Elvis Presley Images, Pictures, Photos:
"I don't know anything about music. In my line you don't have to." - Elvis
Full Name / Real Name / Birth Name: Elvis Aaron Presley
Date of Birth: 8 January 1935
Place of Birth: Tupelo, Mississippi, USA
Date of Death: 16 August 1977 (heart attack)
Place of Death: Memphis Tennessee, USA
Family / Parents:
Mother: Gladys Love Smith Presley
Father: Vernon Elvis Presley
Zodiac Sign : Capricorn
Height : 183cm
Education: Graduated from Humes High School there in 1953
Occupation: Rock Musician / Pop - Rock & Roll Singer / Actor
Nickname: Pelvis - because of his sexually
Best known as: The King of Rock and Roll
Elvis Presley was an American singer who had an effect on world culture rivaled only by The Beatles and Chuck Berry. Exposed to gospel music from childhood, Presley began playing guitar before his adolescence. Early in his career he was referred to as The Hillbilly Cat and was soon nicknamed Elvis the Pelvis because of his sexually suggestive performance style. In terms of sheer record sales, Elvis' impact is utterly phenomenal and eclipses any other recording artist. He was famous in life, Elvis Presley has become even more famous in death as an icon of American music and TV-era celebrity.
The Elvis Presley biography reads like the ultimate fulfillment of the American dream. The rags to riches Elvis biography allowed every teenager of the mid 1950's dream that anything is possible. Since then just about every rock star has wanted to re-live the history of Elvis.
Elvis Presley Biography
Elvis Presley was born on January 8. 1935, in a one-room house in Tupelo, Mississippi, the only child of poor sharecroppers; the family moved to Memphis in 1948. The boy from humble beginnings to Elvis Army days, to Elvis in Hollywood to Elvis in Concert to become the King of rock roll.
Childhood of Elvis:
Presley's family moved when he was 13. He had a twin brother (Jesse Garon Presley) who died at birth. They would move to Lauderdale Courts public housing development in 1949. It was here where Elvis would be near Memphis music and cultural influences like Beale Street, Ellis Auditorium, Poplar Tunes record store with Sun Studio about a mile away. It is said that Elvis was a fan of the comic book superhero Captain Marvel, Jr. as a boy, and modeled what would later become his trademark hairstyle on that of the comic book character. Elvis took up guitar at 11 and would practice in the basement laundry room at Lauderdale Courts. He would play gigs in the malls and courtyards of the Courts with other musicians that lived there. After high school he worked at Precision Tool Company and then drove a truck for the Crown Electric Company.
In the summer of 1953 he paid $4 to record the first of two double-sided demo acetates at Sun Studios. The demo consisted of "My Happiness" and "That's When Your Heartaches Begin," popular ballads of the time. While Presley claimed to have recorded the demo as a birthday present for his mother, this is probably untrue, since Gladys Presley's birthday was in April and he recorded the acetate in July. Sun Records founder Sam Phillips and assistant Marion Keisker heard the discs and, recognizing Presley's nascent talent, called him in June 1954 to fill in for a missing ballad singer. Although the session did not prove fruitful, Sam put Elvis together with local musicians Scotty Moore and Bill Black to see what might develop. During a rehearsal break on July 5, 1954, Elvis started fooling around with a blues song written by Arthur Crudup called "That's All Right". Philips liked the record and released it as a single backed with Elvis' hopped-up version of Bill Monroe's bluegrass song "Blue Moon Of Kentucky."
Elvis signed with RCA Records on November 21, 1955. On January 27, 1956 the single "Heartbreak Hotel" / "I Was the One" was released. It was the sixth single of his career. Unlike the previous singles, this one did chart, reaching #1 in April 1956. until his death in 1977, Elvis had 146 Hot 100 hits, 112 top 40 hits, 72 top 20 hits and 40 top 10 hits; all of these are the most anyone has yet achieved. "Don't Be Cruel" and "Hound Dog" topped the pop, black and country charts in 1956.
Elvis Presley's (and Colonel Parker's) aspirations were too big to be limited to records and live appearances. By late 1956, his first Hollywood movie, Love Me Tender, had been released; other screen vehicles would follow in the next few years, Jailhouse Rock being the best. The hits continued unabated, several of them ("Jailhouse Rock," "All Shook Up," "Too Much") excellent, and often benefiting from the efforts of top early rock songwriter Otis Blackwell, as well as the emerging team of Jerry Leiber-Mike Stoller. The Jordanaires added both pop and gospel elements with their smooth backup vocals. The Dean Martin influence began rearing his head in smoky, sentimental ballads such as "Loving You"; the vocal swoops became more exaggerated and stereotypical, although the overall quality of his output remained high. And although Moore and Black continued to back Elvis on his early RCA recordings, within a few years the musicians had gone their own ways.
Presley's recording and movie careers were interrupted by his induction into the Army in early 1958. There was enough material in the can to flood the charts throughout his two-year absence (during which he largely served in Germany). When he re-entered civilian life in 1960, his popularity, remarkably, was at just as high a level as when he left.
One couldn't, unfortunately, say the same for the quality of his music, which was not just becoming more sedate, but was starting to either repeat itself, or opt for operatic ballads that didn't have a whole lot to do with rock. Elvis' rebellious, wild image had been tamed to a large degree as well, as he and Parker began designing a career built around Hollywood films. Shortly after leaving the Army, in fact, Presley gave up live performing altogether for nearly a decade to concentrate on movie-making. The films, in turn, would serve as vehicles to both promote his records and to generate maximum revenue with minimal effort. For the rest of the '60s, Presley ground out two or three movies a year that, while mostly profitable, had little going for them in the way of story, acting, or social value.
While there were some quality efforts on Presley's early-'60s albums, his discography was soon dominated by forgettable soundtracks, mostly featuring material that was dispensable or downright ridiculous. In time he became largely disinterested in devoting much time to his craft in the studio. The soundtrack LPs themselves were sometimes filled out with outtakes that had been in the can for years (and these, sadly, were often the highlights of the albums). There were some good singles in the early '60s, like "Return to Sender"; once in a while there was even a flash of superb, tough rock, like "Little Sister" or "(Marie's the Name) His Latest Flame." But by 1963 or so there was little to get excited about, although he continued to sell in large quantities.
The era spanning, roughly, 1962-1967 has generated a school of Elvis apologists, eager to wrestle any kernel of quality that emerged from his recordings during this period. They also point out that Presley was assigned poor material, and assert that Colonel Parker was largely responsible for Presley's emasculation. True to a point, but on the other hand it could be claimed, with some validity, that Presley himself was doing little to rouse himself from his artistic stupor, letting Parker destroy his artistic credibility without much apparent protest, and holing up in his large mansion with a retinue of yes-men that protected their benefactor from much day-to-day contact with a fast-changing world.
The Beatles, all big Elvis fans, displaced Presley as the biggest rock act in the world in 1964. What's more, they did so by writing their own material and playing their own instruments; something Elvis had never been capable of, or particularly aspired to. They, and the British and American groups the Beatles influenced, were not shy about expressing their opinions, experimenting musically, and taking the reins of their artistic direction into their own hands. The net effect was to make Elvis Presley, still churning out movies in Hollywood as psychedelia and soul music became the rage, seem irrelevant, even as he managed to squeeze out an obscure Dylan cover ("Tomorrow Is a Long Time") on a 1966 soundtrack album.
Elvis' 1968 Comeback:
The 1960s saw the quality of Presley's recorded output drop, although he was still capable of creating records equal to his best and did so on the infrequent occasions where he was presented with decent material at his movie recording sessions. In 1960 the album Elvis is Back was recorded. This, like his first two albums, Elvis Presley and Elvis, are considered by many of his fans to be his best work. With this drop-off, and in the face of the social upheaval of the 1960s and the British Invasion spearheaded by The Beatles, Presley's star faded slightly before a triumphant TV comeback special on NBC (aired on December 3, 1968) that saw him return to his rock and roll roots. His 1969 return to live performances, first in Las Vegas and then across the country, was noted for the constant stream of sold-out shows, with many setting attendance records in the venues where he performed.
On December 20, 1957 Presley received a draft notice for a 2-year duty with the United States Army. He received no special treatment. He sailed to Europe on the USS General George M. Randall, and served in Germany as an ordinary soldier. He was honorably discharged on March 5, 1960. Many have since wondered why an only child – by then the sole support of his parents and grandmother – was drafted during peacetime, since his services were clearly not critical for the defense of his country. It has long been suspected that Elvis' draft notice was either politically instigated to shunt his "dangerous", "race-mixing" influence, or encouraged by his manager in order to keep the increasingly world-wise Southern lad under his thumb. While in the army, he received a black belt in karate and attained the rank of Sergeant.
After seven years off the top of the charts, Presley's song "Suspicious Minds" hit No. 1 on the Billboard music charts on November 1, 1969. This was the last time any song by Presley hit #1 on the US pop charts while he was still alive, although "Burning Love" got as high as #2 in September 1972. He still reached #1 on charts around the world. For example, "The Wonder Of You" reached #1 in the UK in 1970. Way Down was racing up the American Country Music charts shortly before Presley's death in 1977, it hit #1 on that very chart the week he died. It also topped the UK pop charts at the same time. The mid-1970s saw Elvis becoming increasingly isolated, battling an addiction to prescription drugs and the resulting toll on his appearance, health and performances. Elvis made his last live concert appearance in Indianapolis, Indiana at the Market Square Arena on June 26, 1977.
Elvis and Women: Dating
Elvis was a sex symbol who sent legions of women swooning. He had a string of girlfriends, before and after he became famous, including celebrities such as Mamie Van Doren, Natalie Wood, Tuesday Weld, Cybill Shepherd and Ann-Margret. He lived with Memphis girfriend Anita Woods until he met Priscilla Beaulieu while stationed in the U.S. Army base in Germany.
On May 1, 1967 he married Priscilla Anne Beaulieu at the Aladdin Hotel in Las Vegas. Priscilla had been the step-daughter of Presley's commanding officer in Germany during his Army stint. Incredibly, Elvis managed to talk Priscilla's mother and step-father into allowing the underaged girl to live with him at Graceland. In her autobiography, Priscilla recounted how Elvis would stay up all night and sleep most of the day; if he wanted to go out, he'd rent out the venue so no fans would bother him. Although he would spend hours alone with her in her bedroom, Priscilla wrote that Elvis never made any advances toward her. Indeed, their wedding night was the first time they were intimate; their daughter, Lisa Marie, was born exactly nine months later on February 1, 1968.
After their divorce in 1973, Lisa lived with Priscilla but spent a great deal of time with Elvis. Elvis then began a relationship with Linda Thompson who moved into Graceland almost immediately and stayed there for four years until Presley dropped her for Ginger Alden. Alden was living with him at the time of his death.
Apart from these relationships to women, Elvis spent most of his time with men from the so-called "Memphis Mafia", among them Sonny West, Red West, Billy Smith, Marty Lacker, and Lamar Fike. They used to hang with Elvis all day and night. Similar to the real Mafia, there was a code of silence within the group during Elvis's lifetime, and they protected his name and image. After the death of Elvis, several Memphis Mafia members wrote books on his life.
Elvis: The Hollywood Years, a 2002 biography by David Bret, claims Presley was gay. Bret, who has made a career on sensationalized claims of homosexuality of deceased male celebrities, says Colonel Tom Parker "held secret information about a homosexual affair between Elvis and actor Nick Adams over his head like a sword. ... That is why Parker had so much control over him." According to Bret, many journalists' attempts to "out" Elvis in the past were thwarted by his manager. In her manuscript book The Intimate Life and Death of Elvis and an unfavorable article in the National Enquirer, Dee Presley, Elvis's stepmother, also says that Elvis had sexual encounters with men and mentions his affair with Nick Adams. Other testimonies have also been said to point to homosexuality. In Elvis by the Presleys (2005) his ex-wife, Priscilla Presley claims that Elvis was not overtly sexual towards her and that they did not have sex until the night of the wedding. Parts of the lyrics to the song "Jail-house Rock" may also be interpreted as being homo-erotic. Despite these statements, just about every other author, writing in the vein of the worldwide Elvis industry which has a tendency toward supporting only a 'favorable' view of the singer, believes that Elvis was heterosexual.
Death of Elvis:
Elvis Presley died at his home Graceland in Memphis, Tennessee on August 16 , 1977. He was found on the floor of his bedroom's bathroom ensuite by girlfriend Ginger Alden who had been asleep in his bed. He was transported to Baptist Memorial Hospital where doctors pronounced him dead at 3.30pm. He was only 42 years old. It is a popular myth that he died whilst defecating on the toilet.
Numerous examinations of his death by medical personnel have resulted in a final public cause of death; the cause was, in fact, a heart attack, most likely due to lifestyle and his documented extreme misuse of prescription drugs. In an interview for the BBC television programme Hard Talk in 1999, Sam Phillips offered a slightly different explanation, based on his thirty year friendship with the Presley family. He believed that the cause of Elvis death was due to kidney failure. He believed that members of the Presley family had a genetic weakness in their kidneys and he cited similarities between the death of both Elvis and his mother Gladys.
Presley was originally buried at Forest Hill Cemetery in Memphis next to his mother but after an attempted theft of his body, his and his mother's remains were moved to Graceland.
In death, Elvis remains a paradox. As Lea Frydman content manager of ElvisPresleyNews.com notes. "His legacy has become a double-edged sword; whereas on one hand, he continues to have a loyal and loving following, and on the other, the media has turned his fandom into myth, with countless 'Elvis is alive' hoaxes and Elvis sightings and clichés of a fat guy in a white jumpsuit."
But even the specter of white jumpsuits, gross obesity, substance abuse and career suicide can't diminish his artistry. Elvis himself recognized his inherent gifts when he announced, upon his arrival at Sun studios that "I don't sing like nobody."
"In that simple, ungrammatical, declarative sentence, Elvis was offering an incomplete but otherwise impeccable definition of his uniqueness as a singer. He did not sound like anybody else then, and he does not sound like anybody else now."
What made him unique was how he broke down musical barriers. Though he's hailed as "The King of Rock and Roll," that's a bit of misnomer. Maybe he should have been called the emancipator. Elvis represented the convergence in one small-town boy, born at the right time, in the right place, in the right environment and under the right circumstances, of all the musical currents of America's subcultures: black and white gospel, country and Western, and rhythm & blues. After 1956 popular music would never be the same again.
Other rock-era contemporaries looked to him as a source of divine inspiration. "When I first heard Elvis' voice, I just knew that I wasn't going to work for anybody, and nobody was going to be my boss," Bob Dylan once said. "He is the deity supreme of rock 'n' roll religion as it exists in today's form."
Even a long-haired emissary, composer-conductor Leonard Bernstein, paid his tribute to the King. "Elvis Presley was the greatest cultural force in the 20th century. He changed everything--music, language, clothes--it's a whole new social revolution."
Lea Frydman reflects, "The voice, 25 years after his death, continues to astonish even those of us who have spent most of our lives listening to it with its power, range and subtlety but above all, with its very believability."
Listen to Elvis illuminate the joys and sorrows of life on gospel- inflected numbers such as "You Gave Me a Mountain." Or how he rips it up or tears it up on rockers such as "Trying to Get to You" or "Burning Love." Or how he ponders the possibilities of fate in "Follow That Dream" and "If I Can Dream."
Elvis certainly believed in their power: "Every dream I ever dreamed has come true a hundred times."
To many Presley fans, his greatest legacy remains his supreme embodiment of the American dream.
When Elvis stepped behind a microphone, he represented everything the American dream had to offer," Lea Frydman said. "And every teenager on the planet wanted to be part of it. Fifty years later, how can you let go of a dream like that?
The question of Elvis Presley remains as alive as the man himself is dead. He remains the specter of possibility--in rock 'n' roll, pop culture, America, modern life--and he remains the fact of ruin.
Elvis's daughter Lisa Marie Presley was married to pop star Michael Jackson from 1994-1996, and then briefly to Nicolas Cage in 2002... Elvis was married one time, to the former Priscilla Beaulieu, from 1967-73; Priscilla Presley later appeared in the TV soap Dallas and the Naked Gun film series.