Presley, in the humblest of circumstances, 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.
influences were the pop and country music of the day, the country 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, he began his singing career at the legendary
Sun Studio 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.
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 other artist. His American sales have
earned him gold, platinum or multi-platinum awards for 111 different albums
and singles, far more than any other artist or group. Among his many awards
and accolades were the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, which he received
at age 36, from the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, 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.
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 cultural figures of the twentieth century. Elvis died at his
beloved Memphis home, Graceland, on August 16, 1977.
a basic chronology of dates and events in Elvis' life and career:
April 25, 1912
Love Smith is born.
Elvis Presley is born.
Smith and Vernon Presley are married.
Mississippi, shortly before dawn, in a two-room house built by her husband
and her brother-in-law, Gladys Presley gives birth to identical twin sons.
The first, Jesse Garon, is born dead. The second, Elvis Aaron, is born
alive and healthy. Elvis would be their only child.
1935 - 1948
up within a close-knit, working class family, consisting of his parents,
grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins, who all live near each other
in Tupelo. There is little money, but Vernon and Gladys do their best to
provide for their son, who is the center of their lives. They move from
one house to another in Tupelo, and even live in Biloxi, Mississippi for
a short while, returning to Tupelo. Elvis attends the Assembly of God Church
with his family, and the music and preaching register deeply. Other influences
are black bluesmen in the neighborhood and country music radio programs
enjoyed by his family.
Elvis stands on a chair at a microphone and sings "Old Shep" in a youth
talent contest at the Mississippi-Alabama Fair and Dairy Show, held in
Tupelo. The talent show is broadcast over WELO Radio. Second prize is $5.00
and free admission to all the rides at the fair.
parents cannot afford a bicycle that Elvis wants, so Gladys talks him into
accepting a guitar instead. Elvis's first guitar costs $12.95 and is purchased
at the Tupelo Hardware Company. The bicycle would have to wait until Christmas
his guitar and sings "Leaf on a Tree" for his Milam Junior High class in
Tupelo as a farewell. Elvis and his parents pack their belongings in a
trunk strapped to the roof of their 1939 Plymouth and move to Memphis,
Tennessee in search of a better life economically. Other members of the
Presley and Smith clan would follow.
his parents live in public housing or low rent homes in the poor neighborhoods
of north Memphis. Life continues to be hard. Vernon and Gladys go from
job to job, and Elvis attends The Christine School, then Humes High School.
Elvis works at various jobs to help support himself and his parents. The
Presley-Smith clan remains close-knit, and Elvis and his family attend
the Assembly of God Church. The teenage Elvis continues to be known for
singing with his guitar. He buys his clothes on Beale Street and he absorbs
the black blues and gospel he hears there. He's also a regular audience
member at the all-night white, and black, gospel sings that are held downtown.
He wears his hair long (compared to the day's standards) and slick, and
lets his sideburns grow. He's really different from the other kids, a good-natured
Humes High, Elvis nervously sings with his guitar at a student talent show.
Much to his own amazement, he gets more applause than anyone else and wins,
then performs an encore. The acceptance feels good.
from Humes High School.
at Parker Machinists Shop right after graduation. That summer he drops
by The Memphis Recording Service, home of the Sun label and makes a demo
acetate of "My Happiness" and "That's When Your Heartaches Begin" for a
cost of about $4.00. (The studio came to be known as Sun Studio though
never officially named that until many years later. For simplicity this
text uses the name Sun Studio.) The studio owner isn't in, so his assistant,
Marion Keisker handles the session. Elvis wants to see what his voice would
sound like on a record and he has vague aspirations to be a singer. He
takes the acetate home, and reportedly gives it to his mother as a much-belated
extra birthday present. By the fall, he is working at Precision Tool Company,
and soon changes jobs again, going to work for Crown Electric Company.
At Crown, he does various jobs, including driving a delivery truck. He
also goes to night school and studies to be an electrician.
another demo acetate at Sun. This time the songs are "Casual Love Affair"
and "I'll Never Stand in Your Way". Sam Phillips, the owner, is in this
time and, like Marion Keisker, is intrigued by this unusual looking and
sounding young man. (There has recently been scholarly argument about which
songs were recorded this time around. The two songs listed here are those
most typically identified as the ones he recorded.)
Keisker's suggestion, Sam Phillips calls Elvis into the studio to try singing
a song Sam hopes to put out on record. The song is "Without You" and Elvis
does not sing it to Sam's satisfaction. Sam asks Elvis what he could sing,
and Elvis runs through a number of popular tunes. Sam is impressed enough
to team Elvis up with local musicians Scotty Moore (guitar) and Bill Black
(bass) to see if they, together, could come up with something worthwhile.
Nothing really clicks until July 5, when after a tedious session, Elvis
and the guys break into a sped-up version of Arthur "Big Boy" Crudup's
"That's All Right". This song, backed with "Blue Moon of Kentucky" would
be the first of five singles Elvis would release on the Sun label. Elvis,
Scotty, and Bill start performing together, with Scotty acting as the group's
manager. Elvis continues to work at Crown Electric as the group starts
to play small clubs and other smalltime gigs locally and throughout the
South, enjoying moderate success with the records and personal appearances.
Elvis's one appearance on the Grand Ole Opry doesn't go over particularly
well, with one of the Opry officials suggesting that Elvis go back to driving
a truck. The Opry is very important at this time. This is a painful disappointment
in Elvis's early career.
Scotty, and Bill continue to record and to travel.
for the first time on the "Louisiana Hayride", a live Saturday night country
music radio show originating in Shreveport, Louisiana, broadcast over KWKH
Radio. The show is the Grand Ole Opry's chief competitor, carried by 190
stations in thirteen states. This leads to regular appearances on the "Hayride"
and, in November, Elvis signs a one-year contract for fifty-two Saturday
night appearances. This is a great break, but as Elvis's popularity grows,
his commitment to the "Hayride" prevents him from traveling much outside
the South to further his career on a larger scale. During Elvis's association
with the "Hayride" he meets "Colonel" Tom Parker, a promoter and manager
connected with various acts, and connected with the "Louisiana Hayride".
Parker is also the manager for country star, Hank Snow. A previous client
was country star Eddy Arnold.
a contract with Bob Neal, who becomes his manager.
Scotty, and Bill continue touring on their own and in package shows with
various country stars, including package tours of artists from the "Hayride".
Colonel Parker is involved. This includes touring with Hank Snow. The regular
"Hayride" appearances continue. Drummer D.J. Fontana joins Elvis's band.
In the spring, Elvis fails to be accepted on "Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts",
a network television show. As always, Elvis's live appearances have special
appeal for the teenagers, especially the females. Elvis's unusual style,
sexy moves, and good looks start to cause excitement wherever he plays.
Sometimes the crowds break through the barricades in near-riot behavior.
Elvis gains more and more popularity and begins to receive national attention.
Colonel Parker becomes more involved in Elvis's career.
a management contract with Hank Snow Attractions, which is owned equally
by Snow and Colonel Tom Parker. Bob Neal remains involved as an advisor.
Colonel Parker will be Elvis's manager from this time on, and Snow is soon
no longer connected to Elvis.
his first contract with RCA Records, which would be the label he would
record for from then on. Colonel Parker negotiates the sale of Elvis's
Sun contract to RCA, which includes Elvis's five Sun singles and his unreleased
Sun material. The price is an unprecedented $40,000, with a $5,000 bonus
for Elvis. RCA soon re-releases the five Sun singles on the RCA label.
At the same time Elvis signs a contract with Hill and Range Publishing
Company, which is to set up a separate firm called Elvis Presley Music,
Inc. Elvis would share with Hill and Range the publishing ownership of,
and share writers' royalties with writers of, songs bought by Hill and
Range for him to record. Elvis is the hottest new star in the music business.
after his twenty-first birthday, Elvis has his first recording session
for RCA, held at their studio in Nashville. Among the songs laid to tape
during this session is "Heartbreak Hotel".
a gospel quartet and popular country back-up group, begin working with
Elvis in the studio during the first few RCA sessions and would soon begin
touring with him. They would also appear with him in several films. They
would be his main back-up group until the late sixties.
Hotel" b/w "I Was the One" is released by RCA and sells over 300,000 copies
in its first three weeks on the market. It would go to number one on Billboard's
pop singles chart for eight weeks and would also hit number one on the
country chart and number five on the R&B chart. It would become the
first Elvis single to sell over one million copies, thus becoming Elvis's
very first gold record.
with Scotty, Bill, and D.J. on the Jackie Gleason-produced "Stage Show",
starring Tommy and Jimmy Dorsey on CBS. This is Elvis's first network television
appearance. He appears on six weekly "Stage Shows" in a row and makes minor
waves nationally. The last of these six "Stage Show" appearances is March
24. Traveling and personal appearances continue during this time, including
the "Louisiana Hayride" appearances for which he is still under contract.
Fame and "infamy" build.
Hotel" makes its climb up the charts, "Mystery Train" b/w "I Forgot to
Remember to Forget", Elvis's fifth and last single to be released on the
Sun label, hits number one on Billboard's national country singles chart.
His first number one hit on a national chart.
"Elvis Presley", Elvis's first album. (He had not released an album on
Sun.) The album would go to number on on Billboard's pop album chart for
ten weeks. It would become the first Elvis album to reach over $1 million
in sales, thus becoming Elvis's first gold album.
a screen test for Paramount Studios in Hollywood. He lip syncs "Blue Suede
Shoes" and he performs a scene from the as yet unmade film, "The Rainmaker",
a film he did not end up being in.
on "The Milton Berle Show" on ABC, which, for this particular broadcast,
originates from the deck of the aircraft carrier, the USS Hancock.
a seven-year movie contract with Hal Wallis and Paramount Pictures.
- May 9, 1956
to the usual hysteria, Elvis has lukewarm acceptance for his two-week engagement
at the New Frontier Hotel in Las Vegas. He is not exactly what the adult
audience of Vegas gamblers relates to very well. During these two weeks,
the single "Heartbreak Hotel" and the album "Elvis Presley" both hit number
one on the Billboard pop charts.
all of this, the travel and personal appearances around the country and
new record releases continue. The crowds get bigger and bigger, wilder
and wilder. Elvis's fame grows dramatically Some shows have to end early
due to fans' storming the stage. Elvis creates pandemonium wherever he
again on "The Milton Berle Show", this time in the studio where the show
usually originates, this time backed by the Jordanaires in addition to
Scotty, Bill and D.J. Among his selections is a playfully sensuous, bump
and grind performance of "Hound Dog" that drives the kids in the audience
wild, and, the next day, has the press and some of the adult viewers appalled.
It is one of his most controversial performances. This merely serves to
fuel his seemingly unstoppable popularity even more.
and personal appearances and new record releases continue. By this time
Elvis, with his sexy moves and black-influenced sound, is being condemned
by certain factions of the " morally concerned" establishment and the religious
community. But, the kids love it.
on "The Steve Allen Show" on NBC. Among his performances that night is
a much toned down version of "Hound Dog". Allen has Elvis dressed in white
tie and black tux with tails and has him sing the song to a live Basset
hound, a tongue-in-cheek response to all controversy created by the Berle
appearance the month before. Elvis good-naturedly goes along with it, but
is not too happy about it.
touring, and recording continue. The condemnation and controversy continue
along with the ever-growing popularity. Ed Sullivan, who had said that
he would never have the likes of Elvis Presley on his show, changes his
tune when he sees the big ratings that Elvis attracts to the Berle and
Allen shows. A three-appearance deal is worked out for $50,000 and is the
highest amount ever paid to a performer, up to that time, for appearing
on a variety show.
shooting his first movie, "Love Me Tender" on loan-out from Paramount to
Twentieth Century Fox. It is originally titled "The Reno Brothers", but
is re-titled before its release to capitalize on Elvis's sure-to-be-a-hit
single from the soundtrack. September 9, 1956
the first of three appearances on Ed Sullivan's "Toast of the Town Show",
the top television program of the era. Elvis attracts the highest ratings
ever for any television variety show.
Presley Day" is proclaimed in Tupelo, Mississippi. Elvis's parents join
him as he returns to the town of his birth as a big star. He performs two
shows that day at the Mississippi-Alabama Fair and Dairy Show, the same
fair at which he had performed at age 10. This time there are a hundred
National Guardsmen surrounding the stage to control the crowds of excited
time, souvenir merchandising using Elvis's name, image, and likeness has
become a big part of the Elvis phenomenon. Licensees would soon be producing
as many as thirty different products including hats, t-shirts, jeans, kerchiefs,
sneakers, shirts, blouses, belts, purses, billfolds, wallets, charm bracelets,
necklaces, magazines, gloves, bookends, a statue, lipstick, cologne, stuffed
hound dogs, stationery, sweaters, crockery, and more. Elvis and the Colonel
blazed new trails in the area of celebrity merchandising. This would forever
be part of the marketing of Elvis Presley, feeding a never-ending demand.
his second of three appearances on the Sullivan show.
first movie, "Love Me Tender" premieres at the Paramount Theater in New
York City, opening nationwide in the days following. It becomes a smash
hit, and the critics' reviews aren't bad for his acting in this melodrama,
which is set in 1800's Civil War era southern America. The film has Elvis
performing several songs, of course.
page of the Wall Street Journal reports that in the past few months Elvis
merchandise has grossed $22 million in sales.
the pivotal year of his career, when regional popularity gave way to unprecedented
national and international fame. The year of 1956 had seen the beginning
of Elvis souvenir merchandising, the beginning of a successful movie career,
history-making record sales (five number one singles on the pop chart,
two number one albums on the pop chart, and other hits), history-making
television appearances, record-breaking personal appearances and more.
become the primary symbol of the new youth culture in America. He had also
become one of society's most controversial figures. His unique blending
of white country and gospel music, black R&B and gospel music, white
pop music, and his particular brand of charisma and talent, and the resulting
success and controversy, had him helping greatly to begin, without premeditation,
a cycle of change in music and pop culture and the mores of American society.
Nothing would ever be the same for Elvis Presley or for the world.
his third and final appearance on Ed Sullivan's "Toast of the Town Show".
It was for this appearance that Elvis is seen only from the waist up. It's
funny that after all of his television appearances the previous year, such
censorship comes at this time. It is particularly amusing that this guideline
remains in place during Elvis's performance of the gospel standard, "Peace
in the Valley", one of five songs he performs on this Sullivan appearance.
Ed Sullivan himself helps diffuse some of the controversy surrounding Elvis
when he comes out on stage to thank Elvis and tells the studio audience
and millions of American television viewers that "this is a decent, fine
boy" and what a delight he had been to work with when appearing on the
show. Ed Sullivan is the most influential person on television audiences
and one of the most powerful people in the television industry at the time.
appearances, recording sessions, record releases, controversy, and publicity
production of his second movie, "Loving You".
York Times runs a story entitled "Presley Records a Craze in Soviet Union".
Elvis records are not legally available in the Soviet Union. The article
tells of bootleg recordings being cut on discarded x-ray plates and being
sold in Leningrad on the black market for fifty rubles (about twelve and
a half dollars) each, a lot of money back then.
Graceland Mansion for himself, his parents, and his paternal grandmother
to live in. It will be ready for them to move into in early April.
with his show, Elvis performs outside the United States for the first time
when he appears in Canada: two shows in Toronto on April 2 and two shows
in Ottawa on April 3.
work on his third motion picture, "Jailhouse Rock" for MGM.
second motion picture, "Loving You" premieres and quickly reaches the top
ten at the box office. Hit records include the title song and the classic
smash "Teddy Bear".
touring, record releases, and personal appearances continue.
in Vancouver. This is the third Canadian city he has performed in, and
marks the last time he would perform in concert outside the United States.
once more to the town of his birth to perform. This time it is a benefit
for the proposed Elvis Presley Youth Recreation Center in Tupelo, Mississippi.
The grounds include Elvis' birthplace home. He would donate regularly to
the center for the rest of his life. (The center is still used by the general
community today. The birthplace home is open for tours, and there is a
small museum and a memorial chapel.)
Rock", Elvis's third motion picture premieres in Memphis, opening nationally
in November and quickly going to the top five at the box office. The title
song is a smash hit. This film would, years later, be considered Elvis's
best, rivaled only by "King Creole", which followed in 1958. "Jailhouse
Rock" would come to be considered the ultimate classic of all "rock opera"
movies, and the "Jailhouse Rock" production number in the film would later
be recognized as the grandfather of pop/rock music videos, a music format
that would become widely popular by the 1980's.
10, 11 1957
shows in Hawaii for the first time.
family enjoy their first Christmas at Graceland and Elvis officially receives
his draft notice, a day he had known would be coming soon.
Early March, 1958
and records for his fourth motion picture, "King Creole".
two shows in Memphis. These will be his last stage performances until after
his army release in 1960.
is inducted into the U.S. Army at the Memphis Draft Board and is assigned
serial number 53310761.
his famous G.I. haircut at Fort Chaffee, Arkansas.
Presley arrives at Fort Hood, Texas for basic training and is stationed
there for six months. His parents soon move to a temporary home near the
training, while on his first leave, Elvis has a recording session, his
last until 1960.
Elvis's fourth motion picture opens nationally and the reviews are the
best he would ever have for his acting. Its impressive list of co-stars
and supporting cast includes Carolyn Jones, Walter Matthau, Dean Jagger
and Vic Morrow. It becomes a top five film at the box office. This Michael
("Casablanca") Curtiz-directed movie, set in New Orleans and based upon
the Harold Robbins novel, A Stone for Danny Fisher, will come to be regarded
as Elvis's finest film, his greatest acting performance, and proof positive
that he had the talent to have developed as a respected serious actor,
though the realization of this desire would remain forever out of his grasp.
Presley becomes ill and returns to Memphis to be hospitalized with acute
hepatitis. Elvis is granted emergency leave and arrives in Memphis on the
afternoon of August 12th. He visits her that night, and the next day and
night. A few hours after Elvis goes home to Graceland to rest, she dies
in the early hours of August 14 at age 46. Her body lies in state at Graceland
that afternoon. Services are at the Memphis Funeral Home on the 15th, with
the Blackwood Brothers singing "Precious Memories" and "Rock of Ages",
two of Gladys Presley's favorite hymns. She is laid to rest at Forest Hill
Cemetery, a few miles down the road from Graceland. Elvis suffers the most
overwhelming grief and despair of his life. He would never be the same
back to Fort Hood.
19, Elvis boards a troop train to New York, later boards the USS Randall,
sails to West Germany, arriving on October 1. He will be stationed in Friedberg
for 18 months, maintaining an off-base residence in Bad Nauheim, shared
with his father and grandmother, and some friends from Memphis. He finds
the fans in Europe to be as enthusiastic as those in America.
interviewed via transatlantic telephone by Dick Clark on his "American
Bandstand" show on ABC-TV. The show (which Elvis never appeared on)commemorates
the star's twenty-fourth birthday.
On a two-week
leave, Elvis visits Munich, then goes clubbing in Paris, which includes
a visit to the Lido.
Parker has continued to keep Elvis's career alive with promotions and hit
Joseph Beaulieu is transferred from Texas to Weisbaden Air Force Base near
Friedberg, accompanied by his wife and children, including his fourteen-and-a-half-
year-old stepdaughter, Priscilla Ann. (Priscilla is the only child from
Ann Beaulieu's marriage to her first husband, James Wagner, a Navy pilot
who was killed in a plane crash when Priscilla was an infant.) Through
a mutual friend, Priscilla is invited to a party at Elvis's home soon after
her arrival in West Germany. They meet, and the rest is history.
promoted to Sergeant.
West Germany on March 1, arriving in New Jersey the next day for a press
conference, and is officially discharged from active duty on March 5, 1960.
He boards a train for Memphis, arriving on March 7. Press and crowds of
fans are everywhere for this historic series of events. He holds a press
conference at Graceland in his father's office behind the mansion on March
He had served
his country just like any other GI, with no special privileges his celebrity
status might have afforded him. These two years away from his career have
been a time to mature. He has also worried constantly that his lengthy
absence might have damaged his career progress. He needn't have worried.
He has yet to see his greatest stardom.
his first post-army recording session. On March 21 he receives his first
degree black belt in karate, an interest he developed while in the army.
On March 26 he tapes a special "Welcome Home, Elvis" version of Frank Sinatra's
ABC-TV variety show, for which he is paid a record sum for a single variety
filming and recording for his first post-army movie, his fifth film, "GI
Blues" for Paramount, the the first of nine to be produced (not consecutively)
by Hal Wallis. "GI Blues" co-stars dancer/actress Juliet Prowse.
May 8, 1960
Frank Sinatra's "Welcome Home, Elvis" edition of his variety show, which
attracts a 41.5% share of the national television audience. Elvis is sets
a new television record by being paid $125,000 for his brief appearances
in the show.
Presley marries divorcee and mother of three sons, Davada "Dee" Stanley,
an American whom he had met in West Germany, where she had been stationed
with her husband. They live at Graceland briefly, then move to a home nearby.
and films for his sixth movie, "Flaming Star", a drama with limited music.
Elvis plays a half-breed Native American, caught between
His positive portrayal of Native Americans earns him special recognition.
The film co-stars Barbara Eden.
album for "GI Blues" enters the Billboard album chart and soon goes to
number one. It remains number one for ten weeks and stays on the chart
for 111 weeks. It would be the most successful album of Elvis's entire
career on the Billboard charts. (In terms of total record sales, we do
not know which album was the most successful.)
Elvis has three number one singles, one number two album, one number one
album, and other hits in 1960, his first year out of the army.
recording and filming for his seventh film, "Wild in the Country", which
will be completed in January. "GI Blues" opens nationally to warm reviews
and big box office sales and is among the fifteen top-grossing films of
the year. It is a light comedy melodrama with lots of singing by Elvis,
who seen in uniform for most of the movie.
Star" opens nationally to warm reviews, but this dramatic film with little
singing does not set the box office on fire so much as "GI Blues".
in Memphis at a luncheon in his honor, and numerous recent awards Elvis
has received are shown to those attending, including the press. A press
conference follows. Then there are afternoon and evening shows at Ellis
Auditorium to benefit around thirty-eight Memphis-area charities. Other
than the Sinatra television show, this is, so far, Elvis's only live performance
since his army discharge. "Elvis Presley Day" is proclaimed by Tennessee
Governor Buford Ellington.
after this, Elvis donates money to a list of Memphis-area charities, eventually
reaching fifty or more, usually around Christmas time.
in Hawaii for a press conference, then an evening concert at Bloch Arena
at Pearl Harbor. He is there to perform a benefit to help fund the building
of the USS Arizona Memorial. Hundreds of fans mob the airport as he arrives.
His show raises around $65,000 for the memorial and, beyond that, also
helps bring publicity and public awareness and support to the project.
The fund-raising efforts, for the most part, had been difficult up to that
point. The rest of the needed funds are soon raised, and the memorial is
completed a year later. Elvis receives numerous official honors in appreciation
for this benefit. This turns out to be Elvis's last live, non-movie performance
until his 1968 television special.
in Hawaii to do location filming for his eighth motion picture, "Blue Hawaii".
He has already done soundtrack recording. Later, there is additional filming
to be done back in Hollywood for this film. From this time on, Elvis will
have a great affection for Hawaii, its culture and its people.
the Country", co-starring Hope Lange, Millie Perkins and Tuesday Weld,
opens nationally to mixed reviews. Like "Flaming Star" it is a melodrama
with limited singing by Elvis. It, too, does not set the box office on
and films for his ninth motion picture, "Follow That Dream". Filming includes
some location shooting Florida.
hit records and recording session have continued through this period.
album for "Blue Hawaii" enters the Billboard chart for a year-and-a-half
run, staying at number one for twenty weeks, second only to "GI Blues"
as the biggest album of Elvis's career on the Billboard charts. It also
yields a number two single destined to become an Elvis classic, "Can't
Help Falling in Love".
and films for his tenth motion picture, "Kid Galahad", completing it in
opens nationally to warm reviews and gets to number two on the box office
charts. It becomes the top-grossing film of Elvis's career thus far. Its
characteristics of a non-cerebral plot, lavish scenery, lots of songs by
Elvis, and lots of pretty girls become the basis for the "Presley formula"
movies of the sixties, though most of them will not be nearly so well done.
recordings and hit records have continued through this period, with "Good
Luck Charm" hitting number one in 1962 (his last number one pop hit until
"Suspicious Minds" in 1969).
and films in Hollywood, and does location filming in Hawaii for his eleventh
motion picture, "Girls! Girls! Girls!".
That Dream" opens nationally and gets to number five on the box office
charts. It is warmly reviewed and does pretty well in sales.
and films for his twelfth motion picture, "It Happened at the World's Fair".
Shooting is both in Hollywood and on location at the World's Fair in Seattle.
opens nationally does relatively well with a brief stay in the top ten
on the box office chart.
riot behavior in a theater showing "GI Blues" prompts the Mexican government
to ban Elvis movies. Torn seats, broken windows, and other damage is reported.
Girls! Girls!" opens nationally and rivals "Blue Hawaii" in box office
success. This is the second film to use the "formula", and it works. The
soundtrack album goes top five and yields the hit single "Return to Sender".
Beaulieu had flown from West Germany to visit Elvis in Los Angeles in the
summer for their first time to see each other after his army discharge.
In December her parents allow her to spend the Christmas holidays with
him at Graceland in Memphis. She returns to her family briefly, then moves
to Graceland in early 1963, finishing her senior year of high school in
Memphis. She turns 18 on May 24, 1963. It will be nearly four years before
she becomes Mrs. Elvis Presley.
and films for his thirteenth film (another "formula" movie), "Fun in Acapulco".
at the World's Fair" opens nationally and does relatively well at the box
office, though its plot is the most frivolous of any Elvis film so far.
And the soundtrack album goes top five.
recordings and hits continue through this period.
the music, then, on location in Las Vegas and in a Hollywood studio, he
films for his fourteenth motion picture, "Viva Las Vegas", co-starring
Ann-Margret. (It would be his fifteenth movie to be released as "Kissin'
Cousins", which he would shoot next, would actually be released before
"Viva Las Vegas".)
and shoots for his fifteenth motion picture, "Kissin' Cousins".
Acapulco" opens nationally and quickly goes to number five at the box office.
The soundtrack goes to the top five on the pop chart.
the "Potomac", former presidential yacht of Franklin Roosevelt, for $55,000.
He intends to donate it to the March of Dimes for use as a national shrine
(FDR suffered from polio, the main disease fought by the March of Dimes).
Costs of maintaining the yacht would be prohibitive, so the March of Dimes
declines to accept the gift. Elvis attempts to give it to the 7th Coast
Guard District Auxilliary in Miami, which also doesn't work out. Finally,
on February 13 he presents the yacht to Danny Thomas as a gift to St. Jude
Children's Research Hospital in Memphis for them to use to raise funds
as they see fit. The ceremony takes place in Long Beach, California.
saga of trying to donate the yacht, the Beatles make their first appearance
on the "Ed Sullivan Show" and Sullivan reads on the air a congratulatory
telegram from Elvis and the Colonel. American music and pop culture soon
change dramatically with the "British invasion", much as it had after Elvis
hit it big in the fifties
become bored and frustrated with his film and recording career. It will
only get worse.
Cousins" opens nationally. One of the poorest quality films of his career,
it still quickly hits number eleven at the box office (then quickly falls)
and the album goes top ten.
filming for his sixteenth motion picture, "Roustabout", co-starring Hollywood
legend Barbara Stanwyck. He had recorded the music during the previous
music for his next film, "Girl Happy".
Vegas" opens nationally and goes to number eight at the box office. It's
one of the better Elvis movies of this period, and the songs are better
his seventeenth motion picture, "Girl Happy", which co-stars Shelley Fabares
and former "Miss America", Mary Ann Mobley. This involves some location
shooting in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
shooting eighteenth motion picture, "Tickle Me". The soundtrack has no
new recordings. Instead, previously released non-movie recordings are used,
apparently to keep production costs to a minimum.
opens nationally and hits number eight at the box office. The soundtrack,
which represents some of the best Elvis movie music in a while, goes to
number one on the Billboard pop album chart.
the soundtrack and does the filming for his nineteenth motion picture,
"Harum Scarum", which co-stars Mary Ann Mobley.
opens nationally and does relatively good business. The soundtrack album
goes top ten.
record releases have continued during this period. Some do well.
music and does filming for his twentieth motion picture (to be released
out of chronology as his twenty-first), "Frankie and Johnny", co-starring
Me" opens nationally.
$50,000 to the Motion Picture Relief Fund, reportedly the largest single
donation the organization had ever received. Accepting for the organization
are Barbara Stanwyck and Frank Sinatra.
soundtrack music for his twenty-first motion picture, "Paradise, Hawaiian
Style", (which will be released out of chronology as his twentieth) then
goes to Hawaii for location shooting. During a break in filming, he visits
the USS Arizona Memorial. The visit is covered by the press and prompts
Hawaiian Senator Daniel Inouye to have the visit recognized in the Congressional
Record. Elvis returns to Hollywood for more shooting for the film.
visit with Elvis for several hours at his home in California and have an
informal jam session.
Scarum" opens nationally and hits number eleven at the box office, then
falls, as has been the pattern for most of Elvis's movies during the past
few years. (Hit fast, burn out quickly, but make a sizable profit and sell
some records.) The soundtrack album goes to number eight.
the soundtrack music and shoots his twenty-second motion picture, "Spinout",
co-starring Shelley Fabares.
and Johnny" opens nationally and doesn't do particularly well. The soundtrack
album goes to number twenty.
Hawaiian Style" is released and doesn't do well. The soundtrack album peeks
at number fifteen.
recording and shooting for Elvis's twenty-third motion picture (to be the
twenty-fourth released), "Double Trouble".
recording and filming for Elvis's twenty-fourth motion picture (the twenty-third
to released), "Easy Come, Easy Go".
opens nationally and doesn't do well. The soundtrack album goes to number
proposes marriage to Priscilla.
a 163-acre ranch in Mississippi, minutes across the Tennessee state line
from Graceland. He and his entourage and their wives had become interested
in horseback riding after Elvis purchased a horse for Priscilla as a gift.
The hobby had outgrown the pasture at Graceland. Over the months to come,
Elvis and the gang would enjoy spending a lot of time at the Circle G.
It becomes a happy diversion for Elvis as his frustration and unhappiness
over the state of his career reaches its height.
Easy Go" opens nationally and doesn't do well.
Elvis's second gospel album, "How Great Thou Art", which was recorded in
mid-1966. It is gets very good reviews and goes on to earn Elvis the Grammy
Award for Best Sacred Performance, his first Grammy.
recording and filming for "Clambake", Elvis's twenty-fifth movie. It is
the third of three movies to co-star Shelley Fabares.
Trouble" opens nationally. Better than some of his recent screen efforts,
it doesn't do well at the box office.
1, Elvis and Priscilla are married in a private ceremony amongst a small
group of family and friends at the Aladdin Hotel in Las Vegas, just after
9:30 AM. A press conference and breakfast reception follow. The couple
honeymoon for a few days in Palm Springs. Elvis wraps up some over-dubbing
on "Clambake". Then they return to Memphis.
Priscilla dress in their wedding clothes and have a second wedding reception
in the trophy room at Graceland to accommodate family and friends who were
not in Las Vegas for the wedding.
recording and filming for Elvis's twenty-sixth movie, "Speedway", co-starring
Nancy Sinatra. During the production, news of Priscilla's pregnancy is
recording and filming for Elvis's twenty-sixth movie, "Stay Away, Joe".
He plays a half-breed Native American in this western themed comedy. It's
a real departure from the virtually interchangeable plots and characters
in most of the films over the past several grueling years. He has fun with
is released nationally and goes to number fifteen at the box office. The
soundtrack album goes to number 40.
gives birth to Lisa Marie Presley nine months to the day after her marriage
to Elvis. It is a time of great happiness.
Joe" opens to mixed reviews and doesn't do well at the box office, though
like all of Elvis's films, it makes a profit.
recording and filming for Elvis's twenty-eighth movie, "Live a Little,
Love a Little". It is a sexy, more adult kind of comedy/melodrama. It,
like "Stay Away, Joe" is a real departure from the typical Presley film.
It is yet another breath of fresh air.
is released nationally and doesn't do very well. The soundtrack album goes
only as far up the chart as number 82.
for the taping of his 1968 television special. A press conference is held
on June 25th. Videotaping is done June 27, 28, 29, and 30. This is Elvis's
first performance before a live audience since the U.S.S. Arizona benefit
in March 1961. The name of the show is "Elvis", but it would come to be
known as the "'68 Comeback Special".
In the '68
special, Elvis is reunited with two of his original fifties band members,
guitarist Scotty Moore and drummer D.J. Fontana (Bill Black had died.).
They sit together on stage in the round, along with several other friends
and associates of Elvis for an informal jam session. Parts of this session
are woven throughout the special. There are also sequences of Elvis taking
the stage alone and performing many of his greatest hit rock and roll songs
and ballads, such as "Hound Dog", "Don't Be Cruel", "Jailhouse Rock", "All
Shook Up", "Love Me Tender", and "Can't Help Falling in Love" Along with
singing the old hits, Elvis introduces a new song that would become another
classic, "Memories." One can speculate that he poured years of frustration
into the performance of these songs, along with the nervous energy of appearing
live for the first time in so long. His natural talent, charisma, and sensuality
had not been diminished by Hollywood or by the passage of time. In fact,
he looked, sounded, moved, and grooved better than he ever had. At 33,
he was better than he had ever been. Better than anybody in the business.
For most of the show Elvis wears a two-piece black leather outfit specially
designed for the special, a look evocative of the era of James Dean, of
Marlon Brando type motorcycle films of the fifties, and of Elvis' early
days, the era when he had first been proclaimed the "king of rock and roll."
In the jam
session segment, Elvis speaks of the gospel origins of rock and roll. This
segues into the gospel music portion of the show, which has Elvis wearing
a two-piece burgundy suit, singing "Where Could I Go But to the Lord" ,
"Up Above My Head", and "I'm Saved", backed by the black female group,
The Blossoms, and accompanied by a troupe of dancers - all of this for
a rousing gospel production number.
end of the special Elvis appears in a lengthy production number that, through
song, dance, karate, and various situations, traces a young man's journey
from a struggling guitar player, through all the challenges, dangers and
compromises on the path to his dreams of success and superstardom. Something
is lost along the way. Once the dream is achieved, the man realizes that
he remains unfulfilled, that he has abandoned his true self. He decides
to return to his roots, where he was happiest. The parallels to Elvis's
own life are clear and deliberate, and his doing the '68 special represents
his own return to his true self, to his roots.
At the end
of the special, Elvis appears alone, wearing a simple white two-piece suit,
standing in front of the towering backdrop of red lights that spell Elvis,
and sings a brand new song, specially written for the show, called "If
I Can Dream". The writers had created the song based on conversations with
Elvis about his own thoughts about what was happening in the turbulent
sixties, his feelings about life, and his hopes for mankind. It represents
one of the few times Elvis would sing a "message" song, and it stands as
one of the most brilliant moments of his singing career. It is yet another
classic, and the lyrics are as timely today as they were in 1968.
the theme and does filming for his twenty-ninth movie, "Charro!", a dramatic
western, again a very different kind of role. Elvis grows a beard for this.
The theme song will be heard over the opening credits, but there will be
no other Elvis songs used. This will be the first and only film in which
Elvis does not sing on camera.
the soundtrack and does filming for his thirtieth movie,"The Trouble with
Girls". He sings in this one, but in very natural situations for a change.
It is quite a bit different from the typical Elvis films.
Little, Love a Little" opens in the U.S. in October and doesn't do very
"If I Can
Dream", from the soon-to-be aired '68 special hits number 12 on the pop
singles chart in November, making it Elvis's biggest single since 1965.
the 1968 television special first airs on NBC-TV on December 3, 1968 and
is one of this biggest television hits of the year, receiving rave reviews
from the public and the critics alike. The soundtrack album will go to
number eight on the pop chart. Elvis' career is to take a dramatic and
shooting on "The Trouble with Girls".
in Memphis for the first time since 1955. He has all-night marathon sessions
at American Sound Studio. His work here will become regarded as some of
the finest music of his career, his best work since the innovative days
at Sun and the exciting early days at RCA before he went into the army.
Elvis has excellent material to choose from and pours his heart and soul
into the sessions. He works with a lot of top-notch Memphis musicians.
The sound is fresh and gutsy. On every track one can sense his creative
excitement and energy. This is joyful work after years of movie boredom.
Two albums will result from these sessions. The sessions will also yield
four hit singles to be released over the coming year: "In the Ghetto",
"Suspicious Minds", "Don't Cry, Daddy" and "Kentucky Rain". ("Suspicious
Minds" becomes his first number one single since "Good Luck Charm" in 1962,
and will be his last number one pop single, though he'll have many big
to Hollywood to film and record the soundtrack music for his thirty-first,
and what will turn out to be his last, acting role in a motion picture.
It is "Change of Habit", co-starring Mary Tyler Moore. Elvis plays a hip
ghetto doctor in a Northern city, having come from Tennessee. Mary Tyler
Moore and two others play nuns who go "undercover" into the ghetto to assist
with health and societal troubles in the community. The theme, though serious
and timely, is not particularly well carried out by the script in the opinion
of many, and the title is frivolous. But, Elvis looks magnificent, and
gives a natural, easy, understated performance that is a refreshing pleasure
to see after the silliness he endured in his films through most of the
sixties. The few songs in the movie are good and they're performed in natural,
rather than the usual badly contrived, situations.
opens in theaters and doesn't do much at the box office.
- August 28, 1969
booked for a four-week, fifty-seven show engagement at the International
Hotel in Las Vegas, which has just been built and has the largest showroom
in the city. Elvis puts together top-notch rock and roll musicians, an
orchestra, a male gospel back-up group, and a black female soul/ gospel
back-up group for his show. They rehearse for several weeks and open on
July 31, 1969. (Barbra Streisand has just closed her show the night before,
having been the first headliner in the new showroom.) The show is a delightful
mix of fresh arrangements of classic Elvis hits, exciting new material
he has recorded, a few covers of current and past hits of other artists,
and charming on-stage antics and sharing of personal recollections of his
career. A press conference follows the first of his two opening night shows.
breaks all existing Las Vegas attendance records and attracts rave reviews
from the public and the critics. It is a triumph. Elvis's first live album
is recorded during this engagement and is soon released.
shows a lean Elvis in top physical form, wears simple, unique, karate-inspired
two-piece outfits in black or white. These are designed by Bill Belew,
who had done the wardrobe for the '68 special. These are the predecessors
to the famous one-piece jumpsuits which will be simple at first, then become
flashier and more elaborate over the years.
with Girls", Elvis's thirtieth movie, opens in theaters and doesn't do
much at the box office.
of Habit" , Elvis's thirty-first movie, opens in theaters and doesn't do
much at the box office.
it was a mistake to go back to Vegas so soon, especially during the slowest
season for the city. Can he fill the seats? But, Elvis returns to the International
Hotel for another month-long engagement. This time he breaks his own attendance
records. Another live album is recorded.
conference in Houston on the 27th. Elvis performs afternoon and evening
shows at the Houston Astrodome in connection with the Texas Livestock Show.
Two more shows follow on the 28th. Two more follow on March 1. A closing
press conference and banquet follow, and Elvis is presented an armload
of recent gold record awards. The six shows attract 207,494 people and
set records. There is speculation among the press and the public that Elvis
might tour in concert for the first time since the fifties.
recording sessions in Nashville.
Las Vegas for rehearsals for another month-long engagement at the International.
He opens on August 10 and closes on September 7. MGM is on hand to film
a documentary film called "Elvis -That's the Way It Is" that will show
Elvis off stage, in rehearsals, in the recording studio, and on stage.
RCA will also release an album with the same title.
9th through the 14th Elvis takes his show on a nine-city tour. It is a
smashing success, the first tour since 1957, only these days the show is
much more elaborate and requires a big crew. (MGM films portions of the
first show on this tour for use in "Elvis - That's the Way It Is".)
a recording session in Nashville.
the Way It Is" opens in theaters to good reviews and good box office. Documentaries
traditionally do not do well at the box office, but this one makes a respectable
showing. It, like other Elvis movies will go on to have a life on television
and home video in years to come.
a successful eight-city concert tour.
famous visit with President Richard Nixon at the White House occurs.
a day of functions culminating in an evening awards banquet. He and nine
others accept the honor of being named "One of the Ten Outstanding Young
Men of the Nation" by the United States Junior Chamber of Commerce. He
is nervous about his acceptance speech. He is touched, excited and deeply
proud. This national honor has been given each year since the late 1930's
and recognizes young men who have made great achievements in their field
of endeavor, illustrating the opportunities available in the free enterprise
system. It also applauds humanitarianism and community service. Scientists,
inventors, performers, filmmakers, politicians bound for the Presidency,
and men of greatness in all fields, have been selected for this award over
the years. For Elvis, a man who had grown up poor, and, in his early career
had known the sting of ridicule from the Establishment, who, through the
years had known criticism of his work, this is one of his proudest moments.
It is a sign that he has achieved acceptance, recognition, and respect
for his work and for the kind of person he is.
another month-long engagement at the International Hotel in Las Vegas.
a recording session in Nashville, but cancels it due to pain and inflammation
in an eye. He is treated at a Nashville hospital where he is diagnosed
with secondary glaucoma. This eye condition will plague him from time to
time in varying degrees for the rest of his life.
featured on the cover of Look Magazine, which carries an installment of
the forthcoming biography on Elvis by Jerry Hopkins. Many books and articles
have been written over the years, but this is the first in-depth, serious
biography. The book Elvis : A Biography will be released in October.
recording sessions in Nashville. Much of the work is for his forthcoming
album "Elvis Sings the Wonderful World of Christmas".
house Elvis was born in opens to the public for tours, having been restored
by the East Heights Garden Club in Tupelo. Elvis has more recording sessions
in Nashville, this time mostly for an upcoming gospel album, "He Touched
A long stretch
of Highway 51 South, part of which runs in front of Graceland, is officially
renamed Elvis Presley Boulevard. The first of the new street signs will
go up in January of 1972.
albums and singles continue to be released to various degrees of success
during this period.
a two-week engagement at the Sahara Hotel in Lake Tahoe, Nevada.
- September 6, 1971
an engagement in Las Vegas at the International Hotel, which has been renamed
the Las Vegas Hilton International Hotel. He breaks another attendance
record and tops himself once again.
engagement an award is presented to Elvis in his dressing room. It is the
Bing Crosby Award from the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences
(the Grammy Awards). The award is a special means of recognition from NARAS
and is named for its first recipient. The award is not given every year
as a rule. It will later be re-named the Lifetime Achievement Award. Elvis
is 36 years old.
on a 12-city concert tour.
Priscilla separate. She moves out on her own with Lisa Marie.
26 - February 23, 1972
another successful engagement at the Hilton in Vegas.
MGM films Elvis in a Hollywood recording studio, then films on and off
stage during his 15-city concert tour, which is a big success. MGM will
use the footage for another theatrically released documentary, "Elvis on
the gospel album "He Touched Me" is released to good reviews. The album
will go on to win Elvis his second Grammy Award, this one for the category
of Best Inspirational Performance.
touring in concert, beginning with a press conference in New York on the
9th. (MGM is on hand to film the conference for use in "Elvis on Tour".)
Elvis makes entertainment history by performing four sold-out shows at
New York's Madison Square Garden. John Lennon, George Harrison, Bob Dylan,
David Bowie, and Art Garfunkel are among the music stars spotted at the
a live album from one of the Madison Square Garden shows, nine days after
it is recorded. Elvis tours to seven more cities.
Vegas and concert tour career is hot, hot, hot during the early to mid-seventies.
He breaks attendance records in cities all over America. Record releases
Priscilla's separation is formalized. A divorce is to come. Elvis has begun
seeing Linda Thompson, who will be his main female companion until late
- September 4, 1972
a month-long engagement at the Hilton in Vegas.
in a press conference in Vegas announcing plans for a television concert
to be broadcast via satellite around the world from Hawaii. It is predicted
that the show will reach the largest audience in television history and
that the live album will be a big hit.
a number two pop hit with the single "Burning Love", one of his biggest
records in recent years.
on Tour" opens to good reviews and good box office performance in theaters.
Later, its producers will receive the Golden Globe Award for Best Documentary
of 1972. Like other Elvis films it will have a life on television and on
seven cities in concert. The last is Honolulu, Hawaii, where he does three
shows at the Honolulu International Center Arena, the same venue that will
host his satellite special in January.
at a press conference in Hawaii regarding his upcoming satellite show.
It is announced that it will be a benefit for the Kui Lee Cancer Fund.
television and entertainment history with his "Elvis: Aloha from Hawaii
- Via Satellite" special. Performed at the Honolulu International Center
Arena on January 14, 1973, broadcast live at 12:30 AM Hawaiian time, beamed
via Globecam Satellite to Australia, South Korea, Japan, Thailand, the
Phillipines, South Vietnam and other countries. It is seen on a delayed
basis in around 30 European countries. A tape of the show will be seen
in America on April 4th on NBC. The live broadcast in January attracts
37.8% of the viewers in Japan, 91.8% in the Phillipines, 70% in Hong Kong,
and 70-80% of the viewers in Korea. The April showing in America attracts
51% of the television viewing audience, and is seen in more American households
than man's first walk on the moon. In all, it will be seen in about 40
countries by one billion to 1.5 billion people. Elvis commissions an American
Eagle design for his jumpsuit for this show, his patriotic message to his
worldwide audience. Never has one performer held the world's attention
in such a way. This is probably the pinnacle of his superstardom. It is
one of the great moments of his career.
album "Elvis: Aloha from Hawaii - Via Satellite" is soon released and goes
to number one on the Billboard Pop Album Chart, and stays on the chart
at various positions for 52 weeks. The show will later have continued life
on television through the years and eventually home video.
26-February 23, 1973
an engagement at the Las Vegas Hilton.
the Colonel sell RCA the singer's royalty rights on Elvis's entire recording
catalog up to that point.
special is seen on American television for the first time.
on an eight-city concert tour.
an engagement at the Sahara Hotel in Lake Tahoe, Nevada.
from Hawaii" concert album hits number one on the Billboard pop album chart.
It is his first number one album since "Roustabout" in 1965. It will also
be his last number one album on the pop chart.
- July 3, 1973
out on concert tour.
a few songs at the Stax Recording Studio in Memphis - his first time to
record in Memphis since 1969.
- September 3, 1973
the Vegas Hilton for another engagement.
Priscilla make a court appearance together and their divorce is granted.
They will continue to be close friends. Though Priscilla has custody of
Lisa Marie, there will be no formal schedule of visitation for Elvis, and
he and his daughter will spend time together regularly.
15 - November 1, 1973
hospitalized in Memphis for recurring pneumonia and pleurisy, an enlarged
colon, and hepatitis. Elvis has been battling health problems for some
time, including an increasing dependency upon prescription drugs. It will
get worse. He also battles his weight.
to the Stax Recording Studio in Memphis for a week of sessions.
26-February 9, 1974
the Vegas Hilton again.
on tour through much of March. In March he plays the Houston Astrodome
and sets a one-day attendance record with his two shows. Also in March
he plays Memphis for the first time since 1961 and does four shows in two
days to meet the demand for tickets. Another live album results from the
excitement in Memphis, and it includes a performance of "How Great Thou
Art" that will win Elvis his third Grammy. He takes a break in April. He
resumes touring in May and plays the Sahara in Lake Tahoe May 16 -26. He's
back on tour in mid-June and takes a few weeks off, starting in early July.
the Hilton in Vegas for an engagement. During this engagement Barbra Streisand
and Elvis discuss his playing the male lead opposite her in her remake
of "A Star is Born". Elvis is excited by the prospect of returning to the
screen in a serious film. He still has aspirations to become a serious
actor. He is growing weary of the road, his health is worsening, his performances
are suffering, and he needs a new challenge. Unfortunately, it doesn't
work out for various reasons. After his death some will speculate that
this film role would have changed the course of his career and his life
had he done it.
27 - October 14, 1974
tour again. Plays the Sahara-Tahoe October 11-14.
have continued through this period with varying degrees of success.
29-February 14, 1975
hospitalized with health and prescription problems again.
live recording of "How Great Thou Art" from the album recorded at one of
his Memphis concerts in 1974 wins the Grammy for Best Inspirational Performance.
This is Elvis's third and final Grammy win out of fourteen nominations
(one nomination posthumously). All three Grammy wins have been for his
gospel music rather than pop or rock.
at the Hilton.
- September 5, 1975
in Vegas but ends his engagement on the 20th and is hospitalized in Memphis
until September 5.
of a Convair 880 jet Elvis bought earlier in the year is complete, and
he takes his first flight on the "Lisa Marie" jet.
to the Hilton in Vegas to make up for the shows that were canceled during
his previous engagement.
a special New Year's Eve concert in Pontiac, Michigan and sets a single
performance attendance record of 62,500.
a week of recording sessions in the den at Graceland, with RCA bringing
in mobile recording equipment.
- May 9, 1976
at the Sahara Tahoe in Nevada.
June 6, 1976
- July 5, 1976
- August 5, 1976
Two more nights of recording in the den at Graceland.
Linda Thompson, his steady girlfriend since 1972, split up.
Ginger Alden who will be his steady girlfriend until his death.
the Hilton in Vegas for what will turn out to be the last time.
in concert, ending with a special New Year's Eve concert in Pittsburgh,
hospitalized in Memphis and tour shows scheduled for March 31-April 3 are
May 31, 1977
in concert. Shows on June 19, 20, and 21 are recorded by RCA and videotaped
by CBS-TV for an upcoming live album and television special. Footage from
the show on the 20th is not used in the show. The special will be called
"Elvis in Concert". It will air in early October after Elvis's death in
August. The camera gives a shocking picture of Elvis's poor health in his
final days. Still, some of the song performances are great. He still had
at Indianapolis, Indiana's Market Square Arena. This will turn out to be
his very last concert performance.
August 15, 1977
in Memphis and prepares for the next leg of touring for 1977.
after midnight Elvis returns to Graceland from a late-night visit to the
dentist. Through the early morning of the 16th he takes care of last minute
tour details and relaxes with family and staff. He is to fly to Portland,
Maine that night and do a show there on the 17th, then continue the scheduled
tour. He retires to his master suite at Graceland around 7:00 AM to rest
for his evening flight. By late morning, Elvis Presley is dead. It is announced
by mid-afternoon. In a matter of hours the shock registers around the world.
Special Thanks To http://www.elvis-presley.com