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
This interview was conducted as an informal chat between Charlie Hodge and Nigel Patterson (from EIN, then known as the ACT Elvis Presley Appreciation Society) over a few drinks during Elvis Week in 1986. It was one of two chats between Charlie and Nigel. This interview first appeared in the monthly fan newsletter, 'The Man From Memphis' in 1986. It has not previously been published on the Interrnet.
EIN: Charlie, for those fans who don't know, when did you first meet Elvis?
CH: It was in Memphis in 1956. I was big with my Foggy River Boys and Elvis came backstage when we were touring on Red Foley's Ozark Jubilee. Elvis came in with his cousin, Billy Smith. I talked to Elvis and Billy about the music scene and we swapped stories. Elvis told me he watched me every week on the Ozark Jubilee. It was a popular TV show broadcast on Saturday night's out of Springfield, Missouri. After that, the next time I'd see Elvis was in the Army.
EIN: Elvis took up karate during his Army stint. What do you recall about his interest then in the martial arts?
CH: When we were in Germany Elvis heard about the karate champion, Jurgen Seydel, who was also in Germany. He arranged to meet Jurgen and they started training together. As I wrote in my book, Me 'n' Elvis, karate was a physical art that caught Elvis' passion. Elvis and Jurgen became very close and they'd work out together on weekends. Rex Mansfield, who was with us in Germany, also took lessons, and Elvis would work out with him whenever Jurgen wasn't around.
EIN: Elvis was a big fan of Mario Lanza?
CH: Elvis loved all types of music. He always wanted to know more about how the music came about, how particular singers and musicians did certain things. And he was a big, big fan of Mario Lanza. He watched movies like The Student Prince over and over again. Her especially liked how Lanza projected his powerful voice and the notes he could reach. I think Elvis would have loved to have been an opera singer. Just imagine how that could have changed music history!
EIN: Charlie, tell us about life at Graceland.
CH: Let me tell you, Elvis just loved Graceland. It was his island away from the world where he could unwind with his family and the boys. I was very fortunate to have lived there until after Elvis died. I remember that Elvis would wander around Graceland singing. I'd hear him and pick up the harmony. Sometimes we weren't even in the same room.
One of Elvis' favorite TV shows was filmed in Hawaii, Hawaii 5-0. He was a fan of its star, Jack Lord. Elvis got to meet Jack backstage after one of his shows in Vegas. Elvis also liked The Brian Keith Show which was also made in Hawaii. Anything that reminded him of one of his favorite places.
EIN: How much TV did Elvis watch?
CH: Elvis could be a TV junkie. He had a TV set in every room at Graceland and four in the TV Room so he could watch all channels. He liked watching sport and he liked a lot of the comedies like Lucy and The Beverly Hillbillies. He was big on war movies too. He admired John Wayne and Patton was one of his all-time favorite films. A lot of the time though if he was making a picture or out on the road we didn't get to see much TV.
EIN: Charlie...Elvis and Priscilla.
CH: You know I've read a lot of wrong things about Elvis and Priscilla. Elvis loved her, he told me that many times. And while he may not have wanted to get married when he did she was the love of his life. Initially, we all got along well with Priscilla but after a while I guess she wanted more time with Elvis and we were always around. You can understand that even if we didn't like it at times. It's only natural for her to want to be alone with her husband.
Priscilla was good with us. She could be tough when she wanted and that was usually when the rest of the guys all came over and would start putting in orders with the cook as if Graceland was a restaurant or hotel. She used to say "This isn't a short order restaurant!" (laughs) I lived at Graceland so I guess I knew her better than most.
EIN: The Colonel?
CH: The Colonel was a character. I got on well with himand he used to entertain us with stories of his days as a carny. He especially liked telling Elvis and the boys his stories around the dining table. He'd puff on a big cigar and tell us stories he'd told us a hundred times before. But he was a natural born entertainer and he could make you laugh. He wasn't the ogre many people make him out to be.
The Colonel was not a person you messed with. He could be very, very tough when he was displeased about something, but usually he was a fair person.
EIN: The Memphis Mafia. How well did you guys get on?
CH: We got on real well. We laughed, we cried, we partied, we played practical jokes together. Like any group closely living and working together, there were times when tempers ran hot but they cooled off quickly. It was a fun time and there were a lot more good times than not so good times.
There were many members of the MM. Some of us were there from the start and others drifted in and out over the years or were there for only a short time. Elvis knew who he liked and who he wanted to be in the group.
EIN: Elvis used to give the Memphis Mafia guys nicknames. What was yours?
CH: Elvis called me a few names but the main one was "Slewfoot". It's a well known name in country music circles in the Southern statesof the US. Jerry Schilling was "Cougar", Joe was "Lion", sometimes "Diamond Joe", Lamar was "Buddha" or "Lardass" because of his size. Elvis always liked nicknames, I think for him they symbolised closeness between friends and also the secret nature of groups where only those inside know what it's all about. A lot of the nicknames Elvis gave out were influenced by his love of karate.
EIN: Did Elvis drink alcohol and smoke?
CH: Elvis rarely touched alcohol. It was not something he cared for. When he was younger he smoked occasionally. There are a few pictures of him with a cigarette. And he in the late 60s he liked smoking cigars. He'd go through phases like that where he had a passion for something, then before you knew it, it was something new he was trying.
EIN: Charlie, the pills?
CH: There have been so many nasty, misinformed things said and written about Elvis and so-called "drugs". So many people, especially the media, want to put him down. I never knew Elvis to take 'street drugs'. He despised them and the pushers behind them. Yes, Elvis took medications, but they were prescribed for him by Dr Nick. And they were for very real conditions Elvis suffered from.
Not only that, Elvis knew all about the interactions between the medications he was taking. He had a copy of The Desk Physician's Reference Guide with him all the time. If he'd wanted, he could have become a pharmacist, he knew that much about drugs and their interactions with each other. He was a walking pharmacy encyclopedia.
EIN: The Colonel is well known as a gambler. What about Elvis?
CH: Elvis didn't care for gambling. He might do it if he was bored to pass the time. But he never gambled much. I remember one time in Vegas he put a $ coin in a slot machine and he hit the $100.00 jackpot. Elvis went on playing the machine and every few coins he'd hit the jackpot again. It turned out the machine was faulty. The pit bosses got upset but they couldn't stop Elvis from playing the machine and he wasn't going to stop, he was having too much fun.
EIN: Do you think Elvis would have married Ginger Alden?
CH: Well, they were engaged. I can confirm that. But whether Elvis would have married her I don't know, but I doubt he would. There was some friction between them when Elvis died.
EIN: You appeared in several of Elvis' movies. What was that like?
CH: I had small parts in Clambake, Speedway and Stay Away, Joe. I cut Elvis' father hair in Clambake and he wouldn't sit still for me to do it. It's a funny scene. James Gregory played Elvis' father in the film. Most of the boys got to appear in one or two of the films. Elvis loved making pictures and even though he got tired of it towards the end it was usually a fun time on set. Some of the directors didn't like how we played up but most realised it helped us let of steam and the frustrations of a boring day on the set. And it was Elvis who would usually start it all. He was a real practical joker. It was his way of unwinding from the boredom and pressure.
It was the same when we were on the road. It was tiring and boredom could set in quickly. Spo the practical jokes kept everyone up. J.D. Sumner was just as bad as Elvis. He loved a good practical joke especially if it wasn't on him.
EIN: Do you still get royalties for your role in Clambake, Speedway and Stay Away, Joe?
CH: (laughs) If only! The number of times Elvis' films are shown on TV I could be rich if I only got a $1 each time they are on.
EIN: Charlie, thanks so much for talking to us.
CH: You're most welcome.
"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 Menphis touch football league. In the 1962 final, EPE narrowlt 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 ofered $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