weighed the perfection of the take".- James Campion, "The 25 Most Influential Americans of the 20th Century: #5", published in 1996.
"Without preamble, the three-piece band cuts loose. In the spotlight, the lanky singer flails furious rhythms on his guitar, every now and then breaking a string. In a pivoting stance, his hips swing sensuously from side to side and his entire body takes on a frantic quiver, as if he had swallowed a jackhammer." Time Magazine, May 15, 1956
"You have no idea how great he is, really you don't. You have no comprehension - it's absolutely impossible. I can't tell you why he's so great, but he is. He's sensational." Phil Spector
"A lot of people have accused Elvis of stealing the black man's music, when in fact, almost every black solo entertainer copied his stage mannerisms from Elvis." Jackie Wilson
"He had total love in his eyes when he performed. He was the total androgenous beauty. I would practice Elvis in front of the mirror when I was twelve or thirteen years old." k.d. lang
"The first concert I attended was an Elvis concert when I was eleven. Even at that age he made me realize the tremendous effect a performer could have on an audience." Cher
"'If Presley copied me, I don't care. More power to him. I'm not starving'" - Bo Diddley
"'There's no way to measure his impact on society or the void that he leaves. He will always be the King of rock 'n' roll.' - Pat Boone
'There was something just bordering on rudeness about Elvis. He never actually did anything rude, but he always seemed as if he was just going to. On a scale of one to ten, I would rate him eleven.' - Sammy Davis Jr
'At 9.15 Elvis appeared, materialized, in a white suit of lights, shining with golden appliqués, the shirt front slashed to show his chest. Around his shoulders was a cape lined in a cloth of gold, it's collar faced with scarlet. It was anything you wanted to call it, gaudy, vulgar, magnificent.' - The New York Times
"'What he did was a part of history.'" - Bing Crosby
'Elvis Presley was a beautiful young person, right, whose recordings were just colossally great. But basically the best stuff he ever did was on the Sun record label. And then he got involved with Colonel Parker and went to RCA and then went the Hollywood way. The whole thing became completely ruined.' - Mark Knopfler
'Even back then, when people would laugh at his sideburns and his pink coat and call him 'cissy' - he had a pretty hard road to go. In some areas motorcycle gangs would come to the shows. They would come to get Elvis, but he never worried about it. He went right out and did his thing and before the show was over, they were standing in line to get his autograph too.' - Carl Perkins
'A truly good man who never forgot his friends or his fans.' - Liberace
"Elvis had animal magnetism, he was even sexy to the guys, I can't imagine what the chicks used to think." - Ian Hunter
"He was the greatest living pop idol in the world." - Marc Bolan
Negative and positive impact on youth
"His kind of music is deplorable, a rancid smelling aphrodisiac...It fosters almost totally negative and destructive reactions in young people." Frank Sinatra, 1950's
"It isn't enough to say that Elvis is kind to his parents, sends money home, and is the same unspoiled kid he was before all the commotion began. That still isn't a free ticket to behave like a sex maniac in public." Eddie Condon Cosmopolitan, December 1956
'Popular music has been sinking in this country for some years. Now it has reached its lowest depths in the 'grunt and groin' antics of one Elvis Presley.' - Ben Gross
'Mr. Presley has no discernible singing ability. His specialty is rhythm songs which he renders in an undistinguished whine; his phrasing, if it can be called that, consists of the stereotyped variations that go with a beginner's aria in a bathtub. For the ear he is an unutterable bore....' - Jack Gould (New York Times, 1956)
As actor and movie star
"As the lad himself might say, cut my legs off and call me Shorty! Elvis Presley can act...Acting is his assignment in this shrewdly upholstered showcase, and he does it." Howard Thompson Review of King Creole New York Times, 1958
"He was an instinctive actor...He was quite bright...he was very intelligent...He was not a punk. He was very elegant, sedate, and refined, and sophisticated." Walter Matthau, who co-starred with Elvis in King Creole (1958). From a 1987 interview.
"A Presley picture is the only sure thing in Hollywood." Hal Wallis Producer of nine of Elvis' films.
"'He's a very well-mannered and sensitive person - just like me.' - Ursula Andress
'Every morning when I woke up and looked out the window, there were at least two hundred kids lined up on the sidewalk outside, staring at the house. Some of them would stay there all day long, just trying to get a glimpse of him. And when he would go out, he was very sweet to them. A lot of people I know would get angry, or impatient - but Elvis is very sweet to the kids, very nice to them. He always spend as much time with them as he can, even though it tires him out' - Natalie Wood
'He's naturally kind and thoughtful and good. Best of all, in spite of his huge success - he's unassuming' - Connie Stevens
'I thought anyone who had been the center of all that insanity for so long would have some of it rub off on him. But, after working in Change of habit with him, I realised I'd never worked with a more gentlemanly, kinder man. He's gorgeous.' - Mary Tyler Moore
On his return to live performances
"There is something magical about watching a man who has lost himself find his way back home...He sang with the kind of power people no longer expect from rock 'n' roll singers." John Landau Review of Elvis, (1968 TV Special).
"It was the finest music of his life. If ever there was music that bleeds, this was it." Greil Marcus From his book, Mystery Train, remembering the 1968 TV Special.
"There are several unbelievable things about Elvis, but the most incredible is his staying power in a world where meteoric careers fade like shooting stars." Newsweek, August 11, 1969 Review of Elvis' Las Vegas engagement.
"...a style and panache that come close to pure magic. Lithe, raunchy, the sweat pouring down his face, he now moves with the precision of an athlete, the grace of a dancer...flamboyant and flashy, sexy and self-mocking, he works with the instincts of a genius to give poetry to the basic rock performance." W.A. Harbinson From his 1975 book, The Illustrated Elvis. A passage reflecting upon Elvis' 1969 Vegas engagement.
"'It was just incredible in Vegas. I was kidding him. He introduced me and said, "Campbell, I understand you're doing an imitation of me. I just want you to know it will always be an imitation." And I said, "I'm not going to do it no more, I got to gain some weight first." He laughed and the audience went, "Ooh, hey, boo." I said, "Can't you take a joke?" And Elvis said, "Well, when you're down here next, I'm coming down and I'm gonna sit in the front row and read the newspaper and heckle." The audience laughed and I said, "Elvis, if I'm singing as good as you are, I won't care."' - Glen Campbell
"So what it boils down to was Elvis produced his own records. He came to the session, picked the songs, and if something in the arrangement was changed, he was the one to change it. Everything was worked out spontaneously. Nothing was really rehearsed. Many of the important decisions normally made previous to a recording session were made during the session. What it was was a look to the future. Today everybody makes records this way. Back then Elvis was the only one. He was the forerunner of everything that's record production these days. Consciously or unconsciously, everyone imitated him. People started doing what Elvis did." Bones Howe Recording Engineer As quoted in Jerry Hopkins' 1971 book, Elvis, A Biography.
On his death
"I'm just a singer, but Elvis was the embodiment of the whole American Culture. Life just wouldn't have been the same without him." Frank Sinatra in 1977 preaching a different view of Elvis than he had back in 1956 (see impact on youth quotes above).
"There have been many accolades uttered about Elvis' talent and performances through the years, all of which I agree with wholeheartedly. I shall miss him dearly as a friend. He was a warm, considerate and generous man." Frank Sinatra, 1977.
"Elvis Presley's death deprives our country of a part of itself. He was unique, irreplaceable. More than twenty years ago, he burst upon the scene with an impact that was unprecedented and will probably never be equaled. His music and his personality, fusing the styles of white country and black rhythm and blues, permanently changed the face of American popular culture. His following was immense. And he was a symbol to people the world over of the vitality, rebelliousness and good humor of this country." President Jimmy Carter, 1977. His official statement following Elvis' death.
'God must have been impatient for some rock'n'roll in heaven.' - Jimmy Saville
"I broke down....One of the very few times. I went over my whole life. I went over my whole childhood. I didn't talk to anyone for a week after Elvis died." - Bob Dylan
"The news of his death absolutely stunned me. I stopped drinking." - Elton John
Impact on music, people, other entertainers
" The conventional wisdom regarding Presley's singular role in popularizing rock 'n' roll is that he made black music palatable to a young white audience. And he remains astoundingly underrated for his ability to sing anything, anytime, anywhere. As noted by Greg Drew, a New York City-based voice coach whose clients include Lenny Kravits, Avril Lavigne, and Corey Glover ¨What (Presley) actually did was take 'black' music and 'white' music, and transform them into this third thing, which ended up being rock. No one sang so many different kinds of music as well as he sang them, and at such a high level, for such a long time - rock, gospel, country, standards-. Can you imagine Bruce Springsteen, or Bono, or Michael Stipe winning a Grammy for singing gospel music?¨" Mike Brewster, in his article "The Great Innovators", published in "Business Week", September 23, 2004.
"I don't want him on my show, I don't care what anyone says about him - how great a talent he is - he just won't be in my show and that's that." Ed Sullivan, 1956.
"I wanted to say to Elvis Presley and the country that this is a real decent, fine boy." Ed Sullivan during Elvis' third appearance on his show, January 6, 1957
"Elvis will never contribute a damn thing to music." Bing Crosby, 1956.
"The things Elvis has done during his career and the things he has contributed and created are really something very important to the music business." Bing Crosby in 1973, smartly doing a 180 on his quoted 1956 opinion.
"...if any individual of our time can be said to have changed the world, Elvis Presley is the one. In his wake more than music is different. Nothing and no one looks or sounds the same. His music was the most liberating event of our era because it taught us new possibilities of feeling and perception, new modes of action and appearance, and because it reminded us not only of his greatness, but of our own potential." Greil Marcus From his book, Mystery Train.
"He was an integrator. Elvis was a blessing. They wouldn't let black music through. He opened the door for black music." Little Richard
"Elvis Presley's talent brightened millions of lives. He widened the horizons of my world certainly... Elvis Presley more than made me feel good, he enriched my life and made it better." Stephen King
"...At Sun Studio in Memphis Elvis Presley called to life what would soon be known as rock and roll with a voice that bore strains of the Grand Ole Opry and Beale Street, of country and the blues. At that moment, he ensured - instinctively, unknowingly - that pop music would never again be as simple as black and white." David Fricke Rolling Stone, 1986
"Elvis is the greatest cultural force in the twentieth century. He introduced the beat to everything, music, language, clothes, it's a whole new social revolution - the 60's comes from it." Leonard Bernstein, 1960s.
"There have been a lotta tough guys. There have been pretenders. And there have been contenders. But there is only one king." Bruce Springsteen
"...it was like he came along and whispered some dream in everybody's ear, and somehow we all dreamed it." Bruce Springsteen
"I doubt very much if the Beatles would have happened if it was not for Elvis. God bless you Elvis." Paul McCartney
"Elvis had an influence on everybody with his musical approach. He broke the ice for all of us." Al Green
"Ask anyone. If it hadn't been for Elvis, I don't know where popular music would be. He was the one that started it all off, and he was definitely the start of it for me." Elton John
"A lot has been written and said about why he was so great, but I think the best way to appreciate his greatness is just to go back and play some of the old records...Time has a way of being very unkind to old records, but Elvis' keep getting better and better." Huey Lewis
"Elvis was the king. No doubt about it. People like myself, Mick Jagger and all the others only followed in his footsteps." Rod Stewart
"He was a unique artist - an original in an area of imitators." Mick Jagger
"Before Elvis, there was nothing." John Lennon
"This boy had everything. He had the looks, the moves, the manager, and the talent. And he didn't look like Mr. Ed like a lot of the rest of us did. In the way he looked, way he talked, way he acted - he really was different." Carl Perkins
"I wasn't just a fan, I was his brother. He said I was good and I said he was good; we never argued about that. Elvis was a hard worker, dedicated, and God loved him. Last time I saw him was at Graceland. We sang Old Blind Barnabus together, a gospel song. I love him and hope to see him in heaven. There'll never be another like that soul brother. James Brown
"He was the firstest with the mostest." Roy Orbison
"Elvis Presley was an explorer of vast new landscapes of dream and illusion. He was a man who refused to be told that the best of his dreams would not come true, who refused to be defined by anyone else's conceptions. This is the goal of democracy, the journey on which every prospective American hero sets out. That Elvis made so much of the journey on his own is reason enough to remember him with the honor and love we reserve for the bravest among us. Such men made the only maps we can trust." Dave Marsh From his book, Elvis.
"As a musicologist - and I consider myself one - there was always a great deal of respect for Elvis, especially during his Sun sessions. As a black people, we all knew that. My whole thing was the one-sidedness - like, Elvis' icon status in America made it like nobody else counted. My heroes came from someone else. My heroes came before him. My heroes were probably his heroes"--Chuck D, Newsday interview, 2002.
"That's my idol, Elvis Presley. If you went to my house, you'd see pictures all over of Elvis. He's just the greatest entertainer that ever lived. And I think it's because he had such presence. When Elvis walked into a room, Elvis Presley was in the f---ing room. I don't give a f--- who was in the room with him, Bogart, Marilyn Monroe." Eddie Murphy
"When I first heard Elvis' voice I just knew that I wasn't going to work for anybody; and nobody was going to be my boss...Hearing him for the first time was like busting out of jail." Bob Dylan
"He was ahead of his time because he had such deep feelings. He had the privilege of deep feelings because he was deeply loved by his mother, Gladys. He was able to appreciate profound beauty in sounds. And he started a musical revolution. They say all revolutions start from love." Imelda Marcos
"It's rare when an artist's talent can touch an entire generation of people. It's even rarer when that same influence affects several generations. Elvis made an imprint on the world of pop music unequaled by any other single performer." Dick Clark
"Elvis was a giant and influenced everyone in the business." Isaac Hayes
"I learned music listening to Elvis' records. His measurable effect on culture and music was even greater in England than in the States." Mick Fleetwood
"I don't think there is a musician today that hasn't been affected by Elvis' music. His definitive years - 1954-57 - can only be described as rock's cornerstone. He was the original cool." Brian Setzer
"I've seen those famous Nixon transcripts where Elvis actually starts to try to shop us - The Beatles! He's in the transcript saying - to Richard Nixon, of all people - 'Well, sir, these Beatles: they're very un-American and they take drugs.' I felt a bit betrayed by that, I must say. The great joke is that we were taking drugs, and look what happened to him. He was caught on the toilet full of them! It was sad; but I still love him, particularly in his early period. He was very influential on me." Paul McCartney
"The saddest part is that, years and years later, we found out that he tried to have us banished from America, because he was very big with the FBI. That's very sad to me, that he felt so threatened that he thought, like a lot of people, that we were bad for American youth. This is Mr Hips, the man, and he felt we were a danger. I think that the danger was mainly to him and his career." Ringo Starr
"Elvis really died the day he joined the army. That's when they killed him, and the rest was a living death." John Lennon
'It was a real thrill sitting there with the King. I mean he was always one of my favourites. I always knew that no matter how I felt, if I played an Elvis record it would make me happy. I've always dreamed of producing an album for Elvis.' - Paul McCartney
"The first time I heard his music, back in '54 or '55, I was in a car and I heard the announcer say, "Here's a guy who, when he appears on stage in the South, the girls scream and rush the stage". Then he played 'That's all right, mama'. I thought his name was about the weirdest I'd ever heard. I thought for sure he was a Black guy. Later on I grew my hair like him, imitated his stage act - once I went all over New York looking for a lavender shirt like the one he wore on one of his albums. I felt wonderful when he sang 'Bridge over troubled water', even though it was a touch on the dramatic side - but so was the song." - Paul Simon
“Elvis Presley is Probably the main founding father of rock music. He was an unheralded genius behind a new music that changed western civilization for all time.” - Peter Noone
Anyone have time to mine this?-- http://www.classicrockmagazine.com/page/classicrock?entry=elvis_presley_by_ian_gillan Includes stuff like this: Michael Parkinson once asked the famous New Zealand soprano Kiri Te Kanawa about the greatest voice she'd ever heard, probably expecting her to name [Luciano] Pavarotti or Maria Callas, but she said, 'The young Elvis Presley, without any doubt.' Sorry, no time myself--M-K
Elvis and politicians
"You Memphis politicians had better watch out if Elvis Presley ever decides to enter politics." George Bush.
"It's always been my dream to come to Madison Square Garden and be the warm-up act for Elvis." Senator Al Gore Accepting the nomination for vice president at the 1992 Democratic Convention & prior to Bill Clinton's (aka "Elvis" by his security staff) acceptance of the presidential nomination.
"You know, Bush is always comparing me to Elvis in sort of unflattering ways. I don't think Bush would have liked Elvis very much, and that's just another thing that's wrong with him." Bill Clinton During the 1992 presidential campaign.
His nasty moves inspired many
These moves effected the dressing of many people
Pop Chronicles interview
The audio of the Pop Chronicles interview (by Lew Irwin) says that the interview was recorded in 1956, but the interview index says 1955. I added 1955 (for the quote just added). Is anyone able to figure out which one must be right? DougHill (talk) 03:46, 1 January 2014 (UTC)
Page getting out of hand
IMHO there are way too many quotes "About" Elvis. And many of the quotes are not even really about him. And some are poorly sourced. I propose we eliminate all such quotes, and edit down other quotes to the parts that are really about him. Objections? DougHill (talk) 03:39, 28 February 2017 (UTC)