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Some books about Elvis

Elvis Presley - A life in music
ELVIS - Day by day
Last train to Memphis
Elvis Presley - Careles love
Elvis & Me by Priscilla Presley

Elvis Aron Presley (1935-1977) was born in Tupelo, Mississippi, about 150 kilometers from Memphis, Tennessee. He was introduced to music by his parents, who sang Gospel in the local church. At the age of only ten, he took part in a contest for amateurs at the Mississippi-Alabama Fair and Dairy Show, singing "OLD SHEP ". He won second prize and, with his first guitar, a birthday present, began strumming country music and a little blues. In 1948, his family moved to Memphis, where he finished his studies and began work as a truck driver for the Crown Electric Company. As he grew up, he was influenced by country and western singers and by black musicians, imitating their dress and hair style. In the spring of 1953, he decided to make a record (for a fee) at the Memphis Recording Service, owned by SAM PHILLIPS, the head of SUN RECORDS. He recorded two songs: "MY HAPPINESS ", by the INK SPOTS, and "THAT'S WHEN YOUR HEARTACHES BEGIN". A year later, he cut two more: "CASUAL LOVE AFFAIR " and "I'LL NEVER STAND IN YOR WAY ". One supposes that Presley cut the second disk to get Phillips to notice him. Some time later, Phillips called him to record a ballad entitled "WITHOUT YOU". The result was nothing exceptional, but he made his point.
Phillips teamed him up with two veteran musicians, SCOTTY MOORE and BILL BLACK, with whom he rehearsed over the weekend. These sessions produced, in July of 1954, "THAT'S ALL RIGHT MAMA" and "BLUE MOON OF KENTUCKY", enormously successful versions of legendary American classics. The disk came out on July 19 and soared to third place on the local charts. Quitting his job at CROWN, he formed the BLUE MOON BOYS with MOORE and BLACK. On September 25, a second single came out, with "GOOD ROCKIN'TONIGHT" and "DON'T CARE IF THE SUN DON'T SHINE". It was successful enough to get him to the Grand Ole' Opry in Nashville. Even though the reception he got wasn't particularly enthusiastic, he began to sing regularly in public and increased his popularity in the Southern states. He appeared in over 200 oncerts between 1954 and 1955 and, at a performance on April 16, he met Colonel Parker, the figure who would do the most to create the "Presley legend". At the end of 1955, Parker got him an extremely lucrative contract with RCA and, in January 1956, Presley cut a new single, "HEARTBREAK HOTEL", which he would sing on his first national television appearance, on the program STAGE SHOW, conducted by the DORSEY brothers. The record sold millions of copies, and subsequent television appearances triggered the myth of Elvis and of Rock 'n' Roll throughout the entire United States. He made the BILLBOARD charts 11 times in 1956 (a record only he himself would break, in 1957), with "I WAS THE ONE", "BLUE SUEDE SHOES" and "DON'T BE CRUEL", among others. The Presley sound gradually took on more folk-like aspects: "LOVE ME TENDER " is a lovely ballad based on "Aura Lee", a folk song from 1861. In just a few days, "LOVE ME TENDER" received over a million advance orders, and RCA had a hard time printing all of the copiesrequested. In 1957, Elvis made his acting debut in two films, LOVING YOU and JAILHOUSE ROCK, both very successful at the box office. Two LPs and a splendid Christmas album followed. Meanwhile, Colonel Parker was taking full advantage of the singer's popularity, organizing a sales organization that would make enormous profits by selling wallets, t-shirts, belts, lipstick and all kinds of other gadgets and souvenirs.
On March 24, 1958, after finishing his fourth film, KING CREOLE, Presley was drafted and began military service in Arkansas. He was transferred to Texas a few months later, where he stayed until September 22, when he boarded the USS Randall en route to Bremerhaven, Germany. He was away from the music scene and from the recording studios for two years, but his record company issued previously recorded material, keeping his image alive and keeping him on the charts with "DON'T", "Wear My Ring Around Your Neck", "Hard Headed Woman", "A Fool Such As I", A BIG HUNK OF LOVE, etc. His stint in the Army eded on March 1, 1960.
He returned home and received his official welcome with an appearance on the Frank Sinatra show. Soon after, even though a series of event would mark the end of Rock 'n' Roll and of its best performers (LITTLE RICHARD, JERRY LEE LEWIS, GENE VINCENT, BUDDY HOLLY etc...), Presley went back into the recording studio. His new single, with STUCK ON YOU and  FAME AND FORTUNE, soon became number one on the charts. The same would happen with his next three singles, IT'S NOW OR NEVER, ARE YOU LONESOME TONIGHT, and "Surrender". He also continued to star in a variety of movies, such as G.I. BLUES (1960), a light comedy; FLAMING STAR (1960), a western; and WILD IN THE COUNTRY (1961), the most demanding. But it was BLUE HAWAII (1961) that discovered the formula that would be used in his later films, all shot in well-known tourist locations: "fight for your future, win the girl you love and live happily ever after". Elvis's last live appearances (February 25 and March 25, 1961) were in MEMPHIS and inHAWAII: two benefit performances to raise money for the USS ARIZONA, sunk during the attack at PEARL HARBOUR. This explains the extraordinary success of his films, since for many years they would be the only way to see him sing. Elvis made 27 films during the '60s, including STAY AWAY JOE(1968),CHARRO(1969), VIVA LAS VEGAS(1964), EASY COME EASY GO(1967), and LIVE A LITTLE LOVE A LITTLE (1968), in addition to those already mentioned. 1960 saw two excellent albums: ELVIS IS BACK, one of his best, with "Fever", "Like a Baby", etc., and HIS HAND IN MINE, composed entirely of Gospel music. Nearly all of his recordings in the following years would be for movies. In 1967, HOW GREAT THOU ART, a second beautiful Gospel album, was released. "BIG BOSS MAN" and "U.S.MALE" marked Presley's return to his first love: Rock 'n' Roll.
In an attempt to revive his fame, THE KING called on the best musicians of the day and recorded, in a studio and before a live audience, what are known as the BURBANK SESSIONS. He hadn't sung inpublic for seven years, and this reappearance would result in an important event: on December 3, 1968, the "ELVIS NBC TV SPECIAL" was broadcast on national television. This proved a decisive moment in his career. He abandoned his sound of the last few years and decided to be the King of Rock 'n' Roll once again. On July 31, 1969, he played the INTERNATIONAL HOTEL in LAS VEGAS to great public and critical acclaim. This was the first of a long series of performances in the 1970s that brought him back to his public. Three excellent singles, "IN THE GHETTO", "SUSPICIOUS MINDS" and "DON'T CRY DADDY", made the charts between July and December. Thanks to these new successes, Elvis began an intense and frenetic series of live appearances (over 1000 concerts in 5 years). One of these, entitled ELVIS: ALOHA FROM HAWAII, on January 14, 1973, was broadcast worldwide via satellite to an audience of a billion viewers. An historic album was made of this concert: the first quadraphonic album to sell more than a million copis. The enormous number of releases during this period obviously came from live recordings. There are few movies. The only films are two documentaries on the singer's life on tour, entitled "ELVIS, THAT'S THE WAY IT IS" and "ELVIS ON TOUR". Presley began to feel trapped in his own myth, becoming a virtual recluse, surrounded by an impenetrable court of relatives, friends and assorted shady characters who wouldn't allow him to lead a normal life. His divorce from his wife Priscilla in 1973 marked the beginning of the end. Alcohol and drug abuse took over and led to frequent bouts of depression. Overeating and drinking made him so heavy that he had to resort to exhausting weight loss treatments. These made his condition even worse, and on several occasions he needed to be hospitalized. On February 12, 1977, even with his precarious physical condition, he began a new tour which ended on June 26 at the MARKET SQUARE ARENA in INDIANAPOLIS. The TV special "ELVIS IN CONCERT" would be taken from this last tour, progrmmed to air on CBS on October 3. Deciding to take a rest from performing, he returned to GRACELAND, his home in MEMPHIS.

But at about 2 o'clock in the afternoon on August 16, he was taken to the emergency room of BAPTIST MEMORIAL HOSPITAL, where, at 3:30 PM on August 16, 1977, the doctors declared him dead due to cardiac arrhythmia.