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Elvis Presley

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Elvis Aaron Presley was born on January 8, 1935 in Tupelo, Mississippi to Vernon and Gladys Presley. By 1948 the family had to move to Memphis, Tennessee where he graduated from Humes High School in 1953. Elvis’ musical influences were the pop and country music of the time, the gospel music he heard in church and the black R&B he absorbed on historic Beale Street as a Memphis teenager. In 1953 and 1954 Elvis recorded some demos for his own pleasure. Elvis captured the attention of the emerging Sun label’s owner, Sam Phillips. In 1954, Phillips teamed Presley with guitarist Scotty Moore and bassist Bill Black. Eventually, the trio came up with a sped-up version of Arthur Crudup blues tune, "That's All Right Mama," that became Elvis' first single.

In 1955 Elvis signed his first contract with RCA Records which included his five Sun singles and unreleased material. Elvis' five Sun singles pioneered the blend of R&B and C&W that would characterize rockabilly music. RCA re-released the five singles on their label. "That's All Right Mama," "Blue Moon of Kentucky," "Good Rockin' Tonight," "Baby Let's Play House," and "Mystery Train" remain core early rock classics.

In 1956, Elvis entered RCA’s studio in Nashville. His first single, “Heartbreak Hotel,” went to number one and aided with some television appearances Elvis became a superstar. Following single "I Want You, I Need You, I Love You" reached number one too. Albums and EPs were also chart-toppers, not just in the U.S., but throughout the world. Even though Elvis had to put on hold for two years his recording and movie careers when he entered the army, his popularity didn’t seem to suffer for his absence.

Though it was not the same case for his music quality which seemed to be declining. Elvis concentrated himself on his movie career to the point that he gave up performing live for almost a decade. In 1968, the album Elvis in Memphis along with his 1969 hits "Suspicious Minds" and "In the Ghetto," returned him to the top of the charts. Presley’s 70’s recordings spawned diverse opinions just like the previous decade’s records.

In his final years Elvis’ behavior became instable and he became dependant on a variety of drugs. He remained isolated except for professional purposes (showing himself in his tours). On August 16, 1977, Elvis Presley was found dead in Graceland. The cause of death remains a subject of widespread speculation. The news of Elvis’ death spreads around the world in a matter of hours.

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