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"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
















































































































































































































































































Fans still love him 'true,' 50 years after S. Fla. debut

A shredded pink sports jacket, scathing editorials and a lot of young enthusiasm are part of the memories of Elvis Presley's first Miami performance.

BY MARGARIA FICHTNER, Miami Herald, 3 Aug 2006

Fifty years ago yesterday, a 21-year-old former truck driver wearing a pink sport coat and black pants slipped onto the stage at Miami's Olympia Theater. Grabbing the microphone, Elvis Presley managed to husk one word -- ''Thisss. . .'' -- before his voice was smothered by frantic squeals.

''I couldn't believe what baby-fine skin he had,'' says Joanne McCool of Miami Gardens, who was 14 and sitting with her mother in the third row. "My other remembrance is how angry I was because everybody was screaming, and you couldn't hear him sing.''

Tickets were $1.50. Presley played seven sold-out performances over two days. The Olympia, now Gusman Center for the Performing Arts, had not seen such excitement since one of the Rathbone Sisters lost the top of her costume while swinging from her trapeze.

''Everybody was rushing the stage and dancing in the aisles,'' says Francis Marinelli of Homestead, then a 15-year-old high school sophomore who butch-waxed his hair and shined his stepfather's Plymouth to impress his date, a senior cheerleader.

Opposite: Elvis live in Miami in 1956


''You had to be there,'' says historian Arva Moore Parks. "The line from the box office zigzagged for blocks, and I was standing right about where the side door of Gusman is. So the first show came out, and there were grown women, I mean not teenagers, carrying pieces of his pink coat. And I have to tell you, my mouth dropped.''Hundreds of fans, mostly female, many formidably buttressed by crinolines, stormed the stage door, almost trampling several policeman and clotting rush-hour traffic to a honking crawl.

'You know the expression that somebody is treated `like a rock star.' Well, Elvis was treated like a super-nova rock star,'' says former U.S. Sen. Bob Graham, then 19, who was standing in line near Parks.


In fact, no one in Miami had ever seen or heard anything quite like this big-shouldered kid with the three-octave vibrato, flopping forelock and agitated hips.

It was one thing to have watched him on TV -- even that embarrassing basset-hound serenade on The Steve Allen Show -- but who would have thought that Ellllvis!!!!! would just roll into town like any other tourist; well, any other tourist with a new lavender Lincoln. The car quickly was covered with lipsticked love notes and phone numbers, so Presley went shopping and paid $10,800 for a clean, white Continental.

''He was on his way to somewhere else,'' says biographer Peter Guralnick, who details the Miami gig in Last Train to Memphis. ``This was really the tail end of his touring of the South. He'd been doing that for almost two years. . . . But now, you know, the Florida tour was really an interlude on his way to making the first movie, which was, in essence, the end for almost 15 years of his career as a live performer.''


Though in some ways still the aw-shucks boy from Tupelo, Mississippi, in this summer of Don't Be Cruel, Presley was not only the hottest hit-parade idol since Sinatra but also, because of his smoked-velveteen voice and aerobic swivels, a moral lightning rod. Miami News columnist Herb Rau labeled him ''the biggest freak in modern show business history'' and suggested that his fans deserved "A SOLID SLAP ACROSS THE MOUTH.''

''Well, I genuinely think we were there listening to the music,'' says Graham. ''. . . Think of how many Elvis songs people still sing. It wasn't as if he was singing just throwaway trash, and he had a good voice. And so before you got to his, what would you call it? '' -- Sexiness? -- . . . he had a lot going for him.''

Still, McCool says, ``I've always wondered how much my mother liked him as an entertainer, or if she went with me because my parents wouldn't let me go by myself.''

''I'm not trying to look sexy,'' Presley insisted to Miami News reporters Damon Runyon Jr. and Bella Kelly. ``I move around because that's the way I feel when I sing.''

''He was really quite gentlemanly,'' Kelly said. ``I guess I expected him to walk like he danced, and he didn't.''

It is, of course, a curse of hindsight to realize that in that summer of 1956, Presley's life already was half over.

Fran Marinelli had his Olympia ticket stub framed, but he could not hang onto the cheerleader. ''I never saw her again,'' he says. ``It was my first experience at being an adolescent. She broke my heart.''

Joanne McCool saw Presley once more, at his Sportatorium concert a few months before he died in 1977. ''I have my ticket stub from then,'' she says. ``It was $15, and I was a single mother with three kids, and it took everything I had to scrape the money together, but, boy, was I going to go.''

Bob Graham had taken another young woman to the Olympia, but the first time he kissed Adele Khoury, his future wife, they were at Gainesville's old Suburbia drive-in watching a familiar, dark-haired figure in Love Me Tender.

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"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 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