Elvis Presley’s Birth
Elvis Aaron was born in Tupelo on 8 January 1935. (Yes, he would be 74, if still alive.) His mother, Gladys, was 21; his father, Vernon, was only 18. Elvis had a twin brother, christened Jesse Garon, who was still-born.
Elvis Presley’s Hair
The familiar glossy black hair was the result of black dye. Elvis had mousy brown hair, sometimes described as ‘dirty blond’. He started to dye his hair very early I his career, something quite unusual for a young man in that era.
He was a fan of actor Tony Curtis and copied his ‘ducktail’ hairstyle, with the modification of sweeping the front upward. Elvis fashion.com suggests that Elvis simply followed the trend of poor white truck drivers in his area He used three types of wax to make his hair greasy and to ensure it would fall across his face on demand.
Elvis Presley’s Clothes
Early in his career, in the days before the gaudy comeback spangled jump suits, Elvis showed his ‘rebellious’ nature by choosing to wear clothes more often associated with African-Americans. Indeed, he shopped for clothes at Lansky’s on Beale St, which had a predominantly African-American clientele. That, and the unorthodox long sideburns set him aside from other performers of his generation.
Elvis Presley’s First Guitar
It is on record that when Elvis got his first guitar at age 11 from Tulepo Hardware, he had actually wanted to spend his hard-earned pocket money on a rifle. His mother was keen for him to try a guitar, and offered to contribute money to sweet talk him into it. Mr Forrest L. Bobo, an employee of the store, recalls the day and managed to acquire and retain the battered old guitar, even, he claims, resisting a million dollar offer for it from Gracelands.
Elvis Presley’s First Band
Elvis auditioned as singer for an exisiting country group called the Starlite Wranglers , whose principals, guitarist Scotty Moore and bassist Bill Black became Elvis’ long-time band members. According to scottymoore.net, he sang That’s Alright, Momma, and a new group The Blue Moon Boys was born, with Elvis as frontman.
Above all, Elvis became so legendary because he was a showman who could woo an audience and who developed a persona he later found it hard to live up to. The Presley phenomenon churns on at his home, Gracelands, and in the thousands of Elvis impersonators around the world.