Portal:Elvis Presley

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Elvis Presley in Jailhouse Rock (1957)
Presley in a publicity photograph for the 1957 film Jailhouse Rock

Elvis Aaron Presley (January 8, 1935 – August 16, 1977) was an American singer and actor. Regarded as one of the most significant cultural icons of the 20th century, he is often referred to as the "King of Rock and Roll" or simply "the King".

Presley was born in Tupelo, Mississippi, and relocated to Memphis, Tennessee, with his family when he was 13 years old, his music career began there in 1954, recording at Sun Records with producer Sam Phillips, who wanted to bring the sound of African American music to a wider audience. Accompanied by guitarist Scotty Moore and bassist Bill Black, Presley was a pioneer of rockabilly, an uptempo, backbeat-driven fusion of country music and rhythm and blues. In 1955, drummer D. J. Fontana joined to complete the lineup of Presley's classic quartet and RCA Victor acquired his contract in a deal arranged by Colonel Tom Parker, who would manage the singer for more than two decades. Presley's first RCA single, "Heartbreak Hotel", was released in January 1956 and became a number one hit in the United States, with a series of successful network television appearances and chart-topping records, he became the leading figure of the newly popular sound of rock and roll. His energized interpretations of songs and sexually provocative performance style, combined with a singularly potent mix of influences across color lines during a transformative era in race relations, made him enormously popular—and controversial.

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"Heartbreak Hotel" is a rock and roll song performed by Elvis Presley, with Bill Black (bass), Scotty Moore (guitar), D.J. Fontana (drums), Floyd Cramer (piano) and Elvis on rhythm guitar as the main supporting musicians. Recorded in January 1956 in Nashville, the song introduced Presley to the American national music consciousness. It was released as a single with the b-side song "I Was The One" on January 27, 1956. "Heartbreak Hotel" became the first No.1 pop record by Elvis and was the best selling single of 1956.

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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Middleton, Fanning and Haug performing "Sunsets" in September 2007
Credit: Ollie Atkins, chief White House photographer at the time.

In December 1970, at his own request, Presley met then-President Richard Nixon in the Oval Office of The White House. Little is known about Presley's political beliefs, this image inspired the 1997 film Elvis Meets Nixon.

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