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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"Don't Be Cruel" is a song by Otis Blackwell that was recorded by Elvis Presley in 1956. It was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2002; in 2004, it was listed number 197 in Rolling Stone magazine's list of 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

"Don't Be Cruel" was originally the A-side of RCA single 47-6604, with "Hound Dog" on the B-side, although both sides became chart-toppers, RCA reissuing the single in later decades as double A-sided. The single was the first to top all three extant Billboard charts: pop, rhythm & blues, and country & western.

The single was recorded for RCA Victor by Elvis' regular band of Scotty Moore on lead guitar (with Elvis usually providing rhythm guitar), Bill Black on bass, D.J. Fontana on drums and backing vocals from the Jordanaires. Presley recorded this song on July 2, 1956 at RCA's New York City studio, the producing credit was given to RCA's Steve Sholes, however the studio recordings reveal that Elvis produced the songs in this session (as well as many others) himself, which is verified by band members. Presley selected the song and reworked the arrangement himself on piano.

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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Graceland, 2002
Credit: Jan Kronsell

Graceland is the name of the 13.8 acre estate and large white-columned mansion that once belonged to Elvis Presley, located at 3734 Elvis Presley Boulevard in Memphis, Tennessee, U.S. It currently serves as a museum, it was opened to the public in 1982, was listed in the National Register of Historic Places on November 7, 1991 and declared a National Historic Landmark on March 27, 2006.

Elvis Presley, who died at the estate on August 16, 1977, his parents Gladys and Vernon Presley, and his grandmother are buried there in what is called the Meditation Gardens.

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