50 Popular Facts about “King of Rock and Roll”, Elvis Presley

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1Elvis' Jewish Heritage

Elvis Presley was born Jewish and has a long line of Jewish heritage running through his mother's ancestry.


2. Elvis Presley had a twin brother named Jesse Garon Presley who was born stillborn 35 minutes before him.


3. Elvis Presley was nicknamed “Elvis the Pelvis” for how he danced in the 1950s by parents who thought rock n roll was scandalous.


4. When he was in high school Elvis was targeted by bullies due to his long ducktail haircut, long sideburns and his loud clothes. His high school friend, Red West, who once saved him from bullies later became Elvis’ bodyguard and remained his close confidant from 1956 to 1975.


5. Despite his ladies’ man reputation, Elvis Presley avoided having intercourse with most of his early girlfriends, even Priscilla before they were married. One biographer suggested that Elvis had an extreme fear of STDs due to his military service.


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6Elvis' Generous Gifts

Presley was known for being so generous that he had problems not buying strangers and friends expensive gifts. Elvis’ maid and cook, Mary Jenkins, was gifted 6 cars including 3 Cadillacs from him before his death. Elvis also gave his dentist and jeweler cars.


7. Elvis Presley failed in his music class. His music teacher told him he couldn’t sing and didn’t appreciate his style of music.


8. Priscilla Presley was 14 years old when she met Elvis Presley. Elvis moved her to Graceland to live with his parents so she could finish High School before they married.


9. Elvis Presley was actually blond, but began dyeing his hair black from a very young age. Only one picture of him exists with his true hair color, which is framed on the wall of Graceland.


10. Elvis Presley is known as "猫王" (pronounced as "Mao-Wang") among the mandarin speakers which literally translate to "Cat King".


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11Star of David

Elvis wore a cross, a star of David and the Hebrew letter chai. He said: "I don't want to miss out on heaven due to a technicality."


12. Elvis Presley once asked his limo driver, "Do you own this limo or do you work for the company?" The driver responded that he worked for the company. Elvis said, "Well, you own it now." The driver's tip was the limo.


13. DC Comics Superhero Captain Marvel Jr. (a.k.a Freddy Freeman) became an early role model for Elvis Presley. He styled his distinctive haircut and sideburns after Freddy Freeman’s own original dark-haired look. Elvis even performed on stage with his outfits that were based on Captain Marvel Jr.’s costume. Even his half-cape and his blue outfits resembled Captain Marvel Jr.’s own blue outfit.


14. At the peak of his career, Elvis Presley received his draft notice for a 2 year stint in the army. Fans sent tens of thousands of letters to the army asking for him to be spared, but Elvis refused to decline. He was sworn as an army private on March 24, 1958.


15. While serving in the United States Army, Elvis Presley was promoted to sergeant where he was awarded the Army Good Conduct Medal. He was also qualified as an expert marksman with multiple weapons.


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16Bodyguard Red West

Elvis Presley co-wrote two songs with his bodyguard Red West. He proudly played them for Priscilla Presley, who said she liked his Rock N Roll recordings better. Elvis never tried to write a song again.


17. Elvis Presley had never written any of his own songs. Despite this, he is still one of the most recognized musicians of all time.


18. Elvis Presley and his entourage would rent out roller skating rinks to throw $15,000 worth of fireworks at each other while wearing "air force jump-suits plus gloves, helmets, and goggles."


19. The first record Elvis ever released was so popular that a local radio station ended up playing it 18 times in a row because listeners kept asking to hear it again. The song was requested so often that the DJ literally just played it on repeat for the final 2 hours of his show.


20. Elvis Presley's hit song "Polk Salad Annie" actually refers to "sallet", which means cooked greens, but record companies used the word "salad" instead. Thinking that you can eat Polk salad (uncooked pokeweed) has led to a number of poisonings.


21Elvis at Grand Ole Opry

In the year 1954, as a teenager, Elvis Presley played his first and only show at Nashville’s Grand Ole Opry. He was subsequently kicked out of the venue by management because they didn’t like how he was playing country music. He vowed never to return.


22. Elvis Presley's first major record deal came in 1956 when several labels began to show interest in him. Three record labels made offers of $25,000 but Elvis ended up signing with RCA Records who offered $40,000.


23. On Sept 1, 1957, Elvis asked his audience at a Seattle concert to please rise for the national anthem. He picked up his guitar, leaned in, shook his hips, and began his biggest hit "You ain't nothin' but a hound dog." The crowd went wild. A 14-year-old named James (Jimi) Marshall Hendrix took notes of the set-list.


24. Elvis Presley, throughout his entire career, performed in only 3 venues that weren't in the United States. The 3 venues were all in Canada. Presley performed in them during brief tours in Canada in 1957.


25. Two months after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, Elvis Presley recorded a live tribute song featuring direct quotes of MLK called “If I Can Dream” and overruled his manager to perform it as the finale to his comeback special over “I’ll Be Home for Christmas.”

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