Portal:Elvis Presley

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The Elvis Presley Portal


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Elvis Aaron Presley (January 8, 1935 – August 16, 1977), was an American singer, musician and actor. He is a cultural icon, often known as "The King of Rock 'n' Roll", or simply "The King".

Presley began his career as one of the first performers of rockabilly, an uptempo fusion of country and rhythm and blues with a strong back beat. His novel versions of existing songs, mixing "black" and "white" sounds, made him popular—and controversial—as did his uninhibited stage and television performances, he recorded songs in the rock and roll genre, with tracks like "Hound Dog" and "Jailhouse Rock" later embodying the style. Presley had a versatile voice and had unusually wide success encompassing other genres, including gospel, blues, ballads and pop. To date, he is the only performer to have been inducted into four music halls of fame.

In the 1960s, Presley made the majority of his thirty-three movies—mainly poorly reviewed musicals; in 1968, he returned to live music in a television special and thereafter performed across the U.S., notably in Las Vegas. Throughout his career, he set records for concert attendance, television ratings and recordings sales, he is one of the best-selling and most influential artists in the history of popular music. Health problems plagued Presley in later life which, coupled with a punishing tour schedule and addiction to prescription medication, led to his premature death at age 42.

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Moody Blue Is the title of Elvis Presley's last album to be released in his lifetime. The album was a mixture of live and studio work, and included tracks from Presley's final studio recording sessions in 1976, including "Moody Blue", a previously released hit, and "Way Down," which would become a hit after Presley's death less than a month after the album's release, as described in Elvis: The Illustrated Record, RCA was not able to obtain sufficient new studio material for a complete album (most of Presley's 1976 studio output having already been used in the previous album, From Elvis Presley Boulevard, Memphis, Tennessee) and chose to augment the remaining available works with three live tracks recorded in Ann Arbor, Michigan, on April 24, 1977, including a version of "Unchained Melody" which would be the album's third single, released posthumously.

The track "Moody Blue" was released as a single in early 1977 and reached #1 on the Billboard Country Singles Chart (partly thanks to the country B-side "She Thinks I Still Care"). "Way Down" was released as the second single in the early summer of 1977. Although it did not initially rise on the charts, it soared to #18 after Elvis Presley's death in August (#1 in the United Kingdom), the album reached #3 on the Billboard album charts after his death, although it had already cracked the top 40 before he died. The last Elvis album to crack the top 40 had been a live album in 1974.

Did you know?

  • ... that The Sun Sessions album included all of the Elvis Presley tracks recorded by Sam Phillips?
  • ... that the Cryolophosaurus is informally known as the Elvisaurus because the bizarre crest running across its head resembles Elvis Presley's 1950s pompadour haircut?
  • ... that Jamaican actress and singer Amru Sani appeared on the same 1956 episode of The Ed Sullivan Show as Elvis Presley?
  • ... that Just a Gigolo (1978), David Bowie's second major film, was so poorly received by critics that the singer quipped, "It was my 32 Elvis Presley movies rolled into one"?

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Elvis' blue suede shoes that served as the inspiration for the song "Blue Suede Shoes".
Credit: D.B. King on flickr

"Blue Suede Shoes" is a rock and roll standard written and first recorded by Carl Perkins in 1955. It is considered one of the first rockabilly records and incorporated elements of blues, country and pop music of the time. Elvis Presley covered the song in 1956, releasing it as the first song on the first ground breaking album Elvis Presley, which was released in March of that year.

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