Elvis Presley

Elvis Aaron Presley was born on Tuesday, January 8, 1935 in East Tupelo, Mississippi. In September 1948 when Elvis was 13, he and his parents moved to Memphis, Tennessee. After graduating from Humes High School in Memphis, Elvis took odd jobs working as a movie theater usher and a truck driver for Crown Electric Company. He began singing locally as "The Hillbilly Cat", then signed with a local recording company, then in 1955 with RCA. He did much to establish early rock and roll music, bringing black blues singing into the white, teenage mainstream. Teenage girls became hysterical over his blatantly sexual gyrations, particularly the one that got him nicknamed "Elvis the Pelvis" (TV cameras were not permitted to film below his waist). At the time of his death, he had sold more than 600-million singles and albums.

In 1956 following his 6 TV appearances on The Dorsey Brothers'" Stage Show" , Elvis was cast in his first acting role in a supporting part in Love Me Tender (1956), the first of 33 movies he starred in. Critics blasted most of his films, but they did very well at the box-office earning upwards of $150 million total. In 1958, Elvis was drafted into the military where he relocated to Bad Nauheim, Germany. There he met and fell in love with 14-year old army damsel Priscilla Ann Wagner (later known as Priscilla Presley). Elvis's military service and the "British invasion" of the 1960s reduced his concerts, though not his movie/recording income. Through the 1960s, Elvis settled in Hollywood where he starred in over 20 movies, acting alongside some of the most well known character actors in Hollywood. On February 1, 1968, he and Priscilla had a daughter, Lisa Marie Presley.

Elvis made a comeback in the 1970s with live concert appearances starting in early 1970 in Las Vegas with over 57 sold-out shows. Elvis toured throughout the USA appearing on-stage in over 500 live appearances, many of them sold out shows. Sadly, his marriage ended in divorce, and the stress of constantly traveling as well as his increasing weight gain and dependence upon stimulants and depressants took their toll. Elvis Presley died on Tuesday, August 16, 1977 at his mansion in Graceland, near Memphis at age 42. Since his death, his Memphis home Graceland has become a shrine for millions of followers worldwide. Elvis impersonators and purported sightings have become stock subjects for humorists.

Elvis Presley began his career as first performer of rockabilly, an up-tempo fusion of country and rhythm and blues with a strong back beat. His novel versions of existing songs, mixing 'black' and 'white' sounds, made him popular - and controversial - as did his uninhibited stage and television performances. He recorded songs in the rock and roll genre, with tracks like "Jailhouse Rock" and "Hound Dog" later embodying the style. Presley had a versatile voice and had unusually wide success encompassing other genres, including gospel, blues, ballads and pop. To date, he is the only performer to have been inducted into three separate music 'Halls of Fame'.

In the 1960s, Presley made the majority of his thirty-three movies - mainly poorly reviewed musicals. 1970 saw a critically-acclaimed return to live music, followed by performances in Las Vegas and across the U.S. Throughout his career, he set records for concert attendance, television ratings and recordings sales. He is one of the best-selling and most influential artists in the history of popular music. His death, at the age of 42, shocked his fans worldwide.

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