A Chronicle of Events During the 1950's

Born January 8, 1935 at 4:35 AM in a two room house in Tupelo, Mississippi. First born twin brother Jesse Garon is stillborn. So which is it? Aron or Aaron?
Parents, Gladys Love Smith (04/25/12) and Vernon Elvis Presley (04/10/16) were married in June of 1933.
Elvis gets his first guitar in 1946. It cost $12.95 at the Tupelo Hardware Store.
The family moves to Memphis in 1948.
In 1953 Elvis graduates from Humes High School.
Summer of '53, Elvis drops into the The Memphis Recording Service (Sun Studios) and records My Happiness and That’s When Your Heartaches Begin. Cost? $4.00.
Summer of '54. Sun owner Sam Phillips teams Elvis up with local musicians Scotty Moore (guitar) and Bill Black (bass).
July 5, 1954. The breakthrough recording is Arthur “Big Boy” Crudup’s That’s All Right. This song, backed with Blue Moon of Kentucky becomes the first of five singles Elvis will release on the Sun label.
July 30, 1954 Elvis makes his appearance at the Overton Park Shell in Memphis.
October 16, 1954. Elvis' first appearance on the Louisiana Hayride, a popular country radio show out of Shreveport LA.
In August of 1955, Colonel Tom Parker replaces Bob Neal as Elvis' manager.
By November of 1955, Elvis has signed the now famous RCA contract. The price is an unprecedented $40,000, with a $5,000 bonus for Elvis. RCA soon re-releases the five Sun singles on the RCA label.
 In January of 1956 Elvis is paired with the Jordanaires, who would remain his main back-up group until the late 60s.
 January 27, 1956. Heartbreak Hotel is released. (I Was the One on the flip). It sells 300,000 copies in the first week and will ultimately be Elvis' first Gold Record by selling over a million.
Between January 28 and March 24 of 1956 Elvis will make 6 appearances on the Jackie Gleason-produced Stage Show, starring Tommy and Jimmy Dorsey on CBS.
On March 13 of that same year, Elvis Presley, his first album is released by RCA. Selling over a million, it will become his first Gold Album.
April of 1956. Elvis appears with Milton Berle. He sings Heartbreak Hotel and Blue Suede Shoes.
April 1956, he signs a seven-year movie contract with Hal Wallis and Paramount Pictures.
 June 5, 1956. This is the highly controversial and very sexy performance of Hound Dog on Milton Berle. Also, I Want You, I Need You, I Love You.
In July he does a parody of that sketch on Steve Allen's show by singing to a real Bassett hound. Elvis' ain't happy about it - but he does it. His success on Berle and Allen prompt the previously reluctant Ed Sullivan to sign a three appearance deal for $50,000 - an unheard of amount back then.
August 10 and 11 1956. Elvis appears at the Florida Theatre in Jacksonville, FL. Juvenile Court Judge Marion Gooding attended the first concert to see if all the fuss was warranted. After watching Elvis' jiggle, he asked that the show be toned down. So Elvis only wiggled his little finger as a mild protest.
September 9, 1956 - the first Sullivan show. Charles Laughton subs for an ailing Sullivan. Presley sings Don't Be Cruel, Love Me Tender, Ready Teddy, and Hound Dog. October 28th is the second show and the songs are Don't Be Cruel, Love Me Tender, Love Me and Hound Dog.
 November 16, 1956. Elvis' first movie, Love Me Tender premieres.
January 6, 1957. The "waist up only" Sullivan show. He does a medley, plus Don't Be Cruel, Too Much, When My Blue Moon Turns to Gold and then closes with Peace in the Valley.
January 1957.Elvis begins filming his second movie, Loving You. Actress Jana Lund will give Elvis his first screen kiss in this movie which will produce the hit, Teddy Bear.
Graceland is purchased in March of 1957.
Jailhouse Rock begins filming in May of 1957.
Elvis' draft notice arrives December of 1957.
In the early part of 1958 Elvis works on his fourth motion picture, King Creole.
March 1958. Elvis Presley is inducted into the U.S. Army at the Memphis Draft Board and is assigned serial number 53310761. Pvt. Presley goes to Fort Hood, Texas for basic training and is stationed there for six months.
Gladys Presley dies on August 14 of 1958 of acute hepatitis. Elvis is able to get back to see her before she dies.
In September of 1958, Elvis boards the USS. Randall and sails to Germany, arriving on October 1. He will be stationed in Friedberg for 18 months, maintaining an off-base residence in Bad Nauheim.
Elvis first meets Priscilla Beaulieu (05/24/45) in November of 1959. She is the only child of a Navy pilot, Jack Wagner, who was killed in a plane crash when Priscilla was an infant. Her mother Ann had remarried to Captain Joseph Beaulieu.

Back to Elvis

50's Timeline

60's Timeline

70's Timeline