To the top and then to the bottom. Such was the journey of Elvis Presley –


Elvis Presley will forever be a legend. This American singer and actor has broken many record sales records and created a number of hits during his twenty-year career. But after a steep rise came a hard fall, in which addictive substances played their role.

Elvis Presley had an incredible gift, he will forever remain a legend. PHOTO: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Inc/Creative Commons/Free Work

Story Elvis Aaron Presley begins on January 8, 1935 in the city of Tupelo in the American state of Mississippi.

About half an hour before him, his twin, also a boy, was born Jessbut instead of joy came a shock – the first-born son did not live.

The parents of the future music king were Gladys and Vernon Presley.

The family was very poor, even belonging to a social group at the time known as White trash, which was a derogatory term used for poor white people.

Elvis himself later downplayed the situation in interviews when he said that things were not that bad, but the truth is that his parents had more than enough to worry about financially.

This is also indicated by the event in May 1938, when Vernon was arrested and sentenced to three years in prison for forging a check from his employer, on which he changed the payment amount from three dollars to eight.

In addition to suddenly finding herself alone to raise and care for her son, Gladys also had to leave the house she and her husband bought on installments.

A photo of Elvis' parents in a museum in Verona, Mississippi. This is where Vernon and Gladys got married. PHOTO: Thomas R Machnitzki/Creative Commons/CC BY 3.0
A photo of Elvis’ parents in a museum in Verona, Mississippi. This is where Vernon and Gladys got married. PHOTO: Thomas R Machnitzki/Creative Commons/CC BY 3.0

Relationship to mother

Gladys was very fixated on Elvis and was overly worried about him. So he didn’t enjoy Klukov’s shenanigans much, and as soon as he stayed out until the late hours as a teenager, she couldn’t sleep.

His wife Priscilla described in her book that until Elvis started performing, he never slept away from home.

Later, when his music career made it inevitable, he at least called his mother every day, because just as she was fixated on him, he was fixated on her. He experienced an even more painful blow when she died at the age of only forty-six.

He was convinced that his being drafted into military service was to blame. She could not stand the separation and began to have problems with alcohol, which worsened her health so much that on August 14, 1958, her heart failed after a prolonged inflammation of the liver.

She became Vernon’s new partner, according to Elvis, too soon after Glady’s death Dee Stanley.

Birthplace of Elvis Presley. PHOTO: Markuskun/Creative Commons/Public domain
Birthplace of Elvis Presley. PHOTO: Markuskun/Creative Commons/Public domain

The future king

In 1945, Elvis took part in a singing competition. Later, a number of sources erroneously stated that he won it, when in fact he finished fifth. A year later he celebrated his eleventh birthday, for which he received his first guitar, although he said he wanted a bicycle.

His uncle taught him chords VestElvis also listened to blues and country songs and was interested in gospel.

The family moved to Memphis in 1948, which was not easy for Elvis as he left familiar surroundings and friends.

In addition, he was said to be a special child who had a harder time integrating into the collective, the teenage boy thus faced bullying, which music helped him overcome.

He graduated from high school in 1953 and started working as a driver for Electric Co. Even in the same year, the wheel of success slowly began to spin, thanks to which the name Elvis Presley has been known throughout the world for many generations.

First time in the studio

In August 1953, he recorded for the first time in a studio, specifically at Sun Records Philips herselfwhere he paid four dollars for it.

It’s often mistakenly said that it was a birthday present for his mother, but the truth is that Elvis wanted to hear himself… and he certainly wasn’t satisfied. The story about the mother was later invented by his manager Tom Parker.

Sam Philips’ secretary was the first to notice the young man’s talent and pointed him out. The owner of the company, who was just rumored to be looking for a white guy with a black voice, was excited.

The song That’s All Right originally sung by a blues singer Arthur Crudupbecame a radio hit and opened Elvis’ doors to the world of music.

From Memphis, where it was a great success, it soon spread further and dazzled the entire southern part of the United States of America. Then came the even more successful single Blue Moon of Kentucky.

Elvis began performing in the band The Blue Moon Boys, with whom he sang and played in various businesses.

People soon began to notice Elvis' extraordinary talent. PHOTO: Pxfuel
People soon began to notice Elvis’ extraordinary talent. PHOTO: Pxfuel

Colonel on the scene

In 1955, Elvis’ career was taken over by the aforementioned Tom Parker, whom he nicknamed The Colonel.

He approached promotion in a very innovative way – he invented engaging stories for journalists, sold promotional items and arranged for Elvis to appear in films and TV shows.

In short, he built a cult of personality and maintained it even when the singer was in military service.

On January 27, 1956, a new single, Heartbreak Hotel, was released, the first to work with Elvis’ new label, RCA Records. In a short time, it sold over a million pieces! A debut album called Elvis Presley came right after. It had country features and dominated the US pop charts for ten months.

Success after success

At the time of the release of the debut album, Elvis also began to break into television, where he appeared in various shows, and in film. The first of them was the musical western Love me tender.

It also spawned one of Elvis Presley’s most famous songs, the first in history to earn more than a million dollars in sales.

In 1956 another album called Elvis was released. The audience was excited again. After all, this year has become one of the most successful in Elvis Presley’s career.

His star rose steeply and continued to do so the following year, when he again shone in a film – a box office hit called Prison Rock. And the same year he got a role in the movie Loving you. It was also a success, after all, like everything where Elvis appeared at the time.

Elvis had to join the war, but even after that the fans did not forget him. PHOTO: pxfuel
Elvis had to join the war, but even after that the fans did not forget him. PHOTO: pxfuel

Elvis the soldier

The period of enormous success was interrupted by compulsory military service. It was delayed for a few months, allowing Elvis to complete King Creole. In March 1958 he enlisted. He first completed basic training in Texas and then was transferred to West Germany.

During this period, he was troubled by the idea that fans in America would forget about him. He was lonely, as was his future wife Priscilla, whom he met here.

After returning from the service, it turned out that the fear was unnecessary. He was once again warmly received by the fans and he began to focus more on films than music. Some are of very low quality and became successful only because he plays in them.

The movies brought Elvis a lot of money and a few hits, but he wasn’t satisfied with them.

Back to the music

In 1971 he started recording studio albums again and again had success. On June 9-11, 1972, he became the first artist to sell out Madison Square Garden in New York four times in a row.

A year later, he held a concert in Honolulu, Hawaii, which was broadcast via satellite to 40 countries around the world. More than a billion viewers watched it.

He was doing well at work, but his privacy, and especially his health, went downhill. He gained weight, took various supportive and addictive substances, in high doses and in combination with alcohol. Even so, he continued to work on albums and performances.

In 1973, when he divorced his wife, he twice overdosed on barbiturates, the first time he even ended up in a coma. He also dealt with drug addiction. And yet he played 160 concerts!

Elvis with the love of his life Priscilla. The marriage was hell and eventually fell apart. PHOTO: Pxfuel
Elvis with the love of his life Priscilla. The marriage was hell and eventually fell apart. PHOTO: Pxfuel

Elvis and drugs

Elvis got into stimulant drugs when he was serving in West Germany. It was amphetamine, given to him by the commanding officer against fatigue. Priscilla found out when she fell asleep at Elvis’s place when she was still 14 years old.

She had to manage school and evening stays with him, from which she returned late. She was very tired and he felt that he could help her.

Especially in the 1960s, when Elvis started performing live again, he increasingly turned to stimulants and sedatives. His pace was unbearable, he contracted the show too much. Of course, this began to take its toll on his health.

After the breakup and subsequent divorce, he suffered from depression, so the various pills he took increased. There was also alcohol, he was overweight and it was clear at concerts that he was running out of energy.

Sad ending

In 1976, he broke up with his girlfriend, an actress Linda Thompsonand she started appearing by his side after that Ginger Aldenwhom he proposed to.

And it was she who found him dead on the bathroom floor of Graceland on August 16, 1977. The king of rock’n’roll died at only 42 years old.

According to the official version, he died of a heart attack, but many people think that he overdosed on drugs, and conspirators are convinced of a faked death, after which he lived or lives in seclusion.

The Graceland mansion has become a museum and the second most visited house in the US, after the White House.

The article is in Czech

Tags: top bottom journey Elvis Presley Epochaplus .cz


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