Nearer, My God, to Thee. Elvis Presley and The Gospel in His Music, Life and Legacy



Słowa kluczowe:

Elvis Presley, Music, Gospel, Christianity, Evangelization, Spirituality, Segregation


The roots that raised Elvis Presley to become the man that he is in history, are not found in rock’n’roll but they go much deeper. They are found in the Gospel, in what Joe Moscheo defined as “the Gospel side of Elvis”. This paper highlights the gospel music of Elvis Presley and its vast impact on American society and religion. One of the aims of this article is to underline the impact that sacred music had over Presley’s artistical work and how Elvis and his Southern spirituality influenced the history of Christian music. One more important aspect of this paper argues the worldwide role Presley had as an evangelist of the Gospel, and how he influenced Christian identity and its values among Americans. This paper tried to answer to Mark Duffet’s question: “If star musicians are positioned as centers of attention, what happens when they use their privileged position in the spotlight to offer a ‘spiritual’ message?”. As a result, this paper offers original contents of Elvis Presley’s faith and spirituality and is intended as a starting point for future studies. Surprisingly, few researchers have evaluated the effect the singer had on evangelization and gospel music development. Previous studies have mostly paid attention to the role that Elvis played on the Rock’n’Roll scene and the iconic legend created around him. They forget that the Gospel is a key part of Presley’s life and music.


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