Thursday, August 16th: 35 years since the Blue Suede Shoes stopped dancing … Today marks 35 years since the death of ELVIS PRESLEY, August 16, 1977, at the age of 42. Today, celebrate the life and the music of Elvis Presley. Put on a little Hound Dog, Don’t be Cruel, or Hunk of Burnin’ Love. Whip up ‘The King’s’ reported favorite sandwiches, peanut butter and banana –sometimes with honey or bacon, and sing the night away.
Here’s a list of Elvis’ top ten songs:
1. “Heartbreak Hotel” (1956)
2. “Don’t Be Cruel” (1956)
3. “Hound Dog” (1956)
4. “Love Me Tender” (1956)
5. “Too Much” (1957)
6. “All Shook Up” (1957)
7. “(Let Me Be Your) Teddy Bear” (1957)
8. “Jailhouse Rock” (1957)
9. “Don’t” (1958)
10. “Hard Headed Woman” (1958)
A touch of Elvis’ trivia rounds out the night:
- One of his biggest hit songs, “Are You Lonesome Tonight?”, was actually written in 1926 and first recorded by Al Jolson.
- When Ed Sullivan finally allowed him to appear on “Toast of the Town” (1948), he was filmed from the waist upwards.
- The last song he performed in public was “Can’t Help Falling In Love”.
- Was extremely proud of his Cherokee roots. Wanted to be more open about it but was advised against it, according to some sources by Tom Parker, since this was around the time that there were still racial tensions in the US. Sometimes the audiences were “deceived with the truth” like in G.I. Blues (1960) when his character tells about his Cherokee background. In real life his Cherokee roots started with his maternal great-great-great grandmother Morning Dove White and it was even rumored in Memphis that he had Cherokee blood from his father’s side of the family as well, though never confirmed.
- He is responsible for the best selling single of the 1950s (“Hound Dog/Don’t Be Cruel”, 1956) and that of the 1960s (“It’s Now Or Never”, 1960).
- His home Graceland in Memphis is the second most popular private tourist attraction in the United States after the White House, and is estimated to bring in $150 million to the city itself each year.
- Held a single day’s attendance record for his March 74 shows at the Houston Astrodome in March ’74 — 89,000 fans for two shows.
- In 1973 he met with Led Zeppelin members Robert Plant and John Paul Jones in Los Angeles. An idol to the members of Led Zeppelin, Elvis wanted to meet “who was outselling him” at concerts (Zeppelin was in the midst of a record-breaking tour that year). A meeting was arranged with two of the four band members (Plant and Jones). Plant was so awestruck at meeting his idol in person that he could barely speak to him. Jones, nearly as awestruck as Plant, made small talk with the “King,” and mentioned what a beautiful watch Elvis wore. Elvis, always the generous one, instantly traded his $5,000 gold and diamond watch for Jones’ $10 Mickey Mouse watch. This broke the ice with all of them, and they became fast friends. Throughout the early ’70s, members of Led Zeppelin even attended a few of Elvis’ concerts, and were granted the privilege of sitting in the front row by the King himself.
- Has sold 1.1 billion records worldwide, more than any other artist or group apart from The Beatles.
- He did an early ’60s concert in Hawaii, and donated the proceeds to help build the USS Arizona memorial.
- In April of 1955 Elvis auditioned for a spot on Arthur Godfrey’s “Talent Scouts” (1948) and was turned down.
- In 1973 he was biggest tax payer in USA.
- Following a concert in Hawaii in 1961, Presley concentrated on making movies and he did not perform live before an audience again for eight years until his return to Las Vegas in 1969.
- His 29¢ commemorative postage stamp issued in 1993, sold more copies than any other postage stamp in U.S. Postal Service history.