Elvis Presley’s ‘excited’ father responded to claims his family is ‘just poor white trash’
Elvis Presley’s life and career are legendary. 45 years after his death, fans are keeping his legacy alive. And the acclaimed biopic of 2022, elvis, certainly helped bring newcomers to Presley’s iconic music.
But even the King of Rock and Roll faced adversity early on. Presley and his family in particular faced a certain stigma as he experienced fame and fortune.
Elvis Presley’s family had no money growing up
Presley was born on January 8, 1935 in Tupelo, Mississippi. Though he would eventually become one of the most popular and iconic entertainers of all time, he and his family were far from the level of financial stability that Presley would achieve much later in life.
In fact, according to ElvisInfoNet.com, Presley’s father, Vernon Presley, once said, “There was hardly anyone poorer” than he and his wife, Gladys, as they welcomed their sons into the world. Elvis was born shortly after Jesse, his twin brother. His parents had to face Jesse’s death immediately as he was stillborn.
Elvis Presley’s perception of “white trash” influenced his rise to fame
Because of how and where he was raised, some naysayers considered Elvis “white trash.” In an interview with Good Housekeeping, Vernon addressed this question head-on:
“The author of an ugly, untrue book about Elvis said on TV that we Presleys were nothing but poor white trash. Well, I want to answer that right here because his comment has upset the entire state of Mississippi. We were poor. I will never deny that. But we weren’t garbage. Actually, I’m not sure what “garbage” is.
Sometimes we had nothing to eat but cornbread and water. But we always had compassion for people. Growing up, we never had prejudice. We never put anyone down. Neither does Elvis.”
Of course, Vernon took offense at the notion and rose to defend his son’s reputation. After all, Elvis already faced adversity when they were growing up because of their class.
Elvis Presley may have worried about this unwanted image
As author Nancy Isenberg describes in her book White Trash: The 400 Year Untold History of the Class in Americathe “white trash” label may have plagued Elvis throughout his career.
In fact, maybe that’s part of the reason he’s reportedly wanted to prove himself as a serious artist throughout his music and film career. But it also gave Elvis something of an underdog status.
“[Elvis Presley] has accomplished what no working-class white trash man ever thought possible,” Isenberg wrote in her book via Elvis-History-Blog.com. “He was simultaneously cool and sexually transgressive and a ‘country boy.’ Elvis was no longer some crazy country outcast like in the past, but a ‘hillbilly cat’, someone a lot of teenagers wished for.” The rest was history.
TIED TOGETHER: Elvis Presley was unable to see Loving You after a tragic loss
https://www.cheatsheet.com/entertainment/elvis-presley-riled-up-dad-responded-claim-family-nothing-but-poor-white-trash.html/ Elvis Presley’s ‘excited’ father responded to claims his family is ‘just poor white trash’