Musician Biographies » Elvis Presley » Elvis's Childhood - Understanding The Political Climate, Early Musical Influences: Hillbilly, Gospel, And The Blues, The Birthday Present

Elvis's Childhood - Understanding The Political Climate

whites blacks music segregation

Blacks and whites had fought side by side during World War II, unlike during peacetime, when much of America was segregated. Segregation meant that blacks and whites were separated as much as possible. There were different rest rooms for blacks and whites in many public buildings. Many businesses, such as theaters, had blacks-only or whites-only nights. There were even different schools for blacks and for whites. Segregation ensured that people of different races lived in two separate worlds, but this started to change slowly after WWII. Popular music at the time was evidence of the changing political climate. Elvis, by popularizing R & B, broke down racial barriers and introduced the world to “race” music, which is what R & B was called before 1949.

Elvis's Childhood - Early Musical Influences: Hillbilly, Gospel, And The Blues [next]

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