Elvis Ignited: The Rise of an Icon in Florida

  • ISBN-13: 9780813062303
From Hillbilly Cat to the King of Rock and Roll   "I don't think there was a better time and place to be a teenager than in Florida in the 1950s. It was such a magical place. Elvis is part of what contributed to that excitement."--Bob Graham, former Florida governor and United States senator   "Kealing tells us the story of what happened when Elvis arrived in Florida and what role the Sunshine State played in his life and musical career. This is a critical era in the Elvis Saga."--William McKeen, editor of Rock and Roll Is Here to Stay: An Anthology   "Presents a great picture of what it was like to be a touring musician in the 1950s and also of Florida at the time and how the culture was changed by the shock of Elvis."--Joy Wallace Dickinson, author of Remembering Orlando: Tales from Elvis to Disney                                                                                                                       It was his most electric and influential time as a live performer. The young and hungry Elvis, the rising star, burst onto stages large and small--sexy, controversial, brimming with talent and ambition. One lightning-hot year in Florida fueled his rise from novelty act to headlining megastar.            Elvis Ignited follows the immensely talented performer through his four tumultuous Florida tours in fifteen months spanning 1955-1956. In 1956, his most crucial and transformative year, Presley played more live shows in Florida than in any other state in the country becoming the object of worship, scorn, and controversy. Kealing spotlights intriguing back stories of Floridians like Presley's controversial manager Tom Parker and Mae Axton, who penned The King's first national breakout hit. Kealing follows the back roads travelled by Presley, Scotty Moore and Bill Black,interviews people who saw them up close recalling the time-stands-still memories of hearing Presley's hit songs for the first time and the shrieks of young fans at the sight of the young rockabilly god. Kealing reveals little-known historic sites in Florida tied to Presley's rise. Struck by a new kind of music and performances so different from anything they had known before, Floridians saw how special Elvis was before the rest of the world caught on. Kealing continues the story through Elvis's years in the army and the filming of Follow that Dream in Florida in 1961. Elvis's rise to fame in the Sunshine State was a turning point in American music history. It was the arrival of rock and roll.

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