Elvis was born on the wrong side of the tracks in Tupelo, Mississippi during the Great Depression -- even the poorest of modern Southerners would have little conception of just how bad things were back then. Check out this linked photo of baby Elvis, aged three, and his parents...who could have known then the journey this poor boy from Tupelo, Mississippi, would take?
These web pages, a section of a larger web site listed elsewhere on this page, will give you a good tour of the road Elvis following from East Tupelo to Memphis, his legendary beginnings at Sun Records, and eventual worldwide fame
Alfred Wertheimer followed Elvis about soon after the 21-year-old burst on the national scene in 1956, shooting some of the most evocative images of Elvis that were ever made, at the point in Elvis' life where he was beginning to feel the pressure which would lead to his virtual seclusion for most of the rest of his life. You see these pictures everywhere these days, and rightly so.
Elvis in Hollywood -- Elvis made 33 movies (including two concert documentaries) during his 16 years as one of the top-grossing stars in Hollywood. Although many of these films were undeniably substandard, and had Elvis singing songs for which he had even more contempt than he did the scripts, some of them did feature fine acting performances from Elvis. Even those movies that represent the nadir of Elvis' film career ("Harum Scarum" would probably be my pick) have attained a kind of legitimacy with the passing of years -- kind of a cult status -- and many of Elvis' younger fans (including myself) first got to know about Elvis through watching his movies on television. I've also got a list of movie trivia in tribute to those Hollywood years.
In March, 1957, Elvis bought Graceland, now a major tourist attraction, as he could no longer live on a "regular" street as a "regular" person.
Although Elvis had homes in Los Angeles and Palm Springs, and spent a lot of time in Las Vegas and on the road, he always returned to Memphis
In 1958, Elvis entered the US Army. Many -- including a legion of obnoxious rock critics who suddenly materialized during the 1970s, maintain that Elvis "died" when he entered the Army. Although his image was perceived differently upon his return in 1960, and the sideburns were (until 1968) abbreviated, a listen to Elvis' studio output from the 1960s proves that Elvis was very much alive and well, and still singing up a storm. In fact, the 1960 Nashville and 1969 Memphis recording sessions that served as "bookends" to his overlooked '60s non-soundtrack output were arguably his two best-ever sets of sessions.
While Elvis was in the US Army, stationed at Fort Hood, Texas, he spent a lot of his time with DJ Eddie Fadal and his family. This page has some interesting stories and photographs.
One thing most people don't know is that Elvis set foot on British (well, Scottish) soil once. Although he never performed outside the US and Canada (except for 1957 concerts in the then Territory of Hawaii and impromptu performances in Paris and Germany while in the Army), Elvis did have a brief stopover at Ayrshire AFB in Scotland, on the way back to the United States and civilian life. This page has the story and rare photos from that night of March 3, 1960.
In 1965 the Beatles finally met with Elvis -- the two musical forces are reunited on this page, which has many links...
Following on the heels of his spectacularly successful 1968 television special for NBC, Elvis approached his career with new conviction and finally threw off the shackles of what was becoming an increasingly dissatisfying, though lucrative, Hollywood movie-star existence. In 1969, Elvis returned to live performing with a vengeance, and created a stage and studio recording career that was at the same time distinctively different from -- yet essentially very similar to -- his early years. This period, probably underappreciated by the general public and certainly unfairly dismissed by many critics, pundits, and others who think they know more than you and I, is a favorite era for many Elvis fans. Unfortunately, it's an era that terminates with Elvis' death.
Since Elvis' death in 1977, there have been scores of tribute records, books, magazines, movies, and television shows devoted to (or against) the man they called the King...now, more than 20 years after his death, a quick perusal of tabloid covers and talk shows reveals that, quite apart from his musical legacy, Elvis is so deeply ingrained into World pop culture that he will never really die. Mojo Nixon's lyrics ring true -- Elvis is Everywhere
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