Alice April Academy Blog 2017 Post #3
This week (January 16-20, 2017) is dedicated to Elvis Presley
Let’s talk about Elvis! Here’s a piece of wisdom from him 👇
“When things go wrong don’t go with them”
Take a look at this documentary about Elvis
Read lyrics to Elvis’s songs here.
THE INCREDIBLE ELVIS LIFE STORY BEGAN WHEN 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.
Here are some interesting facts about Elvis 👇
Elvis’ famous black hair was dyed – his natural color was brown.
Elvis purchased his first guitar when he was just 11 years old. He wanted a rifle, but his mama convinced him to get a guitar instead.
In 1947, a local radio show offered a young Elvis (age 12) a chance to sing live on air, but he was too shy to go on.
At 18, Elvis paid $4 to make his first record, a gift for his mama.
In 1954, Elvis auditioned for a gospel quartet named the Songfellows. They said no.
That same year, a local radio DJ played Elvis’ version of That’s All Right. He went on to play it 13 more times that day, but had trouble convincing his audience that Elvis was white.
His nickname for his manhood was reportedly Little Elvis.
His breakthrough hit was Heartbreak Hotel, released in 1956 – a song inspired by a newspaper article about a local suicide.
When performing on TV in 1956, host Milton Berle advised Elvis to perform without his guitar, reportedly saying, “Let ’em see you, son.” Elvis’ gyrating hips caused outrage across the U.S. and within days he was nicknamed Elvis the Pelvis.
A Florida judge called Elvis “a savage” that same year because he said that his music was “undermining the youth.” He was subsequently forbidden from shaking his body at a gig, so he waggled his finger instead in protest.
He played only five concerts outside the U.S., all on a 3-day tour of Canada in 1957. Many believe that the reason why he never toured abroad again was that his longtime manager, Colonel Tom Parker, was an illegal immigrant from Holland who would have been deported had he applied for a U.S. passport.
Col. Parker is said to have always had an eye for talent and for a quick buck – prior to managing Elvis, Parker reportedly painted sparrows yellow to sell them as canaries.
Elvis was 6 feet tall and wore a size 11 shoe.
Recording Hound Dog in the studio, Elvis reportedly demanded 31 takes.
Elvis bought his mansion, Graceland, in Memphis, TN in 1957 for $100,000. It was named by its previous owner after his daughter, Grace.
Performing “Are You Lonesome Tonight?” in Las Vegas in 1969, Elvis did one of his frequent lyric changes to amuse himself. Instead of “Do you gaze at your doorstep and picture me there?”, he sang “Do you look at your bald head and wish you had hair?”
In 1956, he began his film career with a western, Love Me Tender. His second film, Loving You, featured his parents as audience members. Following his mother’s death in 1957, he never watched the film again. He went on to make a total of 31 movies in his career.
In December 1957, Elvis was drafted into the U.S. Army, earning a $78 monthly salary. During his brief two-year stint on active duty, he was unable to access his music-generated income of $400,000.
In 1959, while serving overseas in Germany, Elvis (then 24 years old) met his future wife, 14 year-old Priscilla Beaulieu. They were married 8 years later.
Elvis’ 1960 hit “It’s Now or Never” so inspired a prisoner who heard it in jail that he vowed to pursue a career in music upon his release. The artist, Barry White, was then serving a 4-month sentence for stealing tires.
Elvis and Priscilla’s only daughter, Lisa Marie Presley, was born in 1968. Lisa Marie later married Michael Jackson and actor (and Elvis obsessive) Nicholas Cage. Mr. Cage is reportedly the only person outside of Presley’s immediate family to have ever seen Elvis’ Graceland bedroom.
Following his divorce from Priscilla in 1972, Elvis was said to have allowed ‘good-looking girls’ who waited outside Graceland to enter afterhours. One night it was 152 women!
Elvis’ popularity faded in the 1960’s with the rise of the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, and others. He successfully relaunched his career with a 1968 television special that came about because Elvis had walked down a busy Los Angeles street and had no one recognize or approach him.
He was distantly related to former U.S. Presidents Abraham Lincoln and Jimmy Carter.
Elvis recorded more than 600 songs, but did not write any of them.