Elvis Presley

Elvis Presley: The Ultimate Timeline of His Life and Legacy

Elvis Aaron Presley, the name evokes a visceral response, a potent mix of nostalgia, admiration, and a touch of disbelief. From his humble beginnings in Tupelo, Mississippi to his legendary status as the King of Rock and Roll, Elvis Presley’s life and legacy continue to resonate across generations. This timeline delves into the key moments that shaped his extraordinary journey, examining the highs and lows, the triumphs and tragedies that made him a cultural icon.

Elvis Presley: The Ultimate Timeline of His Life and Legacy

History of Elvis Presley Timeline

Early Years (1935-1954): The Birth of a Star

  • January 8, 1935: Elvis Aaron Presley is born in Tupelo, Mississippi, to Vernon and Gladys Presley. He has a twin brother, Jesse Garon, who is stillborn.
  • 1941: The family moves to a small house in the nearby town of Humes, Mississippi.
  • 1945: Elvis attends Humes High School and receives his first guitar for his 11th birthday. At this time, he starts listening to country and gospel music, laying the foundations for his unique sound.
  • 1948: The Presley family relocates to Memphis, Tennessee in search of a better life. Elvis attends Humes High School and joins the choir.
  • 1953: After graduating from high school, Elvis works various jobs and continues to pursue his passion for music. He records a demo at Sun Records, but it goes unnoticed.
  • 1954: At the age of 19, Elvis walks into Sun Records in Memphis to record a song for his mother’s birthday. Sam Phillips, the label owner, recognizes his raw talent and asks him to return. He records “My Happiness” and “That’s All Right,” which becomes a local hit.

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Elvis Presley: The Ultimate Timeline of His Life and Legacy

The Rise to Fame (1955-1957): The Birth of Rock and Roll

  • July 1954: “That’s All Right” is played on local radio stations, garnering attention and leading to Elvis’ first live performance at the Overton Park Shell in Memphis.
  • December 1954: Elvis signs with RCA Records, who buys out his contract from Sun Records for $40,000.
  • January 1956: Elvis releases his first single with RCA, “Heartbreak Hotel,” which becomes a national hit. He also makes his first TV appearance on “Stage Show.”
  • March 1956: Elvis’ self-titled debut album is released and reaches number one on the charts.
  • April 1956: Elvis makes his first movie, “Love Me Tender,” and appears on “The Milton Berle Show,” where his provocative dance moves cause controversy.
  • September 1956: Elvis performs on “The Ed Sullivan Show,” drawing over 60 million viewers and solidifying his status as a cultural phenomenon.
  • October 1956: His second album, “Elvis,” is released and reaches number one on the charts.
  • November 1956: Elvis receives his draft notice and begins his two-year stint in the United States Army. He is stationed in Germany.
  • October 1957: Elvis’ third album, “Elvis’ Christmas Album,” is released and becomes a holiday classic.

Elvis Presley: The Ultimate Timeline of His Life and Legacy

The Movie Star Years (1958-1967): From Icon to Actor

  • February 1958: Elvis returns from the army and resumes his music career. He releases his fourth album, “King Creole.”
  • August 1958: Elvis’ mother, Gladys, dies of a heart attack at the age of 46. This event deeply affects Elvis, and he turns to prescription drugs for comfort.
  • March 1960: Elvis begins filming his first movie since returning from the army, “G.I. Blues.”
  • May 1963: Elvis’ daughter, Lisa Marie Presley, is born.
  • December 1963: Elvis’ movie, “Fun in Acapulco,” is released.
  • March 1966: His 20th movie, “Frankie and Johnny,” is released.
  • November 1967: “Clambake,” Elvis’ 25th movie, is released.
  • December 1967: Elvis marries Priscilla Beaulieu in Las Vegas.
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The Comeback (1968-1973): A Return to Music and Live Performances

  • June 1968: Elvis records his comeback special, “Elvis,” which airs on NBC and reintroduces him to a new generation of fans.
  • January 1969: Elvis’ first live performance since 1961 takes place at the International Hotel in Las Vegas.
  • February 1970: Elvis’ first documentary film, “Elvis: That’s the Way It Is,” is released.
  • April 1972: Elvis performs four sold-out shows at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
  • October 1973: Elvis’ third documentary film, “Elvis on Tour,” is released.
  • November 1973: Elvis makes history by becoming the first solo artist to have four top ten singles in the same year, including “Burning Love” and “Suspicious Minds.”

Elvis Presley: The Ultimate Timeline of His Life and Legacy

Final Years (1974-1977): The End of an Era

In the final years of Elvis Presley’s life, from 1974 to 1977, the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll faced a number of challenges that would ultimately lead to his untimely death at the age of 42. These years were marked by declining health, personal struggles, and a decline in his career.

One of the major factors that contributed to Elvis’s decline during this period was his deteriorating health. Years of prescription drug abuse had taken a toll on his body, leading to weight gain, fatigue, and other health problems. His performances began to suffer as a result, with many fans and critics noting a decline in his vocal abilities and stage presence.

Despite his health issues, Elvis continued to tour and record music throughout these years. He embarked on several tours, including a series of concerts in Las Vegas and a tour of the United States. While these tours were financially successful, they also took a toll on Elvis’s health and well-being.

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Elvis Presley: The Ultimate Timeline of His Life and Legacy

In addition to his health problems, Elvis also faced personal challenges during this time. His marriage to Priscilla Presley had ended in divorce in 1973, leaving him feeling lonely and isolated. He became increasingly dependent on prescription drugs to cope with his emotional pain, further exacerbating his health problems.

As his health declined and his personal life unraveled, Elvis’s career also began to falter. His albums and singles were no longer topping the charts as they had in the past, and his popularity waned among younger audiences. Despite this, Elvis remained a beloved figure in the music industry, with loyal fans continuing to support him through his struggles.

Elvis Presley: The Ultimate Timeline of His Life and Legacy

Tragically, Elvis Presley’s life came to an end on August 16, 1977, when he was found dead at his home, Graceland, in Memphis, Tennessee. The official cause of death was ruled as a heart attack, likely brought on by his long-standing health issues and drug abuse.

The death of Elvis Presley marked the end of an era in music history. He was a cultural icon whose influence on rock ‘n’ roll and popular music is still felt today. Despite his personal struggles and untimely death, Elvis’s legacy continues to live on through his music and the impact he had on generations of musicians and fans around the world.


Elvis Presley’s life was one of extraordinary talent and fame, but also one of tragedy and struggles. His impact on music and popular culture cannot be overstated, and his legacy continues to live on through his iconic music, movies, and image. The ultimate timeline of his life shows a journey that took him from a humble beginning to becoming an international superstar, with highs and lows along the way. Elvis remains the King of Rock and Roll, and his influence will continue to be felt for generations to come.

Elvis Presley: The Ultimate Timeline of His Life and Legacy

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