In the winter of 8th January, 1935, Gladys Presley gave birth to twin sons out of which one was born healthy and the other died. Vernon and Gladys Presley decided to have Elvis Aaron as their only child. Elvis grew up in a compact and working-class family with a more dominant mother and a less ambitioned father. The family often relied on government food and assistance from relatives and neighbours. As a child, Elvis was greatly inspired by the country radio programs and gospels of the Assembly of God Church that he and his family attended religiously.
At 11, his first guitar cost him $12.95, a meagre sum for what course the guitar lead him on. This was followed by successive successes which included his first winnings in Humes High School talent show and his first demo record at the SUN Studios in the year 1953. Later the same year, Sam Phillips the record label owner decided to mentor young Elvis. Presley’s first single, “That’s All Right” came out in 1954. In September 1955, he had his first Number One country record.
This saw RCA Records purchasing Presley’s contract from the SUN Studios for an estimated then $35,000 helping Elvis cut his first No. 1 single with “Heartbreak Hotel” in addition to his first ever album Elvis Presley. He soon became a national sensation with a massive fan following and even a motion picture contract with Paramount Pictures.“Love Me Tender” (1956), his first movie became a box office hit. In 1957 he got a draft notice calling him into the Army in which he served for a year and a half. Shortly prior to his discharge, his mother Gladys died.
The death marked the biggest tragedy in Presley’s life and deeply influenced his character. He continued with his music and his film career, even though there weren’t a lot of hits, he did earn money and soundtrack appreciation for films like Blue Hawaii (1961) & Girls! Girls! Girls! (1962). In the early 1960s though, the audience seemed to be losing interest in his acting he brought out in his first TV special mesmerising his audiences with his hip-swaying and unusual music style and guitar riffs all in 1968.
His personal life was also in somewhat of a swing. He had his daughter, Lisa Marie with Priscilla whom he had married in 1967. Unfortunately, his marriage broke and Priscilla got the custody of their daughter. Elvis soon found himself falling in the death-trap of prescription drugs. He was tackling weight problems and being hospitalized for drug related issues. In August 16, 1977 Elvis Presley died of a heart failure at an early age of 42. He was buried in Graceland near the burial sites of his mother Gladys, father Vernon and grandmother.
His death shook the entire nation. He is still considered to be a legend in roll, country and gospel genres of music making 18 No.1 singles and countless gold and platinum album sales. Numerous documentaries and honours have been bestowed upon this sensational music icon who continues to win hearts.