Elvis fans around the world will celebrate Elvis’s birthday on January 8.In Memphis, fans were able to enjoy four days of celebrations with special birthday events, including an Elvis Birthday Pops Concert, Elvis Insiders Reception and Tour, the Elvis Birthday Proclamation on the front lawn of Graceland.
The Elvis Presley Fan Club will continue its tradition of meeting at the gates of the late Elvis Presley’s Graceland mansion for his birthday celebration. His former wife, Priscilla Presley will participate in this ceremony for the first time this year.
At 7 p.m., the NBA Memphis Grizzlies will host the Elvis Birthday Grizzlies game against the Los Angeles Lakers. The game will include Elvis-themed music and performances with a half-time show featuring the Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist of 2007, Shawn Klush.
The legendary singer was born January 8th, 1935, and would have been 73 years old this year. Elvis died at Graceland on August 16, 1977.
1945 – The facts concerning Elvis’s first guitar vary. One account claims Elvis bought a $7.75 guitar from the Tupelo Hardware Company because he wanted to accompany himself when he sang. Elvis paid for part of his 10th birthday present from money he had earned doing odd jobs around the neighborhood. The owner of the store claims that Elvis was more interested in buying a rifle, but that his mother Gladys feared he would shoot someone or himself. Another story tell of Elvis wish for a new bicycle but could not afford the $55.00 to price tag. And Gladys was concerned that her precious 10 year old could injury himself, even though Elvis could be seen driving his parent to church meetings in a rusted-out truck by the time he could reach the pedals. Together with a local teacher and his uncle Vester Presley Elvis learned to play the instrument.
How Elvis celebrate his birthdays throughout his lifetime
1951 – Elvis’ 16th Birthday. Girls were frightened of him because his appearance was so unconventional. Some felt he acted as if he had a nervous disorder while most agreed he had the manners of a hog on heat when Elvis was around the opposite sex.
1953 – Vernon and Gladys paid $50 for a 1952 Lincoln Zephyr coupe which they gave to Elvis on his 18th birthday. With wheels like any other teenager Elvis discovered freedom which scared his mother. Gladys did not know how to drive, so she used the excuse to get Elvis to drive her everywhere.
1954 – Elvis, his mother Gladys and his father Vernon celebrated is birthday singing inspirational songs at their home.
1955 – Elvis performed at the Louisiana Hayride concerts, watched by Hank Williams’s son, Jimmy Rodgers Snow who reported back to Col Parker that Elvis was provocative, sexy and appealed to all women. (sssh, we already knew that)
1956 – Elvis’s 21st birthday was spent on the road going to and from Louisiana Hayride appearances.
1957 – Elvis traveled by train to Hollywood on his 22nd birthday. Scotty Moore, Bill Black & DJ Fontana who co-starred in Loving You, shared a birthday cake that Gladys had baked.
1958 – Elvis was in California to record his Christmas album.
1959 – Dick Clark’s American Bandstand dedicated its program to Elvis 24th birthday. It was the first birthday Elvis ever spent without his mother’s well wishes.
1960 – Rumours had it that United Artists wanted Elvis to play the lead role in West Side Story. The Colonel turned it down because the character dies a brutal death.
1961 – Elvis celebrated his 26th birthday with Hope Lang on the set of Wild In The Country. He was in a foul mood because Col Parker insisted he record the title track from the movie which Elvis thought was a non-singing role.
1962 – On his 27th birthday Dick Clark dedicated his broadcast of American Bandstand to Elvis.
1964 – Elvis did not want to celebrate his 29th birthday as he was upset about the way his flagging movie career and became violent at how the critics were panning his movies.
1965 – Elvis celebrated his 30th birthday quietly at home, thought some newspapers printed the news of his 30th birthday like it was the end of an era. However, two months later Elvis declared in an interview: “I can never forget the longing to be someone. I guess if you are poor you always think bigger and want more than those who have everything.” On that day Elvis signed a 3-picture contract with MGM and there was talk of Elvis starring in BABY THE RAIN MUST FALL. However, Steve McQueen got the lead role of Henry Thomas an ex-con who had a band called the Rockabillies. In the film McQueen remarks, “Maybe I’ll be a big movie star like Elvis Presley…”
1967 – Marty Lacker, Charlie Hodge and the other members of the Memphis Mafia got together and present Elvis with “tree-of-life” medallion for his 32nd birthday which Elvis often wore.
1968 – Just months into his marriage and the honeymoon was over. Elvis just wanted things to stay the same (horsing around with the guys) although his was wed and about to become a father.
1970 – Elvis prepared for his next concert tour throughout the States. Elvis was happy to perform before a live audience again. To-date his most successful concert was at New York, Madison Square Garden
1971 – The day after his 36th birthday Jaycees voted Elvis Ten Outstanding Young Men of America. The tribute brought tears of joy and was the only award Elvis accepted in person. As Priscilla watched on
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