Elvis' #1 Pop Singles on Cashbox, USA:
Heartbreak Hotel (1956)
Don't Be Cruel (1956)
Hound Dog (1956)
Love Me Tender (1956)
Too Much (1957)
All Shook Up (1957)
Teddy Bear (1957)
Jailhouse Rock (1957)
Stuck On You (1960)
It's Now Or Never (1960)
Are You Lonesome Tonight? (1960)
Good Luck Charm (1962)
Return To Sender (1962)
In The Ghetto (1969)
Suspicious Minds (1969)
Burning Love (1972)
(The Cashbox chart is now defunct)
Elvis was 5' 11" tall
Elvis' natural hair color was dark blond
Elvis' blood type was O Positive
Elvis' shoe size was 11D
One of Elvis'( maternal) ancestors, Morning White Dove (born 1800, died 1835), was a full-blooded Cherokee Indian
Elvis' uncle, Noah Presley, became Mayor of East Tupelo on January 7, 1936
The Presley family moved to Memphis on November 6, 1948
Elvis was issued a Social Security card in September 1950 with the # 409-52-2002
In 1954 some of the shows played by Elvis & The Blue Moon Boys were at the Overton Park Shell; the Bel-Air Club; Sleepy-Eyed John's Eagle's Nest Club and the Louisiana Hayride
Elvis' first manager was Scotty Moore, then Bob Neal, before signing with Colonel Tom Parker
The first DJ to play an Elvis record was Fred Cook (WREC), not Dewey Phillips (WHBQ). However, Dewey had the distinction of being the first DJ to play an Elvis record in its entirety
Elvis once dated famous stripper, Tempest Storm
Elvis was filmed from the waist up only during his 3rd and final appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show
In the 50s Elvis was friendly with rising stars, Natalie Wood, Robert Wagner and Ty (Bronco Lane) Hardin
Gladys Presley was 46 years old when she died, not 42, as many books suggest
The Roustabout album sold 450,000 copies on its initial release, 150,000 copies more than any of the preceding three soundtrack LPs. It was Elvis' last "soundtrack" album to reach #1 on the major album charts in the US
Elvis received $1m for filming Harum Scarum (aka Harum Holiday). The film grossed around $2m in the US
Elvis and Priscilla married on May 1, 1967
They were officially divorced on October 9, 1973
Elvis earns nearly $3.5m in 1968 and pays just over $1.4m in income tax
Elvis' return to live performing in Las Vegas on July 31, 1969 was in front of an "by invitation only" audience. Stars in attendance included Wayne Newton, Petula Clark, Shirley Bassey, Burt Bacharach and Angie Dickinson
On January 9, 1971, the national Junior Chamber of Commerce (Jaycees) announced Elvis as one of "The Top Ten Young Men of the Year". Elvis spoke at the official awards ceremony on January 16
"Elvis: Aloha From Hawai" made entertainment history on January 14, 1973, when it was beamed around the world by satellite. In the Philippines it drew 91% of the audience, in Hong Kong 70%. The viewing audience was estimated at more than 1 billion
For his 4 week Hilton Vegas season in August 1973 Elvis received $610,000
Sales of Elvis' 1973 album, Raised On Rock, were less than 200,000 units on its initial release
Elvis paid $2,959,000 in income tax in 1973
In December 1976 Elvis was sworn in as a special deputy sheriff of Shelby County (Memphis) by Sheriff Gene Barksdale
Elvis' final live concert was in Indianapolis on June 26, 1977
When Elvis died, he and his father Vernon, were embroiled in an FBI investigation called Operation Fountain Pen
More than 1,500 books have been published about The King in more than 30 languages
At Dec 2005 Elvis' biggest selling album in the US is the budget priced, Elvis' Christmas Album, with accredited sales of 9 million units (fingers crossed it reaches 10 million to give Elvis his first "Diamond" award)
By early2006, Sony BMG's "collectors label", Follow That Dream, had released more than 50 Elvis CDs
During the 1980s, tour guides at Graceland stated that Elvis' biggest selling album (globally) was Moody Blue, with sales exceeding 14 million
While Sony BMG estimates Elvis' global sales exceed 1 billion, the company is unable to substantiate this figure. Accredited sales worldwide are estimated to be less than 400 million
Prepared by Nigel Patterson (July 2006)
Continuing our controversial series of articles comparing the impact of Elvis and The Beatles, in this article we present a tabular (matrix) comparison of the two musical-cultural icons plus supporting arguments/views. Our examination is based on a review of a cross-section of online and printed material about both artists.
(Reader feedback appears below)
* writings on both artists were found to be rhetorical and quite general regarding their ongoing influence/legacy
**neither sales claim is currently verifiable
*** attitude is essentially comprised of 3 elements - what we: do, feel & think
**** both results contain non-subject results (Elvis results affected more due to results for "other Elvises" such as Elvis Costello and Elvis Crespo)
The supporting arguments/views:
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: Elvis Presley is the undisputed King of Rock and Roll. He rose from humble circumstances to launch the rock and roll revolution with his commanding voice and charismatic stage presence. In the words of the historical marker that stands outside the house where he was born: "Presley's career as a singer and entertainer redefined popular music."
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: As far as his stature as a cultural icon, which continues to grow even in death, writer Lester Bangs said it best: "I can guarantee you one thing - we will never again agree on anything as we agreed on Elvis."
Leonard Bernstein: "Elvis Presley is the greatest cultural force in the 20th century."
John Lennon: "Before Elvis there was nothing"
John Lennon: "Without Elvis there would not have been The Beatles"
Mick Jagger: "No-one, but no-one, is his equal, or ever will be. He was, and is supreme"
Greil Marcus, rock critic & historian: "He is the "Big Bang", and the universe he detonated is still expanding, the pieces are still flying"
Publishers Weekly: Elvis was "influenced by the products of a national mass culture" until he became one of that culture's greatest icons while creating a sound that wove together various strains of music from Southern whites and blacks
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: The impact of the Beatles upon popular music cannot be overstated; they revolutionized the music industry and touched the lives of all who heard them in deep and fundamental ways. Landing on these shores on February 7, 1964, they literally stood the world of pop culture on its head, setting the musical agenda for the remainder of the decade. The Beatles' buoyant melodies, playful personalities and mop-topped charisma were just the tonic needed by a nation left reeling by the senseless assassination of its young president, John F. Kennedy, barely two months earlier. Even adults typically given to scorning rock and roll as worthless "kid's stuff" were forced to concede that there was substance in their music and quick-witted cleverness in their repartee. Without exaggeration, they transfixed and transformed the world as we knew it, ushering in a demographic shift in which youth culture assertively took over from its stodgy Eisenhower-era forbears.
Wikipedia: Although Elvis Presley used the medium of television in the 1950s in America to attract a wider audience (rather than just performing live or being heard on the radio) The Beatles had the advantage of being seen in the USA as well as on British TV in the early sixties, just as the sale of television sets increased dramatically (although only in black & white). Their influence on the medium of TV - and its rising importance - paved the way for presenters of programmes to utilise their fame, and performers/actors to include references to The Beatles in their own writing.
Tony Copple, Beatles historian: Not only did the Beatles reflect their times by being ahead of their time, but also they influenced a generation of people who were in their impressionable years in the sixties. They showed a form of unconscious leadership, by debunking stuffy class-related attitudes and replacing them by a delightful irreverence and spontaneity that for the most part has not dated.
Tony Copple, Beatles historian: We can now identify changes in behaviour, attitudes, and performance on record, stage and film which were pioneered by the group. We tend to forget now, but if those of you who were around then think back to each new album, new film, new tour, they all introduced concepts that had not previously been tried. For example, the Shea Stadium concert in 1965 was the first* music event in a sports arena. Innovation came naturally to the Beatles and they had the guts and the stature to be different, every time.
* Not true. Elvis played several sports stadiums in the 1950s including the Empire Stadium in Vancouver on 31 August 1957
Verdict: The Beatles 'ongoing' impact is largely musical. Certainly they influenced clothing and hairstyles in the 1960s but there is no apparent legacy in this regard today. They had the advantage of being at the center of a highly popular mass media which recorded their undoubted greatness.
Comparatively, Elvis' ongoing legacy traverses musical, style and socio-cultural boundaries. His music "opened the doors" to both a musical revolution and youth culture, facilitating The Beatles. His style (clothing, hairstyle & performance style) continues to influence today. The regular reference to Elvis in contemporary culture and the continuing popularity of a large number of ETAs symbolises Elvis' lasting impact. Had the mass media been as evolved as it was in the mid 1960s, there would be a much greater recognised and accessible record of the Elvis phenomenon in the incredible days of Elvis/Presleymania.
The fact that both artists are the subject of major productions by Cirque du Soleil (itself a phenomenon), speaks reams for at least their musical importance in contemporary society.
Read EIN's set of articles on "Elvis' record sales" and "Elvis vs. The Beatles":
John Lennon And Elvis: It was "Thirty Years Ago Today" - On December 8th 1980 John Lennon was shot dead outside his New York apartment. In commemoration, LA Times music critic Robert Hilburn remembers discussions with John Lennon about life and Elvis...
Controversial university study incenses Elvis fans (published 2006)
Colin B (UK): That made an interesting read.
Denman (Holland): Interesting.
Anfield: Nice article.
Bryan Stuart (USA): Good article!
Sharon: I think this is a reall well thought out article - but just one point - when it says the Beatles created the 4 peice band - this always irritates me in a way - because Elvis, Scotty, Bill and DJ were in essence a 4 peice band at the beginning but have never been given due credit for it.
Mark Holliday (USA): Excellent article...great points on both sides. Thanks for the link and the post.
Ian Anderson: That was a great read,thank's a lot!
Mr Majestyk: Quite a good piece and interesting into the bargain, but that's only two sides to the pop music coin i.e. there were artists before Elvis that sang to a youth audience, the album was gaining popularity before The Beatles came on the scene, some of which (pre-Beatles) remain the most successfull albums ever chart-wise despite a smaller chart.
The death of John Lennon wasn't as marked as Elvis' death, but to me it's the Elvis caricature that dominates on august 16th, not the artist - maybe Lennon fans (myself included) should be thankful that the cirus that is Graceland has no Beatles equivalent, although some Lennon?Beatles fans are guilty of needing to get a life as some Elvis fans. But just for reference, how many Lennon/Beatles and casual music fans see the tribute to John Lennon in New York's Central Park each year? More than the amount that visitys Graceland? I'll bet.
"Elvis broke down the barriers to males having long hair" Dean, Brando and Tony Curtis had similar hairstyles before Elvis made it big, their hairstyles influenced Elvis. Elvis established the artist as a brand - in what way? Were no singers before Elvis "branded" in a similar way?
Cultural references to Elvis are a-plenty, but The Beatles are no less culturally prevailant, but again, more so for their music, not the caricature, as in Elvis' case.
The replacement of "Mom and Dad" music on the chart was mostly attributed to Elvis - yes, in some ways, in some ways not, becaus plenty of pre-rock and non-rock acts charted extremely well during rock 'n' roll's golden years.
"Elvis has assumed prominance as a religious type identity" It's this kind of worshipping by fans who are basically zealots that has given Elvis a lot of bad press. Elvis' films undegoing an academic investigation---doesn't take a genius to pick out any social commentaries in Elvis' films or note recurring themes, considering how poorly made most of them were. Elvis never acted in a masterpiece or made a genuine classic, and despite The Beatles making less films, there are probably more influential and have had a lasting appeal despite being products of their time. Re-releases have done well up until this decade for Beatles films.
Joe Walsh (Ireland): To be honest I have no time for the beatles, or manufactured pop in general,
whether it be the everly brothers, the beatles, or westlife.
Marilyn Jones (UK): I enjoyed your article.
Peter Barnes: I like both Elvis and the Beatles. I don't think you can compare a solo artist with a group.
RonnieElvs@aol.com: Good web site. Time for people to stop saying one is better than the other. Both were great. Music has not seen anything like them since. And may not ever again. Rap is not music. It's for those who can't sing.
HowardBrent: I wouldn’t say that I was a fan of The Beatles in the conventional sense of the word, although I do have 6 or 7 of their albums.
John Shutts: Elvis was 1, Beatles needed 4. Nothing more needs saying.
bestseller92: It's not a competition. They were both great. Enjoy.
Tom Finemore: Elvis was a true original. The Beatles followed.
MrMajestyk: The Beatles films were markedly different from what Elvis offered, they weren't actors and didn't try to be, but the format of their films was something that has been copied from The Monkees to
The Spice Girls. Elvis tried to be a leading man but didn't have the acting chops, when the mould was set
with Blue Hawaii any real attempts at putting Elvis in a film that had a decent plot was all but gone because he had a limited appeal as an actor and the studios pandered to that.
Howard said "whereas EP’s films in the 60s were almost completely void of any decent songs." Most of Elvis' films from the 1960s were completely void FULL STOP. They have taken on a camp status because most of them dated so badly, The Beatles films were better produced and had more appeal as works of art, films that had some wit and great music to boot. Anything good that Elvis done is lost among the kitsch dross that he made and that's a sodding shame because a couple of his films were good. As per usual it was too much of the same thing for Elvis and that blighted his career. But it's all relevant.
KerryMills: These types of arguements are always ridiculous. It is apples vs. oranges. The Beatles were a rock band, Elvis was much more than rock and roll. Elvis influenced the Beatles and they influenced all who followed (indirectly linking Elvis). Elvis has a direct line of influence to many after the Beatles, including Country and Rock performers. The Beatles also have influence over Country artisits, at least contemporary country artisits.
This is an endless debate. Give credit where it is due, Elvis changed the world, and so did the Beatles. They are both at a level never seen before. I prefer Elvis, but love the Beatles also, but to deny the Beatles as not only popular but artistically great is crazy.
"Elvis Presley is the supreme socio-cultural icon in the history of pop culture"
(Dr. Gary Enders)
"Elvis is the 'glue' which holds our society together....which subconciously gives our world meaning"
"Eventually everybody has to die, except Elvis"
(humorist Dave Barry)
"He is the "Big Bang", and the universe he detonated is still expanding, the pieces are still flying"
(Greil Marcus, "Dead Elvis")
"I think Elvis Presley will never be solved"
"He was the most popular man that ever walked on this planet since Christ himself was here"
"When I first heard Elvis' voice I just knew I wasn't going to work for anybody...hearing him for the first time was like busting out of jail"
"When we were kids growing up in Liverpool, all we ever wanted was to be Elvis Presley"
(Sir Paul McCartney)
"You can't say enough good things about Elvis. He was one of a kind"
"And don't think for one moment he's just a passing fancy....he's got enough of it to keep him on top for a long time"
(R. Fred Arnold, Fury magazine, Aug 1957)
"It isn't enough to say that Elvis is kind to his parents, sends money home, and is the same unspoiled kid he was before all the commotion began. That still isn't a free ticket to behave like a sex maniac in public"
(Eddie Condon, Cosmopolitan)
Elvis records reaching #2 & #3 on the Cashbox Pop Singles chart:
#2: A Fool Such As I (1959)
#2: A Big Hunk Of Love (1959)
#3: Hard Headed Woman (1958)
#3: One Night (1958)
#3: (You're The Devil) In Disguise (1963)
Tickets for Elvis' show on March 29, 1957 in St. Louis cost $2.00 to $2.50
While in Germany Elvis was hospitalised with tonsillitis in October 1959
Despite being an illegal immigrant, photographic evidence shows Colonel Tom Parker traveled to Canada with Elvis in 1957
Elvis strongly believed there weren't enough good songs in King Creole to justify releasing a soundtrack album. RCA initially agreed, releasing two very successful EPs from the movie. A soundtrack LP eventually followed
During the 1960s Elvis had his own football team, Elvis Presley Enterprises, which played in the Memphis touch football league. In the 1962 final, EPE narrowly lost to Delta Automatic Transmission, 6-13
In Clambake, (Elvis) Scott Hayward's driving licence shows February 23, 1940...taking 5 years off Elvis' real age
In the 1970s Elvis was offered $5m to stage a concert in front of the Pyramids in Egypt. When the Colonel declined the offer, Saudi billionaires raised the offer to $10m