Presley, Elvis, 1935-1977

Alternative names
Birth 1935-01-08
Death 1977-08-16

Biographical notes:

Born in Tupelo, Miss. in 1935, Elvis would someday be known as the "King of Rock-and-Roll". When he began recording in Memphis, Tenn. at Sun Studio in 1954, he turned the musical genre called Rockabilly into "Rock-and-Roll" although he also continued to record Gospel and Country music. For his remaining years he was continuously in the limelight making movies, recording songs and touring until the day he died in 1977 of a drug overdose at his "Graceland" mansion. He was only married once, to Priscilla Presley (1967-1973), they had a daughter, Lisa Marie.

From the description of Belknap Collection, Popular Performers 1952- : Elvis Presley. 1977-1978. (University of Florida). WorldCat record id: 60385897

Elvis Presley (1935-1977) was a highly influential musician and actor. Between 1956 and 1969, he starred in 31 films. Each film included songs by the actor, although not all were performed on-screen.

From the description of Elvis Presley instantaneous discs and sheet music, 1960-1968. (Oceanside Free Library). WorldCat record id: 70247369

Elvis Presley (1935-1977), musician and actor, is famously known as the King of Rock and Roll. He was born in Tupelo, Miss., on January 8, 1935, to Vernon and Gladys Presley; the family moved to Memphis, Tenn., in 1948. In 1953, Presley recorded his first demos at Sun Records, a recording studio owned by Sam Phillips, who is largely credited for influencing American popular music and inventing the rockabilly sound that Presley made famous. Presley recorded more demos in 1954; his career took off quickly, and in November, 1955 Sun sold his contract to RCA in a deal arranged by Presley's new manager, Colonel Tom Parker. Presley quickly achieved iconic status after provocative national television appearances and hits such as Heartbreak Hotel, which had sold one million copies by March, 1956, and Hound Dog. Presley soon began to appear in motion pictures, and recorded songs for the films in which he starred.

As an actor, Presley appeared in 31 films between 1956 and 1969. While some roles were more serious than others, every film Presley appeared in featured several songs recorded by him, even if not performed in the movie. Presley completed four movies, including Love Me Tender and Jailhouse Rock, before joining the United States Army in 1958. He completed his tour of duty in 1960, and immediately began to make films again. His first movie after the army was G.I. Blues (1960), which produced a platinum album; other films include Blue Hawaii (1961), which featured the hit song Can't Help Falling in Love, Viva Las Vegas (1964), and Change of Habit (1969). Presley's recordings during this time were predominantly for movie soundtracks.

By the late 1960s, the films Presley acted in were neither commercially nor critically successful, causing his recording career to falter as well. Turning his attention back to singing and recording, Presley made his first live appearance since 1961 for a 1968 NBC television special. Shortly thereafter, he began to produce more successful records, including In the Ghetto and Suspicious Minds, and performed live on a regular basis. Presley was married in 1967 to Priscilla Beaulieu; their daughter Lisa Marie was born in 1968. In 1973, the couple divorced. Presley died in 1977 at his home, Graceland, in Memphis, Tenn.

From the guide to the Elvis Presley Instantaneous Discs and Sheet Music, 1960-1968, (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Library. Southern Folklife Collection.)


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Ark ID:


  • Rock musicians
  • Rockabilly music
  • Male actors
  • Popular music--1961-1970
  • Male singers
  • Motion picture actors and actresses
  • Singers
  • Gospel music
  • Rock music
  • Elvis Presley impersonators


  • Singers
  • Performer


  • United States (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • Tupelo (Miss.) (as recorded)
  • Memphis (Tenn.) (as recorded)