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Elvis Essay, Research Paper

Elvis Aaron Presley was born into a poverty stricken family on January 8, 1935. He and his twin brother (Jessie Garon who died at birth) were the sons of Vernon Elvis Presley and Gladys Love Smith Presley. Gladys Smith gave birth in two-room house built by her husband and her brother – in -law. His way of life was rough in Tupelo, Mississippi where he was born. He was born during the Great Depression. Elvis and his parents attended the Assembly of God Church; the music and preaching registered very deeply in Elvis. In 1945, ten year old Elvis stands on a chair at a microphone and sings ” Old Sheep ” in a contest at the Mississippi – Alabama Fair and Dairy Show, which was held in Tupelo. Elvis wins second prize, which was $5.00 and free admissions to all rides at the fair. In 1946, Elvis’s parents couldn’t afford the bicycle that Elvis wanted, so Gladys talked him into accepting a guitar instead. The guitar cost $12.95 and was purchased at the Tupelo Hardware

Company. He and his family moved to Memphis, Tennessee in 1948 to pursue a better life. They lived in low – income housing. He buys his clothes on the famous, Beadle Street, and he absorbs the gospel and blues that he hears there. Elvis graduated from Hughes High School in 1953. He recorded an album for his mother as a present at Sun Records in 1954. In late 1955 his recording contract was sold to RCA Records. The songs that he recorded was ” My Happiness and “That’s When Your Heartaches Begin”. Sam Phillips, finally calls him in to record “Big Boy” Crudup’s ” That’s All Right” and song was backed by “Blue Moon of Kentucky”. By 1956, he was an international sensation. With a sound and style that uniquely combined his diverse musical influences and challenged the social and racial barriers of the time, he began a whole new style of music. He was highly criticized for his music that had African American roots and his swiveling hip movements. Elvis was a total original! August 15, 1955, Elvis signs a management contract with Hank Snow Attractions, which was equally owned by Snow and Colonel Tom Parker. Colonel Tom Parker will be Elvis’ manager from this time to the time of his death. Snow, soon is no longer connected to Elvis. On November 20, 1955 Elvis signed his first contract with RCA Records, which will be his label to the time of his death. Colonel Parker negotiated the sale of Elvis’s contract to RCA, which included Elvis’s first five singles with SUN and unreleased material of SUN. The final price was a whopping $40,000 with $5,000 bonus. No artist at that time was paid that much. September 9, 1956 ” Elvis Presley Day” was proclaimed in Tupelo, Mississippi. December 31, 1956, the front page of the Wall Street Journal reported that Elvis’ merchandise had grossed $22 million in sales. This would be forever part of the market of Elvis Presley, and non- – stopping never ending demanded. Elvis buys Graceland Mansion for himself, his parents, and his great – grandmother to live in on March 1957. It would be ready for them to move into by April of 1957. After two successful films, Elvis began work on “Jailhouse Rock” for MGM in May 1957. October 17, 1957; ” Jailhouse Rock ” premiered in Memphis. “Jailhouse Rock” would come to be known as the ultimate classic of all “rock opera” movies. The “Jailhouse Rock ” production number in the film would be later be recognized as the grandfather of pop and rock music videos, a music format that would become a widely popular by the 1980’s.

Many women were crazy over him, and were saddened when he was drafted

into the army in December of 1957. March 24, 1958 Elvis was inducted into the United States Army at the Memphis Draft Board and was assigned the serial number 53310761. In August of 1958, Gladys Presley dies of acute hepatitis. She was laid to rest at Forest Hill Cemetery, a few miles down the road from Graceland, but later her body was moved back to Graceland after Elvis’ death.

He was stationed in West Germany. That is where he met Priscilla Ann Beaulieu. March 1960, he was discharged from the army. After he was discharged, he missed Priscilla. He asked Priscilla to move in with him at his legendary home, Graceland in the year of 1963. They married on May 1, 1967 in Las Vegas, Nevada. They spent their honeymoon in Palm Springs, California. On their honeymoon Priscilla got pregnant with their only child, Lisa Marie Presley. Lisa was born on Feb. 1, 1968. The busy schedule of concert tours left very little time for his family. Priscilla filed for divorce and which went though on October 9, 1973. Elvis and Priscilla made a court appearance. Priscilla was awarded custody of Lisa Marie, there is no formal visitation, but Elvis and his daughter would spend time together regularly. He loved spending time at Graceland with family and friends having backyard barbecues and riding horses. He also enjoyed the times with his daughter, Lisa Marie, at Graceland has well. He loved driving his pink Cadillac’s and riding his Harley Davidson motorcycles.

After years away from the stage, he final appears on television singing on December 3, 1968 on NBC – TV. This special would be known as the “Comeback Special”. It was the biggest television hits of the year. Elvis took his crown back as “The King of Rock and Roll”. You have to remember Elvis comeback during the time of Vietnam War and hippie movement, and Elvis had all things that were not popular. Elvis was against the hippie movement and the Vietnam War. He liked President Richard M. Nixon. During July 31 – August 28, 1969, Elvis was booked for a four-week engagement at the International Hotel in Las Vegas, which was just built, has the largest showroom in the city. The engagement did break all existing Las Vegas attendance records and gets rave review from the public. Elvis opens up what is called his “Vegas” period. January 1973, Elvis makes television and entertainment industry history with his ” Elvis: Aloha from Hawaii – Via Satellite Special “. It was the concert by a performer to be broadcast around the world by satellite. Elvis performed for free to help benefit for the Kui Lee Cancer Fund. Elvis was not know for his charitable events, but Elvis helped local organizations and pay off people’s bill silently. The concert was seen by 1/4 of the world’s population. It was saw by more American households has than man’s first walk on the moon. Never has one performer held the world’s attention in such awe. It was definitely one of the greatest moments in his career. He starred in 33 successful films, made history with his television appearances and specials, and knew great acclaim though his many, often breaking, live concert performances on tour and in Las Vegas. Globally, he has sold over one billion records, platinum or multi-platinum awards for 111 different albums and singles, far more than any other artist of group. Among his awards were the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, which he received at the age of 36, from the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, and his being named One of the Ten Most Outstanding Young Men of the Nation for 1970 by the United States Jaycees. This award is giving to people who are bound for the Presidency of the United States of America. Without any special privileges, he honorably served his country in the United States’ Army. Millions loved his talent and good looks, sensuality, charisma, and good humor. Known the thoughout the world by his first name, he is regarded as one of the most important cultural figures of the twentieth century. Elvis Aaron Presley (The King of Rock and Roll died in his legendary home, Graceland, in Memphis, Tennessee on August 16, 1977 of cardiac arrest. Elvis Presley’s death sadden the world for years to come. Elvis also influenced many generations of entertainers and musicians.

“ Elvis Aaron Presley is one the biggest cultural figures of the twentieth century. With passion and integrity, he has reached the world like no else has. With talent and charisma, his heart and soul embraced it all. His music was diverse: country, gospel, rock, pop, soul, rhythm and blues. He obtains all these assets. He was the true King of Rock and Roll. Elvis sang it all”, said by his former wife, Priscilla Presley on the Elvis: The Tribute (It’s now or never), an ABC special.

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