Art With Impact: The Case of Elvis Presley

Blue Electric Guitar Isolated on White Background

Running errands this weekend, I happily discovered Elvis Radio, a Sirius XM channel devoted to the music and life of the iconic Mr. Presley.  Eager for a continued walk down memory lane, I spent part of the afternoon (post chores) listening to him croon Fever, Can’t Help Falling in Love, If I Can Dream and much more. His catalogue of hits is so big that it’s hard to single out one or two as favorites. Click here for iTune‘s tally.

Elvis Presley had fans around the world, including other famous entertainers. Singer-songwriter Mac Davis said “Every performer who ever performed in rock and roll or even close to it is lying if they tell you that they weren’t influenced in some way or another by Elvis Presley. He turned the world around.” Celine Dion called him the “greatest entertainer of all time.” Rolling Stone Magazine refers to Presley’s artistic accomplishments as “unparalleled.”

The numbers reflect his continuing popularity. According to the Graceland website devoted to all things Elvis, he has sold over one billion records and boasts “no less than 149 songs to appear on Billboard’s Hot 100 Pop Chart in America,” with 114 in the top forty, 40 in the top ten and 18 number one hits. Even after his untimely death on August 16, 1977 at age 42, the legacy of this mover and shaker (literally and figuratively) lives on, tugging at our heartstrings as we ponder where we were when we first heard Jailhouse Rock, Kentucky Rain and countless other foot-tapping melodies.

There’s a lot to be said for creating a body of work that remains timeless and enjoyed by generations, old and young. In this real way, Elvis Presley and those whose work keeps giving serve as great role models for artists who want to make a difference with their creations.