"Singing? It's like a surge of electricity going through you. It's almost like making love, but it's even stronger than that . . . sometimes I think my heart is going to explode!" "As for movies? I get tired of playing a guy who gets into a fight, then starts singing to the guy he's just beat up!"
What does it take to get you moving?? For me, maybe a Chaplin flick, an adderall & two cups o' joe - and I'm .. ready to go! For millions of women & men in the 50's & 60's .. all it took was a hip shakin', hit makin', record breakin', earthquakin', swaying gent named Elvis Presley! He could make em weep, fosho'll! Nooo shit! Straight up! His voice was the potion, to make them WEEP DEEP TEARS of emotions! The world had never seen ANYTHING like it, & hasn't, even to this day! A phenomenon of sorts! His death has been an ongoing public sighting debate (we WANT to believe, just ask ANY impersonator!) ... or that the Lisa Marie we know .. may not be the actual REAL Lisa Marie! On the tv, or on the radio - all you heard playing in the 50's & 60's, was Elvis! ...Atop the racks on stacks, it's the best on wax .. that's cat lingo of the era! But live, & in person?? It was very rare! Every tv host of that era was going ape shit to book Elvis. It was an idea cooked from the nutty mind of his tangled deranged manager, Col. Tom Parker, to keep Elvis out of live public view in hopes of boosting the desire to see him! The result?? Maaany hours of Elvis being locked up, poppin pills, & eatin' many meals! Preferably .. SOUTHERN FRIED peanut butter and banana sammiches SON!! Reportedly, Elvis took those fried peanut butter & 'naner sammiches VERY serious! SO serious in fact .... if he found someone or someplace that could make exceptional ones .. which was rare - but did happen!! Elvis would offer them a job, working for him with the SOLE PURPOSE of .... yeah, you guessed it - perfecting him the perfect southern fried peanut butter & naner sammich! NO SHIT, SON!! If he had a hankering for A PLACE that made good ones .. he'd hop aboard his privy plane & fly TO THE CITY of the said place that could perfect those lovely southern fried peanut butter & naner sammiches. Ron Strauss, was Elvis' pilot .. (interesting stuff!) According to Elvis' longtime best friend & manager, Joe Esposito ... 'he had a very unhealthy love for them southern fried peanut butter & banana sandwiches! Do YA THINK? You know it's a known addiction when Reese's has a flavor line dedicated to you! Women & those sandwiches were Elvis Presley's vice .. his weakness. Musically, and cinematically, he revolutionized it! Fans and enemies were mystified .. but to E! (as he was known to friends,) it was just taking care of bidness as usual! (aka TCB!) But just what made him a 'king?' How exactly did he revolutionize the musical scene?? According to Henry Pleasants ..."Elvis Presley has been described variously as a baritone and a tenor. An extraordinary compass to music in general ... a very wide range of vocal color would have something to do with this divergence of opinion." He identifies Presley as a high baritone, calculating his range as two octaves and a third, "from the baritone low G to the tenor high B, with an upward extension in falsetto to at least a D-flat. Presley's best octave is in the middle, D-flat to D-flat, granting an extra full step up or down." In Pleasants' view, his voice was "variable and unpredictable" at the bottom, "often brilliant" at the top, with the capacity for "full-voiced high Gs and As that an opera baritone might envy." Before Elvis came on the scene, music was hopping to a different beat!! Until Elvis came along - the musician, would lay their track mixed with the standard music that would encompass that musicians voice. With Elvis - the 'low G,' or 'high B' couldn't keep resonnance with his voice. So they added an instrument, with another and yet another. TWO basses was unheard of at the time! After they mixed it - the result was a new kind of beat with a harder kick .. it was dubbed Rock n Roll .. and the man who defined the beat of Rock n Roll - was Elvis! Thus - his title .. King of Rock n' Roll. He had no idea & the jury is still out on a scientific definition on Michael Jackson being the King of Pop. Since the interweb is PLASTERED with bios of Elvis, I will keep the story here short & relevant! Can I get a 'thankyewverymuch' from the audience?? Recenty I re-paid homiage to Memphis, TN & Tupelo, MS .. & with THAT .. the story of Elvis here ..... begins!!
The KING of RnR was born on January 8, 1935 in Tupelo, MS ... (something that town has proudly touted since Elvis hit it big. Well ... that, and their frequent jail visitors!) He was set to be a twin, as brother Jesse Garon, popped out of the birth cannal 35 minutes before Elvis. Jesse was born still, which in essence means he was already dead when he was delivered. This would bother Elvis like the PLAGUE until the day he died! HAD he lived .. I am almost positive, he'd have looked like this! Elvis, however, was a healthy baby boy! As a child, Elvis was a imagineer, drifter, and always considered himself different .. as did his peers. His mom took him to the Assembly Of God church every Sunday & young Elvis loved it! It was at church that he developed an insatiable appetite & undying love for music. Thus two things Elvis always held close to his heart .. a love for gospel music, & his mom at an early age. His mom 'saw' this and encouraged his love for music, which led to his first 'gig' in October of 1945. 10-year old Elvis took to the stage in a cowboy outfit & stood on a chair at the Mississippi-Alabama Fair and Dairy Show to sing the classic, 'Old Shep.' He placed 5th. Later in January, on his birthday, he asked for a rifle, but recieved a guitar & over the next year, took lessons on it taught by the family pastor. Presley recalled, "I took the guitar, and I watched people, and I learned to play a little bit. But I would never sing in public. I was very shy about it." By 6th grade, he was taking his guitar to school & performing during lunch. His taste in clothes never appealed to anyone but him and that was all that mattered! HELL YES!
In 1948 - the young Elvis & family, moved to Memphis and lived in government housing. This provided a new and fresh change for Elvis. A change of city, but not of opinion. He was thought of an outsider in Memphis as well. By his junior year in high school, Elvis had formulated a small band, that basically included licks and riffs on the instruments. His bandmates entered him into a school competition in Humes's "Annual Minstrel" show, in April 1953. He recalls, 'I wasn't popular in school ... I failed music—only thing I ever failed. And then they entered me in this talent show ... when I came onstage I heard people kind of rumbling and whispering and so forth, 'cause nobody knew I even sang. It was amazing how popular I became after that." Elvis couldn't read cords, he studied and played music by ear. Girls started talking to him! "His flavor had developed an African American feel & from all angles .. unless you looked and could physically see that he was ALLL white, you would have thought he was black." said Memphis blues-man Bobby Tenney. "His songs were inspired by local African American musicians like Arthur Crudup and Rufus Thomas. He even played with B.B. King before anyone knew them & used to frequent Beale Street together on the weekends. By the time of his graduation from high school - Elvis had a steady view of his future & his future was music!!
In August of 1953, a local record label decided to open their doors to the general public to come in and record 2 songs. It wasn't long before Elvis walked in .. paid the money .. & stepped in the booth to record two songs for his mom. Legend has it he said the songs were for his mothers birthday. I doubt that theory due to his moms birthday being in April, & this was August.) WHATEVER the reason - he sang, "My Happiness" and "That's When Your Heartaches Begin". The receptionist Marion Keisker (the lady), & Sam Phillips (the dude) stories have always conflicted. Marion claims Sam WAS NOT at the studio when Elvis came in - Sam claims he WAS there with bells on & had a holy (it'show I describe his tale) experience when Elvis comes in. You can see Sam's version below, and here is Marion's. The receptionist, Marion, who was operating the recorder that day said .. "Sam was out to lunch when Elvis came in. When he started singing, I felt this strange feeling come over me. I had never heard a voice so beautiful & I never had done this before, but I started recording a copy on another track machine for Sam to hear when he returned that day." When Sam did return Marion presented it to Sam & told him about (her mind blowing climaxing orgasm ofa experience- my words .. not hers, sorry) experience she had felt. Sam immediatly listened and would comment later in an interview ..'you'd have been crazy not to think that cat had something precious!' Marion stated .. '"Over and over I remember Sam saying, 'If I could find a white man who had the Negro sound and the Negro feel, I could make a billion dollars.'" Enter Elvis & kerchang - we ALL know what happened next .. Elvis became sensation. To say the least, Sam had found his fetish of an albeitwhite negro singer, mmbut Col. Parker made ol Sam an offer he couldn't refuse, before his billion dollar boat came in!! Thousands would hafta do!
Elvis first 'hit' with RCA was 'Heartbreak Hotel'.. Sales of the song sold faster than retailers could get it.. D.J.'s were INUNDATED with requests for it. Elvis knocked sliced bread off the charts with his popularity. To most - Elvis was not human, he was a musical PHENOM! His records flew out as fast as stores could get them in!! To Elvis .. it was the living out of a childhood fantasy. With the ENORMOUS sales from 'Heartbreak Hotel'.. He bought his first home in Memphis, here, at 1034 Audubon Drive. Here was a photo of it then.. now.. then (with Elvis, mom, & dad).. This is a now & then photo of the backyard & pool.. Another of Elvis in the pool. Here is the plaque that now is affixed to the brick column at the driveway.. Here is Elvis in the yard, & one of Elvis in his room of the home just before a concert. Sadly - in April of this year (2017).. The house caught fire.. Sad, sad, sad!!Here is a photo of the local firefighters in action! Being sprayed off (kinda weird).. Thanks to Hollywood Legends.net buddy John Jennings for the video & photos!! Here are 2 more photos.. Elvis leaving the home on his moto-cycle, & a VERY cool original fan taken photo of Elvis at the home!! Thanks again, John!!
He bought Graceland, cars out the wazoo! According to one of the 'Memphis mafia,' as they we're riding down the street one Saturday, he saw what looked like a homeless man walking. Elvis demanded they stop - and took the man to a car lot across the street to BUY HIM a car. Elvis bought rides like you would see at a themepark, and put them on the grounds at Graceland. Any song he recorded - took off like a rocket on the charts, and couldn't be found in stores. Concerts were SOLD OUT. In 1956, Hollywood came calling on Elvis. Exciting stuff considering he'd been interested in acting in his youth. Humes High School students recall that he was often cast as the lead in the Shakespeare plays they studied in English class. Elvis had admired actors such as James Dean and Marlon Brando, and reportedly paid close attention to their performing styles long before he ever set foot on a movie set. Now, Paramount had come to HIM wanting a screen test. The screen test was for a film classic we now know as, 'The Rainmaker.' He did the screen test and excitedly & confidently told a radio station two weeks later that 'The Rainmaker,' would be his film debut. The part ultimately went to Earl Holliman...sadly...VERY VERY sadly. Here is where the studio put him up the first time he came to Hollywood. Aaannnd the first night. The studio had other plans. Three films in particular were on the roster. King Creole, Love Me Tender, & Jailhouse Rock. He stayed in this house while filming Jailhouse Rock. The dancing scene for the song in the film was choreographed & shot in that house as well. Whilst shooting Love me Tender, you could find him beyond these gates at 1174 Hillcrest in Bev Hills as well. He would go on to star alongside several well-established actors, including Walter Matthau, Angela Lansbury, Barbara Stanwyck, Jack Albertson, Gig Young, Mary Tyler Moore, and a then eleven-year-old Kurt Russell. He was living the dream of success. In the midst of the success, a big ol military draft came knocking.
On March 24, 1958 .. Elvis was sworn into the military. Before his mom and dad, and a select group of friends, Elvis Presley became Private Presley 3310761. With his fellow draftees he boarded an army bus for Fort Chaffee, Arkansas for basic training. Elvis was drafted to serve in Germany, where he met Priscilla Beaulieu ... (NO NO NO - get outta there Elvis! RUUUN!!!) the future alien queen of Scientology herself, and alot of future pain for Elvis. As we all know - they would marry 7 years later & have a daughter, who, apparently the identity of today, like his death, remains in question to some! Anyhoo - The separation of Elvis and his mother would break his mother's heart. She apparently became depressed and sick after his leaving for Germany. In 1958 - Elvis was informed that his mother had become very ill. The Army gave Elvis was given compassionate leave to begin a 24 hours hour vigil with his father. On the night of August 14, Vernon sent Elvis home for same much needed rest. At 3am the phone rang and Elvis was told that his precious mother had died of a heart attack brought on by the hepatitis. In shock and disbelief Elvis rushed to the hospital.
After Elvis entered his mother ward and the door closed, witnesses remember a piercing wild despair of wails from Elvis were heard as he wept and prayed long and loud over his mother’s lifeless body. Lamar Fike, friend of the Presley's & witness at Gladys Presley's Funeral said ..'"He didn't ever seem like Elvis ever again..." It was a sentiment many others that were close to Elvis were quoted as saying through the years, & after his death!
By the 60's - Elvis was out of the Army, and Hollywood was calling..again. Unfortunatly, this time, it was Elvis' manager, Col. Tom Parker (and NOT Elvis) that answered that call! Parker put Elvis on a gruesome and rigorous schedule in Hollywood. At one point, working on two films, at two different studios, each day. The second time around in Hollywood, Elvis had his own pad on Bellagio..where at? Bev Hills o'course! The hours were long & Elvis was getting more & more frustrated as he wanted to be in the recording studio making music. In all, & in his true fashion .. Elvis gave it his heart & soul. His career in film spanned from 1956-1969. Although he refused to watch his own films ... Hollywood collected the gems and movie fanatics like myself have the collections! :) Of all his films, the most celebrated and memorable still seems to be the dance scene in 'Jailhouse Rock.' After his final run & final film in Hollywood .. he returned home to Graceland to take a break before his next tour.
He got caught up on alot of folks he had long abandoned for the road, or the command of that dickface, Col. Tom Parker. Elvis always remained faithful to the fans. According to Pricsilla, no matter how many there were - he'd stay (if he could) and meet them all!
It was now the 70's, and his divorce to Pricsilla was finalized on October 9, 1973. As the days & months wore on it was visably noticeable that Elvis' addiction to Demerol was growing worse. He overdosed twice in one year (1974). According to his main physician, Dr. George C. Nichopoulos, Presley "felt that by getting drugs from a doctor, he wasn't the common everyday junkie getting something off the street." Since his comeback concert, he had staged more live shows with each passing year, and 1973 saw 168 concerts, his busiest schedule ever. Despite his failing health, in 1974 he undertook another intensive touring schedule..(hence an OD). He got progressively worse until he could no longer hide the addiction on stage. He got to the point when he became so obese, says best friend Joe Esposito, where here was so worried about what the fans would think and constantly needed assurance that he looked ok to be seen by the fans. According to his guitarist, John Wilkinson, "He was all gut. He was slurring. He was so fucked up. ... It was obvious he was drugged. It was obvious there was something terribly wrong with his body. It was so bad the words to the songs were barely intelligible. ... I remember crying. He could barely get through the introductions." Wilkinson recounted that a few nights later in Detroit, "I watched him in his dressing room, just draped over a chair, unable to move. So often I thought, 'Boss, why don't you just cancel this tour and take a year off...?' I mentioned something once in a guarded moment. He patted me on the back and said, 'It'll be all right. Don't you worry about it.'"
On July 13, 1976, Vernon Presley—who had become deeply involved in his son's financial affairs .. AND enabling Elvis—fired "Memphis Mafia" bodyguards Red West (Elvis' friend since the 1950s), Sonny West, and David Hebler, citing the need to "cut back on expenses". TRUTH be told - they cared DEEPLY for Elvis & as Red West later stated .. "Yeah, we were getting kind of loud about E's drug use. We didn't know what else to do. Hell - everyone around him including his doctors were making sure he got the pills down him. We felt by just sitting by and watching it unfold that we were just aiding in the process of murdering him." Recording sessions were getting difficult to do, due to his declining health. RCA feared the worst .. an ELVIS RETIREMENT! Upon the dickface Parkers request - a mobile studio was sent to Graceland via RCA in October of 76. Even trying to record in the confines of 'the Jungle room' at Graceland proved to be a task for Elvis. Out of that session .. DID come one of the greatest songs from Elvis .. 'Moody Blue.' By early '77 ... Journalist Tony Scherman wrote, "Elvis Presley had become a grotesque caricature of his sleek, energetic former self. Hugely overweight, his mind dulled by the pharmacopoeia he daily ingested, he was barely able to pull himself through his abbreviated concerts." According to Red West (former Memphis Mafia member), "as long as I had known E - he always said he wouldn't live past age 42 .. that was at what age his beloved mother had died." On January 8, 1977 - Elvis turned 42!
On the night of August 15, 1977, Elvis & Ginger were out late eating dinner. When Elvis wanted to go out and eat, he ultimatly had to rent the resturant after hours due to being mobbed in public.This is the last known photo of Elvis (with Ginger), pulling to Graceland that night. It was a usual night at the Graceland mansion and Elvis couldn't sleep. He stayed up entertaining friends until the early morning. Elvis was scheduled to fly out of Memphis the next evening .. August 16, 1977, to begin another tour. At around 7am on the morning of the 16th, his girlfriend (Ginger), went on up to bed .. Elvis went to play some racquetball. He won, as usual .. yessir&thankyewverymuch! After racquetball, he sat down at the piano to play a few songs to calm and relax himself. He sat down at the piano and played two songs according to the housekeeper who had stopped to listen. "Blue Eyes Crying In The Rain," & "Unchained Melody." Elvis retired to the upstairs bedroom (here's a view of his bedroom if your outside looking in .. and the same window from inside.) The last person to see him was Ginger, (his girlfriend), who saw him get a book off his nightstand and go into the restroom. Ginger awoke at around 1:30p.m. that day. Upon entering the bathroom ... she discovered Elvis - who had been sitting on the toilet naked reading the book. He was slumped, ass up and face down on the floor. His face was a blue color in tone and he had almost biten his tounge into! Elvis Presley had died. Age?? .... 42! The world had lost the King of Rock N Roll.
After his death, a photo of Elvis in his casket appeared in a magazine. That photo, along with many .. MANY folks who just wanna believe - sparked a notion that he may still be alive. To this date there are more Elvis sightings documented than documented UFO sightings. There are more documented Elvis impersonators than any other celebrity...and now a mystery by a crazy woman who believes .. really truely believes SHE indeed is the REAL Lisa Marie Presley. The REAL Lisa Marie is trying to stand up - while I believe the .. urrmm .. other REAL Lisa Marie is getting a good laugh from it!
You can virtually visit Elvis' grave here, and leave your comments! My buddy Scott has done a GREAT job chronacling the final hours of Elvis' life! Very interesting!! Check it out here!!
How much would YOU pay for a big hunka wad of Elvis fro??? It DOES have a pricetag- and sold! His barber has one hellofa pension fo sho!!
That's my idol, Elvis Presley. If you went to my house, you'd see pictures all over of Elvis. He's just the greatest entertainer that ever lived. And I think it's because he had such presence. When Elvis walked into a room, Elvis Presley was in the fucking room. I don't give a fuck who was in the room with him---[Humphrey Bogart], Marilyn Monroe." ~Eddie Murphy (roll mouse over or click name to see who tis!!!)
***UPDATES in RED!!