Monday, August 13, 2007

All Shook Up

ElvisThis coming August 16 is the 30th death anniversary of Elvis Presley, and so it is only fitting that I would post some odds & ends about the "King".

At around 2:30 in the morning on Aug 16, 1977, Elvis was found sprawled on the bathroom floor, his pajamas below his knees, by then girlfriend Ginger Alder. He had had a heart attack while on the toilet, reading a book entitled "The Scientific Search for the Face of Jesus". Doctors found 10 drugs in Elvis's system, including morphine, phenobarbital, methaqualone, Valium, Carbrital and Demerol, but no cause of death was ever established.

Elvis was actually buried twice - he was originally laid to rest in Memphis's Forest Hill Cemetery on Aug 18, 1977, entombed in a large mausoleum. In the early morning hours of Aug 29, three men were arrested for trying to steal Elvis's body. As a result, Presley's father had his body disinterred and reburied on the ground of Graceland on Oct 2, 1977.

Even so, a survey made in 2002 showed that 7% of Americans believe that Elvis is still alive. On Elvis's grave, his middle name Aron is misspelled as Aaron, giving Elvis conspiracy theorists reason to conclude that Elvis Aron Presley is not buried there. In Wright City, Mo, there is even an Elvis is Alive Museum. The museum, run by Bill Beeny, claimed to have DNA tests conducted on tissue samples he got from doctors in Memphis, which he said resulted in negative match.

At the time of Elvis's death, there were only about 50 known Elvis impersonators. By 2003, the number is estimated at around 35,000 and there are impersonators all over the world. It is truly amazing for someone's image to be that popular worldwide considering the fact that Elvis only performed outside the U.S. three times - all of which are in Canada (Vancouver, Toronto and Ottawa, all in 1957). And the only time Elvis set foot in England was during a refuelling stop on the way back from army service in Germany. Yet as of 2004, Elvis had spent more weeks on the British singles charts that any other artists - including the Beatles and Cliff Richard.

All over the world, there are places and streets named after Elvis. And in Abu Ghosh, Israel stands the largest Elvis statue. Looming over the Tel Aviv-Jerulasalem highway, the 22-foot high statue of Elvis is the centerpiece of the Elvis Inn, a highway stop whose walls and ceiling are covered with Elvis memorabilia.

Elvis's popularity is even more amazing when you consider all the negative reviews he got when he was first starting out his singing career. The New York Times described him as "unspeakable untalented and vulgar" after his first national TV performance. In addition, the Times also wrote "Mr. Presley has no singing ability". The Daily News called him "appalling musically... tinged with the kind of animalism that should be confined to dives and bordellos", and the Rev. Billy Graham was quoted to said "I would not let my daughter cross the street to see Elvis Presley."

The amount Elvis got for his first record contract was $5,000. In addition, he also got a penny and a half for each record sold. At the time of his death, Elvis estate is worth $4.9 million and in 2004, Elvis earned $40 million, most of it goes to his daughter, Lisa Marie, who owns his estate. A visit to Graceland cost $27, and the average annual number of visitors is 700,000. White House averages around 1,250,000 visitors, but it charges no fee.

Thats it... Elvis has left the building!

Random Odds & Ends
  • Elvis did not like to wear jeans because he had to wear them when he was a child.
  • Elvis's famous Pink Cadillac was originally colored blue. He had it custom-painted for his mother.
  • Elvis is a natural blonde. He dyed his hair jet black when he went into acting.
  • Elvis had a twin brother, Jessie Garon, who was stillborn, leaving Elvis as an only child.
  • John Lennon's sons Sean and Julian were asked to introduce Elvis into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986.
  • Elvis was a direct descendant from Abraham Lincoln's great grandfather.


Kshitij said...

I had not expected so many odds from such a topic...nice post man!

Erica said...

"Doctors found 10 drugs in Elvis's system, including morphine, phenobarbital, methaqualone, Valium, Carbrital and Demerol" - but no clue as to what killed him. hahaha

4ndj4r said...

Hey man..Your post is really good. It is amazing bout this facts of Elvis. I think that this guy is a true legend, no matter he is still alive or not. Great job man. Just keep on posting.

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