Though he was born in Mississippi, Elvis's family moved to Memphis, Tennessee when he was in his teens, which is where he recorded his first songs for Sun Records in 1954. He was immediately offered a record deal in New York and over the next few years he released some of his most famous songs (all of which went straight to #1!) among them, "Heartbreak Hotel," "Hound Dog," "Don't Be Cruel," and "All Shook Up." His songs were so popular that even being drafted into the army, where he served for two years, couldn't stop his fan base from growing!
Throughout the 1960's Elvis moved away from music in favor of Hollywood, where he starred in movies like Viva Las Vegas and Blue Hawaii. Towards the end of the decade he returned to music to perform a series of "comeback" concerts and live specials but, even his popularity soared and he continued to tour the United Sates into the 1970's, Elvis was beginning to struggle with an unhealthy lifestyle and drug addiction. On August 16, 1977, he was found dead in his home from an overdose.
Because he popularized music styles like R&B, as well as performed rock, country, and the blues in a way that no one had ever heard before, Elvis is known as "The King of Rock and Roll." His home, Graceland, is now a museum and national landmark and, in 1986, he was one of the first artists to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. To this day is one of the biggest selling acts in music history.
ExplorationAll shook up!
Elvis was known for his unique dance style. Some of his earlier television appearances couldn't even show his legs on camera because it was considered too wild and new!
Take a listen to some of his classic performances linked below “” can you come up with some signature moves of your own?
Sources & links
"Elvis Presley." History of Rock. 13 Sep. 2009 "Elvis Presley." The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Online. 13 Sep. 2009 "Elvis Presley." VH1. 13 Sep. 2009 "Elvis Presley Biography." Video: "Viva Las Vegas: Video: "Hound Dog." Youtube. 13 Sep. 2009 Video: "Jailhouse Rock." Youtube. 13 Sep. 2009