PERFORMER: ELVIS PRESLEY
ALBUM: ELVIS, THE KING OF ROCK 'N' ROLL: THE COMPLETE '50s MASTERS
THE BOTTOM LINE: Music that changed music; a myth that begot other myths; bedrock-'n'-roll classicism that still shakes.
"What kind of singer are you?" the office assistant at Sun Records inquired of the 18-year-old in 1953 as label boss Sam Phillips set up the disk-cutting machine in the other room. "I sing all kinds," he answered. "Who do you sound like?" she persisted. "I don't sound like nobody."
What happened in that room that summer was, by popular reckoning, the beginning of rock: not...