Elvis Aron Presley was born in a two room house on January 8, 1935, in East Tupelo, Mississippi. The Presley family lived near poverty in the early years when upon moving to Memphis, Tennessee in 1948, the thirteen year old Elvis would become influenced by the gospel music of a Pentecostal church.
After graduating from high school, in 1953 Elvis paid to record two songs meant to be a birthday gift to his mother. “My Happiness” and “That’s When Your Heartaches Begin” would be his first steps towards becoming what many would say was the greatest entertainer of the century and “the King of Rock n’ Roll.”
In 1954 Sun Records would release “That’s All Right,” backed by “Blue Moon of Kentucky.” Within a few days it was a hit when Memphis radio station WHBQ began programming the record and Presley began a regular touring schedule outside of the Memphis area. His second single, “Good Rockin’ Tonight,” with “I Don’t Care if the Sun Don’t Shine” was released in September, 1954 and a month later Elvis Presley made his first appearance on the “Louisiana Hayride” in Shreveport to the delight of a large audience. He was signed to a one-year contract for a weekly performance.
Elvis Presley moved from Sun Records to RCA where a few months later in 1956 his very first single “Heartbreak Hotel,” topped the charts at #1. Before the year ended Elvis had 16 records on the Hit Parade, four of them “I Want You I Need You I Love You,” “Don’t Be Cruel,” “Hound Dog” and “Love Me Tender” also reached #1. In 1957 “Too Much,” “All Shook Up,” “Teddy Bear” and “Jailhouse Rock” also leaped to the top of the charts. The following year, “Don’t” and “Hard Headed Woman” hit the top spot with “I Beg Of You,” “Wear My Ring Around Your Neck,” “One Night” and “I Got Stung,” also million sellers. In 1959, “A Fool Such As I,” “I Need Your Love Tonight,” “A Big Hunk of Love” and “My Wish Came True” continued the hit streak for Elvis.
In 1960 three more #1 hits, Stuck On You,” “It’s Now Or Never,” “Are You Lonesome Tonight” and “Surrender.” In 1961, “I Feel So Bad,” “Little Sister,” “His Latest Flame” and “Can’t Help Falling In Love.” It was “Good Luck Charm,” “She’s Not You,” and “Return to Sender” in 1962 “The King” also hit with “You’re The Devil in Disguise.
Before the 60’s ended Elvis would hit with “Crying in the Chapel,” “Love Letters,” “If I Can Dream,” “In the Ghetto,” “Don’t Cry Daddy,” and another chart topper, “Suspicious Minds.” In the 1970’s “The Wonder of You,” “Burning Love,” “You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me,” “Promised Land” and “Way Down” each charted.
A multiple Grammy award winner, in his first dozen years Elvis Presley had 100 hits on the Billboard charts and was the most famous entertainer in the world. On tour and on stage in Las Vegas he played more than a thousand sold out concerts and starred in enormously profitable films such as “Love Me Tender,” “Jailhouse Rock” and “King Creole.”
Elvis Presley’s “Aloha from Hawaii” concert in January 1973 was the first of its kind to be broadcast worldwide via satellite and was seen by at least one billion viewers worldwide. “Way Down” was Elvis’ last single issued during his lifetime, released on June 6th. His final concert was held At Market Square Arena in Indianapolis on Une 26th.
He appeared in three dozen very profitable motion pictures, starting with Love me Tender in 1956 and ending with Elvis on Tour in 1972.
At age 42, Elvis Presley died at his home in Memphis on August 16, 1977. Both he and his mother were finally laid to rest in Graceland’s Meditation Garden on October 2nd. The Elvis Presley estate earns over 40 million dollars every year, a record for a deceased entertainer and his Graceland Mansion where he is buried is designated as a National Historic Landmark.
In 1986 he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, in 1998 the Country Music Hall of Fame, in 2001 the Gospel Music Hall of Fame and in 2007, the Hit Parade Hall of Fame.