Put on your blue suede shoes and swing your hips, as it’s time for a special Elvis Presley edition of Weekly Artist Spotlight! We decided to delay the Monday edition until today, in order to celebrate the anniversary of the passing of the King of rock and roll, mister Elvis Aaron Presley. Elvis passed away on the 16th of August 1977, the legendary singer would have been 76 years old as of today had he lived. While we normally like to spotlight artists you’ve rarely heard of, we felt we just couldn’t pass up the opportunity to give a salute to the man who has inspired so many generations of musicians and other performers.
Frome the official Elvis website:
Elvis Aaron Presley was born to Vernon and Gladys Presley in a two-room house in Tupelo, Mississippi, on January 8, 1935. His twin brother, Jessie Garon, was stillborn, leaving Elvis to grow up as an only child. He and his parents moved to Memphis, Tennessee, in 1948, and Elvis graduated from Humes High School there in 1953.
Elvis’ musical influences were the pop and country music of the time, the gospel music he heard in church and at the all-night gospel sings he frequently attended, and the black R&B he absorbed on historic Beale Street as a Memphis teenager.
In 1954, Elvis began his singing career with the legendary Sun Records label in Memphis. In late 1955, his recording contract was sold to RCA Victor. By 1956, he was an international sensation. With a sound and style that uniquely combined his diverse musical influences and blurred and challenged the social and racial barriers of the time, he ushered in a whole new era of American music and popular culture.
He starred in 33 successful films, made history with his television appearances and specials, and knew great acclaim through his many, often record-breaking, live concert performances on tour and in Las Vegas. Globally, he has sold over one billion records, more than any other artist. His American sales have earned him gold, platinum or multi-platinum awards. Among his many awards and accolades were 14 Grammy nominations (3 wins) from the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences, the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award which he received at age 36, and his being named One of the Ten Outstanding Young Men of the Nation for 1970 by the United States Jaycees. Without any of the special privileges, his celebrity status might have afforded him, he honorably served his country in the U.S. Army.
His talent, good looks, sensuality, charisma, and good humor endeared him to millions, as did the humility and human kindness he demonstrated throughout his life. Known the world over by his first name, he is regarded as one of the most important figures of twentieth century popular culture. Elvis died at his Memphis home, Graceland, on August 16, 1977.
Interesting Superhero related factoid: Some of Elvis’ work ended up in the sound track for Smallville during its ten year run. Elvis was also a huge comic book fan, and his trademark high collar jacket and cape and even his hair style came from his obsession with Captain Marvel Jr. Boxes of his Captain Marvel Jr. comic books were recently discovered in the attic Graceland and with a copy of Captain Marvel Jr. #51 (1947) placed on the desk in the recreation of his childhood room.
The man may be gone, but his music and inspiration will live on forever, Long live the King of Rock and Roll!