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The Ultimate Guide to Elvis

An in-depth look at the King's life, career, music, and legacy


Elvis Presley, 1956

Elvis Presley, 1956

source: marksimpson.com
The "King of Rock and Roll" had humble roots in the American South, but from them went on to embody the American Dream, becoming nothing less than the most popular entertainer the world has ever seen. And he brought a revolutionary musical style with him that was only exaggerated in cultural impact by his almost supernatural magnetism, his remarkably flexible voice, and a personal style that also unselfconsciously broke down barriers.

His Life

From Tupelo, Mississippi to Memphis to Hollywood and Vegas, Elvis' story is a microcosm of the opportunities afforded to a man in postwar America -- but his devotion to many different indigenous cultures made him a perceived threat to the status quo.
  • Sun Records Elvis' ticket to stardom, Sun Records was the label that helped define rockabilly, produced at least a half dozen of rock's most important stars, and also began rock and roll itself at least twice.
  • Elvis Presley Historical Timeline A year-by-year guide, starting the year he made his first record (1954), and detailing all the important events in the King's life.
  • 30 Things You Didn't Know About Elvis You may know about the swiveling hips, the Cadillacs, the Jungle Room, and the peanut-butter-and-banana sandwiches, but how much do you know about the seemingly trivial (but actually quite fascinating) minutiae lurking behind the headlines? This collection of little-known facts paints a broader portrait of Elvis.
  • The Elvis Death FAQ Got a question about the King of Rock and Roll's untimely demise, including the mystery surrounding his cause of death and the persistent myth that he never passed away at all? This FAQ can help.

His Music

Though not the first or only American to mix various musical styles into one singularity that would come to be called "rock and roll," Elvis Presley may have had greater command of more styles of popular music than any other musician of his day -- white or black.
  • Elvis Recording Sessions All the King's recording sessions, in order by date, from 1954-1977, representing every time he laid down a vocal.
  • Elvis Discography / Filmography The singles, EPs, and LPs released in Presley's lifetime, also by year. Includes catalog numbers for the original vinyl, and tracklistings.
  • The Top 10 Elvis Presley CDs King of Rock and Roll or not, Elvis Presley's CD output is, thanks to RCA's endless repackaging, a frustrating mess. While this is far from a complete list of worthwhile Elvis recordings, it does represent the cream of the crop.

His Legacy

The cultural revolution that Elvis started was, for a time, in very real danger of becoming swamped by the excesses and tragedy of his own tragic decline -- but recent generations have once again looked past that story to discover his phenomenal contributions to popular music and style.
  • Sounds Like Elvis Lots of musicians of the 50s, 60s, and 70s wanted to be Elvis, but some folks actually tried it -- and some singers, long before his death made impersonators common, actually made a living at it, resulting in (mostly) original songs that pay homage, vocally and otherwise, to Elvis and his musical accomplishments.
  • The Top 10 Elvis Presley Books Elvis' significance in music history has led to endless print discussions of him as a musician, celebrity, and icon. But Elvis was also the most aggressively private star of his time, difficult to know even by those who knew him best. These books attempt to understand him from all angles.
  • The Top 10 Elvis Presley DVDs Elvis Presley's overwhelming charisma made him a natural for television and the movies -- therefore, Elvis DVDs don't just give you more Elvis than the CDs do, they open up a whole other side of his personality, which is essential in understanding someone so private.
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