Elvis Presley (1935-1977)

Elvis Presley

1935 On January 8th, in Tupelo, Mississippi, USA, Elvis Aron Presley was born.   He was an American singer and actor, mostly known as “King of Rock and Roll”. The start Elvis had was a modest one, but after he grew up he became one of the greatest names in music. Initially, Elvis must have been the twin brother of Jesse Garon (written Jessie sometimes), who was born dead. Elvis grew up in a family of workers, with less money, but who loved him very much. He was closed to his parents, especially to his mother, Gladys, who made him strongly believe in God. Since he was a child, he took part together with his parents in religious gatherings, and gospel music (African-American Christian Evangelical Music) had a strong influence upon his personality.

1945 Presley got his first guitar, which made him feel the taste of his first musical success and won a talent show at Humes High Memphis School.

1953 After he had graduated high school, he had some jobs which did not make him forget his dream to sing. The owner of a recording studio, Sam Phillips, took him under his protection. He recorded a record from his first demo, period which was called Sun Studio.

1954 On July 19th, he recorded his first single, “That’ All Right” that was composed by Arthur Crudup.

1955 Presley started to catch fans attention over his unusual style, a provocative one, which seemed to be interesting. This year he also signed a contract with RCA Records, a business arranged by his manager, Colonel Tom Parker. Elvis started to work, recorded his first “number one” album, a single called “Heartbreak Hotel” in the same time with his first album, “Elvis Presley”.

1956 He signed a film contract with Paramount Pictures. In spite of scandalous discussions, due to his sexy dance, he became a popular guest in a number of TV shows. Soon, Elvis would have appeared everywhere, on the radio, on TV and also on the big screens.

This year, too, his first movie “Love Me Tender” appeared; a very successful film.

1957 Even the military could not reduce his career’s success. He was incorporated into army and sent to serve the country in Europe, Germany, where he lived one year and half. After a short time, his mother died and he came back to USA for funeral, then he returned to his duty. Here he met a teenager, Priscilla Beaulieu, who cheered him.

1960 After finishing army, Presley took back his career, reached the high position on top with the soundtrack for the movie “GI Blues”. He continued to record music and films, too, like “Blue Hawaii” (1961), “Girls! Girls! Girls!” (1962) and “Viva Las Vegas” (1964). His movies were many times hit or uncritical and without audience, but their soundtracks were sold very much. Nevertheless, until the end of ‘60s, Presley seemed to lose his box office.

1967 He married to Priscilla and together they had a daughter, Lisa Marie.

1968 Proving that he was still the king of Rock and Roll, he made his first special TV show, which is often mentioned as Comeback ’68. He amazed the audience with his performance, he showed his talent as a singer and as a musician.

1970–1977 During this period, Elvis had a lot of shows, tournaments, appearances in TV shows and recordings for albums. Thus, all these activities seemed to overload him because Elvis started to have personal problems, including a growing dependence on prescribed drugs. The rock star had problems with weight, his destructive style of life created health problems, that is why he was hospitalized for few times .

1973 Presley’s marriage stopped. The couple divorced, and Priscilla got the custody of their daughter.

1977 On June, he gave his last concert, in Indianapolis, Indiana. After the concert, Elvis came back home, at Memphis mansion, Graceland, to prepare for another show. In the morning of August 16th, Elvis Presley died, due to a myocardial infarction. He was only 42 years old.

During his amazing career, Elvis helped the popularization of Rock and Roll music in America. He also won three Grammy Awards (for the album “How Great Thou Art” (1967), the album “He Touched Me” (1972) and for live recording of a song called “How Great Thou Art” (1974)). A major musical force, Presley had 18 number one singles, including “Don’t Be Cruel”, “Good Luck Charm”, and “Suspicious Minds” and many Golden and Platinum Discs.

1984 Postmortem, he was given by Blues Fundation in Memphis W.C Handy Award, for keeping blues alive in his music.

1986 He was one of the first singers who joined Rock-and-Roll Hall of Fame.

1998 He was introduced to Country Music Hall of Fame.

Even after his death, Elvis remained a symbol of music. Over the years, the artist’s life was the subject of many documentaries and films. His house in Memphis, Graceland, can be visited by fans all over the world, especially for his birthday and for the date he died.



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