Elvis Presley is best known for his long, influential career, which has even spawned a few biographical movies about the King of Rock & Roll.
Although it has been decades since Presley’s tragic death, songs such as Hound Dog or Can’t Help Falling in Love are still popular to this day.
The end of Presley’s career may have been dampened by his use of drugs and other types of scandals, but there is no denying the influence he has had on music and the music industry.
Without the King of Rock & Roll, music wouldn’t be what it is today.
Why Is Elvis Presley So Famous?
Elvis Presley is so famous because of the major contribution he made to music and live performances, earning him the title of King of Rock & Roll and cementing his place in rock history.
The King was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1986 and was presented by Sean and Julian Lennon, the sons of fellow rock legend John Lennon.
Elvis Presley popularized live music for youthful audiences during the early 1950s by modernizing the genres of blues, country, and bluegrass in order to help create rock & roll as we know it today.
Not only did Presley change the kind of music people were listening to, but he also began to break the rules of extreme modesty for stage performers.
Presley was loved by fans for the way he would dance and move his hips while playing his guitar, causing an entire generation of musicians to break away from the stiff stage presences that they were forced to portray.
Thanks to the King, musicians could dance and boogie to their music along with their audiences and were praised for their dance moves.
While modern generations of youths may see Elvis Presley’s dated dance moves as comical or even a bit embarrassing, the parents of the 1950s youth saw Presley’s on-stage dance moves as scandalous and a threat to their children’s moral compass.
By the 1960s, Elvis Presley had accepted his title as a “bad boy” and began to wear flashier outfits.
During a television special on December 3rd of 1968, Presley was quoted as charmingly telling the audience, “If you’re looking for trouble, you’ve come to the right place.”
Elvis Presley was one of the first musical rebels to cause the major shift in music that began in the 1950s and 1960s.
Where Was Elvis Presley From?
Elvis Presley was born in Tupelo, Mississippi on January 8th of 1935 to his parents Vernon and Gladys Presley.
The Presleys lived in East Tupelo, which was considered to be the “roughest town in north Mississippi” at the time.
Like many American children of his generation, Presley was born into poverty, and the Presleys were part of the 20.1% of unemployed American citizens.
Despite his parents not having the money to raise a child, they cherished their son.
Elvis Aaron Presley had been born as one of a pair of twin sons, but his brother Garon died shortly after being born.
To help him and his mother cope with the loss of Jesse Garon Presley, Presley’s parents told him that he carried his strength and the strength of his late brother.
With help from his grandfather and his uncle, Presley’s father built a two-room shotgun home, which is now called the “Birthplace Home of Elvis Presley” and is still visited by thousands of fans every year.
However, the Presleys would lose their shotgun home when Elvis was only three years old after his father and two other men were arrested for altering a $4 check.
After his father was released from prison, the Presleys were forced to move from rental property to rental property.
The only constant in young Elvis’s life was the Assembly of God Church where his parents had met.
Presley fell in love with singing during his time at church, which is where he met his guitar teacher, Pastor Frank Smith.
During his time in school, Presley’s musical talent was recognized by his teacher, Oleta Grimes, who introduced him to his principal.
Presley entered his first talent contest at the Mississippi-Alabama Fair thanks to his principal who inspired his passion for performing.
Was Elvis Presley Really Related To Abraham Lincoln?
Yes, Elvis Presley is actually related to the former president of the United States, Abraham Lincoln, on his father Vernon’s side of the family.
Not only is Presley related to Lincoln, but he is also related to former president Jimmy Carter.
The connection between the King of Rock & Roll and the President who abolished slavery started in the early 1700s with an Englishman named Isaiah Harrison who traveled to the United States.
During his lifetime, Harrison had two wives: Elizabeth and Abigail.
Vernon Presley was a descendant of Elizabeth Harrison, which led to Elvis Presley.
Abraham Lincoln was a descendant of Abigail Harrison and was born in 1809, generations before Vernon or Elvis Presley.
Former president Jimmy Carter and the King are related by the shared ancestor, Valentine Pressler, the sixth-great-grandfather of Carter and a distant uncle of the rock legend.
Presley’s name is one of many variants of Pressler, which also include Preslar, Presslar, Presler, or Bressler.
This means that Jimmy Carter is a sixth cousin once-removed to Elvis Presley.
When Presley passed away, the recently inaugurated President Carter publicly mourned the loss of his distant relative and one of the most influential American citizens of the time.
While reflecting on the legacy that Presley left behind, Carter felt that “Elvis Presley’s death deprives our country of a part of itself.”
However, not all of Elvis Presley’s relatives are former presidents.
The Mad Max: Fury Road actress Riley Keogh is the eldest granddaughter of the King of Rock & Roll. She is the daughter of Lisa Marie Presley and rockstar Danny Keogh, who had previously played bass in the band founded by Elvis Presley.
Presley’s daughter still plays a major role in preserving the memory of her father and is grateful for the continued support of his fans.
Was Elvis Presley In The Military?
Yes, Elvis Presley was drafted into the United States Army on December 20th of 1957 after he received his draft letter at his newly-bought mansion Graceland.
At the time, Presley was spending the Christmas season with his family.
The King of Rock & Roll was at the peak of his career when he received his two-year draft notice, resulting in the United States Army being flooded with letters from his loyal fans begging for the musician to be spared.
The United States Army didn’t care that Presley was the most popular musician in the country, so Elvis Presley was drafted after receiving a single deferment that allowed him to finish work on his movie King Creole.
On March 24th of 1958, Elvis Presley was sworn into the Army as a private in Memphis, Tennessee.
During his basic training, Presley was given emergency leave so he could see his dying mother right before she passed away in August of 1958.
Presley was sent to Europe on the USS General Randall, where he served in Company D, 32nd Tank Battalion, 3rd Armored Division in Friedberg, Germany.
Thanks to his work in Germany, Presley rose to the rank of sergeant and was able to return home to serve from his off-base residence.
For the rest of his service, Presley stayed in Memphis with his father, grandmother, and some of his friends from the area.
This arrangement allowed Presley to work as a sergeant during the day and host parties or jam sessions at night.
During one of these jam sessions, the 24-year-old Presley was introduced to the 14-year-old Priscilla Beaulieu by one of his friends from the army.
Despite Presley being on deployment, his manager Colonel Tom Parker continued to release pre-recorded singles to keep Presley in the minds of the public.
Did Elvis Presley Write His Own Music?
No, Elvis Presley didn’t write his own music very often, with all of his known writing credits actually being pieces that he only co-wrote alongside countless different writers.
The songs that Presley is best known for co-writing include You’ll Be Gone and That’s Someone You Never Forget.
According to the book Writing for the King by Ben Sharp, more than 140 different songwriters contributed their pieces to the King of Rock & Roll.
One of the most common comments that the writers made about Presley lauded his ability to truly understand the essence of a song and then completely make it his own.
Despite there being so many songwriters who helped Presley create his hit songs, there are a few songwriters who more heavily contributed to the success of Presley.
One of the first pair of songwriters who wrote for Elvis Presley were Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, who are best known as the Leiber-Stoller Duo.
This pair wrote many of Presley’s early hits, including Hound Dog, Love Me Tender, and Jailhouse Rock.
The Leiber-Stoller Duo first met Presley when he was only 14 years old, and they were the ones who helped him create his first record.
Stoller and Leiber wrote 20 songs for Elvis Presley and would go on to write more than 70 charted hit songs over their more than 40 years in the music industry.
The songwriter who wrote the most songs for Elvis Presley was Ben Weisman, who wrote 57 songs recorded by Presley over the course of 20 years.
Weisman had been writing for Presley since his first album, including songs like First in Line, Happy Ending, Don’t Leave Me Now, and Follow That Dream.
Although Presley may not have been a songwriter, his stage presence was enough to create a lasting legacy.
Who Owned Graceland Before Elvis Presley?
Graceland was owned by the S. E. Toof family before Elvis Presley bought the mansion from them in the spring of 1957.
At the time, the King was only 22 years old and purchased the 500-acre farm for $100,000.
Before Presley purchased the property, Graceland had been owned by the same family that built the mansion.
Graceland was first built in 1939 by Ruth Brown Moore and Dr. Thomas Moore.
The property was named after one of Ruth Brown Moore’s niece, Grace, and quickly became the talk of the town around Memphis.
Moore’s daughter, Ruth Marie Moore, went on to become an incredibly accomplished musician as a harpist for the Memphis Symphony Orchestra.
At the time, it was not uncommon for the Moore family to host classical music recitals in their front room.
Graceland was built with music in mind, making it the perfect property for Elvis Presley.
The front room that once housed a classical ensemble and its audience began to be the hosting place for Presley’s famous jam sessions.
It only took young Presley a year of superstardom to earn enough money to purchase the famous Tennessee home.
Graceland has gone from being the home base of the King of Rock & Roll to a memorial museum with an entire staff devoted to preserving the mansion and many of Presley’s old belongings.
If fans make the trek to Memphis to see the mansion for themselves, they will only see about 10% of all the Presley-related items that Graceland has archived.
The Graceland campus is maintained by Graceland Archives and multiple departments from Elvis Presley Enterprises.
Thanks to their dedication, this museum is known for hosting frequent celebrated visitors, including Kevin Smith, Weird Al Yankovic, Oprah Winfrey, and even Ringo Starr.
How Many Times Was Elvis Presley Married?
Elvis Presley was only married once during his life, despite having been known for having deep relationships with many of Hollywood’s “it” stars including Ann-Margret Olsson and Natalie Wood.
When Priscilla Beaulieu first met Elvis Presley, she was only 14.
Presley was 10 years older than her.
While the pair was considered to be Hollywood’s “it” couple during their relationship, Priscilla Presley began to be called the “child bride” because they had begun dating during her early teenage years.
Despite how young she was when they first began dating, Priscilla Presley stated in her memoir Elvis and Me that she was 21 years old when their relationship first became sexual following their marriage in 1967.
Only a year after getting married, the couple welcomed their only daughter, Lisa Marie Presley.
While Presley was eager to have a child, the birth of his daughter meant the end of his sexual relationship with Priscilla Presley.
Elvis Presley told his wife that he couldn’t continue to have sex with someone who had birthed a child.
Even before Presley was married, the King decided to have an affair with his Viva La Vegas co-star Ann-Margret Olsson.
The biggest worry on Priscilla Presley’s mind leading up to her wedding was Olsson, who spent a lot of alone time with Elvis Presley at his request.
After years of infidelity, Priscilla Presley separated from her rockstar husband in 1972.
The couple was officially divorced in 1973.
Presley would move on from his ex-wife with 22-year-old beauty queen Linda Thompson.
Thompson dated the King for a little over four years, but she had to cut the relationship short after Presley’s drug abuse and cheating had gotten out of control.
The last woman to date Elvis Presley was Ginger Alden, who found him dead in 1977.
How Did Elvis Presley Die?
Elvis Presley’s death was caused by heart failure he suffered at only 42 years old.
Presley was found by his fianceé, Ginger Alden, on the afternoon of August 16 in 1977, on the floor of the bathroom in his master suite in his Memphis mansion.
Alden immediately called an ambulance that swiftly took the King to the Baptist Memorial Hospital where they failed to revive him, pronouncing him dead at 3:30 pm that same day.
Presley’s heart failure was caused by his years of serious prescription drug abuse.
Like many other musicians of the time, Elvis Presley had a history of abusing opiates, sedatives, and barbiturates.
After a toxicology analysis was performed on the King of Rock & Roll, the test showed that Presley had high concentrations of Dilaudid, Percodan, Demerol, Quaaludes, codeine, and other drugs in his blood.
Years following Elvis Presley’s death, his Memphis physician, Dr. George Nichopoulos, was blamed for his untimely death.
Nichopoulos was suspended from his medical practice for three months after prescribing Presley more than 12,000 pills in the last 20 months of his life.
In an attempt to save his medical license from permanent suspension, Nichopoulos argued that the number of drugs he was prescribing was for his entire entourage after the former doctor was being questioned about knowing Presley’s publicly drug habits.
When Elvis Presley would travel, he carried three suitcases full of drugs with him wherever he went.
Nichopoulos would later add that he gave Presley whatever drug he asked for because he didn’t want Presley turning to street drugs or another prescriber.
Nichopoulos was charged with 11 felony counts of overprescribing drugs in November of 1982, but he was acquitted at the time.
He retained his medical license until 1995 when he was permanently suspended by the Tennessee Board of Medical Examiners.
Did Elvis Presley’s Daughter Like The Latest Elvis Movie?
Yes, Lisa Marie Presley, the daughter of rock & roll legend Elvis Presley, loved the 2022 movie, Elvis.
In an Instagram post, Presley expressed just how well she felt Baz Luhrman and Austin Butler had preserved the memory of her father and honored the entire Presley family.
According to the King’s daughter, Elvis served as a small bit of relief as she was mourning the loss of her son Benjamin Keogh.
In 2020, Benjamin Keogh committed suicide, and his family is still learning how to handle the immense grief they feel.
Despite the dark place Lisa Marie Presley is in currently, she wanted to take time to watch Elvis and found that she loved watching it so much that she decided to watch it again.
Presley felt that Austin Butler did such a good job portraying the heart and soul of her father that he deserved an Oscar.
She also appreciated the amount of work that Luhrman put into crafting a beautiful film that she felt her family could be proud of for generations.
The moment in the film that made her the proudest was seeing the reaction to the film from Elvis Presley’s granddaughters, Riley Keogh, Harper Lockwood, and Finley Lockwood.
The entire family was able to reconnect and share their pride in the legacy of Elvis Presley in a way they never had before.
Lisa Marie Presley only wished that her son could have been there to watch it with them.
If the daughter of the King of Rock & Roll believes it’s good enough, then it’s definitely worth a watch from longtime Elvis Presley fans.NEXT: Why Is There Lint in My Hairbrush? (Explained)