Rock ‘n’ Roll Reign of Elvis Presley: 40 Timeless Facts About the King

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1Failed in Music Class

Failed in Music Class

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


2. 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.


3. 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.


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


5. 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."


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6Gifted Limo to His Driver

Gifted Limo to His Driver

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.


7. 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.


8. 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.


9. 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.


10. 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.


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11Elvis' Songs

Elvis' Songs

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


12. 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."


13. 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.


14. 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.


15. 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.


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16First Major Record Deal

First Major Record Deal

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.


17. 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.


18. 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.


19. 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.”


20. When Elvis Presley’ girlfriend tried to introduce him to Scientology, he said, “f*ck those people as there’s no way I will ever get involved with that son-of-a-b*tchin’ group. All they want is my money.”


21USS Potomac

USS Potomac

In January 1964, Elvis Presley bought President Franklin D Roosevelt's yacht, USS Potomac (AG-25) for $55,000. He later gave it to St. Jude's Children Research Hospital for a fundraiser and sold that hospital for $65,000.


22. Elvis was quite gifted in martial arts. He reached the level of First-Degree Black Belt. His instructor said, “In martial arts, he wasn’t Elvis, The Entertainer. He was Elvis, The Black Belt, with 15 years of experience.”


23. Elvis Presley allied himself with FBI director, Edgar Hoover and once encouraged him to have John Lennon thrown out of the US. Presley was annoyed with Lennon because of his anti-war stance. Lennon hated President Lyndon B Johnson for raising the stakes in the Vietnam War.


24. Elvis Presley was an official captain of the Memphis Police Department and even had dashboard police lights for his cars. In the 1970s, he was known for pulling people over and lecturing them on safety before giving them an autograph and letting them go.


25. After seeing Elvis in a concert in Las Vegas, Liberace suggested ‘The show needs more glitz.’ He advised Elvis to wear flashy costumes. Elvis took the advice and began sporting gold lame jackets and jeweled white jumpsuits.

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