Alfred Wertheimer, 16 Nov 1929 - 19 Oct 2014 Search this
Elvis Aron Presley, 8 Jan 1935 - 16 Aug 1977 Search this
Gelatin silver print
Sheet: 50.8 × 40.6cm (20 × 16")
Mat: 61 × 50.8cm (24 × 20")
Born Tupelo, Mississippi
In 1956, television—live and in black and white—was a major new presence in American culture. The “cool medium” fueled twenty-one-year-old Elvis Presley’s rocket to fame that year: a dozen television appearances between January 1956 and January 1957 took him from near-anonymity to superstardom as he hip-swung, swiveled, and leaped across the stage.
When he first arrived in New York City, he could walk the streets of midtown Manhattan unrecognized. By the time he appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show in the fall of 1956, he drew an audience of 60 million out of a total population of 169 million Americans. He had become “Elvis,” and he would never again stroll unnoticed down any street in the world.
His first television appearance was on the Dorsey Brothers’ Stage Show in January 1956, and audiences were electrified. Parents gasped, but teenagers instantly sensed the arrival of a new role model. Everyone agreed: Elvis was not crooner Bing Crosby—their parents’ favorite singer.