August 16, 1977
Shortly after midnight Elvis returns to Graceland from a late-night visit to the dentist. Through the early morning of the 16th he takes care of last minute tour details and relaxes with family and staff. He is to fly to Portland, Maine that night and do a show there on the 17th, then continue the scheduled tour.
He retires to his master suite at Graceland around 7:00 AM to rest for his evening flight. 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. It is announced by mid-afternoon. In a matter of hours the shock registers around the world.
Elvis' parents bought him his first guitar as a birthday gift in 1946.
Financial problems forced the Presleys to leave Tupelo for Memphis in November 1948. Elvis and his parents lived in public housing or low-rent homes in the poor neighborhoods of north Memphis.
In the summer of 1953, the first "unofficial" Elvis recording was made when Elvis stopped by the Memphis Recording Service, home of Sun Records, run by Sam Phillips. While Phillips was out, his assistant Marion Keisker helped Elvis make a demo acetate of "My Happiness" and "That's When Your Heartaches Begin."
On July 5-6, 1954, Elvis' first commercial recording session took place with Sam Phillips at Sun Records. Arthur 'Big Boy' Crudup's "That's All Right," backed with "Blue Moon of Kentucky," became the first of five singles Elvis released on the Sun label.
The first known appearance of Elvis' shaking legs took place during his first major professional performance at the Overton Park Shell in Memphis on July 30, 1954.
On October 2, 1954, Elvis made his first and only appearance on the "Grand Ole Opry."
An unimpressed audience prompted "Opry" officials to suggest that Elvis go back to driving a truck.
On October 16, 1954, Elvis appeared on the Louisiana Hayride, a live Saturday night country music radio show in Shreveport, Louisiana. During his association with Hayride, Elvis met "Colonel" Tom Parker (on January 15, 1955), a promoter and manager of country star Hank Snow.
March 26, 1955: Elvis' first television appearance on "Louisiana Hayride"
The first riot following an Elvis concert occurred on May 13, 1955 in Jacksonville, FL, after Elvis finished a show by saying, "Girls, I'll see you backstage."
In November 1955, Sam Phillips -- working through Colonel Parker -- sold Elvis' Sun contract to RCA for an unprecedented $35,000.
Two days after Elvis' 21st birthday in January 1956, he had his first recording session for RCA Records in Nashville. "Heartbreak Hotel" was the first single released on January 27. It became the first Elvis single to sell over one million copies, earning Elvis his very first gold record award.
Elvis Presley, Elvis' first RCA album released on March 23, 1956, was the first pop album to reach over $1 million in sales, earning Elvis his first gold album award.
Elvis made his first appearance in Las Vegas on April 23, 1956, but played to an older crowd that was not his core fan base at the time. He thus received only average acceptance, which is ironic given the success he experienced in Las Vegas during his later years.
After appearing on The Milton Berle Show in June and causing a national furor with his controversial and sensuous performance of "Hound Dog," Elvis appeared on The Steve Allen Show on July 1, 1956. He performed a more modest version of "Hound Dog," singing to a live Basset hound while dressed in a black tux with tails.
In August 1956, Elvis began shooting his first movie, Love Me Tender, on loan-out from Paramount to 20th Century Fox.
On September 9, 1956, Elvis made his first of three appearances on the Ed Sullivan Show, the top television program of the era, and attracted the highest ratings ever for any television variety show. During his famous third appearance on January 6, 1957, Elvis was shown from the waist up only.
"Elvis Presley Day" was proclaimed in Tupelo, Mississippi on September 26, 1956. Elvis returned home to perform two shows at the Mississippi-Alabama Fair and Dairy Show, the same fair at which he had performed at age 10. Nearly 22,000 fans attended Elvis' evening performance, more than the entire population of Tupelo.
When Elvis received his draft notice from the U.S. Army in December 1957, Paramount requested a two-month deferment so he could complete filming of his next movie, King Creole.
Gladys Presley died in Memphis on August 14, 1958 and was buried at Forest Hill Cemetery.
In September 1959, while stationed in Freidberg, Germany, Elvis met fourteen-and-a-half-year-old Priscilla Ann Beaulieu whose father was in the U.S. Air Force. They married on May 1, 1967. On February 1, 1968, Lisa Marie was born.
Elvis' last live performance until 1968 took place on March 25, 1961 at Bloch Arena in Pearl Harbor; the concert raised $62,000 for the USS Arizona Memorial Fund.
Between 1956-1972, Elvis made 33 movies, including two documentaries. He focused intently on his film career from 1961-67 when he made 18 movies during a hiatus from live performances.
Elvis' first Grammy Award is for the 1967 Gospel release, "How Great Thou Art."
On December 3, 1968, Elvis staged one of the most remarkable revivals in music history with the airing of his comeback special, "Elvis," on NBC-TV.
On July 31, 1969, Elvis returned to live performing with his concert engagement at The International Hotel in Las Vegas. His four-week stay broke all attendance records.
In July and August 1970, the first documentary about Elvis was filmed. That's The Way It Is was filmed during one of Elvis' Las Vegas concert engagements and features exclusive behind-the-scenes footage.
On January 16, 1971, Elvis was named one of the Ten Outstanding Young Men of the Nation for 1970 by the United States Junior Chamber of Commerce (The Jaycees). This national honor recognizes young men who have made great achievements in their field of endeavor.
In June 1971, a long stretch of Highway 51 South, part of which runs in front of Graceland, was officially renamed Elvis Presley Boulevard.
On August 28, 1971, Elvis received the Bing Crosby Award from the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. The award, named for its first recipient, is a special recognition from NARAS. It was later re-named the Lifetime Achievement Award. \
In March and April 1972, Elvis was filmed during a nationwide tour. The footage was later used to make Elvis on Tour, which won the Golden Globe for Best Documentary.
June 9-11, 1972, Elvis performed four sold-out concerts at Madison Square Garden, setting a record for the first performer to sell out four consecutive shows at the Garden.
In January 1973, Elvis made television and entertainment history with the "Elvis: Aloha From Hawaii" special broadcast to more than one billion viewers in 40 countries.
On October 9, 1973, Elvis and Priscilla were officially divorced.
In February 1976, Elvis held a week of recording sessions in the den of Graceland, with RCA bringing in mobile recording equipment. The sessions produced the album "From Elvis Presley Boulevard."
Elvis performed his last concert on June 26, 1977 at Market Square Arena in Indianapolis.
Elvis died of heart failure on the morning of August 16, 1977. He had been scheduled to fly to Portland, Maine for a show on August 17.
Elvis is also 69 gold, 43 platinum, 13 double platinum, 9 triple platinum, 1 quadruple platinum, 1 quintuple platinum and 1 sixfold platinum