What Elvis Presley Did When He Got a C in Music

Elvis Presley may be remembered now as a music icon, but did you know that he got a C in music when he was in the eighth grade? At that time, he was attending Humes High School. His high school life was quite difficult because he experienced being bullied.

For all the hurtful words or actions that were thrown his way, the young Elvis would turn to his passion, which was music and the people who showered him with so much love and affection, his parents.

His music was his solace, so he found it hard to accept when his own music teacher told him that he had no talent for singing. At the time, Elvis would listen to the radio every time he was being bogged down by his problems at school. The other kids picked on him for being different. No matter what he did, like joining the R.O.T.C., playing football, and working as an usher at a local movie house, the other kids would still find reasons to degrade him. He was often being picked on for being a mama’s boy.

Aside from listening to music often, the young Elvis would buy records and befriend aspiring musicians who lived in the area near their home in Memphis Tennessee. He listened to various kinds of music genre, even to African-American artists at such time when color discrimination was still quite blatant.

It was hard for him to accept, not only the grade, but also his teacher’s lack of enthusiasm with his singing talent. He brought his guitar to class the next day. This guitar was quite special because it was given to him by his parents on his eleventh birthday, a proof that the people whom he loved the most believed in his talent and passion for music. His parents did not dissuade his love for it. They allowed him to spend time at their church where Elvis listened to music and taught himself how to play the piano.

The young Elvis wanted his teacher to realize that he was good. He played his guitar in class while singing a popular song at the time entitled Keep Them Cold Icy Fingers Off Me. The rest as they say, is history. The incident posed as a challenge to Elvis. He did not accept that he was not good. For him, his teacher did not like his style, but it did not mean that he was bad. It only meant that they had different preferences, and later on when Elvis had already gotten big in the industry, a former classmate related that the teacher concurred that Elvis was right with such analysis.

No one could doubt the passion that Elvis had for music. He never had any formal lessons and training, mainly because his parents could not afford to pay for such, although they supported his endeavors and passion. He generally self-studied, reading and playing music. He started playing by ear. He met certain people when he grew up, who helped him practice his music skills and people who guided him as to where to go in order to be the kind of star that he will forever be remembered even by the generations to come.

Comments

  1. Lisa Lamont says:

    Sam, this was a really nice story about Elvis! I met his step brother, David Stanley, last March in San Diego who is currently making a movie called, ” Growing up Graceland.” It is about his relationship with Elvis. You should connect with him on Facebook; )

  2. Mary Rudowski says:

    It goes to show you how some teachers treat their students. Instead of helping Elvis, the music teacher well I would say degraded him, because of his looks!! That music teacher was wrong!! I love Elvis and no one will ever say anything different to me!! Rest in peace, Elvis!! You are here in our hearts and lives with your music!!!

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