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Elvis Presley Facts: Insights Into The King of Rock N’ Roll

Dubbed The King of Rock N’ Roll, Elvis Presley has gone on to be one of the most beloved musicians in history. However, how much do you know about him? We’re going to tell you some of the top Elvis Presley facts with insights into the King of Rock N’ Roll, so read on to test your knowledge and learn more about the man behind the music! 

Elvis Did Not Write His Songs

Elvis Presley - Can't Help Falling In Love (Official Audio)

One of the most interesting facts about Elvis you might not know is that he did not write any of his music. He had many songwriters who were writing his music, and he covered a lot of music by other artists. However, he had a stipulation that if someone wanted him to record a song, he would get co-writing credit, which made it appear he had written at least part of the song, when in reality, he hadn’t written any of it.

Elvis Recorded More Than 600 Songs 

Throughout his time as a musician, he recorded and released over 600 tracks, which is incredible.

Recommended: Our list of the best Elvis songs

He Holds The Record For Songs That Landed In The Top 40 

Elvis recorded so many songs in his career that were hits that to this day he holds the record for having the most songs appear in the Top 40, with 114 songs landing on the Top 40 chart. 

Elvis Had a Twin 

A lot of people are unaware of the fact that Elvis had a twin brother, but unfortunately, his brother, Jesse Gardon, was stillborn. Both of them were born in East Tupelo, Mississippi, and his twin brother was born about 35 minutes before he came into this world. 

He’s Related To Two Former American Presidents 

1980s – President Jimmy Carter Creator at the Mayor’s Office. Image source: City of Boston Archives from West Roxbury, United States, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Elvis was related to two former American presidents, Jimmy Carter and Abraham Lincoln, albeit both of them were distant relatives to him.

Elvis Hardly Held Concerts Outside Of America 

July 26, 2018 – Canadian flag on Douglas St, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. Image source: Michal Klajban, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

When you’re as big as Elvis was, you’d think that you’d travel the world and perform concerts for your adoring fans, but that wasn’t what he did. In fact, there were only three cities he traveled to outside of America, and they were all in Canada. He held concerts in Toronto, Vancouver, and Ottawa

His Natural Hair Color Is Medium Brown 

While we associate Elvis with having that dark black iconic hair, that was dyed and wasn’t his natural hair color. He actually had medium brown hair, and he would continuously dye it to maintain that dark black color.

Elvis Was Only 22 When He Purchased Graceland 

March 2006 – Graceland, Tennessee. Image source: User:Maha, CC BY 2.5, via Wikimedia Commons

Elvis purchased Graceland when he was 22 years old, which is his famous home located in Memphis, Tennessee. When he bought it in 1957, he paid $102,500, and it was situated on 14 acres. 

Graceland Was Already Named When He Bought It 

Speaking more on Graceland, Elvis didn’t name the property that, as it was dubbed Graceland years prior to honor the daughter of the original owner of the property. The home was originally part of a 500-acre piece of farmland, and back then, that owner had a daughter named Grace, which is where the name Graceland originated.

When Dr. Thomas Moore purchased part of the property and built the home in 1939, the home took on the name of Graceland given that his wife, Ruth Moore, was the great-niece of Grace. Elvis bought the property and just decided to keep the Graceland name. 

Elvis Received His First Guitar as a Birthday Present 

It was on Elvis’ 11th birthday that he received his first guitar while living in Tupelo, Mississippi. If you’re wondering, that would have been on January 8, 1946. 

He Was Bullied As a Kid 

Sadly, not even Elvis was shielded from the meanness of school bullies, and he was bullied pretty badly in school. There were times the kids would cut off the strings on his guitars or would throw rotted fruit at him. 

Elvis Was Actually A Germaphobe 

March 18, 2005 – Red mug on a red table. Image source: Adrian Sampson from Seattle, WA, USA, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

One interesting fact that doesn’t get much attention is the fact Elvis was a germaphobe. This was something Priscilla Presley had admitted, and she said he had specific places close to the handle of a cup where he’d put his lips to drink out of it. He would assume that this location on the cup wasn’t used as much and that fewer lips had been drinking out of the cup near the handle. 

He Often Carried a Gun 

When you live in certain areas of the country or if you’re a huge celebrity, you may worry about your safety. Safety was always a concern for Elvis, which could go back to him being bullied as a child, so he frequently was seen carrying a gun with him when he’d be out and about. 

Elvis Advocated For Vaccinations 

Elvis Presley Gets The Polio Vaccine On The Ed Sullivan Show

Elvis was a big fan of vaccines and took it upon himself to encourage the polio vaccine to the public by getting a polio vaccine right before stepping on stage to perform on The Ed Sullivan Show. 

He Had His Own Entourage Called The Memphis Mafia 

Since Elvis was the King of Rock N’ Roll, it’s only fitting he had his own entourage, and they were known as the Memphis Mafia. He gave the members of his entourage a ring made of gold that had “TCB” and a thunderbolt on it. TCB was short for “Take Care Of Business.” He would be buried wearing his gold ring when he died. 

Elvis Was Known To Buy Cadillacs And Give Them Away 

March 22, 2012 – Elvis Presley’s Pink Cadillac in the car museum at Graceland. Image source: Corkythehornetfan, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Elvis was a very charitable human being and was blessed, so he would often buy Cadillacs and then give them away to family and friends. Throughout his life, he would buy more than 100 different Cadillacs, with the first being the iconic pink Cadillac, and he went on to give this special one to his mother. 

His Album Was The First In Rock N’ Roll To Hit #1 On The Billboard Chart 

Elvis Presley - Blue Suede Shoes (Official Audio)

No Rock N’ Roll album had made it to number one on the Billboard charts until Elvis released his debut self-titled EP. He was able to break through, and it quickly became the number-one album on the Billboard album chart.

Elvis Has Two Commemorative Stamps Issued By The Post Office 

No other musician has two commemorative stamps in their honor that were issued by the Postal Service other than Elvis. One was issued in 1993, and the other commemorative stamp was released in 2015. 

Elvis’ 1993 Postal Service Stamp Is Top-Rated Commemorative Stamp In History 

Getting into more depth on the commemorative stamps, the 1993 Elvis commemorative stamp has become the best-selling and top-rated commemorative stamp in the history of the U.S. Post Office. 

Elvis Loved Woodshop Class In High School

January 9, 2010 – A woodworking bench at Roy Underhill’s school. Image source: Seth Vidal, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

When Elvis was in high school, like most teenagers, he had a favorite class, which was woodshop. This class allowed him to build various items using wood, and given how he’d later become a famous musician, we’re not surprised he was into the creative and artistic classes offered at school. 

Elvis Was On His High School Boxing Team 

While Elvis loved woodshop while in high school, he also was into sports, and notably was part of the boxing team at Humes High. 

He Loved Brut Aftershave 

One of Elvis’ favorite brands of aftershave was Brut, and this would be the brand he would most often use throughout his life. The brand is still one of the most popular brands of aftershave to this day. 

Elvis Had Only One Child 

February 24, 2023 – Program handed out during Lisa Marie Presley’s public memorial service. Image source: ruthdaniel3444, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

As far as children go, Elvis would go on to have only one child throughout his life, which would be his daughter Lisa Marie Presley.

Recommended: How did Lisa Marie Presley die? Explained

All Three Of His Grammy Wins Were For His Gospel Songs 

Even though Elvis had several hits throughout his music career, he only won three Grammy awards in his lifetime, and they were all for his gospel songs. He won his first Grammy for How Great Thou Art in the Best Sacred Performance category at the 10th Grammy Awards.

Elvis Presley - How Great Thou Art (Official Audio)

His next win would be at the 15th Grammy Award ceremony for He Touched Me in the Best Inspirational Performance category. He won again for the track How Great Thou Art at the 17th Annual Grammy Awards, and this would be in the Non-Classical Best Inspirational Performance category. 

His First Number-One Single Was Heartbreak Hotel 

Elvis Presley - Heartbreak Hotel (Official Audio)

Heartbreak Hotel was released in 1956, and this would become his first number-one single, but several other songs hit number one later on in 1956 as well. Tracks such as Hound Dog, Don’t Be Cruel, and Blue Suede Shoes would also place number one. 

Elvis Donated Military Pay To Charity 

June 1, 1958 – Elvis Presley before he left to join the army. Image source: Uncredited, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

We’ve all heard about Elvis being in the military after he got famous, but did you know he donated all of the pay he earned in the military to charity? He did this for the entire two years he was in the U.S. Army. 

He First Used Amphetamines While In The Army 

Many people believe Elvis being in the Army was a good thing for him and was a noble choice, but it also came with a price. While he was in the U.S. Army, he was introduced by others to the class of drugs called amphetamines. Whether this would go on to be the catalyst for his downfall into drugs is speculation, but it certainly wasn’t helpful. 

Elvis Loved The Bible 

Elvis had a couple of books he considered to be his favorites, with one of them being The Bible. He loved The Bible and was a religious man, and you can hear his love for it when you listen to his gospel music. His other favorite book was a Joseph Benner book titled The Impersonal Life

He Loved Andy Kaufman’s Impersonation Of Himself 

Andy Kaufman's Elvis Presley Impression | Carson Tonight Show

There were Elvis impersonators long before he even died, and one always stood out to him as being great. He was a fan of Andy Kaufman and his impersonation of himself and considered him to be his favorite among the impersonators at the time. 

Elvis Is In Five Different Hall Of Fame Classes 

December 30, 2014 – Elvis in lights at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio. Image source: Sam Howzit, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

It’s a no-brainer that Elvis was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame, but he is also in four other types of Hall of Fame too. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame classes of R&B, Country, Rockabilly, and Country as well.

The Spy Who Loved Me Was The Last Movie He Saw At The Theater 

The Spy Who Loved Me (1977) Official Trailer - Roger Moore James Bond Movie HD

Elvis did watch movies at the theater and enjoyed many different types of films through the years, but the last movie he would ever see at the theater was The Spy Who Loved Me. 

Elvis Was Just 42 When He Died 

Sadly, Elvis died when he was just 42 years old at his Graceland mansion in Memphis, Tennessee, on August 16, 1977. He was found in his master bathroom lying on the floor unconscious by his fiancée, Ginger Alden. While attempts to resuscitate him were made, they were unsuccessful, and he was declared dead at a local hospital around 3:30 pm. 

Elvis Had Multiple Drugs In His System When He Died 

December 4, 2009 – Two mg vial of Baxter Healthcare Hydromorphone hydrochloride (Dilaudid). Image source: Vaprotan, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Although a fatal cardiac arrhythmia had been found in the preliminary autopsy to be the reason why Elvis suddenly collapsed and died, a toxicology report would later reveal multiple drugs were in his system at the time of his death. Notably, Quaaludes, Percodan, Dilaudid, Codeine, and Demerol were all found in his system in very high amounts at the time of his death.  

Someone Attempted To Steal His Coffin 

In a bizarre situation that occurred when Elvis died, there was a person who was trying to steal his coffin and then wanted to hold his corpse for ransom. Thankfully, the family got wind of this plot and then moved his remains.

Elvis Was First Buried At Forest Hill Cemetery 

February 15, 2010 – The Forest Hill Midtown Cemetery at 1661 Elvis Presley Boulevard, Memphis, Tennessee, 38106. Image source: Forest Hill Staff, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Going along with the previous fact, Elvis was not buried at Graceland originally, and he had been buried at Forest Hill Cemetery right alongside his mother. It was after the plot to steal his remains that his coffin was then moved to Graceland in an undisclosed area on the property.

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