The King – 35years on

Today, The King would have been 77years old.

Today, tens of thousands of fans will gather in Memphis from around the world for a week of parties, concerts, tributes, panel discussions and more during Elvis Week 2012.

Visiting the Graceland, Elvis’s home would indeed be a something I love forward to doing in the next 5yrs, maybe for the 40th anniversary in 2017. I wasn’t born during the era of the King, but his music, I have enjoyed over they years. My favourite “can’t help falling in love”. Can’t wait to dance to it on my wedding, it might even be the chosen song for the 1st dance. 

The previous anniversaries, the 20th (1997), 25th (2002) and 30th (2007), resulted in a dramatic increase in awareness and participation by the media, licensees and fans from all over the world. During the 30th Anniversary celebration, more than 75,000 attended Elvis Week events and toured Graceland during the seven-day celebration in Memphis. In 2012, there will be even more ways than ever for fans from around the world to celebrate their love for the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll. This year, today, The King returns to Memphis’ largest concert venue, the FedEx Forum, for a spectacular music event starring the real Elvis Presley via video, along with a cast of singers and musicians who worked with him in the past, a full orchestra, and additional singers and musicians. The concert, titled Elvis 35th Anniversary Concert, serves as a celebration of his music, life and lasting legacy.

Elvis’s Bio
On the 8th of January 1935 in Tupelo, Mississippi, Vernon Elvis Presley and Gladys Love Presley had a set of identical twins. Sadly the 1st, Jesse Garnon Presley was stillborn and the second, born 35 minutes later, Elvis Aron Presley. The name Elvis from his father’s middle name. Raised by loving, working-class parents, he was deeply devoted to his parents, especially to his mother. He was raised to have faith in God and he changed the spelling of his middle name from Aron to Aaron (the biblical name). He attended the Assembly of God Church were the gospel music become an important influence on him. At the age of 10, Elvis got his 1st guitar and at the age of 13, he moved to  Memphis, Tennessee with his family. He attended Humes High School where he won a talent show (his first taste of musical success).  After graduating at 18, he began perusing his musical dream and released his 1st single ‘That’s all right” at the age of 19.

On the 13th of September, 1959, at the age of 24, during his stay at the army (he got drafted in 1958), he met Priscilla Ann Wagner (born 24th of May, 1945) during a party at his home in Bad Nauheim, Germany, during his stay in the army. Priscilla was 14years old at the time. 9 years later, in 1967, (Priscilla, 22 and Elvis, 32) they got married and had a daughter called Lisa Marie Presley the following year, the 1st of February, 1968. Unfortunately, the union didn’t last and by the early 1970s, their marriage was falling apart. They divorced in 1973 and Priscilla received custody of Lisa Marie.

Elvis was known to have been battling with a couple of personal issues, including a growing addiction to prescription drugs and weight problem. His destructive lifestyle caught up with him and he was hospitalised for related health problems. Presley remained a popular draw in Las Vegas and on tour. He gave his last concert in June 1977 in Indianapolis, Indiana. After the concert, Presley returned home to his Memphis mansion, Graceland, to prepare for another tour. Sometime on the morning of August 16, 1977 Elvis Presley died of heart failure. He was 42 years old.

Elvis Presley has sold over one billion record units worldwide, in America alone he has had 150 different albums and singles that have been certified gold, platinum or multi-platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and the sales continue to rise by the day. Elvis has had no less that 149 songs on the Billboard’s hot 100 Pop charts. 114 of these have been in the top 40, 4o in the top ten and 18 went to number 1.

He starred in 31 feature financially successful films as an actor and two theatrically release concert documentary films. He enjoyed further success as one of Hollywood’s top box office draws and one of its highest-paid actors. His two most critically acclaimed films, “Jailhouse Rock” (1957) and “King Creole” (1958), have become classics of their era. His movies and concert films enjoy a healthy life today in television syndication and home video sales and rentals. Some of his top-selling music came from his movies. Eleven of his movie soundtrack albums went to the top 10, and of those, four went to number one. The soundtrack for “G.I. Blues” (1960) was number one on the Billboard Top 100 album chart for 10 weeks and remained on the chart for 111 weeks. The album from “Blue Hawaii” was number one for 20 weeks and was on the chart for 79 weeks. Elvis Presley’s three network television specials – “Elvis” (1968), “Elvis: Aloha from Hawaii, via Satellite” (1973), and “Elvis in Concert” (1977) – stand among the most highly rated specials of their time. His 1968 special, “Elvis,” is one of the most critically acclaimed music specials of all time. His 1973 special, “Elvis – Aloha from Hawaii, via Satellite,” was seen in 40 countries by 1 billion to 1.5 billion people and made television history. It was seen on television in more American homes than man’s first walk on the moon. Elvis gave nearly 1,100 concert performances.

During his amazing career, Presley helped popularise rock and roll music in America. A major musical force, Presley had 18 number one singles, including “Don’t Be Cruel,” “Good Luck Charm,” and “Suspicious Minds” as well as countless gold and platinum albums. Elvis received 14 Grammy nominations. His 3 wins were for gospel recordings – the album “How Great Thou Art” (1967), the album “He Touched Me” (1972) and his live Memphis concert recording of the song “How Great Thou Art” (1974). In 1971, he got a Lifetime Achievement Award (known then as the Bing Crosby Award in honor of its first recipient). Six of Elvis’ recordings, all of them his original studio masters, have been inducted into the NARAS Hall of Fame: “Hound Dog” (1956 recording, inducted 1988); “Heartbreak Hotel” (1956 recording, inducted 1995); “That’s All Right” (1954 recording, inducted 1998); “Suspicious Minds” (1969 recording, inducted 1999); “Don’t Be Cruel” (1956 recording, inducted 2002); and “Are You Lonesome Tonight” (1960 recording, inducted 2007). The Recording Academy’s national trustees established the Grammy Hall Of Fame in 1973 to honor recordings of lasting qualitative or historical significance that are at least 25 years old. Many inductees are recordings that were created and released before the 1958 inception of NARAS and the Grammy Awards. The United States Junior Chamber of Commerce (the Jaycees) named Elvis One of the Ten Outstanding Young Men of the Nation for 1970 in a ceremony on January 16, 1971, one of Elvis’ proudest moments. Even after his death, Presley has remained a popular music icon. Over the years, several documentaries and films have explored the film of this enigmatic performer, including the 2005 television miniseries starring Jonathan Rhys-Meyers as Elvis. His Memphis home, Graceland, is open to the public and numerous fans from around the world visit the legendary residence each year, especially around Presley’s birthday and the anniversary of his death.

The Graceland Mansion

Graceland is the home of Elvis Presley where he died on the 16th of August 1977. He died in the bathroom from an alledged heart attack. One of the most monumental parts of Graceland is the Meditation Garden where Elvis, his parents Gladys and Vernon Presley and Elvis’ grandmother are all buried. A memorial gravestone for Elvis’ twin brother, Jesse Garnon is also on the site. Graceland has become one of the most-visited private homes in America with over 600,000 visitors a year. In 1991, Graceland Mansion was placed on the National Register of Historic Places. In 2006, Graceland was designated a National Historic Landmark.   Find out more about visiting Graceland.

Graceland is a large white-columned mansion and 13.8-acre (5.6 ha) estate. It is located at 3764 Elvis Presley Boulevard in the vast Whitehaven community about 9 miles (14.5 km) from Downtown and less than four miles (6 km) north of theMississippi border. Before becoming The Graceland, it was originally known as Graceland Farms owned by S.C. Toof, founder of S.C. Toof & Co., a commercial printing firm in Memphis, who was previously the pressroom foreman of the Memphis newspaper, the Memphis Daily Appeal. The grounds were named after Toof’s daughter, Grace, who inherited the farm. Soon after, the portion of the land designated as Graceland today was given to her nephews and niece. It was Grace Toof’s niece, Ruth Moore, who, in 1939 together with her husband Dr. Thomas Moore, built the present American “colonial” style mansion.

After Elvis Presley began his career he bought a $40,000 home for himself and his family at 1034 Audubon Drive in Memphis. As his fame grew, especially after his appearances on television, the amount of fans that would congregate outside the home multiplied. Presley’s neighbors, most of whom were happy to have a celebrity living nearby, soon came to find the constant gathering of fans and journalists a nuisance. After several complaints, Presley decided it was necessary for him to move to a property more suitable. In early 1957, Presley gave his parents a $100,000 budget, and asked them to find a “farmhouse” type property to purchase. Graceland was purchased in 1957. At the time, Graceland was located several miles beyond Memphis’s main urban area. In later years Memphis would expand with housing, resulting in Graceland being surrounded by other properties. After his mum, Gladys’ died in 1958, and Vernon married Dee Stanley in 1960, the couple lived there for a time. After their marriage in Las Vegas on May 1, 1967, Priscilla lived in Graceland five more years until she separated from Presley in late 1972. Graceland was Lisa Marie Presley‘s first home after her birth on February 1, 1968 and her childhood home, although her main state of residence was California where she lived with her mother after she divorced Elvis when Lisa was in elementary school. Every year at Christmas time Lisa Marie Presley and all her family go to Graceland to celebrate Christmas together. Lisa Marie Presley often goes back to Graceland for visits. When she turned 25, Lisa Marie Presley inherited the estate. In 2005 she sold 85 percent of it.

 Special Posthumous Honors
The 1984, W.C. Handy Award from the Blues Foundation in Memphis recognized Elvis for “keeping the blues alive in his music – rock ‘n’ roll.” The Academy of Country Music’s first Golden Hat Award presented in 1984 recognised Elvis’ influence on country music. In 1986, Elvis was among the first group of inductees into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In 1987, Elvis was honored with the first posthumous presentation of the Award of Merit by the American Music Awards. In 1998, Elvis received the Country Music Association’s highest honor, induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame. In 2001, Elvis was inducted into the Gospel Music Association’s Gospel Music Hall of Fame. With that honor, Elvis was the first artist to become a member of all three of these halls of fame – Rock and Roll, Country and Gospel. 




Categories: Freshly Pressed, Media & Entertainment

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