Elvis, the younger years, not only for him but also for me. I was 9 when Elvis died and to me it felt like losing a close family member, His music meant a lot to me in my younger years and even to this day.
Born on January 8,1935 Elvis Aaron Presley was born as part of a twin. Unfortunately his twin brother Jessie Garon Presley did not survive the birth.
Elvis was haunted by this his entire life. His mother Gladys used to say Elvis had the energy of 2 people.
For Elvis Presley, childhood and adolescence were difficult and often involved working to help the family with finances. He picked up music early from local gospel groups and picked up the guitar when he was only 11 years old.
Presley was born on January 8, 1935 in Tupelo, Mississippi, to Gladys Love (née Smith; 1912–1958) and Vernon Elvis Presley (1916–1979), in the two-room house built by Vernon’s father in preparation for the child’s birth. Jesse Garon Presley, his identical twin brother, was delivered stillborn 35 minutes before his own birth. Jesse was buried in an unmarked grave at Priceville Cemetery in Tupelo
Elvis grew up within a close-knit, working class family, consisting of his parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins, who all live near one another in Tupelo. There is little money, but Vernon and Gladys do their best to provide for their son, who is the center of their lives.
They moved from one house to another in Tupelo. Elvis attends the Assembly of God Church with his family, and the music and preaching register deeplywith Elvis Presley. Childhood influences include black blues-men in the neighborhood and country music radio programs enjoyed by his family.
In September 1941, Presley entered first grade at East Tupelo Consolidated, where his instructors regarded him as “average”.He was encouraged to enter a singing contest after impressing his schoolteacher with a rendition of Red Foley’s country song “Old Shep” during morning prayers. The contest, held at the Mississippi-Alabama Fair and Dairy Show on October 3, 1945, was his first public performance. Ten-year-old Presley was dressed as a cowboy; he stood on a chair to reach the microphone and sang “Old Shep”. He recalled placing fifth.
A few months later, Presley received his first guitar for his birthday; he had hoped for something else—by different accounts, either a bicycle or a rifle. Over the following year, he received basic guitar lessons from two of his uncles and the new pastor at the family’s church. Presley recalled, “I took the guitar, and I watched people, and I learned to play a little bit. But I would never sing in public. I was very shy about it.”
In November 1948, the family moved to Memphis, Tennessee. After residing for nearly a year in rooming houses, they were granted a two-bedroom apartment in the public housing complex known as the Lauderdale Courts.Enrolled at L. C. Humes High School, Presley received only a C in music in eighth grade.
When his music teacher informed him that he did not have an aptitude for singing, he brought in his guitar the next day and sang a recent hit, “Keep Them Cold Icy Fingers Off Me”, in an effort to prove otherwise. A classmate later recalled that the teacher “agreed that Elvis was right when he said that she didn’t appreciate his kind of singing.” He was usually too shy to perform openly, and was occasionally bullied by classmates who viewed him as a “mama’s boy”. In 1950, he regularly began practicing guitar under the tutelage of Jesse Lee Denson, a neighbor two-and-a-half years his senior. They and three other boys—including two future rockabilly pioneers, brothers Dorsey and Johnny Burnette—formed a loose musical collective that played frequently around the Courts.
That September, he began ushering at Loew’s State Theater.Other jobs followed, including Precision Tool, Loew’s again, and MARL Metal Products.
Elvis worked at Parker Machinists Shop right after graduation. That summer, he dropped by The Memphis Recording Service, home of the Sun label, and makes a demo acetate of “My Happiness” and “That’s When Your Heartaches Begin” for a cost of about $4.00 asa birthday present for his mother, Gladys. Sam Phillips recorded Elvis singing “My Happiness” and “That’s When Your Heartaches Begin,” and afterwards tells his assistant Marion Keisker something that made her write down in her notes, “Good ballad singer. Hold.”
The rest is history.
Finishing with one of my favourite Elvis songs.
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