b. January 8, 1935 d. August 16, 1977
King of Rock and Roll
Elvis Presley was born January 8, 1935 in Tupelo, Mississippi to parents Gladys and Vernon Presley. His twin brother Jesse was born just prior to Elvis, stillborn. In the morning of August 16, 1977 Presley died of heart failure. It was later ruled that his death was related to his prescription drug use. A toxicology report that came out weeks later revealed high levels of pharmaceutical painkillers such as Dilaudid, Quaalude, Percodan, Demerol, and codeine in Elvis"s body. He is survived by his daughter Lisa Marie Presley. October 2, 1977 he was interred at his Graceland Estate.
In 1948, Elvis and his parents move from his birthplace, Tupelo Mississippi to Memphis Tennessee. During his high school years in Memphis Elvis focused his energy music with varying success. In the book Last Train to Memphis by Guralnick, Peter, Elvis recalls "I wasn't popular in school ... I failed music—only thing I ever failed. And then they entered me in this talent show ... when I came onstage I heard people kind of rumbling and whispering and so forth, 'cause nobody knew I even sang. It was amazing how popular I became after that."
A year after graduating from high school Elvis is paired up with local musicians Scotty Moore and Bill Black. The trio would begin to record and tour. In November, 1955 Elvis signs a recording contract with RCA Records. Five weeks later, "Heartbreak Hotel" was release and climbed to #1 on Billboard’s pop singles chart, #1 on the country chart and #5 on the R&B chart.
In March of 1957, Elvis bought 17,552 square foot Graceland Mansion on the outskirts of Memphis for his parents, grandmother and himself to life in.
A year later the now famous Elvis Presley was drafted in the U.S. Army. He requested that he be treated like all of the other soldiers. After Army basic training Elvis was assigned to an armored unit in Germany. While on active duty Presley's record label continued to release his music. In January, 1960 Elvis is promoted to the rank of Sergeant. Five weeks later Elvis is honorably discharged from the Army.
After military service, much of it out of the country, Elvis resumed his successful music and actor career. In the early 1960s Elvis was featured in as many as three films a year. Elvis would accompany each of his films with a soundtrack. Critics and serious music lovers panned Elvis' productions as formulaic but they were profitable.
Elvis inducted into the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame during the first induction dinner.(1986)
Elvis inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. (1998)
Elvis postage stamps released by the U.S. Postal Service. (1993)
Elvis inducted into the Gospel Hall of Fame.(2001)
Publicity photos for Jailhouse Rock
Presley with Juliet Prowse in G.I. Blues
CBS program Stage Show 1956
At the White House 1970