Elvis was born January 8th, 1935. He would have been 82…he died on the 8th month…on the 16th day in 1977. Those 3 numbers total…’2,001’…the title of his theme song. Is that spooky or what?
Elvis came to Charlotte as a super star in 1973 and 1977; ’73 was the same year he did his big TV special “ALOHA FROM HAWAII.” More than 1 billion people watched it; a greater draw than the first moon walk. His shows were so well produced, he was considered the greatest stage performer of his era.
Sam Phillips was a record producer, a musician, and owned Sun Studios, where he produced mostly rhythm & blues artists in the early 50’s. Memphis was the heartbeat of this culture. The first time he heard Elvis he said to himself…”I’ve found the man who can mix the white and the black sound.”
Elvis was a prisoner of his success. He holed up in Memphis at Graceland. He bought the 23 room mansion in 1957 for $100,000. Inside is a trophy room packed with gifts and gold records…RCA memorabilia. Nearby, is a rack packed with all his stage jumpsuits.
Elvis was shy, and if it wasn’t for Sam Phillips and Tom Parker, he never would have been as big. He could sing a new sound called Rock ‘n Roll and the kids ate it up! It was a renaissance in music. In 1956, his first year of stardom, he endorsed 51 products…including a lipstick called “HEARTBREAK PINK.”