On this day…
Elvis Presley, an American singer, musician, and actor, was born on January 8, 1935. He is often referred to as “the King of Rock and Roll” or simply, “the King”. While Elvis Presley didn’t invent Rock and Roll, he was the music style’s biggest star and did arguably more to popularize the genre than anyone else.
Elvis had many different musical influences throughout his childhood including the pop and country music of the time, gospel music sang at the all night gospel sings he attended, and R&B he was exposed to during his teenage years in Memphis, Tennessee.
His music career began in 1954, with the legendary Sun Records label in Memphis. His early work was comprised of rockabilly, an up-tempo fusion of country music and rhythm & blues. His sound and style uniquely blended the diverse musical styles he grew up with. Elvis soon became too popular for Sun Records to handle, and his contract was sold to RCA Victor. His first RCA single, Heartbreak Hotel, released in January 1956, became a number-one hit in the United States.
In 1958, Elvis was drafted into military service. He resumed his musical career two years later, but began devoting more time towards making Hollywood movies and accompanying soundtracks. Over his career, Elvis starred in 33 movies.
One of the most successful musicians of all time, Elvis sold over one billion records, won 3 Grammys, held the largest number of gold, platinum, and multiplatinum certifications of any artist in history, and had 114 Top Forty hits, 40 Top Ten hits, and 18 Number One hits. He has been inducted into multiple music halls of fame, and received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award at the age of 36.
Elvis passed away in 1977 at the age of 42.