Elvis Presley was an American singer, musician, and actor. He is known as "the King of Rock and Roll" and "the King". He was born in Tupelo, Mississippi and moved to Memphis, Tennessee when he was thirteen. That is where he began his music career in 1954. His first RCA single "Heartbreak Hotel", was released in 1956, and was a number one hit in the US. He was enormously popular and controversial for his energized and sexually provocative performance style and involvement in the Civil Rights Movement. In 1956, he also made his debut film Love Me Tender. Elvis Presley was born January 8, 1935 and died in Memphis at age 42 on August 16, 1977.
Elvis Presley (1935–1977) was an American musician who combined country, gospel, blues, and rhythm and blues with his own unique style. He is considered one of the founders of music that became known as rock and roll. Presley was born and raised in Tupelo, Mississippi, where he was exposed to blues music at an early age. He began playing the guitar on his own before he reached adolescence and recorded his first song in 1953. By 1956 songs like "That's All Right Mama" and "Heartbreak Hotel" had made Presley a national star. Although he was loved for his baritone voice, it was his gyrating pelvic movements that brought him to such fast fame as this was practically a revolutionary dance style for the modest generation of the 1950s.
Between 1956 and 1969 Presley produced seventeen number-one records, defining a new era and a new musical style that shook the world. He also starred in motion pictures such as Love Me Tender (1956) and Follow That Dream (1962). Presley's death, in 1977, was largely attributed to his excesses. He was known to abuse drugs, alcohol, and food, and toward the end of his life he became more dependent on his addictions. He died of an apparent drug overdose. Presley's home in Memphis, Tennessee—known as Graceland—remains a popular attraction for millions of tourists and devoted fans.
Further Information: Cotten, Lee. Elvis Catalog. Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1987; Elvis Presley's Graceland. [Online] Available http://www.elvis-presley.com, October 23, 2000; Guralnick, Peter. Careless Love: The Unmaking of Elvis Presley. Boston: Little Brown, 1999; Hopkins, Jerry. Elvis: The Final Years. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1986; The King of Rock and Roll. [Online] Available http://www.geocities.com/Nashville/Opry/8201/king.html, October 23, 2000; Lichter, Paul. The Boy Who Dared to Rock: The Definitive Biography. Garden City, N.Y.: Dolphin Books, 1978; Presley, Priscilla. Elvis and Me. Thorndike, Maine: Thorndike Press, 1986.