The King. Memphis Flash. The Hillbilly Cat. All of these nicknames describe one of the most iconic music artists of all times-Elvis Presley.
Here are some interesting facts you may not know about the King Rock n’ Roll!
Though a large portion of Elvis’s music has been sold outside of the U.S., he almost never performed outside of the country, except for a few concerts held in Canada. This was not Elvis’s decision. Supposedly, his long-time manager, Tom Parker, didn’t want to leave the U.S. because of his immigration status. He was actually born in the Netherlands Andreas Cornelis van Kuijk. Tom was afraid he wouldn’t be allowed back into the U.S. if he left. During the time period Elvis performed in Canada, no documents had to be shown when driving across the border.
During polio’s peak in 1952, almost 60,000 cases were reported with over 3,000 deaths and more than 21,000 left with some form of paralysis, primarily children. When the vaccine was released in 1955, parents rushed to get young children vaccinated, but teens and young adults were a bit more skeptical. Before his second appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show in October 1956, Elvis posed for the media while a health official vaccinated him. Though other factors probably impacted higher vaccination rates more, historians believe Elvis receiving his so publicly helped the massive effort.
Elvis was born with blonde hair. As he got older, it became darker, more of a dirty blonde or light brown. As the story goes, Elvis was a fan of actor Tony Curtis, who dyed his hair black. Elvis used shoe polish to begin coloring his hair and eventually switched to hair dye. One of the only images of Elvis with lighter hair is at Graceland, a photo taken when he served in the Army and wasn’t allowed to dye his hair. Coincidentally, actor Austin Butler also dyed his dirty blonde hair to portray Elvis in the 2022 film.
Elvis was actually considered to star in the movie version of the hit musical as Conrad Birdie, but his agent felt like it wouldn’t be a good fit since he would be parodying himself. The movie role went to Jesse Pearson, who had played Conrad in the touring production.
In 2012, a librarian in Tupelo, MS was cleaning out old books and found a book from 1948 that had been checked out by many students, including a 13-year-old Elvis Presley. The card sold at auction in 2014 for $8,000.00.
Check out one of the many Elvis resources we have! These are just a few:
The Elvis Encyclopedia by Adam Victor
Elvis Presley by Bobbie Ann Mason (she’s also from Kentucky!)