Vincent Eugene Craddock, known as Gene Vincent, was an American musician who pioneered the styles of rock and roll and rockabilly. His 1956 top ten hit with his Blue Caps, "Be-Bop-A-Lula", is considered a significant early example of rockabilly, he was inducted into the Rockabilly Hall of Fame. Craddock was born February 11, 1935, in Norfolk, Virginia, to Mary Louise and Ezekiah Jackson Craddock, his musical influences included country and blues and gospel music. His favourite composition was Beethoven's Egmont overture, he showed his first real interest in music while his family lived in Munden Point, in Princess Anne County, near the North Carolina line, where they ran a country store. He received his first guitar at the age of twelve as a gift from a friend. Vincent's father volunteered to serve in the U. S. Coast Guard and patrolled American coastal waters to protect Allied shipping against German U-boats during World War II. Vincent's mother maintained the general store in Munden Point, his parents moved the family to Norfolk, the home of a large naval base, opened a general store and sailors' tailoring shop.
Vincent dropped out of school in 1952, at the age of seventeen, enlisted in the United States Navy. As he was under the age of enlistment, his parents signed the forms allowing him to enter the Navy, he completed boot camp and joined the fleet as a crewman aboard the fleet oiler USS Chukawan, with a two-week training period in the repair ship USS Amphion, before returning to the Chukawan. He never completed a Korean War deployment, he sailed home from Korean waters aboard the battleship USS Wisconsin but was not part of the ship's company. Craddock planned a career in the Navy and, in 1955, used his $612 re-enlistment bonus to buy a new Triumph motorcycle. In July 1955, while he was in Norfolk, his left leg was shattered in a motorcycle crash, he refused to allow the leg to be amputated, the leg was saved, but the injury left him with a limp and pain. He wore a steel sheath around the leg for the rest of his life. Most accounts relate the accident as the fault of a drunk driver who struck him, but some claim Craddock had been riding drunk.
Years in some of his music biographies, there is no mention of an accident, but it was claimed that his injury was due to a wound incurred in combat in Korea. He spent time in the Portsmouth Naval Hospital and was medically discharged from the Navy shortly thereafter. Craddock became involved in the local music scene in Norfolk, he formed a rockabilly band, Gene Vincent and His Blue Caps. The band included Willie Williams on rhythm guitar, Jack Neal on upright bass, Dickie Harrell on drums, Cliff Gallup on lead guitar, he collaborated with another rising musician, Jay Chevalier of Rapides Parish, Louisiana. Vincent and His Blue Caps soon gained a reputation playing in various country bars in Norfolk. There they won a talent contest organized by a local radio DJ, "Sheriff Tex" Davis, who became Vincent's manager. In 1956 he wrote "Be-Bop-A-Lula", which drew comparisons to Elvis Presley and which Rolling Stone magazine listed as number 103 on its "500 Greatest Songs of All Time". Local radio DJ "Sheriff Tex" Davis arranged for a demo of the song to be made, this secured Vincent a contract with Capitol Records.
He signed a publishing contract with Bill Lowery of the Lowery Group of music publishers in Atlanta, Georgia. "Be-Bop-A-Lula" was not on Vincent's first album and was picked by Capitol producer Ken Nelson as the B-side of his first single, Woman Love. Prior to the release of the single, Lowery pressed promotional copies of "Be-Bop-A-Lula" and sent them to radio stations throughout the country. By the time Capitol released the single, "Be-Bop-A-Lula" had gained attention from the public and radio DJs; the song was picked up and played by other U. S. radio stations and became a hit, peaking at number 5 and spending 20 weeks on the Billboard pop chart and reaching number 5 and spending 17 weeks on the Cashbox chart, launching Vincent's career as a rock-and-roll star. After "Be-Bop-A-Lula" became a hit and His Blue Caps were unable to follow it up with the same level of commercial success, although they released critically acclaimed songs like "Race with the Devil" and "Bluejean Bop". Cliff Gallup left the band in 1956, Russell Williford joined as the new guitarist for the Blue Caps.
Williford played and toured Canada with Vincent in late 1956 but left the group in early 1957. Gallup came back to do the next album and left again. Williford exited again before Johnny Meeks joined the band; the group had another hit in 1957 with "Lotta Lovin'". Vincent was awarded gold records for two million sales of "Be-Bop-A-Lula", 1.5 million sales of "Lotta Lovin'". The same year he toured the east coast of Australia with Little Richard and Eddie Cochran, drawing audiences totaling 72,000 to their Sydney Stadium concerts. Vincent made an appearance in the film The Girl Can't Help It, with Jayne Mansfield, performing "Be-Bop-A-Lula" with the Blue Caps in a rehearsal room. "Dance to the Bop" was released by Capitol Records on October 28, 1957. On November 17, 1957, Vincent and His Blue Caps performed the song on the nationally broadcast television program The Ed Sullivan Show; the song spent nine weeks on the Billboard c
Lee Allen (musician)
Lee Francis Allen was an American tenor saxophone player. He was a key figure in New Orleans rock and roll of the 1950s and recorded with many leading performers of the early rock and roll era, he was semiretired from music by the late 1960s, but in the late 1970s returned to music intermittently until the end of his life. Allen was born in Pittsburg and raised in Denver, Colorado, he played saxophone from his childhood. A combined athletics and music scholarship from Xavier University led to his relocating to New Orleans in 1943, he fell into the city's thriving music scene, performing or recording with dozens of musicians in the early days of rock and roll and rhythm and blues. In 1947, he joined the Paul Gayten Band and the Dave Bartholomew Band. Notable are his recording with the singers Fats Lloyd Price, his own instrumental, "Walkin' with Mr. Lee", released by Ember Records, was a minor hit in 1958 because it was played on the television program American Bandstand. By the mid-1960s, Allen saw the city of New Orleans no longer the recording mecca it was for a decade so he soon followed drummer Earl Palmer's lead and moved to southern California in 1965, performing only on tours with Fats Domino.
He found work at an aircraft manufacturing plant by day and fell into the thriving R & B scene by night. The rockabilly revival of the late 1970s found younger musicians seeking Allen's distinctive saxophone, he recorded with the Stray Cats and was a mentor to and a member of the Blasters. Allen recorded with them on all of their albums from their second and all subsequent releases on Slash/Warner Bros, he toured with them from the early 1980s until he died in 1994. He played three shows in October 1981 with the Rolling Stones: on October 1 at the Metro Centre, in Rockford, on October 3 and 4 at Folsom Field, in Boulder, Colorado. After Allen's death, Blasters member Dave Alvin dedicated the song "Mister Lee" to Allen. "Chuggin'" b/w "Tic Toc", Lee Allen and His Band, Ember Records 7" E-1039X Saxophone Solos: Lee Allen Lee Allen discography at MusicBrainz
The Beatles were an English rock band formed in Liverpool in 1960. The line-up of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr led the band to be regarded as the foremost and most influential in history. With a sound rooted in skiffle, beat and 1950s rock and roll, the group were integral to the evolution of pop music into an art form, to the development of the counterculture of the 1960s, they incorporated elements of classical music, older pop forms, unconventional recording techniques in innovative ways, in years experimented with a number of musical styles ranging from pop ballads and Indian music to psychedelia and hard rock. As they continued to draw influences from a variety of cultural sources, their musical and lyrical sophistication grew, they came to be seen as embodying the era's sociocultural movements. Led by primary songwriters Lennon and McCartney, the Beatles built their reputation playing clubs in Liverpool and Hamburg over a three-year period from 1960 with Stuart Sutcliffe playing bass.
The core trio of Lennon, McCartney and Harrison, together since 1958, went through a succession of drummers, including Pete Best, before asking Starr to join them in 1962. Manager Brian Epstein moulded them into a professional act, producer George Martin guided and developed their recordings expanding their domestic success after their first hit, "Love Me Do", in late 1962; as their popularity grew into the intense fan frenzy dubbed "Beatlemania", the band acquired the nickname "the Fab Four", with Epstein and other members of the band's entourage sometimes given the informal title of "fifth Beatle". By early 1964, the Beatles were international stars, leading the "British Invasion" of the United States pop market, breaking numerous sales records, they soon made their motion-picture debut with A Hard Day's Night. From 1965 onwards, they produced innovative recordings, including the albums Rubber Soul, Sgt. Pepper's The Beatles and Abbey Road. In 1968, they founded Apple Corps, a multi-armed multimedia corporation that continues to oversee projects related to the band's legacy.
After the group's break-up in 1970, all four members enjoyed success as solo artists. Lennon was shot and killed in December 1980. McCartney and Starr remain musically active; the Beatles are the best-selling band in history, with estimated sales of over 800 million records worldwide. They are the best-selling music artists in the US, with certified sales of over 178 million units, have had more number-one albums on the British charts, have sold more singles in the UK, than any other act; the group were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1988, all four main members were inducted individually between 1994 and 2015. In 2008, the group topped Billboard magazine's list of the all-time most successful artists; the band have received an Academy Award and fifteen Ivor Novello Awards. They were collectively included in Time magazine's compilation of the twentieth century's 100 most influential people. In March 1957, John Lennon aged sixteen, formed a skiffle group with several friends from Quarry Bank High School in Liverpool.
They called themselves the Blackjacks, before changing their name to the Quarrymen after discovering that a respected local group was using the other name. Fifteen-year-old Paul McCartney joined them as a rhythm guitarist shortly after he and Lennon met that July. In February 1958, McCartney invited his friend George Harrison to watch the band; the fifteen-year-old auditioned for Lennon, impressing him with his playing, but Lennon thought Harrison was too young for the band. After a month of Harrison's persistence, during a second meeting, he performed the lead guitar part of the instrumental song "Raunchy" on the upper deck of a Liverpool bus, they enlisted him as their lead guitarist. By January 1959, Lennon's Quarry Bank friends had left the group, he began his studies at the Liverpool College of Art; the three guitarists, billing themselves at least three times as Johnny and the Moondogs, were playing rock and roll whenever they could find a drummer. Lennon's art school friend Stuart Sutcliffe, who had just sold one of his paintings and was persuaded to purchase a bass guitar, joined in January 1960, it was he who suggested changing the band's name to Beatals, as a tribute to Buddy Holly and the Crickets.
They used this name until May, when they became the Silver Beetles, before undertaking a brief tour of Scotland as the backing group for pop singer and fellow Liverpudlian Johnny Gentle. By early July, they had refashioned themselves as the Silver Beatles, by the middle of August shortened the name to The Beatles. Allan Williams, the Beatles' unofficial manager, arranged a residency for them in Hamburg, but lacking a full-time drummer they auditioned and hired Pete Best in mid-August 1960; the band, now a five-piece, left four days contracted to club owner Bruno Koschmider for what would be a 31⁄2-month residency. Beatles historian Mark Lewisohn writes: "They pulled into Hamburg at dusk on 17 August, the time when the red-light area comes to life... flashing neon lights screamed out the various entertainment on offer, while scantily clad women sat unabashed in shop windows waiting for business opportunities." Koschmider had converted a couple of strip clubs in the district into music venues, he placed the Beatles at the Indra Club.
Charles Hardin Holley, known as Buddy Holly, was an American musician, singer-songwriter and record producer, a central and pioneering figure of mid-1950s rock and roll. He was born in Lubbock, Texas, to a musical family during the Great Depression, learned to play guitar and sing alongside his siblings, his style was influenced by gospel music, country music, rhythm and blues acts, he performed in Lubbock with his friends from high school. He made his first appearance on local television in 1952, the following year he formed the group "Buddy and Bob" with his friend Bob Montgomery. In 1955, after opening for Elvis Presley, he decided to pursue a career in music, he opened for Presley three times that year. In October that year, when he opened for Bill Haley & His Comets, he was spotted by Nashville scout Eddie Crandall, who helped him get a contract with Decca Records. Holly's recording sessions at Decca were produced by Owen Bradley, who had become famous for producing orchestrated country hits for stars like Patsy Cline.
Unhappy with Bradley's musical style and control in the studio, Holly went to producer Norman Petty in Clovis, New Mexico, recorded a demo of "That'll Be the Day", among other songs. Petty became the band's manager and sent the demo to Brunswick Records, which released it as a single credited to "The Crickets", which became the name of Holly's band. In September 1957, as the band toured, "That'll Be the Day" topped the UK singles charts, its success was followed in October by another major hit, "Peggy Sue". The album Chirping Crickets, released in November 1957, reached number five on the UK Albums Chart. Holly made his second appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show in January 1958 and soon after, toured Australia and the UK. In early 1959, he assembled a new band, consisting of future country music star Waylon Jennings, famed session musician Tommy Allsup, Carl Bunch, embarked on a tour of the midwestern U. S. After a show in Clear Lake, Iowa, he chartered an airplane to travel to his next show, in Moorhead, Minnesota.
Soon after takeoff, the plane crashed, killing Holly, Ritchie Valens, The Big Bopper, pilot Roger Peterson in a tragedy referred to by Don McLean as "The Day the Music Died". During his short career, Holly wrote and produced his own material, he is regarded as the artist who defined the traditional rock-and-roll lineup of two guitars and drums. He was a major influence on popular music artists, including Bob Dylan, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Eric Clapton, Elton John, he was among the first artists inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, in 1986. Rolling Stone magazine ranked him number 13 in its list of "100 Greatest Artists". Holly was born Charles Hardin Holley on September 7, 1936, in Texas. O." Holley and Ella Pauline Drake. His elder siblings were Larry and Patricia Lou. Buddy Holly was of English and Welsh descent but had small amounts of Native American ancestry as well. From early childhood, he was nicknamed "Buddy". During the Great Depression, the Holleys moved residence within Lubbock.
O. changed jobs several times. Buddy Holly was baptized a Baptist, the family were members of the Tabernacle Baptist Church; the Holleys had an interest in music. O. were able to sing. The elder Holley brothers performed in local talent shows. Since he could not play it, his brother Larry greased the strings; the brothers won the contest. During World War II, Larry and Travis were called to military service. Upon his return, Larry brought with him a guitar he had bought from a shipmate while serving in the Pacific. At age 11, Buddy abandoned them after nine months, he switched to the guitar after he saw a classmate singing on the school bus. Buddy's parents bought him a steel guitar, but he insisted that he wanted a guitar like his brother's, his parents bought the guitar from a pawnshop, Travis taught him to play it. During his early childhood, Holley was influenced by the music of Hank Williams, Jimmie Rodgers, Hank Snow, Bob Wills, the Carter Family. At Roscoe Wilson Elementary, he became friends with Bob Montgomery, the two played together, practicing with songs by the Louvin Brothers and Johnnie & Jack.
They both listened to the radio programs Grand Ole Opry on WSM, Louisiana Hayride on KWKH, Big D Jamboree. At the same time, Holley played with other musicians he met in high school, including Sonny Curtis and Jerry Allison. In 1952, Holley and Jack Neal participated as a duo billed as "Buddy and Jack" in a talent contest on a local television show. After Neal left, he was replaced by Montgomery and they were billed as "Buddy and Bob"; the two soon started performing on the Sunday Party show on KDAV in 1953 and performed live gigs in Lubbock. At that time, Holley was influenced by late-night radio stations that played blues and rhythm and blues. Holley would sit in his car with Curtis and tune to distant radio stations that could only be received at night, when local transmissions ceased. Holley modified his music by blending his earlier country and western influence with R & B. By 1955, after graduating from high school, Holley decided to pursue a full-time career in music, he was further encouraged after seeing Elvis Presley performing live in Lubbock, whose act was booked by Pappy Dave Stone of KDAV.
In February, Holley opened for Presley at the Fair Park Coliseum
Bill Haley & His Comets
Bill Haley & His Comets were an American rock and roll band, founded in 1952 and continued until Haley's death in 1981. The band was known as Bill Haley and the Comets and Bill Haley's Comets. From late 1954 to late 1956, the group placed nine singles in the Top 20, one of those a number one and three more in the Top Ten; the single Rock Around the Clock became the biggest selling rock n roll single in the history of the genre. Bandleader Bill Haley had been a country music performer. Although several members of the Comets became famous, Bill Haley remained the star. With his spit curl and the band's matching plaid dinner jackets and energetic stage behavior, many fans consider them to be as revolutionary in their time as the Beatles were a decade later. Following Haley's death, no fewer than seven different groups have existed under the Comets name, all claiming to be the continuation of Haley's group; as of the end of 2014, four such groups were still performing in the United States and internationally.
In the mid-1940s, Bill Haley performed with the Down Homers and formed a group called the Four Aces of Western Swing. The group that became the Comets formed as "Bill Haley and the Saddlemen" c. 1949–1952, performed country and western songs, though with a bluesy feel. During those years Haley was considered one of the top cowboy yodelers in America. Many Saddlemen recordings were not released until the 1970s and 1980s, highlights included romantic ballads such as "Rose of My Heart" and western swing tunes such as "Yodel Your Blues Away." The original members of this group were Haley and accordion player Johnny Grande and steel guitarist Billy Williamson. Al Thompson was the group's first bass player, followed by Marshall Lytle. During the group's early years, it recorded under several other names, including Johnny Clifton and His String Band and Reno Browne and Her Buckaroos. Haley began his rock and roll career with what is now recognized as a rockabilly style in a cover of "Rocket 88" recorded for the Philadelphia-based Holiday Records label in 1951.
It sold well and was followed in 1952 by a cover of a 1940s rhythm and blues song called "Rock the Joint". "Rock the Joint" and its immediate follow-ups were released under the incongruous Saddlemen name. It soon became apparent. A friend of Haley's, making note of the common alternative pronunciation of the name Halley's Comet to rhyme with Bailey, suggested that Haley call his band the Comets; this event is cited in the Haley biographies Glory by John Haley and John von Hoelle. The new name was adopted in the fall of 1952. Members of the group at that time were Johnny Grande, Billy Williamson and Marshall Lytle. Grande played piano on records but switched to accordion for live shows as it was more portable than a piano and easier to deal with during musical numbers that involved a lot of dancing around. Soon after renaming the band Haley hired his first drummer, Earl Famous. Displeased with lineup, Haley sought out Dick Boccelli, who turned down the job but recommended a young drummer Charlie Higler.
Soon after, Haley asked Richards again, who accepted the role. During this time, Haley did not have a permanent lead guitar player, choosing to use session musicians on records and either playing lead guitar himself or having Williamson play steel solos. In 1953, Haley scored his first national success with an original song called "Crazy Man, Crazy," a phrase Haley said he heard from his teenage audience, again released on Essex. Haley claimed the recording sold a million copies, but this is considered an exaggeration. "Crazy Man, Crazy" was the first rock and roll song to be televised nationally when it was used on the soundtrack for a 1953 television show starring James Dean. On their last release from Essex, new band member Joey Ambrose is heard on the B-side, "Straight Jacket." In the spring of 1954, Haley and His Comets left Essex for New York-based Decca Records, where they were placed under the auspices of veteran producer Milt Gabler, who would produce all of the band's recordings for the label and, involved in creating many proto-rock and roll recordings by the likes of the Andrews Sisters and Louis Jordan dating back to the 1940s.
Their first session, on April 12, 1954, yielded "Rock Around the Clock," which would become Haley's biggest hit and one of the most important records in rock and roll history. Sales of "Rock Around the Clock" started since it was the B-side of the single, but it performed well enough that a second Decca session was commissioned. "Shake and Roll" followed, a somewhat bowdlerized cover version of the Big Joe Turner recording released earlier in 1954. The single was one of Decca's best-selling records of 1954 and the seventh-best-selling record in November, 1954. In March, 1955, the group had four songs in Cash Box magazine's top 50 songs: "Dim, Dim the Lights," "Birth of the Boogie," "Mambo Rock," and "Shake and Roll."Haley's "Shake and Roll" never achieved the same level of historical importance as "Rock Around the Clock" but it predated it as the first international
Wanda Lavonne Jackson is an American singer, songwriter and guitarist who had success in the mid-1950s and 1960s as one of the first popular female rockabilly singers and a pioneering rock-and-roll artist. She is known to many as the "Queen of Rockabilly" or the "First Lady of Rockabilly". Jackson mixed country music with fast-moving rockabilly recording them on opposite sides of a record; as rockabilly declined in popularity in the mid-1960s, she moved to a successful career in mainstream country music with a string of hits between 1966 and 1973, including "Tears Will Be the Chaser for Your Wine", "A Woman Lives for Love" and "Fancy Satin Pillows". She had a resurgence in popularity in the 1980s among rockabilly revivalists in Europe and younger Americana fans. In 2009, she was inducted into the Roll Hall of Fame in the category Early Influence. On March 27, 2019, Jackson announced her official retirement from performing. Jackson was born to Tom Robert Jackson and Nellie Vera Jackson in Maud, Oklahoma, in 1937.
She has lived much of her life in Oklahoma City. Her father, a musician, moved the family to Bakersfield, during the 1940s in hopes of a better life. Two years he bought Jackson a guitar and encouraged her to play, he took her to see performances by Spade Cooley, Tex Williams and Bob Wills, which left a lasting impression. In 1948, when she was 11, the family moved back to Oklahoma. In 1956, she won. Jackson began her professional career while still attending Capitol Hill High School in Oklahoma City after being discovered by Hank Thompson in 1954, who heard her singing on a local radio station, KLPR-AM, invited her to perform with his band, the Brazos Valley Boys, she recorded a few songs on their label, Capitol Records, including "You Can't Have My Love", a duet with Thompson's bandleader, Billy Gray. The song was reached number 8 on the country chart. Jackson asked Capitol to sign her but was turned down by producer Ken Nelson, who told her, "Girls don't sell records." She signed with Decca Records instead.
After graduating from high school, Jackson began to tour with her father as chaperon. She shared the bill with Elvis Presley, who encouraged her to sing rockabilly, she dated Presley while touring. She was a cast member of ABC-TV's Ozark Jubilee in Springfield, from 1955 to 1960. In 1956 she signed with Capitol, recording a number of singles mixing country with roll. "I Gotta Know", released in 1956, peaked at number 15. Jackson's stage outfits in these years were designed by her mother. Unlike the traditional clothing worn by female country music singers of the time, she wore fringed dresses, high heels and long earrings, she has claimed she was the first woman to put "glamour into country music."She continued to record more rockabilly singles through the decade with the producer Ken Nelson. Jackson insisted that Nelson make her records sound like those of label mates Gene Vincent and the Blue Caps. Nelson brought in many experienced and popular session players, including the rock-and-roll pianist Merill Moore and the then-unknown Buck Owens.
With a unique vocal style and upbeat material, Jackson created some of the most influential rock and roll of the time. In the late 1950s, Jackson recorded and released a number of rockabilly songs, including "Hot Dog! That Made Him Mad", "Mean, Mean Man", "Fujiyama Mama" and "Honey Bop"; the songs were only regional hits. She toured Japan in February and March 1959. In 1960, Jackson had a Top 40 pop hit with "Let's Have a Party", a song Presley had recorded three years earlier, she was headlining concerts with her own band. Prominently featured were the pianist Big Al Downing and the guitarist Roy Clark, unknown at the time, her country music career began to take off with the self-penned "Right or Wrong", a number 9 hit, "In the Middle of a Heartache", which peaked at number 6. Both records had Top 40 success; the unexpected success of her records led Capitol to release a number of albums composed of her 1950s material, including Rockin' with Wanda and There's a Party Goin' On, which included "Tongue Tied" and "Hard-Headed Woman".
Her 1961 and 1962 albums, Right or Wrong and Wonderful Wanda, featured her two top-ten country hits from 1961. In 1963, Jackson recorded another album, Two Sides of Wanda, which included both rock and roll and country music, including a cover of Jerry Lee Lewis's "Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On"; the album earned Jackson her first Grammy nomination, for Best Female Country Vocal Performance. By 1965, Jackson was focusing more on traditional country music as rockabilly declined in popularity, had a string of Top 40 hits during the next ten years. In 1966, she released two singles that peaked in the country top 20, "Tears Will Be the Chaser for Your Wine" and "The Box It Came In". In early 1965, Jackson was invited by the German distribution partner of Capitol Records, Electrola, to record in German. Jackson's German-language debut single, "Santo Domingo", recorded at Electrola's studios in Cologne, peaked at number 5 on the official German charts and at number 1 on the charts of Germany's most influential teen magazine, Bravo.
In the first months following the chart success of Santo Domingo, Jackson re-recorded some of her German songs in Dutch and Japanese. The success of Santo Domingo prompted the recording of eight further German-language singles until 1968, which were released on an album, Made in Germany, her last German single was recorded in 1
Elvis Aaron Presley was an American singer and actor. Regarded as one of the most significant cultural icons of the 20th century, he is referred to as the "King of Rock and Roll" or "the King". Presley was born in Tupelo and relocated to Memphis, 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 him 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. In November 1956, Presley made his film debut in Love Me Tender. Drafted into military service in 1958, Presley relaunched his recording career two years with some of his most commercially successful work, he held few concerts however, guided by Parker, proceeded to devote much of the 1960s to making Hollywood films and soundtrack albums, most of them critically derided. In 1968, following a seven-year break from live performances, he returned to the stage in the acclaimed television comeback special Elvis, which led to an extended Las Vegas concert residency and a string of profitable tours. In 1973, Presley gave the first concert by a solo artist to be broadcast around the world, Aloha from Hawaii. Years of prescription drug abuse compromised his health, he died in 1977 at his Graceland estate at the age of 42.
Presley is the best-selling solo artist in the history of recorded music. He was commercially successful in many genres, including pop, country and gospel, he won three competitive Grammys, received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award at age 36, has been inducted into multiple music halls of fame. Elvis Presley was born on January 8, 1935, in Tupelo, Mississippi, to Gladys Love Presley in the two-room shotgun house built by his father, Vernon Elvis Presley, in preparation for the birth. Jesse Garon Presley, his identical twin brother, was delivered 35 minutes before stillborn. Presley became close to both parents and formed an close bond with his mother; the family attended an Assembly of God church. On his mother's side Presley's ancestry was Scots-Irish, with some French Norman. Gladys and the rest of the family believed that her great-great-grandmother, Morning Dove White, was Cherokee. Vernon's forebears were of Scottish origin. Gladys was regarded by friends as the dominant member of the small family.
Vernon moved from one odd job to the evincing little ambition. The family relied on help from neighbors and government food assistance. In 1938, they lost their home after Vernon was found guilty of altering a check written by his landowner and sometime employer, he was jailed for eight months, while Elvis moved in with relatives. In September 1941, Presley entered first grade at East Tupelo Consolidated, where his teachers regarded him as "average", he was encouraged to enter a singing contest after impressing his schoolteacher with a rendition of Red Foley's country song "Old Shep" during morning prayers. The contest, held at the Mississippi–Alabama Fair and Dairy Show on October 3, 1945, was his first public performance; the ten-year-old Presley was dressed as a cowboy. He recalled placing fifth. A few months Presley received his first guitar for his birthday. Over the following year, he received basic guitar lessons from two of his uncles and the new pastor at the family's church. Presley recalled, "I took the guitar, I watched people, I learned to play a little bit.
But I would never sing in public. I was shy about it."In September 1946, Presley entered a new school, for sixth grade. The following year, he began bringing his guitar to school on a daily basis, he played and sang during lunchtime, was teased as a "trashy" kid who played hillbilly music. By the family was living in a Black neighborhood. Presley was a devotee of Mississippi Slim's show on the Tupelo radio station WELO, he was described as "crazy about music" by Slim's younger brother, one of Presley's classmates and took him into the station. Slim supplemented Presley's guitar tuition by demonstrating chord techniques; when his protégé was twelve years old, Slim scheduled him for two on-air performances. Presley was succeeded in performing the following week. In November 1948, the family moved to Tennessee. After residing for nearly a year in rooming houses, they were granted a two-bedroom apartment in the public housing complex known as the Lauderdale Courts. Enrolled at L. C. Humes Hig