Elvis Aaron Presley (January 8, 1935 – August 16, 1977) was an American singer and actor. Regarded as one of the most significant cultural icons of the 20th century, he is often referred to as “the King of Rock and Roll”, or simply, “the King”. Presley was born in Tupelo, Mississippi and when he was 13 years old, he and his family relocated to Memphis, Tennessee. His music career began there in 1954, when he recorded a song with producer Sam Phillips at Sun Records.
Elvis Presley od narození
Narozen v Tupelu 8.ledna 1935 v 3.30 jako dvojče o půl hodiny dříve narozeného Jesse Garona, který se ovšem narodil již mrtvý. Rodiče Gladys Presley, rozená Smith, a Vernon Presley pocházeli z velmi chudých poměrů, tzv. white trash, což je americký ekvivalent pro největší chudinu bílé pleti. Ačkoliv Elvis později popíral jakékoliv náznaky dřívější chudoby (“Vždy u nás bylo jídlo, vždy jsem měl v čem chodit”) ve skutečnosti byla situace Presleyových velmi špatná, obzvláště když Vernon byl v květnu 1938 odsouzen k dvouletému žaláři za padělání směnky a rodina se musela vystěhovat z bytu pořízeného na splátky.
Elvis Presley early years (1935–53)
Presley was born on January 8, 1935, in Tupelo, Mississippi, the son of Vernon Elvis Presley (April 10, 1916 – June 26, 1979) and Gladys Love Presley (née Smith, April 25, 1912 – August 14, 1958), in the two-room shotgun house built by Vernon’s father in preparation for the child’s birth. Jesse Garon Presley, his identical twin brother, was delivered stillborn 35 minutes before him. As an only child, Presley became close to both parents and formed an especially close bond with his mother. The family attended an Assembly of God church, where he found his initial musical inspiration.
Elvis Presley first recordings (1953–55)
In August 1953, Presley walked into the offices of Sun Records. He aimed to pay for a few minutes of studio time to record a two-sided acetate disc: “My Happiness” and “That’s When Your Heartaches Begin”. He would later claim that he intended the record as a gift for his mother, or that he was merely interested in what he “sounded like”, although there was a much cheaper, amateur record-making service at a nearby general store. Biographer Peter Guralnick argues that he chose Sun in the hope of being discovered. Asked by receptionist Marion Keisker what kind of singer he was, Presley responded, “I sing all kinds.”