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Suspicious Minds reached the top of the charts - Elvis' first U.

Movie vs. Reality: The Real Story of the Von Trapp Family

Cassandra Peterson, later television's Elvira, met Elvis during this period in Las Vegas, where she was working as showgirl. She recalls of their encounter, 'He was so anti-drug when I met him. I mentioned to him that I smoked marijuana, and he was just appalled'. He said, 'Don't ever do that again'. Elvis was not only deeply opposed to recreational drugs, he also rarely drank. Several of his family members had been alcoholics, a fate he intended to avoid. Elvis returned to the International early in for the first of the year's two month-long engagements, performing two shows a night.

Recordings from these shows were issued on the album On Stage. In late February, Elvis performed six attendance-record - breaking shows at the Houston Astrodome. Elvis was by now performing in a jumpsuit, which would become a trademark of his live act. Elvis had been the target of many threats since the s, often without his knowledge.

The FBI took the threat seriously and security was stepped up for the next two shows. Elvis went onstage with a Derringer in his right boot and a. The album That's the Way It Is , produced to accompany the documentary and featuring both studio and live recordings, marked a stylistic shift. As music historian John Robertson notes, 'The authority of Elvis' singing helped disguise the fact that the album stepped decisively away from the American-roots inspiration of the Memphis sessions towards a more middle-of-the-road sound. After the end of his International engagement on September 7, Elvis embarked on a week-long concert tour, largely of the South, his first since Another week-long tour, of the West Coast, followed in November.

On December 21, , Elvis engineered a bizarre meeting with President Richard Nixon at the White House, where he expressed his patriotism and his contempt for the hippie drug culture. He asked Nixon for a Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs badge , to add to similar items he had begun collecting and to signify official sanction of his patriotic efforts. Nixon, who apparently found the encounter awkward, expressed a belief that Elvis could send a positive message to young people and that it was therefore important he 'retain his credibility'.

Elvis told Nixon that The Beatles , whose songs he regularly performed in concert during the era, exemplified what he saw as a trend of anti-Americanism and drug abuse in popular culture. Elvis and his friends had had a four-hour get-together with The Beatles five years earlier. The U. Three new, non-movie Elvis studio albums were released in , as many as had come out over the previous eight years.

Best received by critics was Elvis Country , a concept record that focused on genre standards. A date tour commenced with an unprecedented four consecutive sold-out shows at New York's Madison Square Garden. The evening concert on July 10 was recorded and issued in LP form a week later. After the tour, the single Burning Love was released - Elvis' last top ten hit on the U. The Presleys separated on February 23, , after Priscilla disclosed her relationship with Mike Stone, a karate instructor Elvis had recommended to her.

Five months later, Elvis' new girlfriend, Linda Thompson , a songwriter and one-time Memphis beauty queen, moved in with him. Elvis and his wife filed for divorce on August The first show served as a practice run and backup should technical problems affect the live broadcast two days later. Aired as scheduled on January 14, 'Aloha from Hawaii' was the first global concert satellite broadcast, reaching approximately 1.

Elvis' costume became the most recognized example of the elaborate concert garb with which his latter-day persona became closely associated. As described by Bobbie Ann Mason, 'At the end of the show, when he spreads out his American Eagle cape , with the full stretched wings of the eagle studded on the back, he becomes a god figure'. The accompanying double album, released in February, went to number one and eventually sold over 5 million copies in the United States. It proved to be Elvis' last U. At a midnight show the same month, four men rushed onto the stage in an apparent attack.

Security men leapt to Elvis' defense, and the singer's karate instinct took over as he ejected one invader from the stage himself. Elvis' divorce took effect on October 9, He was now becoming increasingly unwell. On July 13, , Vernon Presley - who had become deeply involved in his son's financial affairs - fired ' Memphis Mafia ' bodyguards Red West Elvis' friend since the s , Sonny West , and David Hebler, citing the need to 'cut back on expenses'.

Elvis was in Palm Springs at the time.

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An associate of Elvis', John O'Grady, argued that the bodyguards were dropped because their rough treatment of fans had prompted too many lawsuits. He proposed to Alden and gave her an engagement ring two months later, though several of his friends later claimed that he had no serious intention of marrying again. RCA, which had enjoyed a steady stream of product from Elvis for over a decade, grew anxious as his interest in spending time in the studio waned. After a December session that produced 18 songs, enough for almost two albums, he did not enter the studio in All three of his competitive Grammy wins - out of 14 total nominations - were for gospel recordings.

Elvis returned to the studio in Hollywood in March , recording 10 songs that would form the Elvis Today album, his last studio album. In , RCA sent a mobile studio to Graceland that made possible two full-scale recording sessions at Elvis' home. Even in that comfortable context, the recording process was now a struggle for him. For all the concerns of his label and manager, in studio sessions between July and October , Elvis recorded virtually the entire contents of six albums.

Though he was no longer a major presence on the pop charts, five of those albums entered the top five of the country chart, and three went to number one: Promised Land , From Elvis Presley Boulevard, Memphis, Tennessee , and Moody Blue He immediately rechristened it the Lisa Marie. But this wasn't just an impulse purchase of some sort of ultimate flying Cadillac. The Lisa Marie in Flight. Elvis Presley died at Graceland on August 16, He was 42 years old. Through the early morning of the 16th Elvis took care of last minute tour details and relaxed with family and staff.

He was to fly to Portland, Maine that night and do a show there on the 17th, then continue the scheduled tour.

Pianist James Rhodes wins right to publish autobiography telling of abuse

Elvis retired to his master suite at Graceland around AM to rest for his evening flight. By late morning, Elvis Presley had died of heart failure. In a matter of hours the shock registered around the world. Read more. Elvis Presley in Charro! Elvis starred in 33 movies , made history with his television appearances and specials, and knew great acclaim through his many, often record-breaking, live concert performances on tour and in Las Vegas. Globally, he has sold over one billion records , more than any other artist.

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His American sales have earned him gold, platinum or multi-platinum awards for different albums and singles, far more than any other artist. Without any of the special privileges his celebrity status might have afforded him, he honorably served his country in the U.

His talent, good looks, sensuality, charisma, and good humor endeared him to millions, as did the humility and human kindness he demonstrated throughout his life. Known the world over by his first name, he is regarded as one of the most important figures of twentieth century popular culture.

Elvis died at his Memphis home, Graceland, on August 16, It is estimated that Elvis Presley has sold over one billion record units worldwide , more than anyone in record industry history. In America alone, Elvis has had different albums and singles that have been certified gold, platinum or multi-platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America RIAA , with more certifications expected as research into his past record sales continues and as current sales go on.

Research is also underway to document his record sales achievements in other countries. Elvis Presley's trophy room at Graceland is filled with gold and platinum records and awards of all kinds from around the world. It is interesting to note that, except for a handful of movie soundtrack songs, Elvis did not record in other languages, and, except for five shows in three Canadian cities in , he did not perform in concert outside the United States.

Still, his recordings and films enjoyed, and continue to enjoy, popularity all over the globe, and he is known throughout the world by his first name. Of these, were in the top forty, 40 were in the top ten, and 18 went to number one. His number one singles spent a total of 80 weeks at number one. He has also had over 90 charted albums with ten of them reaching number one.

These figures are only for the pop charts, and only in America. Elvis Presley's three network television specials : Elvis , Elvis : Aloha from Hawaii, via Satellite , and Elvis in Concert - stand among the most highly rated specials of their time. His special, Elvis , is one of the most critically acclaimed music specials of all time. His special, Elvis : Aloha from Hawaii, via Satellite , was seen in 40 countries by 1 billion to 1.

It was seen on television in more American homes than man's first walk on the moon. Mindy Campbell flight attendant. When Elvis returned to the live stage after the success of his television special and the wrap-up of his Hollywood movie contract obligations, he opened at the International Hotel in Las Vegas in the summer of for a 4-week, show engagement that broke all existing Las Vegas attendance records.

He returned to the International a few months later in early , during the slow winter season in Vegas, and broke his own attendance record. Right after that came a record-breaking six-show engagement at the Astrodome in Houston, where Elvis played to a total of , people. Elvis took his elaborate live show on the road in the latter part of for his first concert tour since Throughout the 's Elvis toured America, breaking box office records right and left, and continued to play an engagement or two per year in Las Vegas and Lake Tahoe.

Among the outstanding highlights of this period was in , when Elvis performed four sold-out shows at Madison Square Garden. During his 'concert years' from to , Elvis gave nearly 1, concert performances. Elvis was 36 years old at the time. Five of Elvis' recordings have been inducted into the NARAS Hall of Fame - his original recordings of Hound Dog inducted and Heartbreak Hotel inducted , his original recording of That's All Right inducted , his original recording of Suspicious Minds inducted , and his original recording of Don't Be Cruel inducted The Hall of Fame recognizes 'early recordings of lasting, qualitative or historical significance', with many inductees being recordings that were created and released before the inception of NARAS and the Grammy Awards.

This award has been given since and has honored men of achievement in all areas of endeavor - sports, government, science, medicine, entertainment, etc. It recognizes outstanding personal achievement and the exemplification of the opportunities available in the free enterprise system, along with patriotism, humanitarianism, and community service.

In the 's, eligibility was opened to women as well as men, and the award has since been presented to the year's Ten Outstanding Young Americans. Elvis Presley was famous for giving away Cadillacs , cash and jewelry, often on the spur of the moment. But, the true depth and breadth of his generosity and community involvement is not so widely known. Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor. The resulting publicity gave new life to the fund-raising effort, which had, by then, lost its momentum.

The memorial opened a year later. Audience tickets for his Aloha from Hawaii television special and its pre-broadcast rehearsal show carried no price, as each audience member was asked to pay whatever he or she could. Most of Elvis' philanthropic endeavors received no publicity at all. Throughout his adult life, for friends, for family, and for total strangers, he quietly paid hospital bills, bought homes, supported families, paid off debts, and much more.

Elvis' legacy of generosity continues through the work of the Elvis Presley Charitable Foundation, which is the philanthropic branch of Elvis Presley Enterprises , Inc. The tradition of giving also continues through the work of the Elvis fan clubs worldwide, most of which are heavily involved in charitable endeavors in Elvis' memory. The Elvis Stamp. In , the U. Postal Service announced that Elvis' image would be used for a commemorative postage stamp. The Postal Service narrowed the artwork choices down to two images - one of Elvis in the 's as a sizzling young rocker, and one of him as a still-svelte concert superstar in his Aloha from Hawaii special.

In an unprecedented move, the USPS put the decision to the American people and distributed ballots coast to coast. Over 1. The stamp was released on January 8, , with extravagant first day of issue ceremonies at Graceland. The Elvis stamp is the most widely publicized stamp issue in the history of the U. Postal Service, and it is the top selling commemorative postage stamp of all time. The USPS printed million of them, three times the usual print run for a commemorative stamp.

Several countries outside the USA also have issued Elvis stamps over the years. The W. Handy Award from the Blues Foundation in Memphis recognized Elvis for 'keeping the blues alive in his music - rock and roll'. In , Elvis was honored with the first posthumous presentation of the Award of Merit by the American Music Awards, With that honor, Elvis is the only person, so far, to become a member of all three of these halls of fame - Rock and Roll, Country and Gospel.

Currently, there are over active Elvis Presley fan clubs worldwide. Elvis' popularity is at an all-time high, and his legacy continues to reach new audiences. Half of Graceland's visitorship is age 35 and under. On August 16, , Elvis Presley, via video, starred in an extravagant concert production titled Elvis in Concert '97 at the Mid-South Coliseum in Memphis, Tennessee, accompanied live on stage by over thirty of his former band mates and the Memphis Symphony Orchestra.

The show played before a capacity crowd of fans who had come to Memphis from around the world to commemorate the twentieth anniversary of Elvis' death. Elvis broke the Mid-South Coliseum's all-time record dollar figure for box office sales. By being the first performer ever to headline a live concert tour while no longer living, Elvis made history again.


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The August tour included the excitement of Elvis' 'return' to the Las Vegas Hilton with an eight-show engagement. The show continues to tour periodically. Elvis was a genius. He didn't express himself the way the middle classes do, which is with word play and being able to explain his actions and reactions. He acted on gut instinct and expressed himself by the way he held the microphone, by the way he moved his hips, by the way that he sang down the microphone.

That was his genius I believe the essence of any performer is gut instinct Because it's all in you, it's instinct. An extraordinary compass- the so-called register-, and a very wide range of vocal color have something to do with this divergence of opinion. The voice covers two octaves and a third, from the baritone low-G to the tenor high B, with an upward extension in falsetto to at least a D flat.

Presley's best octave is in the middle, D-flat to D-flat, granting an extra full step up or down. Call him a high baritone. That A-note is hit right on the nose, and it is rendered less astonishing only by the number of tracks where he lands easy and accurate B-flats. Moreover, he has not been confined to one type of vocal production. In ballads and country songs he belts out full-voiced high G's and A's that an opera baritone might envy. The Trapp Family Singers on tour in Had they scaled the Alps in real life, however, the von Trapps would have crossed into Nazi Germany, not neutral Switzerland, which was approximately miles away.

Salzburg does not border on Switzerland! Salzburg residents saw off the captain, a pregnant Maria and the nine von Trapp children who were traveling with suitcases in tow under the guise of a family vacation in Italy. They left just in time; the next day the Austrian borders were sealed. In actuality, the eldest von Trapp child was not going-onyear-old Liesl, but Rupert, who was born in and a practicing physician by the time the family fled Austria in In the film, all the names of the von Trapp children were changed.

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