Virtuosos of the hootchy-kootchy. From Elvis Presley to Miley Cyrus.

August 27th, 2013

Ever wonder what our grandparents would have been sharing on Facebook and twitter when they were raising kids? Probably things like this:

Mr. Presley has no discernible singing ability. His specialty is rhythm songs which he renders in an undistinguished whine…His one specialty is an accented movement of the body that heretofore has been primarily identified with the repertoire of the blonde bombshells of the burlesque runway. The gyration never had anything to do with the world of popular music and still doesn’t.


Jack Gould, writing in the New York Times, June 6, 1956, after Presley’s controversial performance on The Milton Berle Show


Well, I guess that settled that.

I’m about exhausted from the fervor over the Miley Cyrus VMA performance, aren’t you? It was definitely not my thing, but I don’t think it was supposed to be, any more than Elvis was out to win approval from my Mom’s dad. Is Miley a provocateur? A puppet? An insecure child? An empowered woman? Let me know when it’s all decided. I’ve got three boys to raise, and it’s complicated enough without having to conjugate the verb twerk.


Photo: Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

3 Responses to “Virtuosos of the hootchy-kootchy. From Elvis Presley to Miley Cyrus.”

  1. dida says:

    Great post, Kyran. Miley, Shmiley… but I do have a girl to raise and I will promptly tell her that Hannah Montana has officially left the building.

  2. Marie says:

    I would have been happy to *not* have had to look up the word “twerk” this week, but eh, in another twenty years, she will have made her mark or been forgotten. Although it’s not always that cut and dried, as you address in your next post! You never know who people will turn out to be just by looking at them in their early twenties. I’m still not looking looking at the hoopla, though.

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