Elvis' #1 Pop Singles on Cashbox, USA:
Heartbreak Hotel (1956)
Don't Be Cruel (1956)
Hound Dog (1956)
Love Me Tender (1956)
Too Much (1957)
All Shook Up (1957)
Teddy Bear (1957)
Jailhouse Rock (1957)
Stuck On You (1960)
It's Now Or Never (1960)
Are You Lonesome Tonight? (1960)
Good Luck Charm (1962)
Return To Sender (1962)
In The Ghetto (1969)
Suspicious Minds (1969)
Burning Love (1972)
(The Cashbox chart is now defunct)
Elvis was 5' 11" tall
Elvis' natural hair color was dark blond
Elvis' blood type was O Positive
Elvis' shoe size was 11D
One of Elvis'( maternal) ancestors, Morning White Dove (born 1800, died 1835), was a full-blooded Cherokee Indian
Elvis' uncle, Noah Presley, became Mayor of East Tupelo on January 7, 1936
The Presley family moved to Memphis on November 6, 1948
Elvis was issued a Social Security card in September 1950 with the # 409-52-2002
In 1954 some of the shows played by Elvis & The Blue Moon Boys were at the Overton Park Shell; the Bel-Air Club; Sleepy-Eyed John's Eagle's Nest Club and the Louisiana Hayride
Elvis' first manager was Scotty Moore, then Bob Neal, before signing with Colonel Tom Parker
The first DJ to play an Elvis record was Fred Cook (WREC), not Dewey Phillips (WHBQ). However, Dewey had the distinction of being the first DJ to play an Elvis record in its entirety
Elvis once dated famous stripper, Tempest Storm
Elvis was filmed from the waist up only during his 3rd and final appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show
In the 50s Elvis was friendly with rising stars, Natalie Wood, Robert Wagner and Ty (Bronco Lane) Hardin
Gladys Presley was 46 years old when she died, not 42, as many books suggest
The Roustabout album sold 450,000 copies on its initial release, 150,000 copies more than any of the preceding three soundtrack LPs. It was Elvis' last "soundtrack" album to reach #1 on the major album charts in the US
Elvis received $1m for filming Harum Scarum (aka Harum Holiday). The film grossed around $2m in the US
Elvis and Priscilla married on May 1, 1967
They were officially divorced on October 9, 1973
Elvis earns nearly $3.5m in 1968 and pays just over $1.4m in income tax
Elvis' return to live performing in Las Vegas on July 31, 1969 was in front of an "by invitation only" audience. Stars in attendance included Wayne Newton, Petula Clark, Shirley Bassey, Burt Bacharach and Angie Dickinson
On January 9, 1971, the national Junior Chamber of Commerce (Jaycees) announced Elvis as one of "The Top Ten Young Men of the Year". Elvis spoke at the official awards ceremony on January 16
"Elvis: Aloha From Hawai" made entertainment history on January 14, 1973, when it was beamed around the world by satellite. In the Philippines it drew 91% of the audience, in Hong Kong 70%. The viewing audience was estimated at more than 1 billion
For his 4 week Hilton Vegas season in August 1973 Elvis received $610,000
Sales of Elvis' 1973 album, Raised On Rock, were less than 200,000 units on its initial release
Elvis paid $2,959,000 in income tax in 1973
In December 1976 Elvis was sworn in as a special deputy sheriff of Shelby County (Memphis) by Sheriff Gene Barksdale
Elvis' final live concert was in Indianapolis on June 26, 1977
When Elvis died, he and his father Vernon, were embroiled in an FBI investigation called Operation Fountain Pen
More than 1,500 books have been published about The King in more than 30 languages
At Dec 2005 Elvis' biggest selling album in the US is the budget priced, Elvis' Christmas Album, with accredited sales of 9 million units (fingers crossed it reaches 10 million to give Elvis his first "Diamond" award)
By early2006, Sony BMG's "collectors label", Follow That Dream, had released more than 50 Elvis CDs
During the 1980s, tour guides at Graceland stated that Elvis' biggest selling album (globally) was Moody Blue, with sales exceeding 14 million
While Sony BMG estimates Elvis' global sales exceed 1 billion, the company is unable to substantiate this figure. Accredited sales worldwide are estimated to be less than 400 million
The concept of Elvis as a form of religion is one which confronts and confuses. In this section EIN presents a diverse series of writings which we hope wlil help fans understand why scholars are now examining fan worship of Elvis as a growing religion.
Many fan's worship is rich in religious imagery, motif and ritual but these are only the surface symbols of interest in Elvis as a form of religion. When one researches the growth and structures of orthodox and unorthodox religions throughout history, one begins to realise the parallels between religion and how many follow Elvis.
"Elvis as religion" is a complex, but intriguing and stimulating area for contemplation.
Confessions of a girl who didn't worship Elvis
I'm all shook up. It never occurred to me that my friend might have been involved in some alternative religion, or that she was trying to draw me in. As I knelt beside her to watch Elvis 45s spin 'round and 'round on her portable record player, was I unwittingly joining her in a ritual? Was the rapture I saw in her face worship of a deity? Did I somehow edge her toward a deeper faith in Elvis by my presence in her sanctum? Am I to repent of something now, decades later? Should she recant?
I always thought my 9-year-old friend's infatuation with Elvis was just a rite of passage, not a real rite. I saw her adoration of him fanciful fan behavior. Am I now to believe that it was religious fanaticism?
I don't know, but I do confess that I did not share her love of Elvis. It wasn't because I rejected the whole rock 'n' roll doctrine; I just didn't get it. After all, The Beatles hadn't yet appeared to say they were more popular than Jesus. "Stairway to Heaven," not yet on the airwaves, would only have made me think of the steep steps at the front of my church.
I can't recall my pastor at that time ranting against Elvis or any other musician. I don't remember any drive in my little town to cast rock 'n' roll records into a lake of fire. Or maybe I was too interested at the time in Nancy Drew mysteries and "Perry Mason" episodes to notice. So if I pushed my friend deeper into a heresy by my passive response, I am sorry. I was only 10 or so.
Our visions didn't focus: I do remember feeling confused that I didn't share her vision of Elvis. I don't know if she failed to expound it properly to me or if I couldn't hear it for "Hound Dog" blasting as loud as the little speakers could go. I must have shown rejection when she introduced me to her passion, because I don't remember her playing Elvis records for me again.
By the time, years later, that I had a sort of epiphany of my own and turned into a follower of a long-haired band (the eminent Paul Revere and the Raiders), Elvis, even in shades and long sideburns, seemed like a prophet without honor in his own country.
My friend, perhaps, turned into a secret Elvis believer while I venerated for a while one of the many who displaced him. Wherever you are, old friend, I sort of hope you don't regret batting your eyes at the poster of Elvis on your wall. You and your idol were young. If that was worship, the King would forgive. (Source: The Decatur Daily - Religion, 21 Aug 2006)
Elvis fans also converts?
Are followers of Elvis religion living next door? Are believers in Presleyterianism shopping at flea markets with us? Michael Dean of Decatur, who makes his living as an Elvis tribute artist, said he’s not encountered fans who see Elvis as their savior.
“They wouldn’t elevate him to the place of deity, but some have him at a place in their minds where they are highly offended if anyone says anything negative about him,” said Dean. He will perform “Elvis Remembered” at Princess Theatre Center for the Performing Arts on Aug. 26.
He likened their attitude to loyalty, as for a family member above criticism by outsiders. Dean said he’s been at Graceland for a previous Elvis Week and sat in a lawn chair to watch the candlelight processional to Elvis’ grave. To him, it was entertainment, not a religious rite. But Dean, who has performed in Las Vegas and does a half dozen shows a month, said some rabid fans see Elvis as “more than most of us.”
A few Elvis tribute singers push their imitation too far, taking on the persona off-stage, said Sandy Moore Bartlett of Athens, who has served as president of a now inactive Elvis fan club. She couldn’t think of any fans acting like Elvis is really divine, but she knew a woman who claimed she’d been married to Elvis. Bartlett said she loves Elvis’ music, especially his gospel recordings. She attended his Huntsville concert.
“He was the ultimate in those days,” she said.
Bartlett recruited Dean, who is a friend, to sing “Can’t Help Falling in Love” at her wedding. Elvis didn’t like being compared to a god, according to some researchers. In “E: Reflections on the Birth of the Elvis Faith,” the author, John Strausbaugh, said J.D. Sumner, a member of Elvis’ backup group The Stamps, claimed Elvis never wanted to be called King because only Christ was king. But, according to the book, Sumner also said Elvis’ name was known worldwide, second only to Christ’s. (Source: The Decatur Daily - Religion, 21 Aug 2006)
Author explores Elvis as ‘Memphis Messiah’
By Karen Middleton
ATHENS, Ala. — Gregory L. Reece said he met a middle-aged woman in a Memphis hospital emergency room waiting area who had sold everything to move from California to Memphis “just to be with Elvis” nearly 15 years after the death of The King.
Elvis as religion: some symbols and rituals
Elvis: the High Priest/God
Graceland & Tupelo: Places of worship
ETAs/Impersonators: the Disciples
Jumpsuits: Ceremonial garb
Records/Memorabilia: Religious relics
Elvis Week: Pilgrimage
Candlelight Vigil: Ritual
Giving of the scarves: Ritual
Structured fan club proceedings including playing of club song: Ritual
Fan club memorials: Shrines
"Elvis rooms": Shrines
by Nigel Patterson
Abstract: This paper was presented at the First Online Elvis Symposium 2003-04. It examines the two types of Elvis sightings ('Live Elvis' and 'Spirit Elvis'), placing them within the construct of deep-seated psychological need. The paper then takes this theory and by connecting it to the mythic elements of iconic Elvis explores fundamental structural elements of (pagan) Elvis faith and raises the question of where Elvis faith is heading.
by Jim Davidson
Abstract: What attracts people to Graceland? What do they experience while there? To understand the importance of this pilgrimage, we need to consider human motives, beliefs and expectations. This paper focuses on the pilgrims' views and the satisfactions they derive from the pilgrimage. This paper was presented at the First Online Elvis Symposium 2003-04.
Marty Lacker: I read your "Is Elvis A Religion?" story today and it bothered me greatly some of the stories I read from some fans who worship him.
The cover that you showed with Elvis in a robe disturbed me and I know would disturb him.
I can tell you that without a doubt this would disturb Elvis very greatly.
These fans need to understand that Elvis was just a human being, one who had talent singing and that's it.
That's the way he felt, the way he thought of himself.
People need to pray to G-d not Elvis. Elvis is not their savior and he would be turning in his grave if he knew that's what people were doing and thinking about him.
To reinforce what I'm saying, anytime anyone called him King, he would quickly say, "there is only one king(while pointing to heaven) and it's not me." It bothered him very much that people would say that.
Fans need to stop worshipping him and just enjoy his music and films.
That's all he would want.
Yes, he was basically a very good man, 95% of him was good but like the rest of us he had human faults and frailties and he would be the first to admit them.
I urge all fans to just live their own life, believe in G-d and nothing else and enjoy the music.
Bronwyn Philips: There is only one real God. Why can't people just leave Elvis alone and appreciate him as one of the world's greatest entertainers.
Thomas Blank: Elvis is not a religion!
Frankie Getts: I have always thought there were strong connections between Elvis fans following Elvis and how those into religion think. Religion is changing today and we cannot use old paradigms to judge it.
Read Susan MacDougall's review of the book, Elvis Religion: Exploring the Cult of the King
"Elvis Presley is the supreme socio-cultural icon in the history of pop culture"
(Dr. Gary Enders)
"Elvis is the 'glue' which holds our society together....which subconciously gives our world meaning"
"Eventually everybody has to die, except Elvis"
(humorist Dave Barry)
"He is the "Big Bang", and the universe he detonated is still expanding, the pieces are still flying"
(Greil Marcus, "Dead Elvis")
"I think Elvis Presley will never be solved"
"He was the most popular man that ever walked on this planet since Christ himself was here"
"When I first heard Elvis' voice I just knew I wasn't going to work for anybody...hearing him for the first time was like busting out of jail"
"When we were kids growing up in Liverpool, all we ever wanted was to be Elvis Presley"
(Sir Paul McCartney)
"You can't say enough good things about Elvis. He was one of a kind"
"And don't think for one moment he's just a passing fancy....he's got enough of it to keep him on top for a long time"
(R. Fred Arnold, Fury magazine, Aug 1957)
"It isn't enough to say that Elvis is kind to his parents, sends money home, and is the same unspoiled kid he was before all the commotion began. That still isn't a free ticket to behave like a sex maniac in public"
(Eddie Condon, Cosmopolitan)
Elvis records reaching #2 & #3 on the Cashbox Pop Singles chart:
#2: A Fool Such As I (1959)
#2: A Big Hunk Of Love (1959)
#3: Hard Headed Woman (1958)
#3: One Night (1958)
#3: (You're The Devil) In Disguise (1963)
Tickets for Elvis' show on March 29, 1957 in St. Louis cost $2.00 to $2.50
While in Germany Elvis was hospitalised with tonsillitis in October 1959
Despite being an illegal immigrant, photographic evidence shows Colonel Tom Parker traveled to Canada with Elvis in 1957
Elvis strongly believed there weren't enough good songs in King Creole to justify releasing a soundtrack album. RCA initially agreed, releasing two very successful EPs from the movie. A soundtrack LP eventually followed
During the 1960s Elvis had his own football team, Elvis Presley Enterprises, which played in the Memphis touch football league. In the 1962 final, EPE narrowly lost to Delta Automatic Transmission, 6-13
In Clambake, (Elvis) Scott Hayward's driving licence shows February 23, 1940...taking 5 years off Elvis' real age
In the 1970s Elvis was offered $5m to stage a concert in front of the Pyramids in Egypt. When the Colonel declined the offer, Saudi billionaires raised the offer to $10m