[04/13/05 - 12:00 AM]
Timeline of Significant Events in the Life of Elvis Presley as Adapted from ElviS.com

[via press release from CBS]

(Broadcast Dates: May 8 and May 11)


April 25, 1912 Gladys Love Smith is born.

April 10, 1916 Vernon Elvis Presley is born.

June 1933 Gladys Smith and Vernon Presley are married.

January 8, 1935 In Tupelo, Miss., shortly before dawn, Gladys Presley gives birth to identical twin sons, Jessie Garon and Elvis Aaron. Sadly, Jessie Garon is stillborn.

1935-1948 Elvis grows up within a close-knit, working class family in Tupelo, Miss. Elvis attends the Assembly of God Church with his family where the music and preaching register deeply within him. Other influences upon Elvis include black bluesmen in the neighborhood and country music radio programs enjoyed by his family.

1946 Elvis' parents cannot afford a bicycle that Elvis wants, so Gladys talks him into accepting a guitar instead.

Late 1948 Elvis and his parents pack their belongings in a trunk strapped to the roof of their 1939 Plymouth and move to Memphis, Tenn., in search of a better life.

1948-1953 Elvis and his parents live in public housing in the neighborhoods of north Memphis. Elvis works at various jobs to help support himself and his parents. He's also a regular audience member at the all-night white and black gospel sings that are held downtown.

June 3, 1953 Elvis graduates from L.C. Humes High School.

1953 Elvis works at Parker Machinists Shop after graduation. That summer he visits The Memphis Recording Service, home of the Sun Recordings, where he makes a demo of "My Happiness" and "That's When Your Heartaches Begin" for a cost of about $4.00.

Summer 1954 Elvis teams up with local musicians Scotty Moore (guitar) and Bill Black (bass) to create a sped-up version of Arthur "Big Boy" Crudup's "That's All Right." This song becomes the first of five singles Elvis will release on the Sun label. The group starts to play small clubs and other small-time gigs throughout the South, enjoying moderate success with the record sales and personal appearances.

Elvis' one appearance on the Grand Ole Opry doesn't go over particularly well and one of the Opry officials reportedly suggested that Elvis go back to driving a truck.

October 16, 1954 Elvis and his band appear for the first time on the Louisiana Hayride, the Grand Ole Opry's chief competitor. Elvis signs a one-year contract for 52 Saturday night appearances. During Elvis' association with the Hayride he meets "Colonel" Tom Parker, a promoter and manager.

August 15, 1955 Colonel Parker becomes Elvis' exclusive manager.

November 20, 1955 Elvis signs his first contract with RCA Records for an unprecedented $40,000 with a $5,000 bonus.

January 10, 1956 Elvis has his first session with RCA, where he records "Heartbreak Hotel."

January 27, 1956 "Heartbreak Hotel" is released by RCA and sells over 300,000 copies in its first three weeks and earns Elvis his first gold record award.

January 28, 1956 Elvis' first network television appearance occurs on "Stage Show," starring Tommy and Jimmy Dorsey on CBS.

March 13, 1956 RCA releases Elvis Presley, Elvis' first album.

April 1, 1956 Elvis performs a screen test for Paramount Studios which leads to a seven-year film contract.

June 5, 1956 Elvis appears on "The Milton Berle Show" where his racy moves gain condemnation from the "morally concerned"�but, the kids love it!

July 1, 1956 Elvis appears on "The Steve Allen Show" on NBC.

August 1956 Elvis begins shooting his first movie, "Love Me Tender."

September 9, 1956 Elvis makes the first of three appearances on "The Ed Sullivan Show," the top 10 television program of the era where he attracts the highest ratings ever for any television variety show.

November 16, 1956 Elvis' first movie, "Love Me Tender," premieres at the Paramount Theater in New York City.

January 1957 Elvis begins production of his second movie, "Loving You."

March 1957 Elvis buys Graceland Mansion for himself, his parents and his paternal grandmother.

April 1957 Elvis performs outside the United States for the first time when he appears in Toronto and Ottawa, Canada.

May 1957 Elvis begins work on his third motion picture, "Jailhouse Rock."

July 9, 1957 Elvis' second motion picture, "Loving You," premieres and quickly reaches the top ten at the box office. Hit records include the title song and the classic smash, "Teddy Bear."

August 31, 1957 Elvis appears in Vancouver�the last time he will perform in concert outside the United States.

October 17, 1957 "Jailhouse Rock," Elvis' third motion picture, premieres in Memphis, and later opens nationally in November.

November 10-11, 1957 Elvis performs shows in Hawaii for the first time.

December 1957 Elvis and family enjoy their first Christmas at Graceland where Elvis officially receives his draft notice.

Late January-Early March 1958 Elvis films his fourth motion picture, "King Creole."

March 24, 1958 Elvis is inducted into the U.S. Army and assigned serial number 53310761.

July 1958 "King Creole," Elvis' fourth motion picture, opens nationally and the reviews are the best he will ever have for his acting.

August 14, 1958 Gladys Presley passes away.

September-October 1958 Elvis boards the USS Randall and sails to Germany, arriving on October 1.

November 1959 Elvis meets Priscilla Ann Beaulieu at a party.

January 20, 1960 Elvis is promoted to Sergeant.

March 5, 1960 Elvis is officially discharged from active duty.

Late April, 1960 Elvis begins filming his fifth film, "GI Blues," for Paramount.

August-September 1960 Elvis films his sixth movie, "Flaming Star," a drama with limited music.

October 1960 The soundtrack album for "GI Blues" becomes Elvis' most successful album of his career on the Billboard charts.

November 1960 Elvis begins filming for his seventh film, "Wild in the Country."

Late March-Mid-April 1961 Elvis begins filming his eighth motion picture, "Blue Hawaii."

July 1961 Elvis films his ninth motion picture, "Follow That Dream."

October-November 1961 Elvis films his 10th motion picture, "Kid Galahad."

Late March-Late April 1962 Elvis films his 11th motion picture, "Girls! Girls! Girls!"

Late August-September 1962 Elvis films his 12th motion picture, "It Happened at the World's Fair."

Late January-February 1963 Elvis films his 13th film, "Fun in Acapulco."

July 1963 Elvis films his 14th motion picture, "Viva Las Vegas."

October 1963 Elvis films his 15th motion picture, "Kissin' Cousins."

March 1964 Elvis begins filming for his 16th motion picture, "Roustabout."

July-August 1964 Elvis shoots his 17th motion picture, "Girl Happy."

October 1964 Elvis begins shooting his 18th motion picture, "Tickle Me."

March-April 1965 Elvis begins filming for his 19th motion picture, "Harum Scarum."

May 1965 Elvis begins filming for his 20th motion picture, "Frankie and Johnny."

August 1965 Elvis records soundtrack music for his 21st motion picture, "Paradise, Hawaiian Style."

August 27, 1965 The Beatles visit with Elvis for several hours at his home in California and have an informal jam session.

February 1966 Elvis records the soundtrack music and shoots his 22nd motion picture, "Spinout."

June-September 1966 Soundtrack recording and shooting begin for Elvis' 23rd motion picture, "Double Trouble."

September 1966 Soundtrack recording and filming begin for Elvis' 24th motion picture, "Easy Come, Easy Go."

December 1966 Elvis formally proposes marriage to Priscilla.

February-April 1967 Elvis films "Clambake," his 25th movie.

May 1, 1967 Elvis and Priscilla are married in a private ceremony amongst a small group of family and friends at the Aladdin Hotel in Las Vegas, just after 9:30 AM.

June-July 1967 Soundtrack recording and filming begins for Elvis' 26th movie (to be the 27th released), "Speedway."

September-November 1967 Soundtrack recording and filming begin for Elvis' 27th movie (to be the 26th released), "Stay Away, Joe."

February 1, 1968 Priscilla gives birth to Lisa Marie Presley nine months to the day after her marriage to Elvis.

March 1968 Elvis films his 28th movie, "Live a Little, Love a Little."

June 27-30, 1968 Elvis shoots "Elvis," the television special, also known as "The '68 Special."

July-August 1968 Elvis records the theme and begins filming for his 29th movie, "Charro!"

October-December 1968 Elvis records the soundtrack and does filming for his 30th movie, "The Trouble with Girls (and How to Get into It)."

December 3, 1968 "Elvis" premieres on NBC.

March-April 1969 Elvis films his 31st, and what will turn out to be his last, acting role in a motion picture, "Change of Habit."

December 1970 Elvis' makes his famous visit to President Richard Nixon at the White House.

Late 1971-Early 1972 Elvis and Priscilla separate. Priscilla takes their daughter, Lisa Marie, with her.

July 1972 Elvis and Priscilla's separation is formalized with a looming divorce pending. Elvis has begun seeing Linda Thompson, who will be his main female companion until late 1976.

October 1972 Elvis has a Number Two pop hit with the single "Burning Love," one of his biggest records in recent years.

November 1972 "Elvis on Tour" opens to good reviews and good box office performance in theaters. Its producers will receive the Golden Globe Award for Best Documentary.

March 1973 The Colonel and Elvis sell off his entire recording catalog to RCA.

April 4, 1973 Elvis makes television and entertainment history with his "Elvis: Aloha from Hawaii � via Satellite" special. Elvis is in top form physically and vocally in, arguably, his greatest career moment.

October 9, 1973 Elvis and Priscilla formalize their divorce. However, they will remain close friends. Though Priscilla has custody of Lisa Marie, Elvis may freely visit his daughter.

October 15 - November 1, 1973 Elvis is hospitalized in Memphis for recurring pneumonia, pleurisy, an enlarged colon and hepatitis. Additionally, Elvis battles an increasing dependency upon prescription drugs.

January 29 - February 14, 1975 Elvis is again hospitalized with health and prescription drug issues.

Early November 1976 Elvis and Linda Thompson, his steady girlfriend since 1972, split up.

Late November 1976 Elvis meets Ginger Alden who will be his steady girlfriend until his death.

June 17-26, 1977 Elvis tours in concert. Shows on June 19, 20 and 21 are recorded by RCA for an upcoming live album and are videotaped for an upcoming CBS Television Network special. The camera gives a shocking picture of Elvis' poor health in his final days, but his voice remains strong.

June 26, 1977 Elvis performs his last concert at Indianapolis' Market Square Arena.

August 16, 1977 Shortly after midnight, Elvis returns to Graceland from a late-night visit to the dentist. Through the early morning of the 16th, he takes care of last minute tour details and relaxes with family and staff in preparation for a concert in Portland, Maine the next day. He retires to his master suite at Graceland around 7:00 AM to rest for his evening flight. By late morning, Elvis Presley is found dead of heart failure.

  [april 2005]  


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