When Elvis Presley walked into Sun Studios,
music as the world knew was set to change.

Forty years ago music lost its King…
this is a glimpse in to Elvis’s early years.


In the summer of 1953, Elvis stopped by the Memphis Recording Service, home of Sun Records, run by Sam Phillips.

While Phillips was out, his assistant helped Elvis make a demo recording of early songs “My Happiness” and “That’s When Your Heartaches Begin”. It was nearly a year later that Phillips would record Elvis’s first proper single on Sun Records, the first of five with Sun Records. Despite making a splash with young female fans, Elvis wasn’t an immediate hit, drawing ire from critics who suggested he “go back to driving a truck”.

Into the

In 1955, after he had fatefully met his long-term manager “Colonel” Parker, Elvis became a household name.

The first riot following an Elvis concert occurred on May 13 1955 in Jacksonville, Florida, after Elvis finished a show by saying, “Girls, I’ll see you backstage”. In 1956, sensing big things for the young star, Parker and Phillips sold Elvis’s Sun contract to RCA records and his first recording for the giant label would prove to be pivotal – it was “Heartbreak Hotel”. 

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In 1956, Elvis’s first record with RCA, simply titled Elvis Presley, became the first pop record to sell over one million copies.

His fame was soon escalated further by some scandalous TV appearances. His Milton Berle Show appearance caused a national uproar with his sensuous performance of “Hound Dog”. 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 third appearance in 1957, Elvis was shown from the waist up only to avoid further scandal.


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Elvis Aaron Presley

January 8, 1935 — August 16, 1977