In 1956, Elvis Presley was 50% – half – of RCA America’s earnings.
From 1956 to 1977, Elvis Presley was the highest tax paying American and he never voted, and very rarely did he ever express political opinions.
The stand out exceptions being:
1. “Peace in the Valley” is the only sacred performance in the entire run of the Ed Sullivan Variety Program on behalf of the 1950s Hungarian revolution – but more usually spun as a promise to his mother.
2. Ottawa Canada Interview in which Elvis stated he could not imagine an America where fun was ended under communism and Christians denounced Elvis from the 1950s, freaked out when he recorded the Catholic hymn miracle of the roseary and deemed his karate suspect… christianity being the very kill joy.
3. 68 TV Special – If I Can Dream
4. In The Ghetto
I also suggest several of his movie songs were about social class ware, as were all of the hillbilly movies.
Elvis in the movies was generally surrounded by ethnically diverse performers and is records distributed around the world is kinda why a lot of people learned English.
RCA learned that there was no limit to how many times the same Elvis product could be sold and re-sold and all new physical formats get an Elvis release to test the viability of the format.
Elvis Presley didn’t just make himself and The Col a pile of money.
Elvis Presley stimulated the economy across the entertainment and distribution systems, employing sectors of people.
His songs are sold and resold, packaged with every known take and snippets of studio banter (I am not complaining – am just explaining – I have amassed an astonishing collection)
His singles, albums, new collections, collector label and mass market, sell and resell.
With bare minimum marketing that to this day, relies on fandom rather than media marketing as every other performer got and gets.
His movies were made in an era of First Run, Second Run and then Art house and University Campuses.. by the 1970s and the invention of tv syndication: the final humilation Midnight Movie and Saturday matinee.
It’s how I saw almost every Elvis movie as the advent of the VCR – Video Cassette Recorder (the infamous VHS vs Beta) which is why now, Blu Ray is the last physical format we buy, eh!
Elvis movies were dropped onto the rental and home owning without any of the extras that other comparable movies got – trailers. In the DVD age, Elvis movie remain on megre minimums. a few titles get a deluxe release.
During his film decade he did 3 movies a year, plus LP and singles releases, most from the movies – Elvis getting double paid for the same workhorse and conventional era until – Elvis reinvented himself on TV – silver screen to small screen, tv was radio with pictures and where the nation watched him earn them. 1956 and 1968 and 1973 when the tv capable world was watching and given re-broadcasts and sales, it is the most watched solo concert of all time. Broadcast into space to represent our planet even.
In the middle 1960’s one of the bottom 5 Elvis Flicks – Tickle Me, saved the iconic studio United Artists – created in the silent era to ensure artistic merit and quality.
Elvis Presley was the first on screen performer to get a cut of the box office and his cut was 50% Plus the lump sum, plus you had to underwrite Col Parker and hire Memphis Mafia to do movie work.
Elvis Presley was the only lead actor – above the line – to never have script approval.
Anyway, United Artists was saved by Elvis in Tickle Me – Elvis’ Abbot & Costello low and he meets The Wolfman.
United Artists recovered for a while.
Elvis Presley turned down the 3rd Star is Born and Kris Kristopherson – onscreen martyr deaths were his specialty.
It was Kristopherson in Heaven’s Gate that ended United Artists – the problem of the Director Auteur Theory and inflated egos and run away budgets.
The history of United Artists | Film | The Guardian
Elvis success was RCA’s success and that financed technology advances and other artists.
Elvis movie success was Hollywood’s success and they churn through celebs at all life stages, then make shows about it, eh.
Anyway.. art imitates life and death informs life – which is why we gather what we may
After death, Elvis Impersonators have become as priests and that is whole spin off industry.
But mostly importantly, Elvis Presley set in motion Elvis Presley Enterprises.
Which has taken the concepts of copyright and trademarks beyond artistic works, unto the person, and likeness be graven with holographic authentications.
Copyright material vs Public Domain.. Silver Screen Heros or Folk Heros.
It was a serious hit to the American economy when Elvis was drafted – the loss of taxation revenue combined with the cost of security…
related off site:
How Elvis Presley Ushered in the Era of Teen Consumer Culture