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VOA - Voice of America

Elvis Presley:
Undisputed King
of Rock and Roll
(Part 1)


Welcome to "People in America", a program in VOA Special English. Today Rich Kleinfeldt and Steve Ember tell about one of America’s most popular singers, Elvis Presley.
tell about: hablan sobre; singers: cantantes, intérpretes.


You ain't nothin' but a hound dog
Cryin' all the time
You ain't nothin' but a hound dog
Cryin' all the time
Well, you ain't never caught a rabbit
And you ain't no friend of mine.
No eres más que un perro sabueso
Llorando todo el tiempo
No eres más que un perro sabueso
Llorando todo el tiempo
Bueno, nunca cazarías una liebre
Y no eres amigo mío.

That song, “Hound Dog” was one of Elvis Presley’s most popular records.  It sold five million copies in 1956.  Music industry experts say more than one thousand million of Elvis’s recordings have sold throughout the world.  He was a success in many different kinds of music – popular, country, religious, and rhythm and blues.
records: grabaciones, discos; experts: especialistas; throughout: por todo. success: éxito; kinds of: tipos de, estilos de.

Elvis Presley won many awards from nations all over the world, yet he did not record in any language other than English.  He never performed outside the United States, except for three shows in Canada.  Yet, his recordings and films have been, and are still, enjoyed by people all over the world.
won: ganó; awards: premios, distinciones; yet: aún así, no obstante; other than: diferente de; performed: actuó; except for: salvo por; and are still: y siguen siendo; enjoyed: disfrutadas.

Elvis Aaron Presley was born in the southern town of Tupelo, Mississippi on January 8th, 1935.  His family was extremely poor.  During his childhood, he sang in church with his parents
was born: nació; during: durante; childhood: niñez; sang: cantó, cantaba; parents; padres.

He also listened to music that influenced his later singing, including country, rhythm and blues, and religious music.  Elvis and his family moved to Memphis, Tennessee when he was thirteen.
moved to: se mudaron a, se trasladaron a.

After high school, he had several jobs, including driving a truck.  In 1953, he made his first recording of this song, “My Happiness”:
high school: escuela secundaria; several jobs: varios empleos; truck: camión; recording: grabación, registro.


Every day I've reminiscence
Dreaming of your tender kiss
Always thinking how I miss
My happiness
A diario tengo añoranzas
Soñando con tu tierno beso
Siempre pensando como extraño
Mi felicidad


Elvis Presley recorded the song at the Memphis Recording Service.  The story is that he paid four dollars to make a recording for his mother.  A woman who worked at the public recording studio had another job with a local independent record company called Sun Records.  She made a second recording of Elvis’s songs because she thought the owner of Sun Records should hear him sing.
paid: pagó; called: llamada; thought: pensó que. owner: dueño, propietario; should hear him sang: debería escucharlo cantar.

The owner of Sun Records, Sam Phillips, had been looking for a white performer who could sing black rhythm and blues.  He suggested Elvis work with a guitar player and a bass player.  Several months later Mister Phillips agreed to have the group make a record.  It was released on July 19th, 1954.  One of the songs was “That’s All Right”:
had been looking for: había estado buscando; performer: artista; who could sing: que pudiera cantar; suggested: le sugirió a; bass player: bajista; agreed: acordó, estuvo de acuerdo en; released: lanzado al mercado.


Mama she done told me
Papa done told me too
'Son, that gal you're foolin' with
She ain't no good for you'
But, that's all right, that's all right
That's all right now mama
Anyway you do
Mamá ya me lo dijo
Papá me lo dijo también
"Hijo esa chica con la que andas
No es nada bueno para ti"
Pero todo bien, todo bien
Todo bien ahora mamá
Total ya lo saben


The record sold well in Memphis, and was played a lot on local radio stations.  To let others hear Elvis, Sam Phillips organized a series of performances at country fairs in the area. 
sold: vendió; played a lot: reproducido intensamente; performances: actuaciones; fairs: ferias. area: zona, región.

One of the people who heard Elvis perform at these shows was Colonel Tom Parker.  Elvis signed an agreement that Colonel Parker would organize his appearances.
who heard: que escuchó a; perform: actuar; signed: firmó; agreement: acuerdo.

One of Elvis’ first new recordings became a huge hit, and led to his many appearances on television.  It was “Heartbreak Hotel”:
became: se convirtió en; huge hit: enorme éxito de venta; led to: dio lugar a; appearances: apariciones, actuaciones.


Well, since my baby left me
I found a new place to dwell
It's down at the end of lonely street
At Heartbreak Hotel've been so lonely, baby
Well I'm so lonely
Well I'm so lonely I could die
Bien, desde que me dejó mi nena
Encontré otro lugar donde vivir
Queda al final de la calle solitaria
En el Hotel de los Corazones Rotos
He estado tan solo, nena
En realidad estoy tan solo
Tan solo que podría morirme


By the middle of the nineteen fifties, Elvis Presley was known around the world as the young man who moved his hips in a sexual way as he sang rock and roll music.  Many adults said he and his music were bad influences on young people.  Young women loved him.  Huge crowds attended his performances.
by the middle of: a mediados de los; known: conocido; hips: caderas; in a sexual way: en forma erótica; as he sang: cuando cantaba, mientras cantaba; huge crowds: verdaderas multitudes; attended: asistían a.

He made his first movie in 1956.  It was  “Love Me Tender.” The title song was a big hit.
love me tender: ámame tiernamente; big hit: gran éxito de ventas.


Love me tender
Love me sweet
Never let me go
You have made my life complete
And I love you so

Ámame tiernamente
Ámame con dulzura
Nunca me dejes ir
Has dado forma a vida
Y yo te amo asi.


Source: VOA - Voice of America

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