21 Bizarre Elvis Facts Will Leave You All Shook Up

7 months ago

It’s estimated that there are about 35,000 Elvis Presley impersonators all over the world today! But despite his international fame, Elvis never ventured out of North America. He only sang outside of his home country three times, in Canada. It’s rumored it was because of Elvis’s manager, Colonel Tom Parker.

The Colonel was not an American citizen and was living in the United States without proper documentation. He thought that if he left the country for Elvis’s overseas shows, he wouldn’t be allowed to re-enter the US. He ultimately convinced Elvis that it was more efficient for his career to have people from all over the world come to see him, rather than travel.

It wasn’t the only shady thing Colonel Parker did for Elvis’s career. Years after the King of Rock ’n’ Roll had passed away, it was discovered that Parker was taking half of what Elvis made from his music and film projects. Colonel Parker was however a brilliant marketing mastermind, even figuring out a way to make money from people that didn’t like Elvis and his music! Parker went on to design some I Hate Elvis pins, that he could sell to people who didn’t want to buy the pro-Elvis merchandise. The Wall Street Journal reported that by 1957, all Elvis merchandise — both pro and con — was estimated at over 22 million dollars!

Born on January 8, 1935, the future King of Rock ’n’ Roll had a twin brother that unfortunately did not make it through the complications at birth. Elvis’s mother, Gladys, never had another child and became very attached to her only son. When she also passed away, Elvis was inconsolable. She was always my best girl he mentioned to the press.

Success didn’t come easy for Elvis, as he was turned down when he was 19 years old, after an audition. At the time, he was looking to join a gospel quartet called Songfellows, but they turned him down. Things worked out for the best though, as Elvis ended up recording his own songs. The first one he ever recorded was named My Happiness, and it cost him 4$ to have it recorded, back in 1953. He intended it as a gift for his mother. Since Elvis’s family didn’t own a record player, he had to go to a friend’s home to listen to it. That same record was auctioned in 2015 for $300,000.

Elvis’s 50s flamboyant looks consisted of bubblegum pink blazers, crop tops, and Cuban collars. But some think what may have inspired his looks was in fact a comic book character named Captain Marvel Jr. His collection of comics can still be found in the attic of his home. Presley never confirmed it, but many think he borrowed Captain Marvel Jr.’s hairstyle and sideburns. The superhero may have also been the source of the cape-like jumpsuits he often wore on stage. As for his staple jet-black hair, it turns out it wasn’t his natural color. Elvis was blonde! He used shoe polish to maintain his hair color at first. And to also keep him looking young and fresh.

By the time he was 37 years old, he had outgrown his shoe polish days and started investing more in his appearance to look as youthful as possible. He started using a dye color that’s still available today named Miss Clairol 51 D, in the shade called ’black Velvet’. Elvis even went as far as dyeing his eyelashes!

One thing Elvis may have not been great at was eating healthy. He was a big fan of the most outrageous food combinations. He enjoyed the Fool’s Gold Loaf, which was made out of a hollowed loaf, stuffed with peanut butter, jelly, and a whole pound of bacon. The famous Elvis Sandwich was created out of his love for peanut butter, a recipe that his grandmother eventually shared in a cookbook. It had two slices of bread, a whole lot of peanut butter, banana slices, and bacon.

Apart from his outstanding musical career, Elvis was a popular film actor too. He began his movie career in 1956, by starring in a western called Love Me Tender. Loving You was his second film. In total, Elvis ended up starring in over 31 films throughout his career.

Presley’s famous Memphis house, called Graceland, was one of the first important purchases he made after becoming famous. It cost him $100,000 in 1957, a year after he launched his career. He was just 22. He immediately asked his parents to move in with him. Graceland was declared a National Historic Landmark in 2006. It’s also the second most-visited house in the US, after the White House.

As soon as he moved to Graceland, Elvis surrounded himself with animals. He ended up owning everything from dogs and horses to more unconventional pets like donkeys, and even a monkey! He even trained a mynah bird to repeat words and perform them while Elvis was hanging out with his friends.

He was a big fan of cars too. In 1955, he purchased a ’55 Fleetwood Series 60 Cadillac, which he gifted to his mother. Problem was, she didn’t have a driver’s license, so he drove it around for her. This unique pink Cadillac can still be seen today at Graceland. By the end of his life, he had purchased over 100 Cadillacs, but most of them were bought as gifts for his family and friends.

Despite his remarkable vocals, Elvis Presley never wrote any of his songs! Throughout his career, Elvis went on to be signed to 3 different record labels that were tasked with writing his songs. He was given co-writing credits for some of the songs that he has performed though. When it came to singing, Elvis was a trailblazer, having broken many records (pun intended) throughout his life. He is known for the best-selling singles of both the 1950s — Hound Dog/Don’t Be Cruel — and the 1960s — It’s Now or Never.

His debut album was also the first rock ’n’ roll album to make it to the top of the Billboard charts in the US. It was also the first million-selling record in this genre since it spent a staggering ten weeks at number one back in 1956. He did release at one point an album without a single song on it! It was called Having Fun with Elvis on Stage, and it came out in 1974. Weirdly enough, it only had spoken content. The album featured the little speeches Elvis had in between songs during his live shows. Obviously, the album wasn’t a critic’s favorite, some even calling it thoroughly unlistenable.

Elvis was known for being extremely generous. One story goes that while doing a show in Miami Beach, he had a limo pick him up from a helipad. He had a nice conversation with the limo driver and asked him if he owned a car himself. The driver said he didn’t own the limo, he was just working for a company. So, Elvis decided to give the limo they were in to that driver!

His famous dance moves weren’t calculated: he just had a lot of nerves. People recall him being so nervous during his first performances that his legs were constantly shaking. Needless to say, the audience went wild over him dancing, especially the ladies, so he decided to incorporate the moves into his routine.

Elvis liked watching television so much that we would stare at 3 different TV sets at the same time. He had different sets installed in his downstairs media room, each with its own news program playing at the same time. He kept all the TVs on, unless his least favorite actor, Robert Goulet made an appearance.

Elvis disliked Goulet so much that instead of using the knob on the television to turn it off, he destroyed it altogether and replaced it with a new one. Hey, don’t be cruel. Nobody really knows what Elvis’s problem was with Goulet, as they were reported to be friends at one point.

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