Elvis Aaron Presley - Biography•
Elvis Aaron Presley was born to Vernon and Gladys Presley in a two-room house in Tupelo, Mississippi, on January 8, 1935. His twin brother, Jessie Garon, was stillborn, leaving Elvis to grow up as an only child. He and his parents moved to Memphis, Tennessee, in 1948, and Elvis graduated from Humes High School there in 1953.• Elvis’ musical influences were the pop and country music of the time, the gospel music he heard in church and at the all-night gospel sings he frequently attended, and the black R&B he absorbed on historic Beale Street as a Memphis teenager.• In 1954, Elvis began his singing career with the legendary Sun Records label in Memphis. In late 1955, his recording contract was sold to RCA Victor. By 1956, he was an international sensation. With a sound and style that uniquely combined his diverse musical influences and blurred and challenged the social and racial barriers of the time, he ushered in a whole new era of American music and popular culture.
• He starred in 33
successful films, made history with his television appearances and specials, and knew great acclaim through his many, often record-breaking, live concert performances on tour and in Las Vegas. Globally, he has sold over one billion records, more than any other artist. His American sales have earned him gold, platinum or multi-platinum awards. Among his many awards and accolades were 14 Grammy nominations (3 wins) from the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences, the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award which he received at age 36, and his being named One of the Ten Outstanding Young Men of the Nation for 1970 by the United States Jaycees. Without any of the special privileges, his celebrity status might have afforded him, he honorably served his country in the U.S. Army.• His talent, good looks, sensuality, charisma, and good humor endeared him to millions, as did the humility and human kindness he demonstrated throughout his life. Known the world over by his first name, he is regarded as one of the most important figures of twentieth century popular culture. Elvis died at his Memphis home, Graceland, on August 16, 1977.
Quotes by Elvis• “Some people
tap their feet, some people snap their fingers, and some people sway back and forth. I just sorta do „em all together, I guess.” -Elvis in 1956, talking about his way of moving on stage. "I aint no saint, but Ive tried never to do anything that would hurt my family or offend God...I figure all any kid needs is hope and the feeling he or she belongs. If I could do or say anything that would give some kid that feeling, I would believe I had contributed something to the world." -Elvis commenting to a reporter, 1950s. “Don‟t criticize what you don‟t understand, son. You never walked in that man‟s shoes.” -Elvis often used this adaptation of a well-known quotation. “When I was a child, ladies and gentlemen, I was a dreamer. I read comic books and I was the hero of the comic book. I saw movies and I was the hero in the movie. So every dream I ever dreamed has come true a hundred times...I learned very early in life that: „Without a song, the day would never end; without a song, a man ain‟t got a friend; without a song, the road would never bend - without a song. So I keep singing a song. Goodnight. Thank you.” -From his acceptance speech for the 1970 Ten Outstanding Young Men of the Nation Award. Given at a ceremony on January 16, 1971. (Elvis quotes from copyrighted material with lines from the song “Without a Song”.)
Quotes by Elvis• “We do
two shows a night for five weeks. A lotta times we‟ll go upstairs and sing until daylight - gospel songs. We grew up with it...It more or less puts your mind at ease. It does mine.” -Talking about the informal jam sessions he and the band and entourage enjoy each night during the lengthy Vegas engagements. These happen upstairs in Elvis’ suite at the Las Vegas Hilton as they all try to “wind down” from the excitement and energy of the live shows. Quote is from a 1972 taped interview used in MGM’s documentary "Elvis on Tour."• “I‟ve never gotten over what they call stagefright. I go through it every show. I‟m pretty concerned, I‟m pretty much thinking about the show. I never get completely comfortable with it, and I don‟t let the people around me get comfortable with it, in that I remind them that it‟s a new crowd out there, it‟s a new audience, and they haven‟t seen us before. So it‟s got to be like the first time we go on.” -From a 1972 taped interview used in MGM’s documentary "Elvis on Tour" “The first time that I appeared on stage, it scared me to death. I really didn‟t know what all the yelling was about. I didn‟t realize that my body was moving. It‟s a natural thing to me. So to the manager backstage I said, „What‟d I do? What‟d I do?‟ And he said “Whatever it is, go back and do it again.” -From a 1972 taped interview used in MGM’s documentary "Elvis on Tour"
Quotes by Elvis• “Man, I
was tame compared to what they do now. Are you kidding? I didn‟t do anything but just jiggle.” -From the press conference prior to his record-breaking Madison Square Garden shows in New York City, 1972 “...the image is one thing and the human being is another...it‟s very hard to live up to an image.” -From the press conference prior to his record-breaking Madison Square Garden shows in New York City, 1972 “A live concert to me is exciting because of all the electricity that is generated in the crowd and on stage. It‟s my favorite part of the business - live concerts.” -Elvis at a press conference prior to his 1973 television special, "Elvis - Aloha from Hawaii, via Satellite" “ „Til we meet again, may God bless you. Adios.” -Said in 1977 at the end of a concert during his last tour
May 1967On May 1, Elvis
and Priscilla are married in a private ceremony amongst a small group of family and friends at the Aladdin Hotel in Las Vegas, just after 11:40 a.m.
Graceland• Graceland is a large
white-columned mansion and 13.8-acre (5.6 ha) estate that was home to Elvis Presley in Memphis, Tennessee. It is located at 3764 Elvis Presley Boulevard in the vast Whitehaven community about 9 miles (14.5 km) from Downtown and less than four miles (6 km) north of the Mississippi border. It currently serves as a museum. It was opened to the public on June 7, 1982. The site was listed in the National Register of Historic Places on November 7, 1991 and declared a National Historic Landmark on March 27, 2006. Graceland has become one of the most-visited private homes in America with over 600,000 visitors a year, behind the White House and Biltmore Estate (900,000 visitors per year).• Elvis Presley died at the estate on August 16, 1977. Presley, his parents Gladys and Vernon Presley, and his grandmother, are buried there in what is called the Meditation Garden. A memorial gravestone for Presleys twin brother, Jesse Garon, is also at the site.