On a hot Saturday afternoon in the late summer of 1953, a beat up ford pickup truck sat in front of The Memphis Recording Studio, where, anyone for 4 dollars a pop could make themselves a record. The truck driver- an eighteen year old, aspiring country music singer who made only $40 a week as a deliveryman for crown electric had saved up four dollars to sing and play guitar as a late birthday present for his mother. A woman by the name of Marion Keisker made conversation with the young man. What kind of singer are you? She asked him. I sing all kinds, he said. Well, who do you sound like? she asked. I dont sound like nobody, he replied. Do you sing hillbilly? she asked. Yeah, I sing hillbilly, he said. Well, what hillbilly do you sound like? she asked. I dont sound like nobody, he said.
It was at last the young mans turn. Ms. Keisker went to the back of the studio to get everything setup and decided to stay back and listen to him sing. For his first number, he chose My Happiness, a popular song sung by the Ink spots, and for the his second number, Thats When your Heart Ache Begins. On both songs he accompanied himself on guitar. While performing his first number Ms Keisker was very impressed and secretly recorded the last part of the first song and all of the second song. The Monday morning she gave the tape to Sam Phillips her boss and president of Sun Records. Phillips was very impressed with the young mans voice. Who would have thought that this silly little recording would soon make a young man the King of Rock N Roll!
On January 8, 1935, Gladys and Vernon Presley gave birth to a stillborn to whom they gave the name Jesse and 35 minutes later gave birth to his identical twin Elvis Aaron Presley. Elvis was born in East Tupelo Mississippi and was raised by his mother and father who were extremely over protective of him and taught him to be very well behaved and polite.
From a very young age Elvis showed evidence of having an exceptional singing talent. By the age of eight he was singing hymns with his mother and father at camp meetings, revivals, and at the Sunday morning services of the First assembly of God Church.
When Elvis turned 12 years old, he asked his parents for a bike. However, his parents could not afford a bike and bought him a guitar. At the time Elvis did not know how to read music but continued to listen to the radio and gave himself guitar lessons. Elvis never learned how to read music; instead he spent hours upon hours listening to country, blues, and gospel music.
In the summer of 1948 Vernon landed a job in Memphis. In the fall of 1948, Elvis entered Humes High School, where he made a few friends and passed through school with not many people recalling he was even there. Perhaps, the only distinctive thing about Elvis was that he wore hair long and had thick sideburns while everyone else wore crew cuts. However, Elvis did perform in his senior year at his high school talent show. He received the loudest cheers and was asked to do an encore for the end of the show.
After high school Elvis never thought about going to college and began to work fulltime for crown electric. This was when Elvis made his recording at the Memphis Recording Studio. At this time, Elvis had big dreams of becoming a country singer. Sam Phillips was extremely impressed by the tape that he heard but wasnt convinced that Elvis was ready to record professionally. Instead, he introduced Elvis to Scotty Moore, a guitar player, and Bill Black, a bass player, and suggested that the three of them work together to see if they could create a few songs to record.
In June of 1954, the boys returned to Sun Records to make their first professional recording. They recorded, Thats All Right Mama and Blue Moon of Kentucky Sam Phillips released Thats all right Mama in August of 54 and was scheduled to be played on the radio for the first time. The recording caused such a sensation and was requested to be played 14 times in a row. Elvis was immediately rushed down to the station to be interviewed. This recording sold around 20,000 copies. Presley was described as a potent new chanter who can sock over a tune for either the country or R;B markets.
During this time Elvis continued to make sensational hits. For example, Heartbreak Hotel, Blue Suede Shoes, and Hound Dog. Elvis appeared on T.V. shows, one of his most famous appearances was on the Ed Sullivan. Elvis was not allowed to be seen from the waist up due to his previous performance on The Stage Show because they felt his movement from the waist down was to racy. When Elvis performed on the Ed Sullivan show he was seen from the waist up.
In 1957, once again, Elvis had another unbelievable string of number 1 records. They were, All Shook Up, Teddy Bear, Loving You, and Jailhouse Rock. During this year, Elvis purchased an estate named Graceland. Elvis had the mansion redecorated to include mirrored bedrooms with midnight blue walls, a motion picture screening room, living room/music room, dining room, kitchen, television room, and poolroom, as well, as an enormous pool outside. By this time Elvis had become so famous it was no longer possible for him to go anywhere without fans all around him.
In 1958, Elvis was drafted into the army for two years. Treated like a regular soldier, he was sent to Fort Chaffee, Arkansas, where the most publicized haircut of 1958 took place. Sporting a crew cut, off he went to Fort Hood, Texas, for eight weeks of basic training. At this time Gladys Presley passed away. She was seriously overweight and started to take diet pills. She mixed them with alcohol to help her with depression. Elvis was then shipped to Friedburg, Germany and assigned the job as a jeep scout driver. This is where Elvis was introduced to 14-year-old Priscilla Ann Beaulieu, who was the daughter of a U.S army major.
Elvis returned to Gracedland in 1960 and continued right where he left off. He began his 5th movie called G.I. Blues. During the time Elvis continue his private relationship with Priscilla and invited her over to Graceland to spend Christmas with him and his family.
In 1962, Elvis asked Priscilla to move to Graceland. She soon convinced her parents and she was on her way. She enrolled in Memphiss Immaculate Conception High school and saw Elvis only when he was back home between pictures. She graduated from school in 1963.
On May 1, 1967, Priscilla and Elvis were married in Las Vegas and a ceremony followed in the Aladdin Hotel. They went off to Palm Springs for a four-day honeymoon and nine months later, on February 1, 1968, had a child, a daughter whom they named Lisa Marie. During this time Elviss singing career had a bit of an upturn. Meanwhile, his acting career went to hell.
With his movie career in ruins, and his records selling only moderately well, Elvis turned in 1969 to playing Las Vegas appearing in public for the first time in seven years. Since 1969, he regularly appeared twice a year in Las Vegas, for a month in the summer and another in the winter, at 1 million per engagement, and he also each year made a national tour in such places as the Houston Astrodome and New Yorks Madison Square Garden.
In 1972, Elvis and Priscilla filed for a divorce. Elvis went back to his old lifestyle of partying around the clock. Soon he found himself with a serious weight problem that could not be controlled. By the summer of 74 Elvis had reached a stunning 240 pounds. While performing he would often slur through songs. The audience was not allowed to take pictures of him and if they were caught their cameras would be broken.
On August 16, 1977 Elvis Aaron Presley passed away. Still to this day people are uncertain of how he died. Many say it was the drugs he relied on to stay awake, many say it was because of his heart, and many still to this day are convinced that Elvis is alive. Regardless of what people may think, Elvis Presley will forever go down in history as the King Of Rock N Roll.
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