Elvis Presley Biography
All about America’s greatest Rock and Roll Singer – Elvis Aaron Presley
Elvis Aaron Presley was one of the most popular singers during the 20th century in America. Born in Mississippi, he had a twin brother named Garon. Elvis Presley was considered as cultural icon and he was considered as the “King of Rock and Roll” or just simply “the King”.
- Nick name : The King, The King of Rock ‘n’ Roll, The Pelvis.
- Date of birth: January 8th, 1935
- Place of birth: Tupelo Mississippi
- Origin: Mississippi
- Profession: Rock and Roll Solo Singer
- Known for: Rock and Roll Music
- Website: http://www.elvis.com/
Childhood and growing Up years:
Elvis Aaron Presley was born on the 8th of January, 1935 to the parents of Gladys and Vernon in an eastern city of Tupelo, Mississippi. Elvis was a twin and had a twin brother who was named Jessie Garon. At the age of 13, in 1948, Elvis and his parents moved on to live in Tennessee where they resided in the state of Memphis. Elvis Presley graduated from the prestigious school of Humes High School in the year 1953. After the completion of his graduation, Elvis took up odd jobs by working as a truck driver for a Crown Electric Company, in a movie theatre usher in order to support this family. He had a great liking towards music as he was greatly influenced by the country and pop music at that time as he heard a lot of gospel music played at church. Elvis used to frequently attend the all-night gospel concerts and absorbed his knowledge for roll and roll culture also from the Black R & B during his stay in Memphis teenager. He started singing as “The Hillbilly Cat”, when he signed up with a local recording company. The next project of his was with RCA in the year 1955. Elvis worked hard to establish himself with the rock and roll music and he brought back the black blue singing at his teenage. People of his age became madly hysterical over Elvis Presley’s blatantly gyrations, particularly the song which gave him the name “Elvis the Pelvis”.
His first public appearance was made in the year 1945 on October 3rd when he performed for the musical contest held in Mississippi which was a Dairy Show and an Alabama Fair. Elvis was dressed in a cowboy dress while he stood on a chair to reach the microphone where he sang the song ‘Old Shep’. He stood at the fifth place in this contest. A few months after this contest, he was presented with a Guitar on his birthday which was the lease expected gift as he hoped for a bicycle or a rifle. Over the years, he took up guitar lessons seriously from the help of his two uncles and his also from his family’s church pastor.
Elvis Presley was joined in a new school in Milam to do hi sixth grade in September 1946. He was not easy for him to get accustomed to this new educational environment and in this regard he was considered a loner. To cope with his loneliness, he started carrying his guitar on a daily basis to his school and he often played hillbilly music during his recess sessions. Due to this he was considered a trashy kid in school. In November 1948, Presley’s family moved to Memphis in Tennessee where they had to spend tough days living in rooming houses till they were granted public houses. In the high school days, Elvis barely did well in studies as he always obtained a ‘C’ grade and thus was considered as an average student. Although he did great in music as he obtained an eighth grade. As a school student, Elvis is known to be a shy student who was often bullied by his classmates and named him as a mama’s boy. In the year 1950, he began practicing music seriously under the guidance of Jesse Lee Denson, who was his neighbor and two and a half years senior at school. Elvis and three other boys – brother of Jesse Lee formed a band and collectively performed around the surroundings of the court. However, by his junior year, Presley grew out of his shyness and began to stand out among his classmates largely because he gained confidence within himself as he got a transformation in his appearance by gelling up his hair and got rid of his sideburns. While on his free times, he used to head towards the Beale Street which was situated in the heart of Memphis to glaze at the scenes of blues from the windows of the Lansky Brothers. In his senior year, he competed at the Humes annual Minstrel shows by singing out and playing his guitar. Elvis Presley recalls that it was these performances that gained him a lot of recognition and reputation.
Elvis who did not receive much formal music training or learnt music studied and played his guitar by listening and capturing the cords. For this purpose, he often visited record studios to listen to jukeboxes and other listening booths. He was thorough with the entire Hank Songs and loved the music of Roy Acuff, Jimmie Davis, Jimmie Rodgers and Bob Wills.
It was in the year 1953 when Elvis Presley recorded his first album in the studios of Sun Recordings. His first album was “My Happiness” and with this album he confessed that he was paying a tribute to his mother or it was a gift to his mother.
By the year 1956, Elvis Presley created an international sensation with the sound and style he used in his songs. He had diverse influence that blurted out social and racial barriers. His songs ushered into a totally new era of America’s music and he created a popular culture. Elvis made his presence in 33 popular films and made a history with his appearance in television special events. He also acclaimed publicity through his live concerts by conducting tours to many countries such as Las Vegas. His love-concerts were always record-breaking. It is said that he sold over more than 1 billion copies globally which is the highest when compared to many other artists. The sales his albums had made in America earned him multi-platinum, platinum and golden awards. Among the many accolades and credits that he received were fourteen Grammy nominations in which in won three Grammy awards at a very young age of 36 years. He was named among the top ten Outstanding Young Men of the Nation in the year 1970 by the United States Jaycees. He is also famous for honorably serving the country in the U.S Army.
At the beginning, Elvis Presley teamed up with the famous guitarist Scotty Moore and Bassist Bill Black to create music. Elvis was one among those people who invented rockabilly which is an up-tempo backbeat driven fusion of rhythm blues and country. RCA Victor was the person who signed a contract which was arranged by Colonel Tom Parker and he was given the responsibility to take care all the necessities of the singer. He worked with Presley for over two decades. Elvis Presley’s first RCA single was released in the year 1956 in January and it was named as “Heartbreak Hotel”. It was a number one hit. With the release of this album, Presley became a number hit and a leading public figure of the popular rock and roll genre and soon made a series of television appearances for his chart-topping records. His songs generally depicted interpretations from the African American sources and his energetic performances and style made brought him enormous success along with a number of controversies. Elvis Presley also made a film debut in the November 1956 titled Love Me Tender. He then left to serve the military in the year 1958. Elvis relaunched his music career after two years by releasing some commercial work with was also a great success. He performed at various concerts and was all the time guided by Parker who inspired him to make Hollywood movies and design sound tracks in the year 1960.
In the year 1958 when Elvis started working for the military of the U.S Army, he relocated his living and shifted to Bad Nauheim in Germany. It was in this place that he met a fourteen-year old army damsel Priscilla Ann Wager and fell in love with her. It was due to Presley’s military service and also the invasion of the British that resulted in reduced concerts of Elvis Presley’s although his movie recording went out. It was only the movie recordings that stood as a source of income for Elvis. Presley announced that he wanted to be treated in the same way as the rest of the people serving the military. On the day of his appointment to the U.S. Army, Presley’s arrival was blocked by a number a photographers, media and fans. As soon as he commenced his basic training in the army, Presley firmly believed that his musical career had ended. He had to return to Memphis when his mother was diagnosed with Hepatitis and her condition worsened. So this purpose, he was granted an emergency leave and he arrived on August 12 1959. Two days after his arrival, Presley’s mother left this world as she died of heart failure. She was aged 46 at the time of her death. Elvis Presley was devastated by his mother’s loss as he shared a very strong relation with her even in his adulthood. Over the years in 1960’s, Levis Presley settled in Hollywood where in acted for more than twenty movies sharing screen space with some famous actors in Hollywood. After seven and half years of courtship, Presley was married to his lady love Priscilla Ann who now became Priscilla Presley. In the year 1968 on February first, Presley had his daughter who they named as Lisa Marie Presley.
Claim to fame:
Elvis Presley was given the title of a Sergeant on March 5th 1960 during his return to United States. The train in which he travelled to U.S was mobbed by his fans and he was called up on every stop to please his fans. It was on the night of 20th March that Presley made his come back to his musical career by entering the doors of the RCA Nashville Studio where he had to cut tracks for an album accompanied by a single “Stuck on You” which swiftly gained a number one position on the chart-hits. Along a long gap, he made his comeback in the year 1970 with his stage appearance in Las Vegas where he performed to fifty-seven total sold-out shows. After this, he also made a visit to a number of places in the United States where he gave over 500 live performances all of them being sold-out shows. He made his first television comeback on May 12th 1967 when he arrived as a guest in the television show ‘The Frank Sinatra Timex Special’ although given that the show was not a rock and roll script.
Of the eight releases of Elvis Presley’s between the year 1967 and 1968, only two could make up to the charts of top 40. And his upcoming soundtrack album “Speedway” stood at the 82nd position on the Billboard chart. Presley had not appeared on television after his Timex show and now it signed up a new deal with NBC so that they would finance him for his theatrical feature which was due to be aired during the Christmas season. Recorded in the late June, the show was aired on the 3rd of December 1968 which came be known as ’68 Comeback Special’. The show focused on the lavish stage productions and songs of Presley in front of audiences since his first performance in the year 1961. These segments saw Elvis in black leather clad clothes playing the guitar in the style of his rock and roll culture. Steve Binder was the director and coproducer for this show and he had worked very hard to ensure a good produce. The show soon was on the highest rated show in the charts of the NBC as it captured more than 42 percent of viewing audiences.
His tours, live-concerts and his work kept him busy while he was increasing space with his wife. Finally in the year 1971, an affair of his with Joyce Bova resulted in the divorce of Priscilla and Elvis as Joyce was pregnant. The couple separated in the year 1972 on February 23rd when Priscilla too disclosed her relationship with Like Stone who was her Karate instructor.
In the year 1973, Presley performed for a social cause which raised funds for the Kui Lee Cancer Fund. For this purpose he made a special TV show named Aloha from Hawaii. This was s global satellite concert and it had estimated to have 1.5 million viewers on live. Later during this year, when Presley’s divorce took effect, his health conditions were deteriorating. Twice in the year he was overdosed of barbiturates and was in coma for three days in his hotel suite. After his comeback, in the year he staged the most number of live shows and that year saw 168 concerts of Elvis Presley and it was his busiest schedule. Despite his poor health conditions, in the year 1974, Presley took up another intensive tour. After his concerts, he spent time in studios virtually recording contents between the years of 1973 and 1976. Though he no longer had a major response in the charts, his five albums entered the top five country music charts and from this three stood on the number one stand.
Between the years of 1981 and 1977, six releases of Presley topped the country hits and Graceland was opened to public in the year 1982. Till date it attracts a million visitors and is the most visited homes in the United States. It was declared as the National Historic Landmark in the year 2006.
In the year 2005 a total of 17 albums of Presley were reissued and all of them made it to the top five of the British chart list. For the fifth consecutive year, Elvis Presley was named in the top-earning celebrity with a gross income of $45 million. In 2010, November, Viva Elvis: The Album was released that set a new voice to recorded instrumental tracks. By the mid 2011, there are 15,000 licensed Elvis Presley products. He also holds the record for obtaining the top 40 and 100position in the charts of the Billboard’s. At present there are about 625 active fan clubs in honor of Elvis Presley all over the globe. The popularity Elvis gained is an all-time high and his legacy is set to reach new generation of audiences.
In the year 1992, the United Postal Service released a stamp that had Elvis Presley’s image and this stamp could be used as commemorative postage stamps. To decide on the artwork of the stamps two sizzling pictures of Elvis from his famous 1950’s rock star image and his superstar-svelte image of 1973 were penned down. In the situation not being able to take a decision, the United States Postal Service gave the authority to the citizens of America to take a decision on the artwork of the stamp. For this purpose, more than 1.2 million people casted their vote and the image of a young rock star won was decided to be placed on the stamp. The stamp was successfully released in the year 1993 on January 8th in Graceland. Till date the Elvis Presley’s stamp remains the most widely publicized stamp issue and it is one of the highest selling commemorative postal stamps. A number of countries outside United States have also issued Elvis stamps through the years.
On 16th of August 1977 when Presley was scheduled to go to Memphis in evening to begin another historical tour, he was found unresponsive in his bathroom floor that afternoon. Many attempts were made to revive his life but the doctors failed and his death was officially announced at 3.30 pm in the Baptist Memorial Hospital. It is said that Elvis died of cardiac arrhythmia which means a severe irregular heartbeat and just another form of a heart attack. And Presley in the past years had been treated with hypertension, enlarged colon and pneumonia. His funeral was held at his hometown Graceland were huge crowd gathered killing two women and injuring atleast three. It is said that an approximate of 80,000 people gathered to witness the funeral of the great King of Rock and Roll. Within a few days, his album “Way Down” topped the UK pop charts. At the time of Elvis Presley’s death, they sold more than 600-million copies of his albums and singles.
To mark the twentieth century of Elvis Presley’s death on August 16th, 1997 a video that starred Elvis Presley was showed in the concert that staged thirty former band mates accompanied with the Memphis Symphony Orchestra. The show took place in the midst of Elvis Presley fans that had come to Memphis to be a part of this extravagant concert which was staged in the remembrance of Presley.
It was the talent, sensuality, good looks, charisma and the good humor of Elvis Presley that he was loved by millions of people and he also demonstrated kindness in the form of a number of human kindness acts in his life. Known by people all over the world, it remains to the most popular and important figures of the 20th century era who was a popular culture.
Trademarks of Elvis Presley:
- His Onstage Karate moves.
- Husky voice tone
- White sequined jumpsuits combined with rhinestones.
- Famous left-sided grin
- The most popular Pelvis movement that gave him the nickname “Elvis, the Pelvis” which he disliked
- Southern accent
- Black hair most often greased.
Awards and Nominations Received:
Elvis Presley has quite a number of awards on his name. Some of them are as follows:
In the year 1960, He won the Sour Apple Award in the category of Least Cooperative Actor.
1963 he was awarded with the Golden Laurel in the category of Top Male Musical Performances.
1965, Levis was awarded with a Golden Laurel Award for the Best musical Performance (Male).
1966, again won the Golden Laurel Award fin the category of Musical Performance Male for the song Tickle Me.
In the year 1968, he was given the prestigious Grammy Award in the category of Best Sacred Performance for “How Great Thou Art”
1973, gave Elvis Presley another Grammy Award for the Best Inspirational Performance for “He Touched Me”
1975 he was awarded his third Grammy Award for the Best Inspirational Performance in “How Great Thou Art”
In 1986, he won the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in the category of Performer.
1998, Won the Country Music Hall of Fame.
Following are his nominations:
1961 was nominated for Grammy Awards in the category of Best Soundtrack Album for G.I Blues.
1962 – nominated for Grammy Awards for Best Soundtrack Album for Blue Hawaii.
1963 – Nominated for Golden Laurel for Top Male Star.
1964 – Nominated once again for Top Male Star.
1966 – Nominated for Golden Laurel for Male Star.
1985 – Nominated for ACE in the category of Performance in a Music Special.
2005 – Nominated for MOJO Vision award.
“Some people tap their feet, some people snap their fingers, and some people sway back and forth. I just sorta do ‘em all together, I guess”.
“Don’t criticize what you don’t understand, son. You never walked in that man’s shoes”.
“When I was a child, ladies and gentlemen, I was a dreamer. I read comics and I was the hero in the movies. So every dream I ever dreamed has come true a hundred times… I learned very early in life that: ’Without a song, the day would never end; without a song, a man ain’t got a friend; without a song, the road would never bend – without a song.’ So I keep singing a song. Goodnight. Thank you.”
“Truth is like the sun. You can shut it out for a time, but it ain’t goin’ away.”
“Since I was two years old, all I knew was gospel music. That music became such a part of my life it was as natural as dancing. A way to escape from my problems, an my way of release”
“Till we meet again, may god bless you. Adios.”