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The woman without whom "there would be no Elvis Presley."

"Without Marion Keisker, there would be no Elvis Presley..."

How Marion Keisker made Elvis Presley a legend.

Of course, it's universally acclaimed impossibly. Even icons of the calibre Elvis Presley wasn't everyone's cup of tea. He is known as one of the most popular and best-selling musicians of all time, but as he made a name for himself, his "obscene shenanigans" on stage provoked fierce opposition from a more conservative society... In August 1956, a popular American magazine of the time published "exposé report" about the man the world today knows as the king of rock 'n' roll. Specifically, it said (small excerpt):

"Presley is a nightmare. On stage, all his spins, smirks and other gestures are vulgar! He drove rock 'n' roll to new sales heights. But he also brought the music industry to new lows in taste..."

Elvis Presley.
Elvis Presley.

Fame was pretty mixed for Presley, but regardless of what the critics and media said, they certainly couldn't stop talking about him. Today, Presley's name is so well known that it's hard to imagine him as an aspiring musician making his first nervous recordings that would eventually lead an ordinary guy from Mississippi to worldwide fame... Nevertheless, there's one person to thank for his earliest recordings Elvis. And that's Marion Keisker.

A bit of backstory: a brilliant debut on Sun Records

Elvis Presley
Elvis Presley

King's followers and fans know that it was his first recording contract with the Sun Recordsand it was quite by accident. And it all started when in April 1953, Elvis performed "Till I Waltz Again with You." at the annual school festival.

"Nobody even knew I sang. It's amazing how popular I became after that at school..."

Elvis Presley
Elvis Presley

Later that year, Presley joined Memphis Recording Service, a recording studio owned by the Sam Phillipsthe owner of the label Sun Records. He was emboldened by a bold goal: to sign up, and thus begin to develop his name.

Preliminary sessions did not bring him a contract, but Phillips saw a glimmer of hope in the young man and asked him to return. Elvis owed much of his success to his guitarist Scotty MoorooThe Sun Records owner's mind "put the puzzle together" when he heard it. Along with Moore and bassist Bill Black - two other local talents - Presley recorded his first, earliest hit. "That's All Right, Mama."which, although it was a cover, quickly caught the attention of radio stations.

Around this time, in 1953, Presley recorded his most first "album" - a simple recording of two songs on acetate disc, which cost him $3.25. This work was recorded without the participation of the already mentioned Sam Phillips, who was not in the office that day. Instead, the honour of being "the first person ever to record Elvis Presley" (we are talking about an album, after all) went to the trusted right hand of the owner of Sun Records, a woman called Marion Keisker.

"Without Marion Keisker, there would be no Elvis Presley."

Marion Keisker
Marion Keisker

When Kasker saw Elvis, she was intrigued a young man. They started talking about music, or rather - about Presley's style. The following is from Marion's recollections:

"I asked him, 'What kind of singer are you exactly? What's your style?". He replied, "I sing all kinds of songs." Then I said: "Well... what do you sound like?". To which he replied, "I don't look like anyone."

After this brief dialogue, it was made entryincluding a cover of "My Happiness." и "That's When Your Heartaches Begin.". And all under the direction of Marion. If some sources are to be believed, the recording was intended as a birthday present for Elvis' beloved mother. This may not have been the case, as the fateful recording took place in the summer, while the Gladys Presley was born in April... But it doesn't matter. The important thing is that the session took place, and it went well!

Right, Marion Keisker was the first person to record Elvis Presley, the future king of rock 'n' roll. So - to some extent, the musician owed his success to her. But he's never spoken about it remembered. When he was honoured as one of America's Ten Outstanding Young Men of 1970, he was surprised and delighted to discover that Keisker was also at the event! Noticing her, Elvis insisted that the woman go to meet his friends and family, including Priscilla, his wife. During dinner, the singer said:

"Without Marion Keisker, there would be no Elvis Presley."

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