Elvis Presley: Timeline

Elvis Presley: Timeline
A young Elvis Presley with mother Gladys and father Vernon

January 8, 1935: Born as Elvis Aron Presley in Tupelo, Mississippi to Gladys Love Smith and Vernon Elvis Presley. His twin brother Jesse Garon is stillborn.

October 3, 1945: Sings “Old Shep” at the Mississippi-Alabama Fair and Dairy show and wins second prize: 5 dollars and free rides.

January 8, 1946: Buys his first guitar at Tupelo Hardware Store.

September 12, 1948: The Presley family moves to Memphis.

September 13, 1948: Is enrolled at Christine School on Third Street in Memphis to complete 8th grade.

September 1949: Family lives at 185 Winchester, Apartment 328 in Lauderdale Courts.

June 3, 1951: Begins working at Precision Tools located on 1132 Kansas.

July 1, 1951: Elvis is fired from Precision Tools because he is underage.

April 17, 1952: Works part-time at Loew’s State Theater located on 152 South Main.

August 6, 1952: Lies about his age, saying he is a year older than he really is, and gets a job at Upholsteries Specialties Company located on 210 West Georgia Avenue.

December 24, 1952: Sings “Old Shep” and “Cold, Cold Icy Fingers” during a Christmas show at Humes High School.

May 26, 1953: Partakes in an amateur contest singing “I’m Left, You’re Right,” “She’s Gone and Baby,” and “Let’s Play House” at First Jimmie Rodgers Memorial Talent Show which is held at The Lamar Hotel in Meridian, Mississippi. He comes in second and wins a guitar.

June 18, 1953: Graduates from Humes High School.

Summer 1953: He records his first two songs for $4.00 at The Memphis Recording Service (also known as Sun Studios). The songs are “My Happiness” and “That’s When Your Heartaches Begin.” There are two reports on why he did this. One, as a gift for his mom. Two, he hopes Sam Phillips, the owner of Sun Studios, will notice him.

July 5, 1954: Releases “That’s All Right,” one of five singles to be released under the Sun recording label.

July 30, 1954: Makes his debut performance at the Overton Park Shell in Memphis where the women go crazy over his left leg shaking. Later that night he reveals to Scotty Moore (guitar) that he was shaking like that because he was nervous. Also, the newspaper ads had his name spelled “Ellis Presley.”

August 1955: Replaces manager Bob Neal with Colonel Tom Parker (formally Andreas Cornelis van Kuijk), a Dutch man originally from Breda, Holland.

November 1955: Signs a contract with RCA records worth $40,000, with a $5,000 bonus. Not long after, they re-release the five singles originally released under the Sun recording label.

January 1956: Teams up with The Jordanaires, a backup group.

January 27, 1956: Releases “Heartbreak Hotel” which sells three hundred thousand copies in just one week.

January 28, 1956: Makes his first appearance on Jackie Gleason’s Stage Show.

January 28, 1956: Performs on the The Dorsey Brothers show and sings “Shake Rattle And Roll,” “Flip, Flop And Fly,” and “I Got A Woman.” Memphis reporter Bob Johnson writes after seeing the broadcast, ‘Presley puts intensity into his songs. Over-emotional? Yes. But he projects. He sells. Elvis has arrived... But you can’t throw that much into something without it telling. It’ll wear him out. It will exhaust him emotionally and physically. He’s 20 now. If he’s wise, he’ll slow down a little and live another 20 years.’

February 23, 1956: Performs at The Baseball Park in Jacksonville, Florida. He is rushed to the hospital later that night after collapsing.

March 1, 1956: At court he serves as a witness against Bernice Harris who is found not guilty. The judge asks Elvis for his autograph for his daughter Suzanne.

March 2, 1956: The cops stop him for speeding along Riverside drive. He is going 38 mph.

March 7, 1956: His first album, Elvis, is released. Sells over one million copies.

March 8, 1956: The cops stop him for speeding along Kimball between Semmes and Lamas. He is going 40 mph.

March 15, 1956: Elvis and Colonel Parker sign a new contract which gives Parker twenty-five percent of Elvis’ earnings.

March 24, 1956: Makes his last appearance on Jackie Gleason’s Stage Show.

April 1956: Hal Wallis and Paramount Pictures sign Elvis to a seven-year movie contract.

April 4, 1956: Makes first appearance on “The Milton Berle Show.”

June 5, 1956: On the Milton Berle Show he performs “Hound Dog.” Controversy follows because of his gyrating hips. It also gives birth to his nickname “The Pelvis.”

June 26, 1956: Unable to take any more of the public outcry, he makes this statement: ‘Did you see The Milton Berle Show? This Debra Paget is on the same show. She wore a tight thing with feathers on the behind where they wiggle most. And I never saw anything like it. Sex? Man, she bumped and pooshed out all over the place. I’m like Little Boy Blue. And who do they say is obscene? Me!’

July 5, 1956: He reluctantly does a parody on “The Steve Allen Show” of his “Hound Dog” performance where he sings to a real Basset hound.

August 10, 1956: Juvenile Court Judge Marion Gooding attends an Elvis concert at the Florida Theatre in Jacksonville, Florida. He is there to see if all the negative publicity is warranted. He decides it is and requests Elvis to tone it down.

August 11, 1956: Elvis tones it down by wiggling his pinky.

September 9, 1956: Makes his first appearance on the “Ed Sullivan Show” but Sullivan is off sick (Charles Laughton subs). He performs “Don’t Be Cruel,” “Love Me Tender,” “Ready Teddy,” and “Hound Dog.” Elvis signs a $50,000 deal with the “Ed Sullivan Show” that requires him to appear three times.

October 1956: Releases the album Elvis.

October 28, 1956: Makes second appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show with Sullivan present. He performs “Love Me Tender,” “Don’t Be Cruel” “Love Me,” and “Hound Dog.”

November 15, 1956: Stars as Clint Reno in his debut movie “Love Me Tender.”

November 25: Buys his grandfather Jesse D. Presley a new car.

January 6, 1957: Makes third appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show with the camera only showing Elvis’ body ‘waist up.’ After Elvis’ performance, Sullivan comes out and says, ‘This is a real decent boy and the nicest big star we’ve ever had on the show.’

March 7, 1957: Buys Graceland for $102,500.

March 22, 1957: Young Marine, Hershal Nixon, accuses Elvis of pulling a gun on him in downtown Memphis after he confronted Elvis for insulting his wife.

March 25, 1957: The gun incident is settled in a judge’s chamber. Elvis sends Hershal Nixon a long telegram where he says that the gun was actually a Hollywood prop gun and that he is sorry if he accidentally bumped into his wife.

March 27, 1957: Complains of what he calls ‘nervousness, insomnia’ and has an insurance examination done.

July 1957: Releases the album Loving You.

July 9, 1957: Star as Jimmy Tompkins in the film “Loving You.”

September 7, 1957: Members of his backup band, Scotty Moore (guitar) and Billy Black (bass), resign because in their opinion, they don’t get to play as much as they would like. Elvis says he will never take them back.

September 11, 1957: Offers Scotty and Billy a fifty dollar raise which they turn down and then expose their ‘dirt’ on Elvis in an interview for a local newspaper. Elvis in return does his own interview in which he says, ‘Scotty, Bill I hope everything works out for you. I will recommend you to anyone who is interested. If you had come to me first we would have sorted this thing out ourselves. I would always have cared for you. But you had to go the papers and throw dirt at me instead of talking to me. All I can say is. Good luck.’

September 27, 1957: After a show at the Fairground in Tupelo, Mississippi he decides to take Scotty and Billy back because nothing felt right.

October 17, 1957: Stars as Vince Everett in “Jailhouse Rock.”

November 5, 1957: Because of his mother’s wishes for him to fly as little as possible, he sails to Hawaii for a gig in Honolulu.

December 19, 1957: His draft notice arrives.

March 1958: Releases the collection “Elvis Golden Records Volume 1.”

March 24, 1958: The army sends him to Fort Hood, Texas and he spends six months there.

March 25, 1958: Gets his G.I. haircut which is later shown on TV.

July 2, 1958: Stars as Danny Fisher in “King Creole.”

August 1958: Releases the album “King Creole.”

August 14, 1958: His mother Gladys dies of acute hepatitis.

October 1, 1958: Arrives in West Germany on the USS Randall and is stationed in Friedberg for eighteen months.

November 1958: Releases the album “Elvis’ Christmas Album”

February 1959: Releases the album “For LP Fans Only.”

August 1959: Releases the album “Date With Elvis.”

November 1, 1959: Meets Priscilla Beaulieu.

November 27, 1959: Griessel-Landau gives him skin treatment for his face and shoulders.

December 1959: Releases the album “50,000,000 Elvis Fans Can’t Be Wrong: Elvis Golden Records Volume Two.”

December 28, 1959: The FBI interviews Elvis after he files a complaint that Laurenz Johannes Griessel-Landau is blackmailing him by threatening to reveal compromising photographs and tape recordings. This all happens because Griessel-Landau is angry at Elvis for discontinuing his skin treatments after Elvis discovers Landau is making homosexual advances on some of his friends. Since everything Landau was saying is a lie, Elvis only has to pay for the treatment. Also, on his own volition, he pays for Landau’s plane ticket home.

November 1960: Releases the religious album “His Hand In Mine.”

January 20, 1960: Promoted to Sergeant.

March 2, 1960: Returns from West Germany.

March 5, 1960: Officially discharged from the military.

March 21, 1960: While in the army he becomes interested in martial arts. After being discharged he receives a first degree black belt in karate.

April 1960: Releases the album “Elvis Is Back.”

July 8, 1960: Spends time with four friends on McKellar Lake, speeding in a blue racing boat that has a 75hp engine and costs $2500.

July 10, 1960: Rents the Mid-South Fairgrounds amusement park for some after-midnight fun time. His favorite rides are Dodgem Cars and the old roller coaster Zippin Pippin.

October 1960: Releases the album “GI Blues.”

November 23, 1960: Stars as Tulsa McLean in the film “GI Blues.”

December 20, 1960: Stars as Pacer Burton in “Flaming Star.”

June 1961: Releases the album “Something For Everybody.”

June 15, 1961: Stars as Glen Tyler in “Wild in the Country.”

October 1961: Releases the album “Blue Hawaii.”

November 22, 1961: Stars as Chad Gates in “Blue Hawaii.”

April 21, 1962: Stars as Toby Kwimper in “Follow That Dream.”

June 1962: Releases the album “Pot Luck.”

June 17, 1962: Priscilla Beaulieu flies from West Germany to Los Angeles for her first visit with Elvis since he left the Army. An arrangement between Elvis and her parents is that Priscilla is not allowed to live with Elvis, that a complete itinerary be sent to the Beaulieus, and at all times there must be a chaperone.

June 18, 1962: Priscilla moves into his Bellagio Road home with him.

June 19, 1962: Elvis, Priscilla, and close friends go to Las Vegas for two weeks. They check in at the Sahara hotel. During this time, Priscilla sends postcards to her parents with a Los Angeles postmark.

July 7, 1962: Priscilla flies back to West Germany.

August 11, 1962: Stars as Walter Gulick in “Kid Galahad.”

November 1962: Releases the album “Girls! Girls! Girls!”

November 21, 1962: Stars as Ross Carpenter in “Girls! Girls! Girls!”

January 1, 1963: Stars as Mike Edwards in “It Happened at the World’s Fair.”

February 13, 1963: At an auction he buys the yacht previously owned by F.D Roosevelt Potomac for $55000. He donates it to charity but it is refused twice by two different organizations due to the cost of taking care of it. He finally gives it as a fund-raising item for St. Judes children hospital in Memphis.

April 1963: Releases the album “It Happened At the World’s Fair.”

November 27, 1963: Stars as Mike Windgren in “Fun In Acapulco.”

March 6, 1964: Stars as Josh Morgan/Jodie Tatum in “Kissin’ Cousins.”

May 20, 1964: Stars as Lucky Jackson in “Viva Las Vegas.”

May 24, 1963: Priscilla’s 18th birthday. She now lives in Graceland.

September 1963: Releases “Elvis Golden Records Volume 3.”

November 1963: Releases the album “Fun In Acapulco.”

April 1964: Releases the album “Kissin’ Cousins.”

November 1964: Releases the album “Roustabout.”

November 11, 1964: Stars as Charlie Rogers in “Roustabout.”

April 14, 1965: Stars as Rusty Wells in “Girl Happy.”

June 30, 1965: Stars as Lonnie Beale/Panhandle Kid in “Tickle Me.”

July 1965: Releases the album “Elvis For Everyone.”

October 1965: Releases the album “Harum Scarum.”

November 24, 1965: Stars as Johnny Tyronne in “Harum Scarum.”

December 5, 1965: Priscilla gives him a racing car set. He loves it so much he buys a giant version of it and builds a room between the patio and swimming pool to house it.

April 1966: Releases the album “Frankie and Johnny.”

May 31, 1966: Stars as Johnny in “Frankie and Johnny.”

June 1966: Releases the album “Paradise, Hawaiian Style.”

June 15, 1966: Stars as Rick Richards in “Paradise, Hawaiian Style.”

November 1966: Releases the album “Spinout.”

November 23, 1966: Stars as Mike McCoy in “Spinout.”

December 1966: Proposes to Priscilla Beaulieu.

February 1967: Buys the Circle G, a 163-acre ranch in Mississippi. It is only a few minutes from Graceland.

March 1967: Releases second gospel album “How Great Thou Art.”

March 22, 1967: Stars as Lt. (j.g.) Ted Jackson in “Easy Come, Easy Go.”

April 5, 1967: Stars as Guy Lambert in “Double Trouble.”

May 1, 1967: Marries Priscilla Beaulieu in a private ceremony at the Aladdin Hotel in Las Vegas. Later in the day he offers the cop guarding outside a glass of lemonade. This cop later becomes his bodyguard, Dick Grob.

May 11, 1967: Buys a Cadillac sport model.

May 29, 1967: Re-marries Priscilla in the trophy room at Graceland for the benefit of family and friends who were unable to be present in Las Vegas.

June 1967: Releases the album “Double Trouble.”

Summer 1967: Priscilla announces she is pregnant.

October 18, 1967: Stars as Scott Heyward/Tom Wilson in “Clambake.”

November 1967: Releases the album “Clambake.”

February 1, 1968: Priscilla gives birth to Lisa Marie Presley. She weighs in at 6 pounds and 15 ounces.

February 1968: Releases “Elvis Golden Records Volume 4”

March 8, 1968: Stars as Joe Lightcloud in “Stay Away, Joe.”

June 12, 1968: Stars as Steve Grayson “Speedway.”

June 1968: Releases the album “Speedway.” Does a duet with Nancy Sinatra.

October 23, 1968: Stars as Greg Nolan in “Live a Little, Love a Little.”

November 1968: Releases the album “Singer Presents Elvis Singing Flaming Star and Others.”

December 1968: Releases” Elvis - NBC - TV Special.”

December 1968: NBC airs “Elvis,” better known as the “’68 Comeback Special.”

March 13, 1969: Stars as Jess Wade in “Charro!”

May 1969: Releases the album “From Elvis in Memphis.”

September 3, 1969: Stars as Walter Hale in “The Trouble With Girls.”

November 10, 1969: Stars as Dr. John Carpenter in his last movie “Change of Habit.” He has starred in a total of thirty-one movies.

November 1969: Releases album “Elvis - From Memphis to Vegas/ From Vegas to Memphis.”

April 1970: Releases the album “Let’s Be Friends.”

April 2, 1970: He and Priscilla buy a house in Palm Springs.

June 1970: Releases the album “On Stage - February 1970.”

August 1970: Releases the four record set, “Worldwide 50 Gold Award Hits, Volume 1.”

September 9, 1970: Begins his first tour since 1957.

September 25, 1970: Spends time at his Palm Springs home and buys a 1970 Mercury Cougar for Colonel Parker.

November 1970: Releases the album “Almost In Love.”

Mid-November 1970: Releases the album “In Person At the International Hotel, Las Vegas, Nevada.”

Late November 1970: Releases the album “Back in Memphis.”

December 1970: Releases the album “Elvis - That’s the Way It Is.”

December 21, 1970: Elvis meets Richard Nixon.

January 16, 1971: The United States Junior Chamber of Commerce names him “One of the Ten Outstanding Young Men of the Nation.” He was nominated by former Shelby County sheriff and Memphis Mafia member Bill Morris. The main speaker at the ceremony is future American president George H. W. Bush. After the ceremony, Elvis buys a watch for all the other honorees and holds a private party for them.

January 1971: Releases the album “I’m 10,000 Years Old, Elvis Country.”

March 1971: Releases the album “You’ll Never Walk Alone.”

March 8, 1971: Writes a letter detailing his concerns about the nation’s drug problem, to Mr. Finlator of the United States Department of Justice.

March 16, 1971: Hospitalized for iritis and secondary glaucoma.

June 1971: Releases the album “Love Letters From Elvis.”

June 1971: A part of Highway 51 South that runs along Graceland is renamed Elvis Presley Boulevard.

July 1971: Releases the album “C’Mon Everybody.”

August 1971: Releases “The Other Sides - Worldwide Gold Award Hits, Volume 2.”

October 1971: Releases the album “I Got Lucky.”

Late October 1971: Releases the album “Elvis Sings the Wonderful World of Christmas.”

Late 1971: Priscilla moves out and takes Lisa Marie with her.

December 25, 1971: Gives all his friends a fifty cent MacDonalds gift certificate for Christmas as a joke and after letting them wonder for a while if he is serious, he gives them their real presents.

January 1972: Releases the album “Elvis Now.”

April 1972: Releases the album “He Touched Me.”

June 1972: Releases “Elvis - As Recorded At Madison Square Garden.”

July 1972: Priscilla files for divorce.

Late July 1972: He begins seeing Linda Thompson.

January 1973: Releases the album “Separate Ways.”

February 1973: Releases the album “Aloha From Hawaii Via Satellite.”

March 1973: Releases the album “Almost In Love.”

March 1973: Colonel Parker sells Elvis’ royalty rights to RCA for five million dollars. That’s a total of seven hundred songs.

July 1973: Releases the album “Elvis.”

October 1973: Releases the album “Raised On Rock.”

October 9, 1973: Elvis and Priscilla appear in court. Divorce granted with Priscilla given custody of Lisa Marie.

October 15, 1973: Hospitalized in Memphis for medical problems connected with pneumonia, enlarged colon and hepatitis. Some reports say he is in there for too much use of medical drugs.

January 29, 1974: Hospitalized again for medical problems connected with too much drug use.

January 1974: Releases “Elvis - A Legendary Performer, Volume 1.”

March 1974: Releases the album “Good Times.”

June 1974: Releases “Recorded Live On Stage In Memphis.”

August 20, 1974: Hospitalized again.

October 1974: Releases the talking only album “Having Fun With Elvis On Stage.”

January 1975: Releases the album “Promised Land.”

March 1975: Releases “Pure Gold.”

May 1975: Releases the album “Elvis Today.”

July 27, 1975: Spends $140,000 on thirteen Cadillacs for family, friends, and Menni Person, a woman who just happened to be shopping for one when Elvis arrives.

July 28, 1975: Buys his body guard, Dave Hebler, a silver 1975 Lincoln Continental Mark IV Coupe.

December 1975: Releases “Double Dynamite.”

January 1976: Releases “Elvis - A Legendary Performer, Volume 2.”

March 1976: Releases the album “Sun Sessions.”

May 1976: Releases the album From Elvis Presley Boulevard, Memphis, Tennessee.

Early November 1976: Splits up with Linda Thompson.

November 11, 1976: Begins dating Ginger Alden after meeting her for the first time at a Graceland party.

December 7, 1976: Performs at the Hilton Hotel, Las Vegas, Nevada where later that night he writes of his ‘desperate mental state.’ The note is found later in his hotel room.

March 1977: Releases the album “Welcome To My World.”

April 1, 1977: He is hospitalized.

July 1977: Releases the album “Moody Blue.”

July 1977: Three former bodyguards publish “Elvis: What Happened?” chronicling Elvis’ drug use.

August 7, 1977: Rents Libertyland Amusement Park in Memphis for his daughter Lisa Marie and her friends. For one hour and fifteen minutes he rides the roller coaster.

August 16, 1977: Before Billy Smith (a close friend) leaves Graceland, Elvis says to him: ‘Billy... Son... This is going to be my best tour ever.’ These are his last words. Elvis dies later that day of heart failure.

August 18, 1977: Elvis is buried at Forest Hill Cemetery in Memphis.

October 1977: The bodies of Elvis and his mother are moved to Graceland.

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