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

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

Barbra Streisand Michael Buble Lionel Richie John Legend Elvis Presley

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.

Continue reading: Barbra Streisand Makes Chart History With New Album

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