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Elvis Presley And The 1960s


Most people have heard about Elvis Presley and his nick-name The King of Rock and Roll. However what may not be so well known is his contribution in breaking down the segregation between the black and white populations in America in the 1960s. In addition to this, Elvis Presley also became one of America’s ultimate rebels encouraging sexuality through his dance moves. Teenage girls all wanted to be with Elvis Presley and teenage boys wanted to be him. This led to conflict with religion and adults who were appalled by his behaviour.


During the 1950s and the 1960s, America was segregated into black and white communities. Each culture had their own separate style of music and identity however Elvis Presley took musical influences from the black music of the time and integrated this with ideas from white music. This created a style of music that had never been heard before.

During the 1960s, this style of music was becoming more and more popular among the teenage population of America. This popularity did not just remain in America but was something that exploded across Western countries as teenagers just could not seem to get enough. However his music was not popular with everyone.

Critics saw however Elvis Presley was introducing young and impressionable teenagers to black music breaking down the segregation as Elvis Presley brought both white and black together through a shared interest. One Catholic teacher went to the extreme of asking her students to write a pledge promising to stay away from Elvis Presley. This plan did not work as many admitted they broke the rules of the pledge they had written. Catholics believed Elvis Presley was insane and blamed him for corrupting America’s youth.


Elvis Presley became popular as teenagers were being given more and more money to be able to spend on music and on fashion. The style Elvis Presley sported with his tight trousers that flared out at the bottom became an inspiration for many teenagers who wanted to break away from the sensible fashions of their parents.

Television sets were becoming more and more popular as images of Elvis Presley swept across the television in most American homes. Along with outrageous fashions, Elvis style of dancing was seen to be sexually explicit as the gyration of his hips mimicked sexual movement. This in turn became part of the cultural changes that is known today as the swinging sixties.


Elvis Presley was one of many celebrities that helped to bring in cultural changes in America. He helped bring an end to racial segregation, helped to style the youth of America and took part in the sexual liberation of American youth culture.

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