Elvis Presley – King of Rock and Roll
Elvis Presley was the leading American singer for two decades and the most popular singer of the entire rock ‘n’ roll era. He was one of the first musicians to sing and play rock music.
Elvis Aron Presley was born on January 8, 1935 in Tupelo, Mississippi. His twin brother, Jesse Garon Presley, died shortly after birth.
Elvis participated in numerous talent contests as he was an elementary school student. When the boy was 13 years old his family moved to Memphis, Tennessee.
After high school Elvis worked as a truck driver. In 1953, he began paying his own way into the Memphis Recording Services studio. A year later he recorded That’s All Right Mama for Sun Records. Elvis was influenced by the gospel music sung and by the way the preachers stirred up the crowds’ emotions. Memphis was a center for blues music and had a radio station that played gospel, blues, and rhythm-and- blues. Elvis often listened to this station.
In 1955 Elvis reached the top of the country charts with Mystery Train.
By 1955 Elvis had three songs on the national charts and had signed a contract with RCA.
In 1950s Elvis became a living legend. He affected manner of dress, hairstyles, and even behavior. He was one of the most important influences on the Beatles.
In 1958 Presley entered the U.S. Army. In 1960 he returned to the United States and continued recording, performing, and acting.
Elvis was an instant success in television and movies as well. His movies included Jailhouse Rock (1957), King Creole (1958), G. I. Blues (1960), Blue Hawaii (1961), Girls! Girls! Girls! (1962), Viva Las Vegas (1964), and Spinout (1966). Wild in the Country (1961), based on the J. R. Salamanca novel The Lost Country, marked his debut in a straight dramatic role. He starred in more than 30 films.
On August 16, 1977 Elvis was found dead in Graceland Mansion by his fiance, Ginger Alden. He was 42 years old. The official cause of death was heart disease, although the post-mortem revelations of his drug dependency created a media event.
He met his future wife Priscilla Beaulieu in Germany. He married her in 1967, and she bore him his only child, Lisa Marie Presley, in 1968. In 1973 he and Priscilla were divorced.
Elvis had many noted ‘unofficial’ relationships, including with actresses Ann-Margret, Cybill Shepherd and Natalie Wood.
Since 1972 Presley dated beauty queen Linda Thompson. Ginger Alden became his last girlfriend.