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Elvis: The Downfall Of A Legend

1494 words - 6 pages

Elvis was born to Gladys and Vernon Presley, a farming family in Mississippi, on January 8, 1935. Originally Elvis Aron Presley was a twin, however, his brother Jesse died after birth (Austin 1994). A close knit family, Elvis and his family attended the Assembly of God Church where his love of music started to blossom (EPE 2014). Growing up his family had many financial struggles. Despite this, at age eleven, Elvis received his first instrument, a guitar. Shortly after, Vernon Presley struggled to hold down a job in Mississippi. He made the decisive decision to uproot the family to Memphis, Tennessee (Hirshberg 1995).
Elvis begins to attend high school and helps support his family financially by taking various jobs. After graduating high school, Elvis begins to work at Parker Machinists Shop. While employed there, he decides to stop by the Memphis Recording Service to create a record (EPE 2014). Sam Phillips, the owner of Memphis Recording Service, with the persuasion of his assistant Marion Keisker, calls Elvis to record a song called, “Without You”. Sam is not initially impressed by Elvis’ voice and introduces him to Scotty Moore, a guitarist, and Bill Black, a bassist. He insists that they rehearse together and return when they put something together. Shortly after, Sun label puts out Elvis’ first singles (Hirshberg 1995).
The three gentlemen decide to perform together. They play gigs at small clubs and have moderate success. Eventually Elvis has one appearance on the Grand Ole Opry. Unfortunately he is not well received with the audience (EPE 2014). On October 16, 1954, the group appears on the show Louisiana Hayride. Elvis is soon headlining the show. D.J. Fontana, the former house drummer for the Louisiana Hayride, joins Elvis, Scotty and Bill (Hirshberg 1995).
Elvis’ career begins to take off as receives more national attention. “Colonel” Tom Parker becomes Elvis’ exclusive manger in August 1955. Three months later he signs his first contract with RCA Records. In January 10, 1956, Elvis had his first recording session for RCA. On January 28, Elvis, Scotty, Bill and D.J. appear on the “Stage Show”, Elvis’ first televised appearance (EPE 2014).
As his fame grows, Elvis’ shows often end early as the crowds become crazy with pandemonium. Richard Hoffman stated that, “Instead of honoring names like Carlyle, the average child in New York knows all about Presley” (Hirshberg 1995). That following August Elvis stars in his first movie, “Love Me Tender”. In September of 1956, he makes the first of three appearances on the Ed Sullivan Show. Souvenir merchandising started to have Elvis’ name, image and likeness on multiple types of products including t-shirts, sneakers, and cologne (EPE 2014).
In March 1957, Elvis buys Graceland Mansion for his parents, his paternal grandmother and himself. The April of the same year marked his first show performed outside the United States. In December of the same year, Elvis receives a draft notice for the...

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