Elvis Presley

Elvis Presley

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Elvis Presley (8.1.1935) Elvis Presley was a world-renowned American singer and actor. He has become an iconic figure in popular culture and is often referred to as The King of Rock and Roll.

Childhood: Elvis was born to Vernon Elvis Presley and Gladys Love Presley and raised in the house that his father built in Tupelo. Elvis was an identical twin, but his brother was stillborn.

When Vernon was jailed for altering a cheque, Gladys and Elvis were forced out of the family home and had to live with relatives.

Elvis Presley made his first public performance in October 1945, when he sang at the Mississippi-Alabama Fair and Dairy Show. Dressed as a cowboy, Elvis stood on a chair in order to reach the microphone and sang Red Foley's 'Old Shep'. On his 11th birthday, he was given his first guitar.

Elvis was a fan of Mississippi Slim's radio show and was influenced by the likes of Bob Wills, Sister Rosetta Tharpe and Roy Acuff.

The Presley family moved to Memphis, Tennessee in 1948 and Presley would practice guitar along with Johnny Burnette (a rockabilly pioneer), another tenant in his block. When he earned enough money from his job at Loew State Theater, he would dress himself in clothes from Lansky Brothers on Beale Street.

Music Career: In 1953, Elvis Presley went to Sun Records' Memphis Recording Service and cut a recording of 'My Happiness' and 'That's When Your Heartache Begins', reportedly as a present for his mother. Eventually, Sam Phillips got Winfield 'Scotty' Moore and Bill Black to record some songs with Presley. They recorded a version of Arthur Crudup's 'That's All Right (Mama)', backed with Bill Monroe's 'Blue Moon of Kentucky'. When DJ Dewey Phillips played 'That's All Right' on his radio show, listeners called in, eager to find out who the singer was. Many assumed Elvis to be black and Presley had to confirm on the radio which school he attended, to confirm his race.

Elvis' first paid performance was in 1954 at the Overton Park Shell, with Slim Whitman. Hank Snow introduced Presley when he debuted at Nashville's Grand Ole Opry.

'Colonel' Tom Parker became Elvis' manager in 1955 and he soon signed to RCA Victor Records. Elvis was only 20 years old, so his father had to sign the contract for him. Though Elvis did not write his songs, Mae Boren Axton allowed Presley writing credits for her song 'Heartbreak Hotel' because she liked him and knew that he wanted to buy his parents a Cadillac.

Elvis Presley's debut album was self-titled and was released in 1956. It became RCA's first million dollar-seller. His performance on The Milton Berle Show earned him the title 'Elvis the Pelvis' due to his gyrating movements. As a result, when Elvis appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show, he was only filmed from the waist up.

In December of that year, Sun Records recorded a session at their studios of Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis and Elvis Presley performing together in their studio. The tracks were released as a bootleg entitled The Million Dollar Quartet.

In 1957, Elvis Presley was drafted into the army. He was granted leave to finish filming King Creole. Following his time in the army, his success continued to grow, as did his appetite for alcohol and amphetamines. Among the first tracks launched after his release were 'It's Now Or Never' and 'Are You Lonesome Tonight?' In March 1960, Frank Sinatra - who had previously criticised Elvis' style - invited him to perform on The Frank Sinatra-Timex Special.

Despite losing out to Burt Lancaster for a role in The Rainmaker, Elvis' movie career eventually flourished. He made his debut in Love Me Tender, a musical western, followed by Jailhouse Rock. Throughout his career, he worked alongside renowned actors, such as Walter Matthau, Angela Lansbury, Charles Bronson and Mary Tyler Moore, though his credibility as an actor was far from concrete; he was often cast in light-weight, pithy films that did little for his reputation. However, there was still money to be made from an Elvis flick, as people outside of the US had no chance to see Elvis live. In fact, the Richard Burton and Peter O'Toole movie Becket was only made possible by the money generated by a series of Elvis movies.

In the late 1960s, artists such as Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, The Doors and Janis Joplin were dominating radio play. Tom Parker was considered by many to be ruining Elvis' career by demanding ever-increasing salaries. As a result, he lost a role in A Star Is Born to Kris Kristofferson, despite the fact that Barbra Streisand had personally invited him to take the role.

During the era, The Beatles had knocked Elvis off of his throne, dominating popular culture. 'Suspicious Minds' was his sole number one of this era. In 1965, the Beatles met Elvis Presley, during a well-publicised arrangement made by Tom Parker.

A pivotal moment in Elvis career came in 1968, with his televised NBC show, simply named Elvis, but later dubbed the '68 Comeback Special. Clad in black leather, Elvis performed in front of a small studio audience. The following year, Elvis Presley returned to live performance. His performances in Las Vegas attracted show business luminaries such as Fats Domino, Cary Grant, Pat Boone and Henry Mancini.

Elvis' health began to deteriorate in the 1970s and his addiction to prescription drugs became overwhelming. His reputation was blighted by poor and cancelled performances. His final performance was in Indianapolis, on 26th June, 1977.

He was pronounced dead on 16th August 1977. Elvis' legacy has been widespread and prominent, with artists such as Bob Dylan, Rod Stewart and Mick Jagger admitting his influence over them as performers. His home, Graceland, in Memphis has become a popular tourist attraction.

Personal Life: Elvis and Priscilla Presley married in May 1967 at the Aladdin Hotel in Las Vegas. They had a daughter together, Lisa Marie Presley (who was briefly married to Michael Jackson), born in 1968.

Elvis was also linked to a number of other ladies, including the actress Cybill Shepherd, the writer Judy Spreckels, the actress Ann-Margret and beauty pageant entrant Linda Thompson. The singer Cher reportedly regrets having turned down his advances. His last girlfriend, Ginger Alden was with him when he died.

Biography by Contactmusic.com

George Harrison's Guitar Plucks $485,000 At Auction

George Harrison Elvis Presley Priscilla Presley Britney Spears Madonna Michael Jackson Beatles Carlos Santana Trent Reznor

The Fab Four may have once sung "Can't buy me love", but Friday's auction at the Hard Rock Cafe proved you can buy George Harrison's prized Maton Mastersound guitar - if you have almost half a million dollars handy.

The BeatlesGeorge Harrison (far right) with the rest of the Fab Four

Rolling Stone reports that the instrument sold for $485,000, the top earner at Julien's Auctions in New York, which specialized in the sale of hundreds of rare items from the world of music.

Continue reading: George Harrison's Guitar Plucks $485,000 At Auction

Jack White Revealed As Mystery Bidder Who Bought Elvis' First Ever Recording

Jack White Elvis Presley

Rock hero Jack White has bought the first ever record produced by Elvis Presley, it has been revealed. The former White Stripes frontman was unmasked as the mystery internet bidder who parted with $300,000 for the unique record back in January.

In a bizarre interview with Billboard, which involved the interviewer rendezvousing with “a mysterious man with a black suitcase and instructions to hurry to meet White three hours across the state in Nashville,” the singer opened the case to reveal the valuable disc.

Jack White
Jack White was the man behind the $300k auction bid of Elvis' first recording

Continue reading: Jack White Revealed As Mystery Bidder Who Bought Elvis' First Ever Recording

Picture - Elvis Presley Exhibition - Preview... London United Kingdom, Thursday 11th December 2014

Elvis Presley Exhibition - Preview of Elvis at the 02: The Exhibition of his life--Direct from Graceland - London, United Kingdom - Thursday 11th December 2014

Elvis Presley
Elvis Presley
Elvis Presley
Elvis Presley
Elvis Presley

Famed Elvis Presley Photographer Alfred Wertheimer Dies, But Lives On In His Snapshots [Pictures]

Elvis Presley Priscilla Presley

Legendary Elvis Presley photographer Alfred Wertheimer, whose highly-publicised snaps of the star on his rise to fame, passed away on Sunday (October 19th 2014) aged 85.

Alfred Wertheimer at the European Elvis Presley festival exhibition (Photo by Hannelore Foerster/Getty Images)
Alfred Wertheimer with his work at the European Elvis Presley festival exhibition (Photo by Hannelore Foerster/Getty Images)

One of the world's most famous celebrity snappers was announced to have died in his apartment in New York last week from natural causes according to a statement issued by Chris Murray, owner of the Govinda Gallery in Washington DC where much of his work surrounding music phenomenon Elvis Presley resides.

Continue reading: Famed Elvis Presley Photographer Alfred Wertheimer Dies, But Lives On In His Snapshots [Pictures]

Barbra Streisand Makes Chart History With New Album

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It's not easy to be a pioneer in music nowadays, but Barbra Streisand seems to have managed it with the release of her thirty-sixth album 'Partners'. The record has debuted at the top spot on the US Billboard Chart, making Streisand the first singer to have a number one album in six consecutive decades. 

Barbra Streisand
Streisand (72) is continuing to break records in the music world

Her first album to reach the top spot was 'People' back in 1964, and she has gone on to have a further nine reach number one in the US, including her latest one. With her ten number one albums, she is now tied for fourth place with the most number one albums alongside Elvis Presley. Ahead of her are The Beatles (19), Michael Jackson (13) and Bruce Springsteen (11), but Streisand is still the most successful female artist. She has also scored six number ones in the UK album chart and thirteen in other countries. She has also achieved five number one singles, her last being 'Woman in Love' which was released in 1980.

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Walking In Memphis! Check Out The History Of This Tennessee City From Budweiser Made in America

Three 6 Mafia Elvis Presley Justin Timberlake Johnny Cash Jerry Lee Lewis Roy Orbison The Bar-Kays Big Star Project Pat Juicy J

Budweiser Made in America is getting closer all the time as we explore the nation's most musically cultured cities. Now we hit Memphis, whose famous faces include everyone from Elvis Presley to Justin Timberlake.

Memphis, Tennessee has been a massive influence on musical culture since music charts began, with a range of artists frequently mentioning the great city within their own song lyrics; think Marc Cohn's 'Walking In Memphis', Chuck Berry's 'Memphis', Paul Simon's 'Graceland' and of course Alannah Myles' 'Black Velvet'. Thus, it's only right that Budweiser Made In America bring their documentary series to the great city to explore what Memphis is all about nowadays.

Watch the Budweiser Made in America documentary for Memphis:

Continue reading: Walking In Memphis! Check Out The History Of This Tennessee City From Budweiser Made in America

Picture - Elvis Presley - Accomplishing this... New York City New York United States, Thursday 17th July 2014

Elvis Presley - Accomplishing this feat requires many photos of the famous person/character, plenty of time, and a great deal of skill... something that Cruz quite clearly has! - New York City, New York, United States - Thursday 17th July 2014

Pharrell's Big Grammys Hat On eBay: Other Celeb Memorabilia Auctioned Off

Pharrell Williams Katy Perry John Lennon Elvis Presley Mick Jagger

Pharrell Williams is auctioning off the headline-grabbing Vivienne Westwood buffalo hat that he wore to the recent Grammy awards. As soon as the singer stepped out on to the red carpet wearing the oversized, brown, brimmed headwear, his image pinged across the world and its own Twitter account was quickly created ( "chillin on @pharrell's head" don'tcha know).

Pharrell Williams
This Hat Right Here.

Capitalising on his hat's seemingly instant iconic status, Pharrell has decided to raise some serious cash for charity by putting the ostentatious accessory on eBay. With 9 days and 7 hours left on the auction, bidding currently stands at $10,500 (£6,300) and the winning bidder will not only receive the hat and a certificate of authenticity but also that warm glow of charitability too.

Continue reading: Pharrell's Big Grammys Hat On eBay: Other Celeb Memorabilia Auctioned Off

Katy Perry Isn't The Only Celebrity Who Believes In Aliens: 5 More UFO-Obsessed Celebs

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Katy Perry appeared as the cover girl for the February issue of GQ magazine, where amongst other things, she revealed that she genuinely believes in extraterrestrial beings and that we are not alone. She also spoke about praying for large breasts, regretting that prayer in later life, her dislike of cannabis, losing her virginity, the beginnings of her career and much more, but it was her other worldly beliefs that has caught on.

Katy Perry
Katy believes that we are not alone

"I believe in a lot of astrology. I believe in aliens. I look up into the stars and I imagine: How self-important are we to think that we are the only life-form?" she questioned. "I mean, if my relationship with Obama gets any better, I'm going to ask him that question. It just hasn't been appropriate yet."

Continue reading: Katy Perry Isn't The Only Celebrity Who Believes In Aliens: 5 More UFO-Obsessed Celebs

New Elvis Presley Exhibit Put On Display At Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame

Elvis Presley Priscilla Presley

Elvis Presley continues to be remembered and celebrated long after his death, and on Friday, 29 November, the King of Rock & Roll was honoured yet again at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland, Ohio. Featuring a number of personal items loaned from Graceland, his Memphis mansion and now a permanent museum dedicated to Elvis, the new exhibit looks to pay tribute to Elvis and show off some of his more extravagant tastes and hopefully some things that will be new to a number of fans.

Elvis Presley
Elvis has had a long association with the R&RHoF

Inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1986, Elvis' posthumous association with the organisation has been a regular occurrence, with the current exhibition the latest in a long succession of exhibits honouring the King. The opening of the exhibit came in tandem with the launch of Elvis Presley Enterprises, the new company set up to manage all of the late icon's business assets, including Graceland, and to conduct business on his behalf. The company was founded by his widow, Priscilla Presley.

Continue reading: New Elvis Presley Exhibit Put On Display At Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame

Rihanna Makes UK Chart History As Eminem Collaboration Storms To The No. 1 Spot

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Rihanna made chart history this weekend when her latest collaborative effort with rapper Eminem entered the chart at number one, meaning she's hit the top spot for seven years running, at some point or another. The feat has only ever been matched by The Beatles and Elvis Presley and has etched her into the history books alongside those two recording greats.

'The Monster' - her second number one collaboration with Eminem following their massively successful link up on 2010's 'Love the Way you Lie' - continues a run of form that began in 2007 with 'Umbrella' and it looks as though she could even break the eight year mark.

Rihanna has now had 8 number one singles over a period of 7 consecutive calendar years. But let's put that into perspective: alongside her fellow 'Club 7' record breakers, The Beatles had 17 number one singles in the same period, more than double that of Ri-Ri. She's got a long way to go.

Continue reading: Rihanna Makes UK Chart History As Eminem Collaboration Storms To The No. 1 Spot

Forget the Elvis Duet, The Susan Boyle Movie Is On The Way!

Susan Boyle Elvis Presley

Fresh after news that Susan Boyle will be the first British artist duet with Elvis Prelsey, we've also learned that the big-screen movie adaptation of the singer's life is finally in development.

The singer, who became a global star after finishing second on Britain's Got Talent, told gathered journalists at a press conference to "watch this space" for more announcements on the movie.

She said: "There are plans in operation for that, but that's for later on," according to BBC Newsbeat.

Continue reading: Forget the Elvis Duet, The Susan Boyle Movie Is On The Way!

Susan Boyle and Elvis Presley to 'Duet' - Christmas Number 1 for the Unlikely Pair?

Susan Boyle Elvis Presley

Don’t ask how, but Susan Boyle is recording a Christmas single with Elvis Presley. The Scottish singer looks as bemused as anyone else, and what’s worse, is that no one seems to be explaining what the hell’s going on. Elvis Presley is dead.

“To sing with Elvis, I didn't think it would be possible... isn't technology brilliant?' said Boyle, totally ignoring what we just said. "Dueting with Elvis was beyond my wildest dreams and now that this is able to raise money and help children, it is simply fantastic." (Express)

Word just in: it’s not really a duet. Not really. Boyle will just be singing over a recording of Elvis singing. So it’s like some humming along to the radio but with words. It’s singing – singing over something else.

Continue reading: Susan Boyle and Elvis Presley to 'Duet' - Christmas Number 1 for the Unlikely Pair?

Michael Jackson Named Top Earning Celebrity Dead Or Alive

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In it's most recent list of top celebrity earners, Forbes has named Michael Jackson as the highest earning dead celebrity of the last year. With his estate earning an estimated $160 million between October 2012 and June 2013, not only is Michael the top earning dead celebrity, but the top earning celebrity in general.

Michael Jackson
Michael Jackson tops the list once again

Michael's earnings over the last year amount to $35 million more than the top-placed living celebrity, Madonna, who Forbes estimates earned $125 million between 2012 and 2013. As reported by Forbes, this marks the "third time in the past five years" that a dead celebrity has been crowned the highest earner of the year. How appropriate for a list that is released just before Halloween.

Continue reading: Michael Jackson Named Top Earning Celebrity Dead Or Alive

Susan Boyle To Record 'Duet' With Elvis Presley For Christmas Album

Susan Boyle Elvis Presley Celine Dion Frank Sinatra

Susan Boyle has already lived out her life-long ambitions by performing alongside the likes of Elaine Paige and Donny Osmond since she was catapulted to stardom through her performance on Britain's Got Talent, and now the Scottish singer will get to fulfil another life-long ambition by performing with The King himself; Elvis Presley.

Susan Boyle
Su-Bo will be achieving a life-long goal by dueting with The King

Su-Bo will release her first Christmas-themed studio album, Home For Christmas, in time for the festive period and has promised no shortage of surprises for the yuletide LP, her fifth album to date. She will become the first British artist to duet with Elvis through the use of studio wizardry on a version of the well-known carol 'Oh Come All Ye Faithful,' the Sunday People first reported this weekend. The self confessed Elvis fanatic admitted to the paper that the singing opportunity is a “dream come true.”

Continue reading: Susan Boyle To Record 'Duet' With Elvis Presley For Christmas Album