Navn: Elvis Aaron Presley
Born: January 8, 1935
Perents: Vernon and Gladys Presleys
Siblings: Twin brother Jessie Garon died at birth
Wife: Priscilla Ann Presley
Children: Lisa Marie Presley (born February 1, 1968)
THE EARLY YEARS
Elvis Aaron Presley was born on January 8, 1935, under modest conditions in a tiny house in Tupelo, Mississippi. Elvis grew up as Vernon and Gladys Presley’s only child. They were poor, but did everything in their power to give the son a good upbringing. His musical interest arose early, partly because his parents were diligent churchgoers. As a 10-year-old, he sang for a talent contest at a Tupelo market and finished second. The win was $ 5 as well as free tours of the marketplace.
THE FIRST GUITAR
When Elvis turned eleven, he wanted a bike for his birthday, but since his father couldn’t afford it, his mother persuaded him to want a guitar instead. As soon as Elvis got his guitar, he started learning how to play. He got his inspiration from the church, the black blues musicians who lived in his neighborhood as well as from the country music he heard on the radio.
THE FAMILY MOVES TO MEMPHIS
In 1948, the family moved to Memphis, Tennessee, hoping to improve their living conditions. The move to Memphis was not what the family had hoped for. They were still living in relatively cramped conditions. Elvis attended Humes High School and was perceived by his peers as good, but was nevertheless an outsider because of his hairstyle and clothing style, but also because of his burning music interest. He bought all his clothes on Beale Street, where most of the blacks also went shopping, and it was through them that he got to know R&B music as the music that was going to affect him the most. He appeared at a music competition at the school, received the greatest applause and won – something that encouraged him to continue practicing music.
THE FIRST DEMO
In 1953, Elvis left school and then held several different jobs. Among other things, he worked as a truck driver. He dreamed of being a singer, so he recorded a demo song at Sun Records in Memphis. It cost him four dollars. He gave the single to his mother.
SUN RECORDS & RCA
In January 1954, Elvis returned to the studio to record another demo. This time, he met the studio owner, Sam Phillips, who became sufficiently interested in the young man with the spiteful appearance to give him a chance. Elvis was accompanied by guitarist Scotty Moore and bassist Bill Black, and with them he recorded records and appeared in small clubs.
NUMBER 1 AT THE COUNTRY LIST
Elvis recorded five singles for Sun Records and several of the songs are considered rock classics today, such as “That’s All Right Mama”, “Blue Moon Of Kentucky”, “Good Rockin ‘Tonight”, “Baby Let’s Play House” and “Mystery Train “. When the fifth single, “I Forgot To Remember To Forget” / “Mystery Train”, suddenly rose to number one on the country list in November 1955, it became clear what potential the young artist possessed, and RCA Victor quickly bought his record contract with Sun. Sam Phillips sold the contract for $ 35,000, which of course looks like an exceedingly bad deal, but back then it was almost an astronomical sum.
Two days after his 21st birthday, January 10, 1956, Elvis recorded for the first time at RCA. Among the tracks was “Heartbreak Hotel”, which came out as a single two weeks later. In three weeks, it had sold 300,000 copies. It was number one on Billboard’s pop list for eight weeks, and it also became number one on the country list as well as number five on the R&B list. In March, Elvis’ first album, “Elvis Presley” was released. It became a poster on Billboard’s pop album list and the first of Elvis’ records, which sold gold ie. over 500,000 copies.
ELVIS AROUSES DESPAIR
He appeared in several TV shows and provoked outrage among the parents and journalists of teenagers who did not care about his overly challenging movements and the obvious sources of black influence in his music. Especially when he appeared with “Hound Dog” in The Milton Berle Show in June 1956, he was sharply criticized. The guardians of morality did not consider Elvis’ hip twist to be appropriate television entertainment.
In November 1956 Elvis premiered his first feature film, “Love Me Tender”. It was a huge box office success and Elvis received good criticism for his acting talent.
The vast majority of the films Elvis recorded, right when they premiered, got a good spot on the cinema list, but quickly came out again. Elvis’ name guaranteed some attention to the films, but since the quality was very fluctuating, they could not retain the audience’s interest for long. Elvis was very frustrated by the poor manuscripts in the low-budget films where he was offered roles. His ambitions as an actor were far greater than what Hollywood had in mind, and the opportunities he had to demonstrate his true acting talent were infinitely few. Elvis recorded 31 feature films and 2 documentaries.
In 1968, Elvis prepared the TV special, which in short was called “Elvis”, which became his comeback. It was shown on December 3, 1968 on American TV, and received a great deal of criticism from both the critics and the audience. His natural talent, charisma, sensuality and stage presence had not been harmed by the years in Hollywood, he just hadn’t been allowed to show quite a lot of his capacity. Now it turned out that he was not just as good as he had been at the start of his career, he was even better. At the age of 33, he looked better than ever, and he sang as well as moved with style and confidence.
After his comeback, Elvis had many concerts on eg. IInternational Hotel in Las Vegas and also toured around the country. It was a very tough program at times with both studio recordings and concerts. It hurt on health and through the last years of his life Elvis was hospitalized several times.
THE LAST DAY
On August 16, 1977, Elvis returned to Graceland immediately after midnight after a late visit to the dentist. In the late hours, he prepared the final details of the tour to begin in Portland, Maine the following day. In the morning he retreated to his bedroom to rest. A few hours later, he died of a heart attack. The sad news was published in the afternoon and a few hours later, the whole world knew the message.