"Elvis Presley is the greatest cultural force in the 20th century."

(Leonard Bernstein)


"If you're an Elvis fan, no explanation is necessary; If you're not an Elvis fan, no explanation is possible."

(George Klein)


"For a dead man, Elvis Presley is awfully noisy."

(Professor Gilbert B. Rodman)



"Absolute id crashed into absolute superego...as the uptightset man in America shook hands with just about the loosest."

(Mark Feeney on the 'Elvis meets Nixon' meeting)


"Elvis is everywhere"

(Mojo Nixon & Skid Roper)


"...especially in the South, they talk about Elvis and Jesus in the same breath"

(Michael Ventura, LA Weekly)


"The image is one thing and the human being is another...it's very hard to live up to an image"


(Elvis Presley, Madison Square Garden press conference, 1972)


"Elvis was a major hero of mine. I was actually stupid enough to believe that having the same birthday as him actually meant something"

(David Bowie)


"No-one, but no-one, is his equal, or ever will be. He was, and is supreme"

(Mick Jagger)


"I wasn't just a fan, I was his brother...there'll never be another like that soul brother"

(Soul legend, James Brown)


"Before Elvis there was nothing!"

(John Lennon)


"There were rock 'n' roll records before Heartbreak Hotel, but this was the one that didn't just open the door…it literally blasted the door off its rusted, rotten, anachronistic hinges...producing, no propelling, a fundamental, primordial and unstoppable shift in not only musical, but social, political and cultural history"

(JNP, BBC website)


"Elvis, the musician, is largely a relic belonging to the baby boomer generation...Elvis, the icon, is arguably one of the most potent symbols of popular culture"

( Dr. John Walker)


"It [rock & roll] was always about Elvis; not just because he was Elvis, but because he was the big star"

(Bono from U2)


"If they had let me on white radio stations back then, there never would have been an Elvis"

(Little Richard)


"Elvis loved opera, and he especially liked Mario Lanza. He would watch The Student Prince which was set in Heidelberg, over and over again. He loved the power of the big voices. And he loved big orchestras. He liked real dramatic things"

(Marty Lacker in 'Elvis and the Memphis Mafia')


"If life was fair, Elvis would be alive and all the impersonators would be dead"

(Johnny Carson)

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)

Don't (1958)

Stuck On You (1960)

It's Now Or Never (1960)

Are You Lonesome Tonight? (1960)

Surrender (1961)

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 Facts:

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
















































































































































































































































































Elvis' worst day...his biggest failure!

What was Elvis' biggest failure as a performer?

Was it his appearance at the Grand Ole Opry in 1955?.....No

Was it Las Vegas in 1956?.....No

Most fans are aware that Elvis' first season in Las Vegas in 1956 didn't go well. The older Vegas audience couldn't relate to Elvis' new sound and performing style and as a result his booking was cut short. Similarly, Elvis bombed when he appeared at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville and there is the often published, but erroneous, story that Elvis was told to go back to driving a truck.

Few fans are aware however of Elvis' other big failure, a failure arguably bigger than his appearances in Nashville and Las Vegas.

The performance in question was Elvis' audition in March 1955 for the Arthur Godfrey Talent Scouts television program. The program was one of the most influential shows broadcast during the 1950s and was the launching pad for many future stars as success on it guaranteed exposure to a national audience and spin-off contracts.

Elvis' unsuccessful audition was the biggest failure of his career for two reasons, firstly, a lack of professionalism from Elvis and his management and secondly, the Las Vegas audience and Grand Ole Opry management were pleasant to Elvis, if not fully appreciative of his talent and groundbreaking performance style.

Elvis' audition for Arthur Godfrey show was arranged by prominent and influential disc jockey, Bill Randle through his association with Max Kendrick in New York where the show was based.

It was reported at the time that as a result of his rejection by the Arthur Godfrey people Elvis was depressed on the plane trip back home.

Interestingly, few Elvis biographies devote much space to the audition. There are only passing references to it in Jerry Hopkins' 'Elvis: A Biography', Peter Guralnick & Ernst Jorgensen's 'Elvis Day-By Day' and Guralnick's seminal work 'Last Train To Memphis: The Rise of Elvis Presley'.

Frank Coffey in his solid release 'The Idiot's Guide to Elvis' devotes a page to the audition, including: 'Then the country's most important amateur and young professionals talent showcase, the weekly primetime Talent Scouts had given stars like Pat Boone, The Mcuire Sisters and Shari Lewis their first national exposure.'

Coffey goes on to state: 'But Elvis wasn't quite "talented" enough at least not by the standards of Godfrey's people.Was it that Elvis wasn't good enough in their minds? Or was it that he was just too controversial?"

Peter Brown and Pat Boeske in 'Down At The End Of Lonely Street: The Life And Death of Elvis Presley' suggest: "Not photogenic enough" ruled Arthur Godfrey and too "greasy".

The truth is actually very interesting and appears to have nothing to do with Elvis being controversial. It had to do with a lack of professionalism on the part of both Elvis and his management (at the time Bob Neal although Colonel Parker was loosely involved on the periphery). Quite simply they hadn't thought through what was required to be accepted and successful on Talent Scouts, a program broadcast from a major urban (not rural) city to a national audience.

As noted in Ger Rijff and Jan van Gestel's excellent photo-journal, Memphis Lonesome: 'Presley bombs. He bombs so bad that Kendrick refuses to do anything for Randle in New York for months on end. Says Randle: "Presley forgot the words, picked his nose, and was the antithesis of what Arthur Godfrey looked for in talent. He had a dirty red suit on, food all over it, and his clothing was rumpled. He had terrible acne, he just looked like a bum and he couldn't perform for them, and it was just a disaster, a real disaster."'

Click to comment on this article

(This article originally appeared on the EIN website several years ago but disappeared when we switched server providers. Many thanks to Debra Palmer and Charmaine Voisine for finding a copy of it)

Top 10 Most Popular Pages (14 April 2006)
Spotlight Article: Elvis' musical legacy - 'A Complete Body Of Work'
David Stanley talks to EIN
DVD: Kraig Parker 50th Anniversary Tribute
The Best Elvis CDs, Books & DVDs ever released!
Bill Burk's Elvis World Online
CD Review: Elvis rock
Almost Elvis
Elvis Conspiracy
The Top 10 Elvis Releases of 2005
Ernst Jorgensen on Elvis' Sales (Interview)
DVD: Kraig Parker - 50th Anniversary Tribute
CD: Pieces Of My Life
CD: Elvis rock
DVD: Behind the Scenes at the Seattle World's Fair
DVD: The TCB Gang - The Way It Was
CD: In The King's Shadow..The Rock 'n' Roll Years (El Gamble)
Book: Inside Loving You
FTD: Loving You
FTD: Southern Nights
DVD: "Promised Land" (Steve Preston)
DVD: Colonel Parker
Film: Elvis Killed My Brother
CD: Elvis A Legendary Performer Vol. 7
DVD: A Tribute To The King (Scotty Moore)
Book/CD: Memphis Recording Service
Book: Elvis and the Memphis Mafia
CD: All Shook Up (reggae tribute)
Book: The King's Ransom
Book: The King (graphic novel)
'Elvis On Tour Outtakes' DVD review
'Hitstory' CD EIN in depth review
CD: Hitstory (USA edition)
FTD: Summer Festival
DVD: Born To Rock
Book: Elvis Aaron Presley: A Candle In The Wind
FTD: Too Much Monkey Business
Book: Desert Storm
Book: Elvis on Screen
DVD: Elvis & Me
FTD: All Shook Up
FTD: Tickle Me
CD: Elvis by the Presleys
Book: Dewey and Elvis
Elvis' musical legacy - 'A Complete Body Of Work
The Best Elvis CDs, Books & DVDs ever released!
Elvis & the Mexican Bracero
Tribute to Charlie Hodge
The Top 10 Elvis releases of 2005
Wilson Pickett & Elvis
Elvis That's The Way It Is: 1970 vs. 2001
Elvis' Bad Break!
The amazing story of Jimmy (Orion) Ellis
Graceland 2005
Elvis and Las Vegas
The man who bought Elvis (Robert Sillerman)
Presley Commission Report
Mario Lanza meets Elvis
A Kick Upwards For Elvis' Movies
How Mario Lanza influenced Elvis
Enduring economic power of Elvis
Graceland - the ultimate bachelor pad
Elvis was not a racist!
The Definitive Elvis "blues" album
Elvis on The Creative Edge - Part 2 - The CD
'Elvis Seriously'- Why is Elvis' voice too often ignored
Elvis & Ed Sullivan - The Real Story
It's Over - Gordon Minto on 18 #1's
Elvis - symbol of freedom or not?
The importance of being Elvis
Elvis rules on television! (updated August 2005)
Elvis in the 50s - Maxine Brown
How & where to sell your Elvis collection
Elvis in the 1970s
More on Elvis on TV
Elvis - Hero with 1000 faces
Elvis Film Guide
Elvis rules on television! (updated May 2005)
How did Elvis die?
Rev. Mother Dolores Hart
David Stanley talks to EIN
Charlie Hodge talks to EIN
Kevan Budd (BMG)
Ernst Jorgensen on Elvis' record sales
Billy Smith (Part 2)
Billy Smith (Part 1)
Ernst Jorgensen (Sirius Radio)
Lamar Fike (Part 2)
Lamar Fike (Part 1)
Marty Lacker (part 2)
Marty Lacker (part 1)
David Bendeth, producer of 'Elvis 30#1s'
Ernst Jorgensen
Ernst Jorgensen & Roger Semon 2002 FTD discussion
Red & Sonny West
Ernst Jorgensen
Phil Aitcheson (Presley Commission)
Elvis On Tour (Hampton Roads) footage
Elvis On Tour
Graceland cam
Listen to the Elvis "strung out" in Vegas audio
The "Real" Elvis off-stage
Unreleased Elvis audio now online
View EPE Graceland tourism ads
View video of "All Shook Up" opening night on Broadway
"Images In Concert" Photo Database
All about Elvis
All about Elvis tribute artists
All about Lisa Presley
All about Graceland
Contact List
Elvis CDs in 2006
Elvis DVDs 2006
Elvis books 2005-07
Elvis Week 2007
Elvis film guide
Elvis Online Virtual Library
Elvis Presley Research Forum
Elvis was a racist? (archives)
Elvis Week 2005
Links to Elvis' family & friends
Online Elvis Symposium
Sale of EPE "Archives"
6th Elvis Website Survey
Spotlight on The King
"Wikipedia" Elvis bio


"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"

(Nick Tosches)


"He was the most popular man that ever walked on this planet since Christ himself was here"

(Carl Perkins)


"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"

(Bob Dylan)


"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"

(Johnny Cash)


"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)

Elvis Facts:

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