Today, August 16, is the 35th Anniversary of the death of Elvis Presley. He died in 1977 of a heart arrhythmia at his Graceland home in Memphis, Tennessee. As one of the most popular and beloved entertainers of his time, his death came as a shock to his many devoted fans. In honor of Elvis, included here are some interesting facts about the “The King”.
Elvis Aron Presley was born on January 8, 1935 in Tupelo, Mississippi, USA. In 1954, Elvis began his singing career at the legendary Sun Records. His recording contract was sold a year later to RCA records. Elvis had an illustrious career as a singer and an actor. He has been inducted into The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, The Country Music Hall of Fame and the Gospel Music Hall of Fame.
Famous “Elvis” Tradmarks
The famous left-sided grin
His movements, with his pelvis, that gave him the nickname, “Elvis, the pelvis”, which he strongly disliked
Longer and slightly deeper sideburns
White sequined jumpsuits with rhinestones
Onstage karate moves
Peanut butter and banana sandwiches (with bacon)
Two trademark phrases were “Thank ya!” and “Thank ya’ very much!”
Black hair often greased back
- Owned a pet chimpanzee called “Scatter”.
- Had 18 Billboard #1 songs, the first being “Heartbreak Hotel” in March of 1956. His 18th and final #1, “Suspicious Minds”, was released in September 1969.
- The book he was reading at the time of his death was “The Scientific Search for the Face of Jesus” by Frank O. Adams, (Psychical Aid Foundation, USA, 1972).
- From the time they met up until his death, Elvis always sent a roomful of flowers to Anne Margaret whenever she opened up a show in Las Vegas.
- After seeing him in concert, Liberace suggested adding flashy costumes into his act. Elvis took the advice, and became famous for his gold lame jackets and jeweled white jumpsuits. He later reserved a seat for Liberace at a majority of his concerts, as his way of saying thanks.
- Died with about $5 million in his bank account.
- Elvis did not like confrontation. He wanted to fire his manager, Tom Parker, many times. He would tell his friends “Tell Parker, he’s fired.” His friends would go tell him, then Parker would say “Tell Elvis to tell me personally”. Elvis never did.
- Once an opera singer attended one of his 1950s concerts and met him backstage. The singer told Elvis that he sang like a hillbilly and needed singing lessons. Elvis replied, “Thanks for the advice, but how many of the thousands of people out there tonight came to hear you sing?”.
- In 1977 alone his personal physician, Dr. ‘George Constantine Nichopoulos’ (usually referred to as “Dr. Nick”), had prescribed at-least 10,000 hits of amphetamines, barbiturates, narcotics, tranquilizers, sleeping pills, laxatives, and hormones for Presley. His medical license was eventually revoked for prescribing such huge amounts of drugs.
- His home Graceland in Memphis is the second most popular private tourist attraction in the United States after the White House, and is estimated to bring in $150 million to the city itself each year.
“Some people tap their feet, some people snap their fingers, and some people sway back and forth. I just sorta do ‘em all together, I guess.” -Elvis in 1956, talking about his way of moving on stage.
“The first time that I appeared on stage, it scared me to death. I really didn’t know what all the yelling was about. I didn’t realize that my body was moving. It’s a natural thing to me. So to the manager backstage I said, ‘What’d I do? What’d I do?’ And he said “Whatever it is, go back and do it again.” -From a 1972 taped interview used in MGM’s documentary “Elvis on Tour”
“…the image is one thing and the human being is another…it’s very hard to live up to an image.” -From the press conference prior to his record-breaking Madison Square Garden shows in New York City, 1972
May Elvis forever rest in peace. His legacy will live on as long as we hold him in our hearts and memories.
Biography for Elvis Presley. (1990-2012). Retrieved from IMdb.com Inc: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000062/bio
Elvis Presley: The Official Site of the King of Rock & Roll. (2012). Retrieved from Elvis Presley Enterprises, Inc: http://www.elvis.com/about-the-king/
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