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SunJan 8

Elvis Presley

Elvis Presley’s birthday comes around in the beginning of the year on January 8. Despite many people telling him he couldn’t hold a tune, he went on to become one of the most popular singers and performers in American history. Many Americans make the pilgrimage to Graceland, Presley’s former estate in Memphis, to celebrate the man and his life.

Fast Facts

Birth date:

January 8, 1935

Death date:

August 16, 1977 (age 42)

Zodiac Sign:

Capricorn

Background

Elvis Aron Presley was born January 8, 1935 in Tupelo, Mississippi. His identical twin brother was delivered 35 minutes before him, stillborn. In high school, Presley received a C in music. When his music teacher told him he had no aptitude for singing, he brought in his guitar and sang recent hit, “Keep Them Cold Icy Fingers Off Me”. A classmate later recalled that the teacher agreed that Elvis was right when he said that she didn’t appreciate his kind of singing.

In August 1953, Presley paid for a few minutes of studio time to record a two-sided acetate as a gift for his mother, with slight hopes of being discovered. In 1954, Presley cut a second acetate, but nothing came of it. Not long after, he failed an audition for a local vocal quartet and professional band, both telling him he had no future in singing.

Sam Phillips, Sun Records producer who had taken an interest when Elvis recorded his first acetate, was looking for a white man who could bring black music to a broader audience. He brought Elvis in to record Jimmy Sweeney’s ballad “Without You”, but he was unable to do it justice. Phillips asked Presley to sing as many numbers as he knew and was affected enough to invite two musicians to work something up for a session. In a moment of unwinding and messing around, Presley took his guitar and started to play a blues song while jumping and dancing. Bassist, Bill Black and guitarist Winfield “Scotty” Moore, started dancing and playing with him. Phillips, who was starting to leave, stuck his head back in and asked,

“What are you doing?”
“We don’t know!” 
“Well back up… and do it again.” Phillips began taping their session. This was the sound he was looking for. 

Career timeline

1935
A Star is Born

Elvis Presley is born into a poor family in Mississippi.

1946
Love at First Sight

Elvis is gifted his first guitar by his parents on his 11th birthday.

1954
Going Live

Elvis and his group perform their first live show.

1955
Sign Here

Elvis signs his first contract with RCA Records.

1956
Debut Album

Elvis records his first music album in Nashville, including the hit single ‘Heartbreak Hotel.’

1956
Lights, Camera, Action!

Elvis stars in “Love Me Tender” by Paramount Pictures.

1971
Lifetime Achievement Award

Elvis receives a Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences.

1977
End of an Era

Elvis passes away at his home in Graceland.

Why Elvis matters

  1. The face of early rock

    Elvis was a bridge between the early blues-based rock pioneered by African American artists and rock 'n' roll for a broader audience. While he often covered African American artists — some would say appropriated them — he ushered in the beginning of the rock explosion in America.

  2. He broke the rules

    Prior to Elvis, the American moral police set the tone for how music and culture was consumed in America, particularly by young people. Elvis brought out the screaming youth, especially young women, and pushed back against the authority structure of the culture.

  3. There's life after death

    Few American figures are still part of the cultural landscape this long after their deaths. Elvis is still talked about and his life (and death) debated. His music and movies remain influential. And, according to some, he may still be walking the earth somewhere.

Elvis's Five Best Films: He Made Some Bad Ones, But Some Good Ones Too

  1. Love Me Tender

    While not the lead, Elvis's appearance in Love Me Tender stands out in this post-Civil War drama.

  2. Blue Hawaii

    The lightweight musical comedy was perfect for Elvis in the lead role.

  3. Jailhouse Rock

    A bit campy, but a risk for Elvis as he played a character who had committed murder.

  4. King Creole

    In this classic, Elvis plays a singer who finds overnight success in a New Orleans nightclub but also trouble with a notorious gangster played by Walter Matthau.

  5. Elvis on Tour

    This 1972 documentary film -- made just five years before his death -- is an inside look into the singer's showmanship and ability to dazzle his audience.

Elvis Presley FAQs

How old would Elvis Presley be 2019?

Elvis Presley, born in 1935, would be celebrating his 84th birthday if he was still alive in 2019. In 2020, we celebrate his 85th birthday!
 

Is it Elvis Presley's birthday today?

If today is January 8, then put on your blue suede shoes and celebrate Elvis Presley’s birthday! 
 

What nationality is Elvis Presley? 

Elvis’ mother was of Scots-Irish and French Norman decent while his father’s ancestry is of German and Scottish origin. 
 

Elvis Presley’s birthday dates

YearDateDay
2023January 8Sunday
2024January 8Monday
2025January 8Wednesday
2026January 8Thursday
2027January 8Friday

Let’s get social

Here are some special hashtags for the day.

#ElvisPresley #Elvis #ElvisPresleysBirthday #ElvisFan #ElvisForever #ElvisTheKing #KingOfRockNRoll #HeartbreakHotel

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