Elvis Presley is synonymous for “greatness” and one of the most influential persons to ever live. In music, he is in a league of his own that’s why he is the one and only King of Rock N’ Roll. However, even as a pretty dyed-in-the-wool Elvis fan myself, I concede I do not know everything about the music icon. You may have heard about his stillborn twin, the natural color of his hair (its brown), and his wife Priscilla but what about the more mysterious, lesser-known but fascinating facets of his career and private life? Well, get your jumpsuits and quaffs on because these facts about Elvis Presley will surely ROCK your fandom!
A Freaky Way to Get Attention
Elvis loved his guns as much as his guitars but he always walked a fine line between being playful and downright careless. According to his ex-girlfriend Ginger Alden, Presley once fired a bullet into the bed’s headboard while she was sleeping simply to get her attention! Wow, if I’d do that my wife, she would beat me dead with that same gun and put me into a casket herself.
This living on the edge lifestyle and wild antics became the norm for Elvis and this next one proves that he can pretty much do anything he wants. Or so he thought.
He BADLY Wants To Go To Heaven
Elvis was not exactly known as a religious man and he saved himself from the dilemma of choosing a religion for himself. Thus, he wore a cross, the Star of David, and the Hebrew word “chai” (meaning “alive” or “living”) around his neck.
“I don’t want to miss out on heaven due to a technicality,” he said. That TCB necklace does not count, by the way.
The Iconic Hip Swing
The iconic gyrating hips of Elvis Presley also had a pretty interesting backstory. Somebody suggested he should perform on live television without his guitar, which was a pretty bad idea if you took it at face value. Well, as a performer, Elvis couldn’t have run out of tricks and thus, the hip swing was born. From then on, he was dubbed “Elvis the Pelvis.”
Elvis And Frank Sinatra
Frank Sinatra wasn’t a fan of Rock N’ Roll music calling it by every name possible including phony, rancid, false, and imbecilic. He did not call out Elvis by name but he said Presley had a natural, animalistic talent.
One other notable interaction between the two legends was the time when Presley returned after military duty in 1960. The live TV show hosted by Sinatra was entitled “Welcome Home, Elvis” and Elvis received a fee of $125,000 (about $1.3 million in current rates) for an 8-minute, two-song performance.
Three Last Words
According to his fiancee Ginger Alden, Elvis’ last words were “OK, I won’t” in response to her telling him not to fall asleep in the bathroom. Hours later, he was found unconscious in that same bathroom and was rushed to the hospital where he was pronounced dead to cardiac arrhythmia.
Prescription Drug Abuse
The above was the real copy of Dr. George Nichopolous’ prescription to Elvis. On the first eight months of 1977 alone, it was said that the Doctor prescribed Presley a total of 10,000 doses of tranquilizers, barbiturates, amphetamines, and narcotics.
His prescription drug abuse did not only take his life but also took one very important thing before that. Please read on to know more about it.
The Last Book Elvis Reportedly Read
It was Frank O’ Adams’ A Scientific Search For The Face Of Jesus given to him by his stylist Larry Geller. When he said, “I’m going to the bathroom” to his girlfriend, he grabbed the book and was still holding it to his chest when he was found dead.
The only other person to have seen Elvis Presley’s Graceland bedroom after his death is…
… Nicholas Cage. The actor was married to Elvis’ daughter Lisa Marie and was an Elvis superfan himself. All other requests to see the bedroom were denied, even that of then-President Bill Clinton.
Elvis Presley and John Lennon
Elvis, and his good friend Tom Jones, once wanted to beat up John Lennon because of, well, political issues. Lennon’s anti-war sentiments did not sit well with Presley and he wanted to throw Lennon out of the United States. However, Lennon speaks very highly of Elvis and called him the inspiration of the Beatles. “Without Elvis, there would be no Beatles,” Lennon declared in a 1980 interview.
Elvis Presley and Kurt Russell
This scene in the 1963 movie It Happened at the World’s Fair with Kurt Russell in his screen debut kicking Elvis Presley in the shin. Interestingly, Russell went on to play Elvis in the TV-Movie ELVIS in 1979 and as the uncredited voice of Presley in the movie Forrest Gump.
Elvis Presley’s excess living was well known and some of his extravagant exploits still boggle the minds of many. For example, it is widely known that he gave a ring to Sammy Davis, Jr. amounting to $30,000. He carried walking sticks adorned with gold and wore golden rings in all of his fingers on and off the stage at one point. Elvis had reportedly bought 100 Cadillacs during his lifetime.
The King’s “Hard” Condition
The cause of Elvis death is a matter of controversy. Some say it was a cover-up of something bigger and more embarrassing. According to Dr. Nichopoulos, it was not the 10,000 doses of drugs he prescribed that killed Elvis, but chronic constipation. (He claimed so in his book The King and Dr. Nick.)
Nichopoulos attributed Elvis’ death to bowel paralysis, a condition that made defecating very difficult. He also said that if Elvis had a colostomy to correct the problem, he would still be alive until now. Whether that’s true or not, the autopsy revealed he had megacolon–a condition that makes the colon twice the size than that of a normal person. The cause of having megacolon is Hirschsprung’s Disease, a congenital condition that gives you pretty much a whole life of constipation.
The Last Song
The last song that Elvis sang was “Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain”. He played the piano and sang before family and friends in his mansion in the evening of August 15, 1977. That must have been very lovely.
Who Turned The King Down?
Before marrying Priscilla (who looked absolutely beautiful in the picture, by the way), Elvis proposed marriage to Japanese-American actress Tura Satana, who turned him down. She did, however, keep the ring.
His Grandson Is Essentially His Spit And Image
Elvis only had a daughter and we all know her name is Lisa Marie, who was once married to Nicholas Cage. Lisa Marie had a son Benjamin and it certainly looked like she passed on her Daddy’s genes to Ben. He is basically Elvis’ spit and image as you can see in the picture above. While Ben has Elvis’ looks, does he also have his voice? Hmmmmmm.
Mexicans Hated Elvis
Elvis was hugely popular throughout the world but for a variety of reasons, his Mexican neighbors did not like him. Tabloids in Tijuana called him a racist and a homosexual, the latter a result of his iconic hip gyration and swinging. Gossip columnist Federico de Leon added fuel to the fire when he claimed Elvis said he’d rather kiss 3 black women than 1 Mexican. A Mexican woman in the same column written by de Leon was quoted as saying: “I’d rather kiss three dogs than one Elvis Presley.”
All The King’s Gold
Awards come easy for an international superstar like Elvis Presley. These include three Grammy wins (14 nominations), the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award which he received at age 36, and his being named One of the Ten Outstanding Young Men of the Nation for 1970 by the United States Jaycees, and so much more. Of all his accolades, Elvis never attended in almost every single one of them except one. That one was before his Hawaii concert in 1973.
Elvis and 14-year-old girls
He will be arrested if he is doing it now but Elvis seemed to like very young girls– specifically 14 years of age. It is common knowledge that he dated his wife Priscilla when she was just 14 but he also dated other girls of similar age at various points in his life such as Reeca Smith and Jackie Rowland. At least, Smith claimed Elvis was very respectful, saying he didn’t even try to take advantage of her.
Elvis The Animal Lover
Despite his apparent disdain of fishes, Elvis was quite an animal lover. He had a Basset hound, two Great Danes, ducks, hens, peacocks, a chimp, horses, a monkey, and donkeys. That’s a mini-zoo right there. (Elvis’ hatred of fish was because the smell reminded him of their poverty.)
When Sophia Met Elvis
At the height of Elvis Presley’s popularity, everyone wanted to meet him, especially women. On the premises of Paramount Films, a young Sophia Loren (whom they call the Italian Marilyn Monroe) walked up to a startled Elvis, sat on his lap, while kissing him all over exclaiming “I Love Him!” I’m pretty sure Elvis loved that, too.
Presley, A sex maniac.
After Elvis’ first TV appearance on national television named “Stage Show” on CBS on January 28, 1956. Comedian Jackie Gleason said, “The kid has no right behaving like a sex maniac on a national show.” Oh my, how times have changed!
He seriously doesn’t like germs.
His wife Priscilla recently revealed The King was a germophobe, and no, it’s not like the garden variety, I’ll-wash-my-hands-after-I-touch-something-dirty sort of thing.
“When he drank his coffee, he would always drink it close to the handle and not anywhere else, because everywhere else other people would drink,” Priscilla said of the late music icon. “He was religious about it, so it was always his cup.”
White Vegas Chapels and Shotgun Weddings
Elvis Presley may directly have something to do with the explosion of shotgun weddings in Las Vegas (no pun intended). In the movie Viva Las Vegas, Presley went into a quick marriage with co-star Ann Margret and interestingly, Las Vegas has adorned the area with wedding chapels for quickie marriages after that. Coincidence?
Elvis and Led Zeppelin
Led Zeppelin members, specifically Robert Plant and John Paul Jones, are huge Elvis fans. In 1973, the band was essentially outselling Elvis in concerts that’s why Presley wanted to meet them as well. A meeting was arranged sometime later and Elvis broke the ice by offering to trade his $5,000 watch with Jones’ $10 watch.
When Elvis Was Temporarily Broke
Presley did not look too happy in the picture and maybe one reason was he was he didn’t have money when he was serving in the Army. He was earning $78 a month and was forbidden to get a hold of his $400,000 music-generated income.
At the pinnacle of his musical career, Elvis bought the 13.8-acre mansion called Graceland for a little over $100,000. He spent the better part of the next two decades there as his home. It is now declared a National Historic Landmark since March 27, 2006 and also a museum where tourists and fans can see all things Elvis.
When Vanity Became Unhealthy
We all know Elvis had naturally blonde/brown hair and used to dye his hair shiny black. He, however, took it beyond the limit when he also used to dye his eyelashes, resulting in bad health later in his life. He had a condition called “migraine aura problems” that resulted in his sensitivity to light. At least one physician attributed it to the dying of his eyelashes.
They say imitation is the greatest form of flattery and in the case of Elvis, he should seriously be blown away by the sheer number of his impersonators all over the world. The year he died at 1977, there was an estimated 170 Elvis impersonators and about 250,000 right now. And that does not include me when I’m in the bathroom.
The Elvis Presley Password
An article in London pointed to a study that stated ELVIS PRESLEY is the most commonly-used password in computers and home security systems. A number of celebrities made it to the top 10 but clearly, the King is still number 1, even in these trivial matters. Seriously though, why would I choose a password that is so blatantly common?
His Final Resting Place
Elvis was laid currently in Graceland, right in his favorite part of the mansion he called the Meditation Garden. The King’s remains were transferred there because thieves tried to steal it at Forest Hill Cemetery. Three people were arrested and to prevent such a thing from occuring again, it was moved back to Graceland.
Elvis’ Sense of Smell
Not only Elvis’ superstar status is on another level, his olfactory sense also was. It was already mentioned he does not want anything related to fish inside the house and can smell if it ever was around. Not only that, he once broke up with actress Natalie Wood because he does not like the way she smelled.
Freedom… I guess
Later his separation from Priscilla Presley (née Beaulieu) on February 23, 1972, Elvis was said to have granted ‘good-looking girls’ who waited outside Graceland to enter after-hours. Now what I’m thinking is, who gets to decide about the girls’ looks, is it Elvis or his guards?
Not originally a guitar man
Young Elvis was not a wee bit enamored about the idea of playing the guitar– he wanted a rifle! At age 11, his mom Gladys bought her a guitar instead and the rest, they say, is history. Of course, Elvis’ interest for firearms never waned which was dangerous
Since he was never the most careful gun owner. In fact, his friend, singer Tom Jones, found a gun casually lying and discarded in his dressing room. And the thing about Elvis and guns does not end there as this story told by his ex-girlfriend would surely make you jump off your seat!
He Got A Federal Narcotics Badge From The President Himself
Sometime in 1970, Elvis felt an urge to visit the United States president Richard Nixon and he gladly obliged. According to Time Magazine, Presley casually walked into the White House with a gold belt, a purple suit, and a Colt .45 pistol explaining his reasons to meet with the president by way of a six-page letter.
When they met, Presley bizarrely requested a federal narcotics badge from the president and he got it! In his ex-wife Priscilla’s memoir, she said Elvis treated the badge as the ultimate symbol of power, thinking he can enter into any country with his guns and X amount of drugs. Turns out, the joke is on Presley as it was, of course, not a real badge but just an honorary one.
Even his favorite sandwich is out-of-this-world.
We all love sandwiches– from peanut butter and jelly to tuna or burgers but Elvis enjoyed a combination you may not have heard (or eaten) before. His choice was an amalgam of peanut butter, bacon, banana, and honey– a mixture no regular person thought of except our eccentric King of Rock N’ Roll.
Bruce Lee before Bruce Lee?
Not many people know Elvis Presley is a real badass and that he is a black belt in karate, and no it’s not the honorary fake ones like the narcotics badge he got from Nixon.
Turns out, Presley was introduced to karate at the time when he was drafted in the army in 1958. His instructors include a Shotokan stylist named Juergen Sydel, one of Japan’s top Shotokan stylists Tetsugio Murakami, the father of American Kenpo Ed Parker, and Korean Grand Karate Champion Kang Rhee. It was Rhee who gave Presley his 8th- degree black belt at Sept. 16, 1974, at a private ceremony.
Apparently, BLACK was not his only favorite color.
Elvis LOVED Blue
There’s no actual record of him saying he like BLUE but what else can we make of 15 recorded songs with the word “BLUE” in them? These include Blue Suede Shoes, Blueberry Hill, Blue Moon of Kentucky, Blue Christmas, Mean Woman Blues, Blue River, and a whole bunch of other BLUES.
I don’t know about you guys but I think I made the right conclusion here.
Elvis NEVER Performed Outside North America
Make no mistake about it, Elvis is a worldwide icon and phenomenon but he never bothered taking his talents anywhere else but North America. And by North America, we mean the United States and Canada, the latter he performed in only five concerts inside a three-day tour.
Many reasons floated why Elvis would not perform anywhere although he wanted to. After all, getting your act in Europe and Asia will command lots of money. The foremost logic behind all this is that his manager, Tom Parker, was actually an illegal alien named Andreas Cornelis van Kuijk from the Netherlands. Parker was said to have advised Elvis not to go to Europe or Japan (or anywhere) because of his safety or there were no venues large enough to hold the audience. Of course, Parker was wise enough to know that the bed of roses he is sleeping on will be gone in a snap if he applied for a U.S. passport.
The Man behind the Man
It was 1955 when Elvis Presley decided to sign the dotted line and become “Colonel” Tom Parker’s talent. That may have been his BEST and WORST career move, all at the same time.
As previously stated, Parker was probably the reason why Elvis has never gone anywhere but the U.S. and Canada to perform. On the other hand, Parker’s strict and unorthodox approach brought Elvis to the limelight and kept him there.
Whichever perspective you would like to adopt, it would seem like Parker, whose real name is Andreas Cornelis van Kuijk simply knows how to protect his interests. It was rumored that Parker pocketed as much as 50% of Presley’s earnings, especially toward his last years.
Col. Tom Parker is a savvy businessman.
Parker, from his experience as a carnival barker and dancing chickens trainer, maximized revenue by selling both “I Love Elvis” and “I Hate Elvis” buttons so he can get money from both sides of the fence. Some call it cheating, I call it smart.
Want some real numbers as definite proof of how good a businessman Mr. Parker was? Read on.
Elvis Presley Merchandise
Tom Parker certainly knew what he was doing as he was the main architect of Elvis Presley merchandise that sold like hotcakes in the ‘50s. By the end of 1956, these products brought in $22 million in revenue which is about $206 million today!
Elvis’ Philanthropic Endeavors
While he is not religious, Presley was a generous giver. He was generous not only to his family and friends but to the less fortunate as well.
In 1957, he donated over $1000 to his alma mater, the Humes High School, so that all of the students there could attend a football game for the blind in Memphis. He donated over $50,000 to numerous charities in Memphis and more or less the same amount a year later.
In 1961, Elvis also held a benefit concert with all the proceeds (amounting to over $50,000) went to the completion of the USS Arizona Memorial in Hawaii.
Just A Singer?
Elvis recorded around 600 songs but he never wrote even a single lyric in any of it. While he does not have anything to do with the lyrics, his fingerprints in terms of the musical arrangement were all over these songs. One theory why Elvis did not bother to write his own songs was because his wife Priscilla did not like the two songs he co-wrote which made him devastated.
Elvis Presley’s songs did not just make the whole world sing, hum, and dance with him, it also made quite an impression to people who were struggling with their lives. One such person listened to the song “It’s Now or Never” while in jail and he credited it for changing the course of his life. That man was three-time Grammy Award winner Barry White.
A Late Bloomer
For a certainty, Elvis was not born a performer and was known as a highly reserved and shy kid. When he was 12 years old, a local radio station offered him a live singing gig but he turned it down because of stage fright.
Not everyone recognized Elvis’ talent from the get-go. Even his music teacher saw him as merely “average” while his classmates often teased him for playing “hillbilly music.” Apparently, he did overcome whatever timidity he felt during his early years.
Elvis had many love interests and inspired authors to write about his one-night stands and whatnot. According to many of these women, it was not all really about sex with Elvis and Peggy Lipton claimed he was virtually impotent because of his heavy drug use.
Elvis’s 1968 Comeback
Stars come and go but apparently, Elvis had a hard time accepting that. After walking in a busy Los Angeles Street with no one recognizing him, he decided to make a comeback via the TV concert “Elvis”. It was highly successful and was number one on the Nielsen TV ratings for the week of Dec. 3- Dec. 8, 1968.
The King’s Movie Idol
You had to be a pretty special person for Elvis to adore you and that’s actor Tony Curtis for you. Curtis, known for his shiny black hair, is said to be The King’s one and only movie idol. Elvis even had a perm to emulate which his mom, Gladys, hated.
Elvis has performed in tons of concerts and television appearances but his 1973 concert in Hawaii stands as the first by a solo artist to be broadcast around the world. It took place in Honolulu International Center entitled Aloha from Hawaii and cost $2.5 million to produce.
More Popular Than Football
The Hawaii concert was not just the most expensive at the time, it was also the most viewed. Even though the concert took place on the same day as Super Bowl VII, it attracted 51% of the TV audience and viewed by 1.5 billion people worldwide, more than the people who saw the landing on the moon.
Called A Savage
Not everybody like Elvis and at one point, he was called a “savage” by a Florida Juvenile Court judge and threatened to arrest him if he ever did gyrate his body in a performance at Jacksonville. Presley wiggled his finger in protest throughout the show.
A Big Football Fan
While he competed for ratings with Super Bowl VII in 1973, Elvis rarely missed a down. EVER. He was such a huge football fan that he had three TVs arranged side-by-side in his Graceland mansion so he can watch multiple games at once.
Stamp of Approval
These 29-cent Elvis Presley commemorative stamps sold more than any other postage stamp in the history of the U.S. Postal Service. They are not worth much (still pretty much face value) but that’s still pretty awesome.
That’s Some Company
Elvis Presley is one of only 11 people inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Country Music Hall of Fame. The others include Johnny Cash, Hank Williams, The Everly Brothers, Jimmie Rodgers, Bill Monroe, Chet Atkins, Bob Wills, Floyd Cramer, Sam Phillips, and Brenda Lee.
Elvis The Wise
The name “Elvis” means “All-Wise” in Norse. The character “Alviss” is a dwarf in Norse mythology whom Thor caused to become stone after being exposed to sunlight.
Elvis is a mama’s boy and was never afraid to show it. His first ever record was a gift to his mom Gladys and when he was already a star, he said he would never do anything to embarrass his mama. Gladys and Elvis’ dad made a cameo performance in his movie Loving You. After the death of his parents, Elvis can never bring himself to watch the movie again.
The Ed Sullivan Show Appearance
On Sept. 9, 1956, Elvis appeared on the Ed Sullivan show, which drew a TV audience of some 60 MILLION! However, because of the issue of Presley’s sexually-charged performances, the only shot him from the waist up.
Hound Dog and Don’t Be Cruel
Hound Dog and Don’t Be Cruel was Elvis’ biggest two-sided hit. It was only the third single ever (that’s after White Christmas and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer) to sell over 3 million copies. It was immensely popular that it stayed at the top of the charts for 11 straight weeks, a record that was broken 36 years later. It stayed in the Top 100 many more weeks after that.
Elvis Presley– The Album
The album title couldn’t be any more plain and un-creative but Elvis’ first album called Elvis Presley broke the barriers for the rock and roll genre. It was the first rock and roll album to reach number one in the charts and stayed there for 10 weeks! It was also the very first rock and roll album to sell more than a million copies. Again, not a fan of the album cover but that also was top-ranked– listed at No. 40 by Rolling Stones’ top 100 album covers of all time.
Elvis and Scatter
Yes, Scatter is a chimp and not a well-behaved one at that. Elvis reportedly trained the little trickster to take a peek at women’s skirts and always terrorized the guests at his master’s home. Elvis loved dressing up Scatter in suits, Hawaiian shirts, and whatnot and also loved playing pranks on people where the driver duck down and have Scatter sit in the driver’s seat during traffic stops. Now, that is hilarious and crazy at the same time!
Ever The Showman
Elvis likes to amuse himself even right in the middle of concert performances. One of such hilarities he likes to do often was changing the lyrics of his songs as he was singing it live. One time, when performing Are You Lonesome Tonight? In 1969, instead of singing “Do you Gaze At Your Doorstep and Picture Me There”, he sang “Do you look at your bald head and wish it had hair” to the amusement of the fans.
He Hated Fish
Elvis liked eating and enjoyed a good burger (and that weird sandwich combo) but if there’s something he really hated, it was fish! He won’t eat it nor have it anywhere in his Graceland mansion, even as pets. He would not even allow anyone, even his wife Priscilla, to eat it inside their house.
The King Did Not Like Confrontations
I mean, who does? Seriously, though, Elvis did not like confrontations to a point that he never fired his manager Tom Parker face to face even though he contemplated in doing so. He would tell his entourage to tell Parker he is fired but Parker would simply say, “Tell Elvis say that to my face.” He never did.
Hairstyle of a Superhero
That unforgettable haircut did not just come out of nowhere. The inspiration for that was a superhero named Freddy Freeman, AKA Captain Marvel, Jr. Elvis was a big fan of Captain Marvel, Jr. and his collection of comic books still sit in his Graceland mansion up until this day. If only Elvis was alive today, I wonder whose haircut would he choose to emulate.
Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller
Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller were songwriters and record producers that were in awe of the King as soon as they met him. At age 21, Elvis impressed Leiber and Stoller for his encyclopedic knowledge of the blues. The duo went on to write some of Elvis’ hits such as Jailhouse Rock, Don’t, King Creole, and others. The photo above was the cover of their joint autobiography entitled Hound Dog.
Elvis and Hamburger James
No, Hamburger James was not Elvis’ other nickname or whatever. That’s the name of a member of his entourage who tried to steal sexy Polaroid photos of him and Priscilla one time. He was nicknamed as such because he was often dispatched to get hamburgers for Elvis. On one occasion, Elvis suspected that someone stole the money and intimate pictures of him and his wife. He learned that the only missing member of his crew was, you guessed it, Hamburger James. They eventually learned that a plane was soon departing for Memphis and to stop its takeoff, Elvis brandished one of the police badges in his collection, confiscated James, and found in his possession the said stolen private pictures. Wheeew! That event alone deserved, at least, a feature film all by its lonesome.
Rags To Riches
Elvis Presley was born on Jan. 8, 1935 to Gladys and Vernon Presley, both of whom are very poor. The family had to subsist on government support before Elvis’ career turned their lives around. At the time of Presley’s death, he had a net worth of about $5 million.
That’s All Right
A local Memphis radio DJ played Elvis’ version of That’s All Right 13 times during the course of the day, which was received well by the listeners. The only problem was the DJ had the hardest time convincing the audience that Elvis is white. Yeah, that’s all right.
A World Without Elvis?
Can you imagine what the music industry and the world, in general, would be like if Elvis Presley never happened? That scenario was apparently very plausible thanks to a deadly tornado. The Tupelo-Gainesville tornado almost took Elvis’ life when he was just 15 months old in April 1936.
No Other Barber
It appears Elvis Presley did not just let any barber cut his hair. He did not trust that job to anyone other than his mom’s hairdresser called Mr. Gill. Mr. Gill was traveling with Elvis wherever he went for that purpose alone. It was said that Mr. Gill even kept many of the trimmings to be sold in auctions later.
He must have been a very rich man by now.
The King’s Groceries
Elvis Presley was known for that weird sandwich combination but his eccentric taste demanded other delicacies as well. An Elvis fan named David Adler tracked down all things Elvis including his food choices and groceries list. Turns out the King loved cheeseburgers, milkshakes, a whole lot of red meat, brownies, and all the other good stuff. Items on his grocery list was said to have amounted to $500 a week. Even right now, that’s a fortune.
Bruce’s Late Night Visit
Elvis has hosted a plethora of guests during his stay in Graceland but in the year 1976, one person decided to grace the mansion unannounced. That man was a young Bruce Springsteen along with E Street Band guitarist, Steven Van Zandt. Despite the ungodly hour, they noticed the lights were on and decided to hop over the fence to say HI to the King. Security unfortunately stopped their entry and it wasn’t worth it anyway because Elvis was at Lake Tahoe at that time.
As you can see from the tomb photo at #68, Elvis’ full names was spelled out as ELVIS AARON PRESLEY. This sparked rumors that Elvis faked his own death because his middle name was actually ARON and not AARON. However, that has since been debunked because at some point, Elvis legally changed his middle name to match the Biblical character, Aaron, Moses’ brother.
Second Only To The White House
Speaking of Graceland, visitors from all over the world flock over to the King’s estate. It receives an estimated 650,000 visitors annually, making it the second-most visited house in the United States. Yep, you guessed, that metric was second only to the White House, which receives well over 1 million people each year.
Iddytream and Butch
Elvis and his mom has a very special relationship, so special that they have secret words for common things. “Iddytream” was their name for “milk” and “butch” is “ice cream”. The King was so sad when her mom died of hepatitis in 1958, that he actually tried to throw himself to the grave with her.
Ever wonder what’s the inspiration behind Elvis’ iconic (and weird) jumpsuit fashion? Evidently, his love for karate has everything to do with it. They are actually glorified karate gis designed Bill Belew and they later became his most emblematic articles of clothing.
The King’s Vocal (And Emotional) Range
Elvis’ impressive vocal capabilities was often cited at around two and a quarter octaves. While that is truly remarkable, his vocal emotional range was just as splendid as he was absolutely breathtaking with his whispers and stimulating with the shouts and grunts.
The King’s Crowning Glory
Elvis’ hair is worth a Hall of Nomination all by itself and it’s not all fluky that it was so beautiful. The hairstylist for the star Larry Gellar treat Elvis’ hair with a secret recipe– a benign shampoo as a base, pure aloe vera, vitamin capsules, and a mixture of herbs that would have put alchemists to shame.
Elvis in the West Side Story
We would have seen Elvis Presley in the hit musical West Side Story if not for Tom Parker, who thought accepting the role would be a bad move. Warren Beatty, Anthony Perkins, and Burt Reynolds auditioned for the role but it ultimately went to Richard Beymer. Elvis’ signature deep vocal renditions would have been perfect for the movie!
Elvis Presley’s First Record?
It was for his mother, the first time he first recorded. He was paid $4 by Sun Studio to press two songs — My Happiness and that’s When Your Heartaches Begin. He was 19 years old, a good-looking boy with acne on his neck, long sideburns, and long, greasy hair combed in a ducktail that he had to keep patting down, said Marion Keisker. It was recorded on a Saturday, 26th of June 1954 and brought Elvis national attention.
Rejecting an Elvis Presley
A couple of years before his big break in 1954. Elvis auditioned for an amateur gospel quartet called “Songfellows”. He was rejected. Welp, that sucks.
Too much love can kill you?
His breakthrough hit was Heartbreak Hotel, released in 1956 – a song inspired by a newspaper article about a local suicide. An article from a local newspaper about the suicide of a lonely man who jumped from a hotel window inspired the lyrics.
In 1956, he began his film career with a western, Love Me Tender. His second film, Loving You, featured his parents as audience members. Following his mother’s death in 1957, he never watched the film again. He went on to make a total of 31 movies in his career.
Elvis’ first appearance on The Steve Allen Show, on July 1, 1956, was seen by approximately 60 million viewers — a record 82.6 percent of the television audience. Allen was really mocking Elvis Presley deep inside because he loved jazz and hated rock and roll. Even before, it’s all just for show.
A King’s Fall
Elvis’ name dissolved in the 1960’s with the rise of the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, and others. He successfully relaunched his career with a 1968 television special that came about because Elvis had walked down a busy Los Angeles street and had no one recognize or approach him.
In one’s blood
Elvis Presley was distantly related to former U.S. Presidents Abraham Lincoln and Jimmy Carter. Abe Lincoln’s great-great grandfather Isaiah Harrison was Elvis’ ancestor and Carter is sixth cousin once removed.
Goofy and Bored
In the early 1970s at the midst of his career, Elvis would imitate a police officer, wearing an officer complete uniform, driving around with a flashlight, blue light, a billy club and guns, and pulling people over. Instead of tickets, he would hand drivers autographs but I think he should still be arrested for pulling that stuff. For fun, or otherwise.
Last year, Elvis was second with $40 million in the Forbes list of top-earning dead celebrities far behind Michael Jackson with $400 million. Arnold Palmer ($35m), Charles Schulz ($34M), and Bob Marley ($23M) round out the top 5. Can you spell W-O-W?
St. Elvis is a small parish in Pembrokeshire named after the Irish bishop St Ailbe, also known as Elvis of Munster, who died in 528. The name is otherwise written as Ailbe and is regarded as one of the four great patrons of Ireland.
Don’t Touch Me
After receiving a kidnap-assassination threat, Elvis performed with a pistol in each of his boots. As a side note, Elvis’ compiled records in the FBI has spanned 683 pages which include public comments about his performances, newspaper clippings, and some documents about alleged extortion attempts.
The King’s Planet
The minor planet 17059 Elvis was discovered by Australian astronomer John Broughton in 1999 and named after Elvis Presley. Seriously, I would love to have a planet named after me. The planet is found over 300 million kilometers from the sun and inclined by 3.5 degrees to the ecliptic plane.
Viewers in the United Kingdom did not see the worldwide Aloha From Hawaii special because the BBC refused to pay the price for the 1972 concert. Well, the UK is not alone. Italy, Mexico, Israel, among others, also did not have any broadcast of the concert for a variety of reasons including being TV-backwards.
Lost Donuts Commercial
Elvis’s only TV commercial was for Southern Made Doughnuts in 1954. His only line of dialogue was: ‘You can get ’em piping hot after four PM, you can get ’em piping hot. Southern Maid Donuts hit the spot, you can get ’em piping hot after four PM’. This commercial has never been released.
The King’s Clique
His entourage was referred to as the Memphis Mafia. All members wore diamond and gold rings with the letters TCB imprinted which stood for “Take Care of Business.”
Here’s what Elvis and President Richard Nixon said during their 1970 meeting: “You dress kind of strange, don’t you?” Nixon said, to which Elvis responded, “Well, Mr. President, you got your show, and I got mine.” The meeting was a secret until the Washington Post broke the story a year later.
Relic of a Legend
Approximately 600,000 people visit Elvis’s home, Graceland, each year. Graceland was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1991.
Bet you didn’t knew
The alphabet positions of the letters in “Presley” add up to 100. Well, that’s some minor stuff but I don’t think anyone did the math. Now you know!
An old acquaintance
B.B. King recalled that he had known Presley before he was popular, when they both used to frequent Beale Street. By the time he graduated from high school in June 1953, Presley had already singled out music as his future.
When a journalist referred to him as “The King”, Elvis gestured toward Fats Domino, who was taking in the scene at his Las Vegas shows. “No,” Elvis said, “that’s the real king of rock and roll.” In all fairness, Fats is a legend himself, selling over 65 million records during his career. He was naturally shy that’s why his contribution to the genre was often overlooked. For sure, Elvis did not make that mistake.