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Timeline : Elvis Presley


Parents, Gladys Love Smith (25/04/1912) and Vernon Elvis Presley (10/04/1916) were married in June of 1933.


January 8; Elvis is born at 4:35 AM in a two room house in Tupelo, Mississippi. First born twin brother Jesse Garon is stillborn.

Elvis' birthplace


Elvis gets his first guitar. It cost $12.95 at the Tupelo Hardware Store.


The family moves to Memphis.


Elvis graduates from Humes High School.

Summer; Elvis drops into the The Memphis Recording Service (Sun Studios) and records My Happiness and That´s When Your Heartaches Begin. Cost? $4.00.


Summer; Sun owner Sam Phillips teams Elvis up with local musicians Scotty Moore (guitar) and Bill Black (bass).

July 5; The breakthrough recording is Arthur 'Big Boy' Crudup´s That´s All Right. This song, backed with Blue Moon of Kentucky becomes the first of five singles Elvis will release on the Sun label.

July 30; Elvis makes his appearance at the Overton Park Shell in Memphis. His nervousness causes him to move constantly throughout. And all the while, the girls screamed an enthusiastic response. After the show, Elvis asked Scotty Moore what had the girls so excited. Moore replied, "It was your leg man. It was the way you were shakin' your left leg."

October 16; Elvis' first appearance on the Louisiana Hayride, a popular country radio show out of Shreveport LA.


August; Colonel Tom Parker replaces Bob Neal as Elvis' manager.

November; Elvis signs the now famous RCA contract. The price is an unprecedented $40,000, with a $5,000 bonus for Elvis. RCA soon re-releases the five Sun singles on the RCA label in the USA.


January; Elvis is paired with the Jordanaires, who would remain his main back-up group until the late 60s.

Elvis is paired with The Jordanaires

January 21; Record Mirror prints the first picture of Elvis to be seen in the United Kingdom.

January 27; Heartbreak Hotel is released in the US. It sells 300,000 copies in the first week and will ultimately be Elvis' first Gold Record by selling over a million.

Between January 28 and March 24 of 1956 Elvis will make 6 appearances on the Jackie Gleason-produced Stage Show, starring Tommy and Jimmy Dorsey on the CBS TV network.

March 13; Elvis Presley, his first album is released by RCA in the USA. Selling over a million, it will become his first Gold Album.

April; Elvis appears on the Milton Berle TV show for the first time. He sings Heartbreak Hotel and Blue Suede Shoes.

April; He signs a seven-year movie contract with Hal Wallis and Paramount Pictures.

May; Elvis hits the UK chart for the first time with Heartbreak Hotel. It makes no. 2. Later in the month Blue Suede Shoes also makes the Top 10.

June 5; A highly controversial and very sexy (at the time) performance of Hound Dog on Milton Berle. It earns him the nickname 'The Pelvis'.

Why they call him The Pelvis!

July; he does a parody of that sketch on Steve Allen's show by singing to a real Bassett hound. His success on Berle and Allen prompt the previously reluctant Ed Sullivan to sign a three appearance deal for $50,000 - an unheard of amount back then.

August 10 and 11; Elvis appears at the Florida Theatre in Jacksonville, Florida. Juvenile Court Judge Marion Gooding attended the first concert to see if all the fuss was warranted. After watching Elvis' jiggle, he asked that the show be toned down. So Elvis only wiggled his little finger as a mild protest.

September 9; the first Sullivan show. Charles Laughton stands in for an ailing Sullivan. Presley sings Don't Be Cruel, Love Me Tender, Ready Teddy, and Hound Dog.

September 21; Hound Dog becomes Elvis' third Top 10 single in Britain.

November 16; Elvis' first movie, Love Me Tender premieres in the USA. On the same day Blue Moon enters the UK chart.

December 13; Elvis' first movie, Love Me Tender has its London premiere.

The cast of Love Me Tender


January 6; Elvis appears on the Sullivan show. Careful camera work ensures that he is only seen from the waist up!

January; Elvis begins filming his second movie, Loving You. Actress Jana Lund will give Elvis his first screen kiss in this movie which will produce the hit, Teddy Bear.

March; Graceland is purchased as a home for Elvis.

May; Jailhouse Rock begins filming.

Elvis in Jailhouse Rock

June; Elvis gets his first UK number one single with All Shook Up

August; The official UK Elvis Presley Fan Club is launched.

December; Elvis' draft notice arrives.


January; Elvis gets a second UK number one with Jailhouse Rock. It becomes the first single to enter the chart at no. 1, selling 500,000 copies in just three days.

Early; Elvis works on his fourth motion picture, King Creole.

March; Elvis Presley is inducted into the U.S. Army at the Memphis Draft Board and is assigned serial number 53310761. Pvt. Presley goes to Fort Hood, Texas for basic training and is stationed there for six months.

August; Gladys Presley dies of acute hepatitis. Elvis is able to get back to see her before she dies.

September; Elvis boards the USS. Randall and sails to Germany, arriving on October 1. He will be stationed in Friedberg for 18 months, maintaining an off-base residence in Bad Nauheim.

Elvis stationed in Germany


January; Third UK number one with One Night / I Got Stung.

May; Fourth UK number one: A Fool Such As I / I Need Your Love Tonight.

November; Elvis first meets Priscilla Beaulieu (24/5/1945). She is the only child of a Navy pilot, Jack Wagner, who was killed in a plane crash when Priscilla was an infant. Her mother Ann had remarried to Captain Joesph Beaulieu.


Early; Elvis is promoted to Sergeant!

March 2; Elvis takes off from Germany to return home.

March 3; Elvis lands in the UK. Prestwick Airport in Scotland to be precise. In those days, Prestwick was home for the 1631 USAF unit. Despite a massive security clampdown,the news leaked out that a mystery V.I.P. was flying in and when Sgt. Presley stepped off the plane, local fans rushed to greet him. Without the restraining influence of aides and his personal manager, Elvis appeared relaxed enough to mix with the fans. He remained in Scotland for two hours.

Elvis' only visit to Britain

March 5; Elvis is officially discharged from military service.

March; His first post-Army album, Elvis is Back is recorded in late March.

March 21; Having developed an interest in karate while in the Army, Elvis receives his first degree black belt.

Late April; Elvis begins work on his first post-army movie, his fifth film, GI Blues for Paramount, the first of nine to be produced (not consecutively) by Hal Wallis.

May 8; ABC airs Frank Sinatra´s Welcome Home, Elvis edition of his variety show, for which Elvis was paid a staggering $125,000.

Frank Sinatra's 'Welcome Home Elvis' special

July 3; Vernon Presley marries divorcee and mother of three sons, Davada (Dee) Stanley, an American whom he met in Germany. Although they live at Graceland briefly, they later move to a home nearby.

November 3; Elvis becomes the first act in history to have five number ones in the UK. His fifth is It's Now Or Never.


January; Sixth UK number one with Are You Lonesome Tonight.

March 23; Seventh UK number one with Wooden Heart.

March 25; Elvis visits the Bloch Arena at Pearl Harbor. His performance and support raises money and awareness which enables the USS Arizona Memorial to be completed the following year. This will be Elvis´ last live, non-movie performance until his 1968 television special.

Mid-April; Elvis is in Hawaii filming Blue Hawaii. When the soundtrack album debuts in October of 1961, it sells so well that it becomes second only to GI Blues as the biggest album of Elvis´ career on the Billboard charts.

Elvis in Blue Hawaii

June; Eighth UK number one single with Surrender.

November; Ninth UK number one with (Marie's The Name) His Latest Flame.


February; Tenth UK number one: Can't Help Falling In Love / Rock-A-Hula Baby.

Late March to late April; Elvis is working on Girls! Girls! Girls!.

May; Eleventh UK number one: Good Luck Charm.

Late August and September; filming It Happened at the World´s Fair.

September; Twelfth UK number one: She's Not You.

December 13; Fourteenth UK number one: Return To Sender.

Christmas 1962; Priscilla Beaulieu flies from West Germany to visit Elvis in Memphis for Christmas. By early 1963 she will move there, finishing her senior year of high school in Memphis.


Winter/Spring; Elvis works on his thirteenth film, another 'formula' movie, Fun in Acapulco.

July; Elvis goes to Las Vegas to film one of his most popular films, Viva Las Vegas.

October; Elvis records and shoots for his fifteenth motion picture, Kissin´ Cousins.


January/February; Elvis purchases the Potomac, former presidential yacht of Franklin Roosevelt, for $55,000.

March; Elvis begins filming for his sixteenth motion picture, Roustabout.

Summer; He's working on Girl Happy.

October; He's at work on Tickle Me. Shamefully, this movie will have no new songs, just unreleased non-movie songs previously recorded.


Spring of 1965; he's filming Harum Scarum.

May; work begins on his twentieth motion picture, to be released out of chronology as his twenty-first, Frankie and Johnny.

June; Fifteenth UK number one: Crying In The Chapel.

July; With his huge generosity always evident, Elvis donates $50,000 to the Motion Picture Relief Fund, reportedly the largest single donation the organization has ever received up to this date. Barbara Stanwyck and Frank Sinatra accepted the gift.

August; filming Paradise, Hawaiian Style. The location shoot allows for a visit to the USS Arizona Memorial, which Elvis' gifts had helped to build.

August 27; The Beatles visit Elvis for several hours at his home in California and have an informal jam session.


February; he's at work on movie number 22 - Spinout.

June to September; it's Double Trouble which is filmed back to back with no. 24, Easy Come, Easy Go.

December; Elvis proposes to Priscilla.


February; Elvis buys the Circle G, a 163-acre ranch in Mississippi, minutes across the Tennessee state line from Graceland. Here he, Priscilla and friends will indulge their love of horses.

March; RCA releases Elvis´ second gospel album, How Great Thou Art. It will win Elvis his first Grammy award.

February-April; Filming again no. 25, Clambake.

May 1; Just after 9:30AM Elvis married Priscilla in a small, private ceremony at the Aladdin Hotel in Las Vegas. A press conference and breakfast reception follow. Then the couple honeymooned for a few days in Palm Springs.

May 29; Elvis and Priscilla dress in their wedding clothes and have a second wedding reception in the trophy room at Graceland to include their family and friends who were not in Las Vegas for the wedding.

Summer; Priscilla's pregnancy is announced.

Summer; its movie no. 26, Speedway.

Autumn; Stay Away, Joe is filmed.


February 1; Nine months to the day of their wedding, Priscilla gives birth to Lisa Marie Presley.

March; filming for movie no. 28, Live a Little, Love a Little. The Great Dane that appears is this movie is Elvis' real dog, named Brutus, although the dog's screen name was Albert!

June 27, 28, 29, and 30; Taping for an NBC television special, which will actually air on December 3, 1968. The true name was Elvis but it is commonly called the '68 Comeback Special.

The '68 Comeback

Summer; Movie no. 29, Charro!.


January/February; Returning to Memphis, Elvis produces four hits which will be released in late '69 and early '70. They are In the Ghetto, Suspicious Minds, Don´t Cry, Daddy and Kentucky Rain.

Spring; Elvis films Change of Habit, which will be his last acting role in a motion picture.

July 31 - August 28; The now famous four-week, fifty-seven show engagement at the International Hotel in Las Vegas. His show is wildly successful. Elvis' first live album, Elvis in Person at the International Hotel is recorded during this engagement.


January-February; Elvis back at the International Hotel where he breaks his own attendance records.

February 27-March 1; Elvis gives six performances at the Houston Astrodome. Although plagued by acoustic problems, the shows are wildly popular, drawing 207,494 people.

August; Sixteenth UK number one with The Wonder Of You.

July-September; Back to Las Vegas for a month long engagement at The International. During this time, a documentary Elvis - That's The Way It Is is filmed by veteran Denis Sanders. With footage of the shows, rehearsals and many candid moments, the documentary provides realistic access to Elvis, the man.

September 9-14; Elvis is on tour for the fist time since 1957. The Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Phoenix date of the nine city tour is included in Elvis - That's The Way It Is.

November; More touring. Eight cities this time.

December; In a very unlikely pairing, Elvis meets Richard Nixon at the White House.


January 16; Elvis accepts the honour of being named One of the Ten Outstanding Young Men of the Nation by the United States Junior Chamber of Commerce (The Jaycees).

Late January / early February; Back to Las Vegas for another month-long engagement at the International Hotel.

May; Elvis records in Nashville, working on the album Elvis Sings the Wonderful World of Christmas.

June; Elvis' two room birthplace in Tupelo is opened to the public. A stretch of Highway 51 South, which runs past Graceland, is renamed Elvis Presley Boulevard. (The new street signs won't appear until January of '72)

June; More recording in Nashville, mostly for the gospel album He Touched Me, which will win Elvis his second Grammy Award.

July-August; A change of venue this time for a two-week engagement at the Sahara Hotel in Lake Tahoe, Nevada.

August 9-September 6; Back to Las Vegas at the International Hotel, which has been renamed the Las Vegas Hilton International Hotel. Again, he breaks all his own attendance records. Elvis now has a 5 year contract with the Hilton to appear twice a year.

November 5-16; Elvis goes on a 12-city concert tour.

Late; Priscilla moves out, taking Lisa Marie with her.


January 26-February 23; Back to the Hilton in Vegas.

March and April; Elvis films on and off stage during his 15-city concert tour. This tour started in Buffalo NY and ended in Albuquerque NM. The footage is part of the documentary Elvis on Tour, which recoups it's production costs after only three days in theatres and grabs a Golden Globe Award for Best Documentary.

June 9-11; Entertainment history is made as Elvis, in advance, sells out all four engagements at Madison Square Garden. Among the 80,000 attendees were John Lennon, George Harrison, David Bowie, Bob Dylan and Art Gurfunkel. His stirring rendition of An American Trilogy was a highlight. Surprisingly, this was Elvis' first live concert in New York City.

July; Priscilla files for divorce. Elvis has begun seeing Linda Thompson, a relationship that will last until late 1976.

August 4-September 4. Back at the Hilton.

November; Elvis ends a seven city tour in Honolulu, Hawaii.


January 14; Elvis : Aloha from Hawaii is taped at Honolulu International Center Arena. It will be seen by nearly 1.5 billion people.

January 26-February 23; Back in Las Vegas at the Hilton.

March; Colonel Parker sells RCA the singer´s royalty rights on Elvis´ entire recording catalog up to that point. 700 songs for five million dollars. A good deal for the Colonel, but bad for Elvis and his heirs who could have enjoyed a lifetime income off the songs.

Late April; Another eight city tour.

May 4-16; Elvis appears at the Sahara Hotel in Lake Tahoe, Nevada.

June 20 - July 3; More touring.

August 6 - September 3; Back at the Hilton.

October 9; Elvis and Priscilla appear in court and their divorce is granted. Although she has custody of Lisa Marie, Elvis will remain close to both mother and daughter. Immediately after the divorce and for two weeks in late October Elvis will be hospitalized in Memphis. He will be treated for medical problems either stemming from or exacerbated by his heavy drug use.


January 26-February 9; Elvis is back at the Hilton.

March; Elvis tours for most of the month including an attendance breaking repeat performance at the Houston Astrodome. He'll appear in Memphis for the first time since 1961. Another live album is produced, Elvis Recorded Live On Stage in Memphiss from the two day, four show engagement. Included is a live performance of How Great Thou Art that will go on to win Elvis his third Grammy award. Perhaps surprisingly, all of Elvis' Grammys are for gospel songs.

May 16-26; At Sahara in Lake Tahoe

August 19-September 2; While back at the Hilton he receives an offer which could have been a pivotal moment. Barbra Streisand and her hairdresser/boyfriend/producer Jon Peters offer Elvis the lead role in her remake of A Star is Born. This would have given Elvis his long awaited chance at serious acting. He is bored on the road and needs a new challenge. Regrettably, this never comes to fruition.

October 11-14; Elvis appears at the Sahara-Tahoe.


January 29-February 14; Sadly, Elvis must be hospitalized again for drug related medical problems. His health has begun to decline.

March 18-April 1; He is again at the Hilton and then tours thru til the end of July.

August 18; He begins an engagement at the Hilton which is cut short on the 20th as Elvis returns to a hospital in Memphis until September 5.

December 2-15; Elvis must return to the Hilton to make up for the cancelled performances.

December 25; Elvis performs a special New Year´s Eve concert in Pontiac, Michigan and sets a single performance attendance record of 62,500.


February; RCA will haul all manner of mobile recording equipment to Graceland. The week of recording in the den will produce an album From Elvis Presley Boulevard, Memphis, Tennessee. This album will go to no. 1 on the US country charts.

March - October; on and off, Elvis will be touring.

Early November; Elvis and Linda Thompson, his girlfriend since 1972 will split. By the end of the month Elvis is with Ginger Alden, who will be with him until his death.

December 2-12; Elvis makes his last appearance at the Hilton.

December 31; A special New Year's Eve performance in Pittsburgh PA.


Early; Elvis tours in the early part of 1977 but from April 1-5, he is again hospitalized and some shows have to be cancelled.

June 19, 20, 21; Concerts are recorded by RCA and videotaped by CBS for the upcoming special Elvis in Concert. The footage shows quite clearly Elvis' deteriorating condition. The special will not be shown until October 3 (after his death).

June 26; The concert at Indianapolis, Indiana´s Market Square Arena will be Elvis' last.

July; Three former bodyguards publish Elvis : What Happened? which details Elvis' drug use for the first time in public.

August 16; Elvis had played racquetball in his new court at Graceland and stayed up late singing with his friends as usual. Later, Ginger, Elvis' girlfriend made a frantic call downstairs for help. She had found Elvis lifeless in the bathroom. Elvis is rushed to hospital but resuscitation attempts fail and he is pronounced dead at 3.30pm local time (8.30pm in Britain). Whilst it is true that there were drugs in his system, it wasn't an overdose. His heart failed him. Elvis died aged 42.

August 18; Elvis is buried at Forest Hill Cemetery in Memphis.

September; Way Down hits number one in Britain. It is Elvis' seventeenth chart-topper in the UK.

October; The bodies of Elvis and his mother are moved to Graceland.


June 26; Vernon Presley joined his son and wife in death.


Sept; Lisa Marie announces she is pregnant and marries Danny Keough.


May 29; Lisa Marie gives birth to a baby girl, Danielle.


October 21; Lisa Marrie and Danny Keough have a second child, Benjamin.


April; Lisa Marrie and Danny Keough get divorced citing irreconcilable differences.

May 26; Lisa Marie marries pop star Michael Jackson in The Dominican Republic. Estimated worth of marriage: $300 million


December 10; Lisa Marie separates from Jackson.


January 18; Lisa Marie and Michael Jackson get divorced, citing irreconcilable differences.


August 16; Priscilla and Lisa Marie are surprise guests at a concert commemorating the 20th anniversary of Elvis' death. Lisa sings in public for the first time, her performance of Don´t Cry Daddy featured a background video of Elvis. A virtual and touching duet.
Earlier, more than 30,000 people flocked to Graceland for a candlelight vigil.


June; A re-mix of A Little Less Conversation tops the UK chart bringing Elvis' tally to a record-breaking eighteen number ones.

August 12; Lisa Marie marries actor Nicolas Cage in a secret wedding ceremony in Hawaii.

August 16; Priscilla opened a tribute concert at at the Pyramid arena in Memphis, Tennessee. to mark the 25th anniversary of Elvis' death. "I want to thank you for your loyalty and support for Elvis," she told a crowd of 14,000. Lisa Marie and her new husband, actor Nicolas Cage, were in the audience. Earlier the three secretly watched around 40,000 fans taking part in a candlelit vigil at Elvis' grave at his mansion in Gracelands


July 5; More than 1000 radio stations around the world simultaneously play "That's All Right", Elvis' first professional record, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the recording of the track at Sun studios.


January 3; Elvis' record company began an 18-week long campaign of releasing a limited number of each of his former chart-topping singles, one per week, to commemorate what would have been his 70th birthday. This led to Elvis becoming the first artist to have 20+ number ones and the first to break the '1000 weeks in the Top 40' barrier.

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