Elvis: Entertainer or Educator?


Nashville, TN -- (ReleaseWire) -- 12/13/2006 --With Elvis Presley’s seventy-second birthday just around the corner on the eighth of January, it would seem there would be little new to learn about him, but it turns out there is. Although he may not have realized it, Elvis Presley’s sexy moves actually modeled the ideal physical techniques for supporting a rich, warm singing voice – techniques still studied today by some of the recording industry’s biggest stars.

“Elvis was the perfect singing machine,” says celebrity voice coach Renee Grant-Williams. “He had all the right moves.”

“I constantly reference Elvis in my teaching,” claims Grant-Williams. “He had very strong legs, which he used as the basis for his support. He literally pushed into the floor using that karate-type crouch. He kept his entire upper body very loose so that it could resonate. And the way he cocked his head over the microphone really allowed the sound to vibrate freely.”

“Did he know what he was doing?” Grant-Williams asks. “Probably not, but he had extraordinary instincts and in his own way, I think he truly studied singing. He used to sit out on the back porch for hours on late summer nights with the guitar his mother gave him, trying to imitate the singers he heard at gospel churches and nightclubs.”

Grant-Williams teaches the wisdom of using Elvis’ techniques to stars such as Hannah Montana, Faith Hill, The Dixie Chicks, Tim McGraw, Larry Gatlin, Bo Bice, and Huey Lewis.

“My students are surprised and grateful to have someone familiar they can relate to,” Grant-Williams says. “In fact, the first time I worked with Tim McGraw on using his body to support his voice, he looked up with mischief in his eyes and mumbled in true Elvis-style, “Thank you. Thankyouverymuch.”

Grant-Williams feels that even Elvis’ famous lip curl gave his voice an edge. “As sound leaves the body it needs to resonate against something specific,” she says. “There are options – you can direct that flow of sound to the nose, the throat, the jaw or to the sinus cavities in the face. But, I think what Elvis did – as evidenced by his lip curl – was to aim the vibration stream right at his teeth.”

“This was ingenious,” Grant-Williams says. “There’s a kind of sweet spot at the front of the teeth where vibrations can focus and still pick up resonance from all the other areas.”

“Because his moves and techniques live on, Elvis will never completely leave the building,” adds Grant-Williams.

Grant-Williams offers more advice in her book, “Voice Power: Using Your Voice to Captivate, Persuade, and Command Attention” published by AMACOM Books, New York. This book is endorsed by Paul Harvey and was selected by “Soundview Executive Book Summaries.”

Grant-Williams coaches aspiring performers as well as celebrities including Miley Cyrus (Hannah Montana), Faith Hill, the Dixie Chicks, Tim McGraw, Christina Aguilera, Linda Ronstadt, Randy Travis, and Huey Lewis. She has been quoted by Cosmopolitan, the Associated Press, Business Week, UPI, Southern Living, New York Times, Chicago Tribune, Boston Globe, and San Francisco Chronicle. She has appeared on many broadcast outlets including ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, Bravo, USA, MTV, GAC, BBC, PBS, and NPR. Grant-Williams is a former instructor at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music as well as the former director of the Division of Vocal Music at the University of California, Berkeley.

For more information or to schedule an interview with Renee Grant-Williams, call 615-244-3280 or visit