Alternative History
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Jesse Presley
Oldjesse.jpg
Jesse in 2002
Born January 8, 1935
Tupelo, Mississippi, U.S.
Died August 16 2003 (age 68)
Graceland, Memphis
Term 1993-2001
Years active 1953-1989
Predecessor George H.W. Bush
Successor George W. Bush
Political party libertarian
Occupation(s) Singer, songwriter, actor, politician
Genre Rock and roll, pop, rockabilly, country, gospel, R&B, blues, rock, hard-rock
Instruments Vocals, Double Bass, Drums, Percussion
Labels SunRCA, Victor, HMV, Allied Artists Music Group
Elvis Presley
Oldelvis.jpg
Elvis in 2016
Born January 8, 1935
Tupelo, Mississippi, U.S.
Died August 16 2018 (age 83)
Graceland, Memphis
Years active 1953-1989
Occupation(s) Singer, songwriter, actor, Writer
Genre Rock and roll, pop, rockabilly, country, gospel, R&B, blues, rock, hard-rock
Instruments Vocals, Guitar, Piano, Bass
Spouse Priscilla Beaulieu ​(m. 1967; div. 1973)
Children Lisa Marie
Labels SunRCA, Victor, HMV, Allied Artists Music Group

Jesse and Elvis Presley[]

on January 8th 1935 Gladys Presley gives birth to identical twin boys, Jesse and Elvis Presley, both boys are healthy.

The twins grew up in Mississippi and moved to Tennessee in 1948. they took part in their first singing contest at the age of 10 yrs old. Elvis showed a great talent for playing musical instruments, in particular the guitar, where as Jesse was an excellent singer with almost perfect pitch. however when singing with his brother everyone who heard them said that they sang like angels.

Due to their singing skills they were in great demand to sing at the local gospel churches and at weddings, christings and even funerals. at the age of 18 they started a band that they would advertise all over Tennessee.

On the 18th of July 1953 the Presley Brothers went to Sun Records to record some songs that Elvis had written. The boss of Sun Records Sam Phillips heard the recording and signed the brothers.

After playing many bars, clubs and selling plenty of single records their first album was released in early 1956. it sold beyond the boys expectations.

Early Life and career(1956-1977)[]

1956–1958: Commercial breakout and controversy[]

First national TV appearances and debut album[]
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Elvis and Jesse in 1964 on the set of Kissin' Cousins.

On January 10, 1956, the Presley's made their first recordings for RCA Victor in Nashville. The session produced the moody, unusual "Heartbreak Hotel", released as a single on January 27. Parker finally brought them to national television, booking them on CBS's Stage Show for six appearances over two months. The program, produced in New York, was hosted on alternate weeks by big band leaders and brothers Tommy and Jimmy Dorsey. After their first appearance, on January 28, the Presley's stayed in town to record at the RCA Victor New York studio. The sessions yielded eight songs, including a cover of Carl Perkins' rockabilly anthem "Blue Suede Shoes". In February, Presley brother's "I Forgot to Remember to Forget", a Sun recording initially released the previous August, reached the top of the Billboard country chart. Neal's contract was terminated, and, on March 2, Parker became the Presley's manager.

RCA Victor released the Presley's self-titled debut album on March 23. Joined by five previously unreleased Sun recordings, its seven recently recorded tracks were of a broad variety. There were two country songs and a bouncy pop tune. The others would centrally define the evolving sound of rock and roll: "Blue Suede Shoes"—"an improvement over Perkins' in almost every way", according to critic Robert Hilburn—and three R&B numbers that had been part of Presley's stage repertoire for some time, covers of Little Richard, Ray Charles, and The Drifters. As described by Hilburn, these "were the most revealing of all. Unlike many white artists ... who watered down the gritty edges of the original R&B versions of songs in the '50s, the Presley brothers reshaped them. He not only injected the tunes with his own vocal character but also made guitar, not piano, the lead instrument in all three cases." It became the first rock and roll album to top the Billboard chart, a position it held for 10 weeks. While the Presley twins was not an innovative guitarist like Moore or contemporary African-American rockers Bo Diddley and Chuck Berry, cultural historian Gilbert B. Rodman argued that the album's cover image, "of Elvis and Jesse having the time of his life on stage with a guitar in his hands played a crucial role in positioning the guitar ... as the instrument that best captured the style and spirit of this new music."

Milton Berle Show and "Hound Dog"[]
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Elvis signing autographs in Memphis in 1956

On April 3, the Presley's made the first of two appearances on NBC's Milton Berle Show. Their performance, on the deck of the USS Hancock in San Diego, California, prompted cheers and screams from an audience of sailors and their dates. A few days later, a flight taking Elvis and Jesse after a recording session left all three badly shaken when an engine died and the plane almost went down over Arkansas. Twelve weeks after its original release, "Heartbreak Hotel" became the Presley's first number-one pop hit. In late April, Presley began a two-week residency at the New Frontier Hotel and Casino on the Las Vegas Strip. The shows were poorly received by the conservative, middle-aged hotel guests—"like a jug of corn liquor at a champagne party", wrote a critic for Newsweek. Amid his Vegas tenure, the Presley siblings, who had serious acting ambitions, signed a seven-year contract with Paramount Pictures. He began a tour of the Midwest in mid-May, taking in 15 cities in as many days. He had attended several shows by Freddie Bell and the Bellboys in Vegas and was struck by their cover of "Hound Dog", a hit in 1953 for blues singer Big Mama Thornton by songwriters Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller. It became the new closing number of their act. After a show in La Crosse, Wisconsin, an urgent message on the letterhead of the local Catholic diocese's newspaper was sent to FBI director J. Edgar Hoover. It warned that "Elvis Presley is a definite danger to the security of the United States. ... [His] actions and motions were such as to rouse the sexual passions of teenaged youth. ... After the show, more than 1,000 teenagers tried to gang into Presley's room at the auditorium. ... Indications of the harm Elvis did just in La Crosse were the two high school girls ... whose abdomen and thigh had Presley's autograph."

The second Milton Berle Show appearance came on June 5 at NBC's Hollywood studio, amid another hectic tour. Berle persuaded Elvis to leave his guitar backstage, advising, "Let 'em see you, son." During the performance, the Presley brothers abruptly halted an uptempo rendition of "Hound Dog" with a wave of his elvis' and launched into a slow, grinding version accentuated with energetic, exaggerated body movements. Elvis Presley's gyrations created a storm of controversy. Television critics were outraged: Jack Gould of The New York Times wrote, "Mr. Presley has no discernible singing ability. ... His phrasing, if it can be called that, consists of the stereotyped variations that go with a beginner's aria in a bathtub. ... His one specialty is an accented movement of the body ... primarily identified with the repertoire of the blond bombshells of the burlesque runway." Ben Gross of the New York Daily News opined that popular music "has reached its lowest depths in the 'grunt and groin' antics of one Elvis Presley. ... Elvis, who rotates his pelvis ... gave an exhibition that was suggestive and vulgar, tinged with the kind of animalism that should be confined to dives and bordellos". Ed Sullivan, whose own variety show was the nation's most popular, declared him "unfit for family viewing". To his displeasure, he soon found himself being referred to as "Elvis the Pelvis", which he called "one of the most childish expressions I ever heard, comin' from an adult".

Steve Allen Show and first Sullivan appearance[]
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Ed Sullivan and Presley during rehearsals for his second appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show, October 26, 1956

The Berle shows drew such high ratings that Presley was booked for a July 1 appearance on NBC's Steve Allen Show in New York. Allen, no fan of rock and roll, introduced the "new Elvis and Jesse" in a white bow tie and black tails. The Presley's sang "Hound Dog" for less than a minute to a basset hound wearing a top hat and bow tie. As described by television historian Jake Austen, "Allen thought the Presley's was talentless and absurd ... [he] set things up so that the Presley twins would show their contrition". Allen later wrote that he found the Presley's "strange, gangly, country-boy charisma, his hard-to-define cuteness, and his charming eccentricity intriguing" and simply worked them into the customary "comedy fabric" of his program. Just before the final rehearsal for the show, Elvis told a reporter, "I'm holding down on this show. I don't want to do anything to make people dislike me and my brother. I think TV is important so I'm going to go along, but I won't be able to give the kind of show I do in a personal appearance." Elvis would refer back to the Allen show as the most ridiculous performance of his career. Later that night, he and his twin appeared on Hy Gardner Calling, a popular local TV show. Pressed on whether he had learned anything from the criticism to which he was being subjected, Elvis Presley responded, "No, I haven't, I don't feel like I'm doing anything wrong. ... I don't see how any type of music would have any bad influence on people when it's only music. ... I mean, how would rock 'n' roll music make anyone rebel against their parents?"

The next day, the Presley's recorded "Hound Dog", along with "Any Way You Want Me" and "Don't Be Cruel". The Jordanaires sang harmony, as they had on The Steve Allen Show; they would work with the Presley's through the 1960s. A few days later, Presley made an outdoor concert appearance in Memphis, at which he announced, "You know, those people in New York are not gonna change me none. I'm gonna show you what the real Elvis and Jesse are like tonight." In August, a judge in Jacksonville, Florida, ordered then to tame their act. Throughout the following performance, he largely kept still, except for wiggling his little finger suggestively in mockery of the order. The single pairing "Don't Be Cruel" with "Hound Dog" ruled the top of the charts for 12 weeks—a mark that would not be surpassed for 37 years. Recording sessions for the Presley's second album took place in Hollywood during the first week of September. Leiber and Stoller, the writers of "Hound Dog", contributed "Love Me".

Allen's show with the Presley's had, for the first time, beaten CBS's Ed Sullivan Show in the ratings. Sullivan, despite his June pronouncement, booked the Presley's for three appearances for an unprecedented $50,000. The first, on September 9, 1956, was seen by approximately 65 million viewers—a record 85 percent of the television audience. Actor Charles Laughton hosted the show, filling in while Sullivan was recovering from a car accident. the Presley's appeared in two segments that night from CBS Television City in Los Angeles. According legend, Elvis Presley was shot only from the waist up. Watching clips of the Allen and Berle shows with his producer, Sullivan had opined that Elvis Presley "got some kind of device hanging down below the crotch of his pants—so when he moves his legs back and forth you can see the outline of his cock. ... I think it's a Coke bottle. ... We just can't have this on a Sunday night. This is a family show!" Sullivan publicly told TV Guide, "As for his gyrations, the whole thing can be controlled with camera shots." In fact, he was shown head-to-toe in the first and second shows. Though the camerawork was relatively discreet during his debut, with leg-concealing closeups when he danced, the studio audience reacted in customary style: screaming. the Presley's performance of his forthcoming single, the ballad "Love Me Tender", prompted a record-shattering million advance orders. More than any other single event, it was this first appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show that made them a national celebrity of barely precedented proportions.

Accompanying the Presley's rise to fame, a cultural shift was taking place that he both helped inspire and came to symbolize. The historian Marty Jezer wrote that the Presley brothers began the "biggest pop craze" since Glenn Miller and Frank Sinatra  and brought rock and roll to mainstream culture: "As the Presley's set the artistic pace, other artists followed. ... Elvis and Jesse Presley, more than anyone else, gave the young a belief in themselves as a distinct and somehow unified generation—the first in America ever to feel the power of an integrated youth culture."

Crazed crowds and film debut[]
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the Presley's(Jesse off screen) performing live at the Mississippi-Alabama Fairgrounds in Tupelo, September 26, 1956

The audience response at the Presley's live shows became increasingly fevered. Moore recalled, "they'd start out, 'You ain't nothin' but a Hound Dog,' and they'd just go to pieces. They'd always react the same way. There'd be a riot every time." At the two concerts they performed in September at the Mississippi–Alabama Fair and Dairy Show, 50 National Guardsmen were added to the police security to ensure that the crowd would not cause a ruckus. Elvis and Jesse, Presley's second RCA Victor album, was released in October and quickly rose to number one on the billboard. The album includes "Old Shep", which they sang at the talent show in 1945, and which now marked the first time Elvis played piano on an RCA Victor session. According to Guralnick, one can hear "in the halting chords and the somewhat stumbling rhythm both the unmistakable emotion and the equally unmistakable valuing of emotion over technique." Assessing the musical and cultural impact of the Presley's recordings from "That's All Right" through Elvis and Jesse, rock critic Dave Marsh wrote that "these records, more than any others, contain the seeds of what rock & roll was, has been and most likely what it may foreseeably become."

the Presley's returned to the Sullivan show at its main studio in New York, hosted this time by its namesake, on October 28. After the performance, crowds in Nashville and St. Louis burned him in effigy. Their first motion picture, Love Me Tender, was released on November 21. Though he was not top-billed, the film's original title—The Reno Brothers—was changed to capitalize on his latest number-one record: "Love Me Tender" had hit the top of the charts earlier that month. To further take advantage of Presley's popularity, four musical numbers were added to what was originally a straight acting role. The film was panned by critics but did very well at the box office. The Presley's would receive top billing on every subsequent film they made.

On December 4, The Presley's dropped into Sun Records where Carl Perkins and Jerry Lee Lewis were recording and had an impromptu jam session along with Johnny Cash. Though Phillips no longer had the right to release any Presley material, he made sure that the session was captured on tape. The results, none officially released for 25 years, became known as the "Million Dollar Quartet" recordings. The year ended with a front-page story in The Wall Street Journal reporting that Presley merchandise had brought in $22 million on top of his record sales, and Billboard's declaration that he had placed more songs in the top 100 than any other artist since records were first charted. In his first full year at RCA Victor, then the record industry's largest company, the Presley siblings had accounted for over 50 percent of the label's singles sales.

Leiber and Stoller collaboration and draft notice[]
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Elvis in publicity photo for the 1957 film jailhouse rock

The Presley's made their third and final Ed Sullivan Show appearance on January 6, 1957—on this occasion indeed shot only down to the waist. Some commentators have claimed that Parker orchestrated an appearance of censorship to generate publicity. In any event, as critic Greil Marcus describes, Elvis "did not tie himself down. Leaving behind the bland clothes he had worn on the first two shows, he stepped out in the outlandish costume of a pasha, if not a harem girl. From the make-up over his eyes, the hair falling in his face, the overwhelmingly sexual cast of his mouth, he was playing Rudolph Valentino in The Sheik, with all stops out." To close, displaying his range and defying Sullivan's wishes, the Presley's sang a gentle black spiritual, "Peace in the Valley". At the end of the show, Sullivan declared Presley "a real decent, fine boy". Two days later, the Memphis draft board announced that the Elvis would be classified 1-A and would probably be drafted sometime that year.

Each of the three Presley's singles released in the first half of 1957 went to number one: "Too Much", "All Shook Up", and "(Let Me Be Your) Teddy Bear". Already an international star, they were attracting fans even where their music was not officially released. Under the headline "the Presley rwins Records a Craze in Soviet", The New York Times reported that pressings of his music on discarded X-ray plates were commanding high prices in Leningrad. Between film shoots and recording sessions, Presley purchased an 18-room mansion, Graceland, on March 19, 1957, for the amount of $102,500. The mansion, which was about 9 miles (14 km) south of downtown Memphis, was for himself and his parents. Before the purchase, Elvis recorded Loving You—the soundtrack to his second film, which was released in July. It was Presley's third straight number-one album. The title track was written by Leiber and Stoller, who were then retained to write four of the six songs recorded at the sessions for Jailhouse Rock, Presley's next film. The songwriting team effectively produced the Jailhouse sessions and developed a close working relationship with the Presley's, who came to regard them as their "good-luck charm". "They were fast," said Leiber. "Any demo you gave them they knew by heart in ten minutes." The title track became another number-one hit, as was the Jailhouse Rock EP.

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Elvis and co-star Judy Tyler in the trailer for Jailhouse Rock, released in October 1957

The Presley's undertook three brief tours during the year, continuing to generate a crazed audience response. A Detroit newspaper suggested that "the trouble with going to see them is that you're liable to get killed". Villanova students pelted them with eggs in Philadelphia, and in Vancouver the crowd rioted after the end of the show, destroying the stage. Frank Sinatra, who had inspired both the swooning and screaming of teenage girls in the 1940s, condemned the new musical phenomenon. In a magazine article, he decried rock and roll as "brutal, ugly, degenerate, vicious. ... It fosters almost totally negative and destructive reactions in young people. It smells phoney and false. It is sung, played and written, for the most part, by cretinous goons. ... This rancid-smelling aphrodisiac I deplore." Asked for a response, Elvis said, "I admire the man. He has a right to say what he wants to say. He is a great success and a fine actor, but I think he shouldn't have said it. ... This is a trend, just the same as he faced when he started years ago."

Elvis and Jesse were again in the studio for the recording of Elvis and Jesse' Christmas Album. Toward the end of the session, they wrote a song on the spot at Elvis' request: "Santa Claus Is Back in Town", an innuendo-laden blues. The holiday release stretched the Presley's string of number-one albums to four and would become the best-selling Christmas album ever in the United States, with eventual sales of over 25 million worldwide. On December 20, Presley received his draft notice. He was granted a deferment to finish the forthcoming King Creole, in which $350,000 had already been invested by Paramount and producer Hal Wallis. A couple of weeks into the new year, "Don't", became the the Presley's tenth number-one seller. It had been only 21 months since "Heartbreak Hotel" had brought him to the top for the first time. Recording sessions for the King Creole soundtrack were held in Hollywood in mid-January 1958.

1958–1960: Military service, Jesse's solo career and mother's death[]

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Elvis being sworn into the Army on March 24, 1958, at Fort Chaffee

On March 24, 1958, Elvis Presley was drafted into the United States Army at Fort Chaffee, Arkansas. His arrival was a major media event. Hundreds of people descended on Elvis as he stepped from the bus; photographers then accompanied him into the installation. Presley announced that he was looking forward to his military stint, saying that he did not want to be treated any differently from anyone else: "The Army can do anything it wants with me."

During Elvis' military service, Jesse released 2 solo albums, Jesse Presley in 1958 and Jesse in 1959 both to critical acclaim despite the exclusion of his brother. Jesse had one track written by Jesse himself which was the first time Jesse wrote an original song.

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Elvis, wearing the 3d Armored Division Shoulder Sleeve Insignia, poses atop a tank at Ray Barracks

Between March 28 and September 17, 1958, Elvis completed basic and advanced military training at Fort Hood, Texas, where he was temporarily assigned to Company A, 2d Medium Tank Battalion, 37th Armor. During the two weeks' leave between his basic and advanced training in early June, Presley recorded five songs in Nashville. In early August, his mother was diagnosed with hepatitis, and her condition rapidly worsened. Elvis Presley was granted emergency leave to visit her and arrived in Memphis along with Jesse on August 12. Two days later, she died of heart failure at age 46. the brothers were devastated and never the same; their relationship had remained extremely close—even into their adulthood, they would use baby talk with each other and Elvis would address her with pet names.

On October 1, 1958, the Presley's was assigned to the 1st Medium Tank Battalion, 32d Armor, 3d Armored Division, at Ray Barracks, Germany, where he served as an armor intelligence specialist. On November 27, he was promoted to private first class and on June 1, 1959, to specialist fourth class. While on maneuvers, Elvis was introduced to amphetamines by another soldier. He became "practically evangelical about their benefits", not only for energy but for "strength" and weight loss, and many of his friends in the outfit joined him in indulging. The Army also introduced Presley to karate, which he studied seriously, training with Jürgen Seydel. It became a lifelong interest, which he later included in his live performances. Fellow soldiers have attested to Elvis Presley's wish to be seen as an able, ordinary soldier, despite his fame, and to his generosity. He donated his Army pay to charity, purchased TV sets for the base, and bought an extra set of fatigues for everyone in his outfit. He was promoted to sergeant on February 11, 1960.

While in Bad Nauheim, Germany, Elvis Presley, 24 at the time, met 14-year-old Priscilla Beaulieu. Priscilla said that due to their age difference, when they met, he told her: "Why, you’re just a baby.” They would eventually marry after a seven-and-a-half-year courtship. In her autobiography, Priscilla said that Presley was concerned that his 24-month spell as a G.I. would ruin his career. In Special Services, he would have been able to give musical performances and remain in touch with the public, but Parker had convinced him that to gain popular respect, he should serve his country as a regular soldier. Media reports echoed Presley's concerns about his career, but RCA Victor producer Steve Sholes and Freddy Bienstock of Hill and Range had carefully prepared for his two-year hiatus. Armed with a substantial amount of unreleased material, they kept up a regular stream of successful releases. Between his induction and discharge, the Presley's had ten top 30 hits, including "Wear My Ring Around Your Neck", the bestselling "Hard Headed Woman", and "One Night" in 1958, and "(Now and Then There's) A Fool Such as I" and the number-one "A Big Hunk o' Love" in 1959. RCA Victor also generated four albums compiling previously issued material during this period, most successfully Elvis and Jesse' Golden Records (1958), which hit number two on the LP chart.

1960–1968: Focus on films[]

Elvis and Jesse Are Back[]

Elvis Presley returned to the United States on March 2, 1960, and was honorably discharged three days later. The train that carried him from New Jersey to Tennessee was mobbed all the way, and he was called upon to appear at scheduled stops to please his fans. On the night of March 20, he and his twin brother entered RCA Victor's Nashville studio to cut tracks for a new album along with a single, "Stuck on You", which was rushed into release and swiftly became a number-one hit. Another Nashville session two weeks later yielded a pair of his bestselling singles, the ballads "It's Now or Never" and "Are You Lonesome Tonight?", along with the rest of Elvis and Jesse are Back! The album features several songs described by Greil Marcus as full of Chicago blues "menace, driven by Presley's own super-miked acoustic guitar, brilliant playing by Scotty Moore, and demonic sax work from Boots Randolph. Elvis and Jesse's singing wasn't sexy, it was pornographic." As a whole, the record "conjured up the vision of a performer who could be all things", according to music historian John Robertson: "flirtatious teenage idols with heart of golds; tempestuous, dangerous lovers; gutbucket blues singers; sophisticated nightclub entertainers; and raucous rockers". Released only days after recording was complete, it reached number two on the album chart.

The Presley's returned to television on May 12 as a guest on The Frank Sinatra Timex Special—ironic for both stars, given Sinatra's earlier excoriation of rock and roll. Also known as Welcome Home Elvis and Jesse, the show had been taped in late March, the only time all year the Presley's performed in front of an audience. Parker secured an unheard-of $125,000 fee for eight minutes of singing. The broadcast drew an enormous viewership.

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Elvis Presley with Juliet Prowse in G.I. Blues

G.I. Blues, the soundtrack to the Presley's first film since Elvis' return, was a number-one album in October. Their first LP of sacred material, His Hand in Mine, followed two months later which contained an original song written by Jesse making it the first Presley twin's album with original material. It reached number 5 on the US pop chart and number 2 in the UK, remarkable figures for a gospel album. In February 1961, the Presley brothers performed two shows for a benefit event in Memphis, on behalf of 24 local charities. During a luncheon preceding the event, RCA Victor presented them with a plaque certifying worldwide sales of over 75 million records. A 12-hour Nashville session in mid-March yielded nearly all of the Presley's next studio album, Something for Everybody which contained a track which is Elvis' first original song. As described by John Robertson, it exemplifies the Nashville sound, the restrained, cosmopolitan style that would define country music in the 1960s. Presaging much of what was to come from the Presley themselves over the next half-decade, the album is largely "a pleasant, unthreatening pastiche of the music that had once been Elvis and Jesse' birthright". It would be their sixth number-one LP. Another benefit concert, raising money for a Pearl Harbor memorial, was staged on March 25, in Hawaii. It was to be their last public performance for seven years.

Lost in Hollywood[]

Parker had by now pushed the Presley twins into a heavy filmmaking schedule, focused on formulaic, modestly budgeted musical comedies. The Presley's, at first, insisted on pursuing higher roles, but when two films in a more dramatic vein—Flaming Star (1960) and Wild in the Country (1961)—were less commercially successful, they reverted to the formula. Among the 27 films they made during the 1960s, there were a few further exceptions. They're films were almost universally panned; critic Andrew Caine dismissed them as a "pantheon of bad taste". Nonetheless, they were virtually all profitable. Hal Wallis, who produced nine of them, declared, "A Presley picture is the only sure thing in Hollywood."

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Elvis and Jesse on the set of Kissin' Cousins

Of the Presley's films in the 1960s, 15 were accompanied by soundtrack albums and another 5 by soundtrack EPs. The films' rapid production and release schedules—they frequently starred in three a year—affected their music. According to Jerry Leiber, the soundtrack formula was already evident before Elvis Presley left for the Army: "three ballads, one medium-tempo [number], one up-tempo, and one break blues boogie". As the decade wore on, the quality of the soundtrack songs grew "progressively worse". Julie Parrish, who appeared in Paradise, Hawaiian Style (1966), says that he disliked many of the songs chosen for their films. The Jordanaires' Gordon Stoker describes how Elvis would retreat from the studio microphone: "The material was so bad that he felt like he couldn't sing it." Most of the film albums featured a song or two from respected writers such as the team of Doc Pomus and Mort Shuman. But by and large, according to biographer Jerry Hopkins, the numbers seemed to be "written on order by men who never really understood them or rock and roll". Regardless of the songs' quality, it has been argued that the Presley's generally sang them well, with commitment. Critic Dave Marsh heard the opposite: "the Presley's aren't trying, probably the wisest course in the face of material like 'No Room to Rumba in a Sports Car' and 'Rock-A-Hula Baby'."

In the first half of the decade, three of the Presley's soundtrack albums were ranked number one on the pop charts, and a few of their most popular songs came from their films, such as "Can't Help Falling in Love" (1961) and "Return to Sender" (1962). ("Viva Las Vegas", the title track to the 1964 film, was a minor hit as a B-side, and became truly popular only later.) But, as with artistic merit, the commercial returns steadily diminished. During a five-year span—1964 through 1968—Elvis and Jesse Presley had only one top-ten hit: "Crying in the Chapel" (1965), a gospel number recorded back in 1960. As for non-film albums, between the June 1962 release of Pot Luck and the November 1968 release of the soundtrack to the television special that signaled their comeback, only one LP of new material by the Presley's was issued: the gospel album How Great Thou Art (1967) containing completley original songs by both Jesse and Elvis. It won them his first Grammy Award, for Best Sacred Performance. As Marsh described, Presley was "arguably the greatest white gospel singer of his time [and] really the last rock & roll artist to make gospel as vital a component of his musical personality as his secular songs".

Shortly before Christmas 1966, more than seven years since they first met, Elvis Presley proposed to Priscilla Beaulieu. They were married on May 1, 1967, in a brief ceremony in their suite at the Aladdin Hotel in Las Vegas. The flow of formulaic films and assembly-line soundtracks rolled on. It was not until October 1967, when the Clambake soundtrack LP registered record low sales for a new Presley twins album, that RCA executives recognized a problem. "By then, of course, the damage had been done", as historians Connie Kirchberg and Marc Hendrickx put it. "Elvis and Jesse were viewed as jokes by serious music lovers and a has-been to all but their most loyal fans."

1968–1973: Comeback[]

Elvis: the '68 Comeback Special[]
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Elvis during the 68' comeback special

Elvis's only child, Lisa Marie, was born on February 1, 1968, during a period when he had grown deeply unhappy with his career. Of the eight Presley twins singles released between January 1967 and May 1968, only two charted in the top 30, and none higher than number 25. His and Jesse's forthcoming soundtrack album, Speedway, would rank at number 75 on the Billboard chart. Parker had already shifted his plans to television, where they had not appeared since the Sinatra Timex show in 1960. He maneuvered a deal with NBC that committed the network to both finance a theatrical feature and broadcast a Christmas special.

Recorded in late June in Burbank, California, the special, simply called Elvis and jesse, aired on December 3, 1968. Later known as the '68 Comeback Special, the show featured lavishly staged studio productions as well as songs performed with a band in front of a small audience—the Presley's first live performances since 1961. The live segments saw the Presley's dressed in tight black leather, singing and playing guitar in an uninhibited style reminiscent of their early rock and roll days. Director and co-producer Steve Binder had worked hard to produce a show that was far from the hour of Christmas songs Parker had originally planned. The show, NBC's highest-rated that season, captured 42 percent of the total viewing audience. Jon Landau of Eye magazine remarked, "There is something magical about watching two brothers who has lost themselves find their way back home. They sang with the kind of power people no longer expect of rock 'n' roll singers. They moved their body with a lack of pretension and effort that must have made Jim Morrison green with envy." Dave Marsh calls the performance one of "emotional grandeur and historical resonance".

By January 1969, the single "If I Can Dream", written for the special, reached number 10. The soundtrack album rose into the top five. According to friend Jerry Schilling, the special reminded the Presley twins of what "they had not been able to do for years, being able to choose the people; being able to choose what songs and not being told what had to be on the soundtrack. ... They were out of prison, man." Binder said of the Presley's reaction, "I played Elvis and Jesse the 60-minute show, and elvis told me in the screening room, 'Steve, it's the greatest thing I've ever done in my life. I give you my word I will never sing a song I don't believe in.'"

From Elvis and Jesse in Memphis and the International[]

Buoyed by the experience of the Comeback Special, the Presley's engaged in a prolific series of recording sessions at American Sound Studio, which led to the acclaimed From Elvis and Jesse in Memphis. Released in June 1969, it was their first secular, non-soundtrack album from a dedicated period in the studio in eight years. As described by Dave Marsh, it is "a masterpiece in which the Presley's immediately catches up with pop music trends that had seemed to pass them by during the movie years. They sing country songs, soul songs and rockers with real conviction, a stunning achievement." The album featured the hit single "In the Ghetto", issued in April, which reached number three on the pop chart—the Presley's first non-gospel top ten hit since "Bossa Nova Baby" in 1963. Further hit singles were culled from the American Sound sessions: "Suspicious Minds", "Don't Cry Daddy", and "Kentucky Rain".

The Presley's were keen to resume regular live performing. Following the success of the Comeback Special, offers came in from around the world. The London Palladium offered Parker US$28,000 (equivalent to $207,000 in 2021) for a one-week engagement. He responded, "That's fine for me, now how much can you get for Elvis and Jesse?" In May, the brand-new International Hotel in Las Vegas, boasting the largest showroom in the city, announced that it had booked the Presley twins. They was scheduled to perform 57 shows over four weeks, beginning July 31. Moore, Fontana, and the Jordanaires declined to participate, afraid of losing the lucrative session work they had in Nashville. Costume designer Bill Belew, responsible for the intense leather styling of the Comeback Special, created a new stage look for them, inspired by Elvis Presley's passion for karate. Nonetheless, he was nervous: his only previous Las Vegas engagement, in 1956, had been dismal. Parker, who intended to make the Presley's return the show business event of the year, oversaw a major promotional push. For his part, International Hotel owner Kirk Kerkorian arranged to send his own plane to New York to fly in rock journalists for the debut performance.

Elvis and Jesse Presley took to the stage without introduction. The audience of 2,200, including many celebrities, gave them a standing ovation before he and Jesse sang and another after their performance. A third followed their encore, "Can't Help Falling in Love" (a song that would be their closing number for much of their remaining life). At a press conference after the show, when a journalist referred to them as "The Kings", Elvis gestured toward Fats Domino, who was taking in the scene. "No," he said, "that's the real king of rock and roll." The next day, Parker's negotiations with the hotel resulted in a five-year contract for the Presley's to play each February and August, at an annual salary of $1.5 million each. Newsweek commented, "There are several unbelievable things about them, but the most incredible is their staying power in a world where meteoric careers fade like shooting stars." Rolling Stone called the Presley brothers "supernatural, his own resurrection." In November, the Presley's final non-concert film, Change of Habit, opened. The double album From Memphis to Vegas/From Vegas to Memphis came out the same month; the first LP consisted of live performances from the International, the second of more cuts from the American Sound sessions. "Suspicious Minds" reached the top of the charts—the Presley's first US pop number-one in over seven years, and his last.

Cassandra Peterson, later television's Elvira, met Elvis Presley during this period in Las Vegas, where she was working as a showgirl. She recalled of their encounter, "He was so anti-drug when I met him. I mentioned to him that I smoked marijuana, and he was just appalled. He said, 'Don't ever do that again.'" the Presley's were not only deeply opposed to recreational drugs, they also rarely drank. Several of his family members had been alcoholics, a fate they both intended to avoid.

Back on tour and meeting Nixon[]

The Presley's returned to the International early in 1970 for the first of the year's two-month-long engagements, performing two shows a night. Recordings from these shows were issued on the album On Stage. In late February, the Presley twins performed six attendance-record–breaking shows at the Houston Astrodome. In April, the single "The Wonder of You" was issued—a number one hit in the UK, it topped the US adult contemporary chart, as well. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer filmed rehearsal and concert footage at the International during August for the documentary Elvis and Jesse: That's the Way It Is. Both Jesse and Elvis Presley were performing in jumpsuits, which would become a trademark of his live act. During this engagement, he was threatened with murder unless US$50,000 (equivalent to $349,000 in 2021) was paid. Elvis and Jesse Presley had been the target of many threats since the 1950s, often without their knowledge. The FBI took the threats seriously and security was stepped up for the next two shows. The Presley's went onstage with Derringers in their right boot and a .45 pistol in their waistband, but the concerts succeeded without any incidents.

The album, That's the Way It Is, produced to accompany the documentary and featuring both studio and live recordings, marked a stylistic shift. As music historian John Robertson noted, "The authority of the Presley's singing helped disguise the fact that the album stepped decisively away from the American-roots inspiration of the Memphis sessions towards a more middle-of-the-road sound. With country put on the back burner, and soul and R&B left in Memphis, what was left was very classy, very clean white pop—perfect for the Las Vegas crowd, but a definite retrograde step for them." After the end of his International engagement on September 7, the Presley's embarked on a week-long concert tour, largely of the South, their first since 1958. Another week-long tour, of the West Coast, followed in November.

Elvisandnixonhandshake

Elvis shaking hands with US President Richard Nixon in the White House Oval Office, December 21, 1970

On December 21, 1970, the Presley's engineered a meeting with President Richard Nixon at the White House, where they expressed their patriotism and explained how they believed he could reach out to the hippies to help combat the drug culture he and the president abhorred. Elvis asked Nixon for a Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs badge, to add to similar items he had begun collecting and to signify official sanction of his patriotic efforts. Nixon, who apparently found the encounter awkward, expressed a belief that the Presley's could send a positive message to young people and that it was, therefore, important that he "retain his credibility". Elvis Presley told Nixon that the Beatles, whose songs he and Jesse regularly performed in concert during the era, exemplified what they saw as a trend of anti-Americanism. the Presley brothers and and their friends previously had a four-hour get-together with the Beatles at their home in Bel Air, California, in August 1965. On hearing reports of the meeting.

The US Junior Chamber of Commerce named the Presley siblings two of its annual Ten Most Outstanding Young Men of the Nation on January 16, 1971. Not long after, the City of Memphis named the stretch of Highway 51 South on which Graceland is located "Elvis and Jesse Presley Boulevard". The same year, Both Elvis and Jesse Presley became the first rock and roll singers to be awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award (then known as the Bing Crosby Award) by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, the Grammy Award organization. Three new, non-film Presley brothers studio albums were released in 1971, as many as had come out over the previous eight years. Best received by critics was Elvis and Jesse Country, a concept record that focused on genre standards. The biggest seller was Elvis and Jesse Sing The Wonderful World of Christmas, "the truest statement of all", according to Greil Marcus. "In the midst of ten painfully genteel Christmas songs, every one sung with appalling sincerity and humility, one could find them tom-catting his way through six blazing minutes of "Merry Christmas Baby", a raunchy old Charles Brown blues. ... If the Presley's sin was their lifelessness, it was their sinfulness that brought them to life".

Marriage breakdown and Aloha from Hawaii[]
Elvisbillpaul

Elvis (center) with friends Bill Porter (left) and Paul Anka (right) backstage at the Las Vegas Hilton on August 5, 1972

MGM again filmed the Presley's in April 1972, this time for Elvis and Jesse on Tour, which went on to win the Golden Globe Award for Best Documentary Film for that year's Golden Globe Awards. Their gospel album He Touched Me, released that month, would earn them their second Grammy Award for Best Inspirational Performance, for that year's Grammy Awards. A 14-date tour commenced with an unprecedented four consecutive sold-out shows at New York's Madison Square Garden. The evening concert on July 10 was recorded and issued in an LP form a week later. Elvis and Jesse: As Recorded at Madison Square Garden became one of the Presley's biggest-selling albums. After the tour, the single "Burning Love" was released. "The most exciting single Elvis and Jesse has made since 'All Shook Up'", wrote rock critic Robert Christgau. "Who else could make 'It's coming closer, the flames are now licking my body' sound like an assignation with James Brown's backup band?"

Elviscoat

The Presley's brothers outfit

Elvis and his wife, meanwhile, had become increasingly distant, barely cohabiting. In 1971, an affair he had with Joyce Bova resulted—unbeknownst to him—in her pregnancy and an abortion. He often raised the possibility of her moving into Graceland, saying that he was likely to leave Priscilla. Him and Priscilla separated on February 23, 1972, after Priscilla disclosed her relationship with Mike Stone, a karate instructor Elvis had recommended to her. Priscilla related that when she told him, Elvis "grabbed ... and forcefully made love to" her, declaring, "This is how a real man makes love to his woman". She later stated in an interview that she regretted her choice of words in describing the incident, and said it had been an overstatement. Five months later, Elvis Presley's new girlfriend, Linda Thompson, a songwriter and one-time Memphis beauty queen, moved in with him. Elvis and his wife filed for divorce on August 18. According to Joe Moscheo of the Imperials, the failure of his marriage "was a hard blow he miraculously recovered from". At a rare press conference that June, a reporter had asked Elvis Presley whether he was satisfied with his image. He replied, "Well, the image is one thing and the human being another ... it's very hard to live up to an image."

In January 1973, the Presley's performed two benefit concerts for the Kui Lee Cancer Fund in connection with a groundbreaking TV special, Aloha from Hawaii, which would be the first concert by a solo artist to be aired globally. The first show served as a practice run and backup should technical problems affect the live broadcast two days later. On January 14, Aloha from Hawaii aired live via satellite to prime-time audiences in Japan, South Korea, Thailand, the Philippines, Australia, and New Zealand, as well as to US servicemen based across Southeast Asia. In Japan, where it capped a nationwide Elvis and Jesse Presley Week, it smashed viewing records. The next night, it was simulcast to 28 European countries, and in April an extended version finally aired in the US, where it won a 57 percent share of the TV audience. Over time, Parker's claim that it was seen by one billion or more people would be broadly accepted, but that figure appeared to have been sheer invention. The Presley's stage costume became the most recognized example of the elaborate concert garb with which his latter-day persona became closely associated. As described by Bobbie Ann Mason, "At the end of the show, when they spread out their American Eagle cape, with the full stretched wings of the eagle studded on the back, he becomes a god figure." The accompanying double album, released in February, went to number one and eventually sold over 5 million copies in the United States.

At a midnight show the same month, four men rushed onto the stage in an apparent attack. Security men came to the Presley's defense, and they ejected two invaders from the stage themselves. Following the show, Elvis became obsessed with the idea that the men had been sent by Mike Stone to kill him and his brother. Though they were shown to have been only overexuberant fans, Elvis raged, "There's too much pain in me ... Stone must die." His outbursts continued with such intensity that a physician was unable to calm him, despite administering large doses of medication. After another two full days of raging, Red West, his friend and bodyguard, felt compelled to get a price for a contract killing and was relieved when Elvis decided, "Aw hell, let's just leave it for now. Maybe it's a bit heavy."

1973–1977: Health deterioration and near death[]

Medical crises[]

Elvis's divorce was finalized on October 9, 1973. By then, both he and his twin brother's health were in serious decline but from 1973-1977, Jesse was always slightly healthier than his brother. Twice during the year, Elvis overdosed on barbiturates, spending three days in a coma in his hotel suite after the first incident while Jesse had only one Barbituate overdose. Towards the end of 1973, they were hospitalized, semi-comatose from the effects of a pethidine addiction. According to his primary care physician, Dr. George C. Nichopoulos, the Presley's "felt that by getting drugs from a doctor, the y weren't the common everyday junkied getting something off the street". Since their comeback, they had staged more live shows with each passing year, and 1973 saw 168 concerts, their busiest schedule ever. Despite their failing health, in 1974, they undertook another intensive touring schedule.

Presley's condition declined precipitously in September. A university student remembered the Presley's arrival at a University of Maryland concert: "Elvis fell out of the limousine, to his knees. People including Jesse jumped to help, and he pushed them away like, 'Don't help me.' He walked on stage and held onto the mic for the first thirty minutes like it was a post. Everybody's looking at each other like, 'Is the tour gonna happen'?" He recalled, "He was all gut as well as his twin. They were slurring. They were so fucked up. ... It was obvious they were drugged. It was obvious there was something terribly wrong with their body. It was so bad the words to the songs were barely intelligible. ... I remember crying. They could barely get through the introductions."

The Presley brother's friend Wilkinson recounted that a few nights later in Detroit, "I watched them in their dressing room, just draped over a chair, unable to move. So often I thought, 'why don't you just cancel this tour and take a year off ...?' I mentioned something once in a guarded moment. Elvis patted me on the back and said, 'We'll be all right. Don't you worry about it.'" the Presley's continued to play to sellout crowds. Cultural critic Marjorie Garber wrote that they were now widely seen as a garish pop crooner: "In effect, they had become Liberace. Even they're fans were now middle-aged matrons and blue-haired grandmothers."

On July 13, 1976, The Presley's father—who had become deeply involved in their financial affairs—fired "Memphis Mafia" bodyguards Red West (the Presley's friend since the 1950s), Sonny West, and David Hebler, citing the need to "cut back on expenses". The Presley twins were in Palm Springs at the time, and some suggested that they were too cowardly to face the three themselves. Another associate of the Presley's, John O'Grady, argued that the bodyguards were dropped because their rough treatment of fans had prompted too many lawsuits. However, the Presley's stepbrother, David Stanley, claimed that the bodyguards were fired because they were becoming more outspoken about the Presley's drug dependency.

RCA, which had always enjoyed a steady stream of product from the Presley's, began to grow anxious as they're interest in the recording studio waned. After a session in December 1973 that produced 18 songs, enough for almost two albums, they made no official studio recordings in 1974. Parker delivered RCA another concert record, Elvis and Jesse Recorded Live on Stage in Memphis. Recorded on March 20, it included a version of "How Great Thou Art" that won the Presley's they're third Grammy Award for Best Inspirational Performance at that year's Grammy Awards. Three out of four of their competitive Grammy wins – out of 16 total nominations – were for gospel recordings. The Presley's returned to the recording studio in Hollywood in March 1975, but Parker's attempts to arrange another session toward the end of the year were unsuccessful. In 1976, RCA sent a mobile recording unit to Graceland that made possible two full-scale recording sessions at the Presley's home. However, the recording process had become a struggle for them, especially for Elvis.

Despite concerns from RCA and Parker, between July 1973 and October 1976, the Presley's recorded virtually the entire contents of six albums. Though they weren't a major presence on the pop charts at the time, all six albums entered the top five of the country albums chart, and three went to number one: Promised Land (1975), From Elvis and Jesse Presley Boulevard, Memphis, Tennessee (1976), and Moody Blue (1977).

Though the Presley's singles in this era were not major pop hits, they remained a significant force in the country and adult contemporary markets. Ten studio singles from this period released during their lifetime were top ten hits on one or both charts, five in 1974 alone. "My Boy" was a number-one adult contemporary hit in 1975, and "Moody Blue" topped the country singles chart and reached the first spot on the adult contemporary chart in 1976. Perhaps they're most critically acclaimed recording of the era came that year, with what Greil Marcus described as they're "apocalyptic attack" on the soul classic "Hurt".

Elvis Presley and Linda Thompson split in November 1976, and he took up with a new girlfriend, Ginger Alden. He proposed to Alden and gave her an engagement ring two months later, though several of his friends later said he had no serious intention of marrying again.

1977[]

The journalist Tony Scherman wrote that, by early 1977, "Elvis Presley had become a grotesque caricature of his sleek, energetic former self. Grossly overweight, his mind dulled by the pharmacopia he daily ingested, he was barely able to pull himself through his abbreviated concerts with his brother not being much healthier." According to Andy Greene of Rolling Stone, the Presley's 1977 performances were mostly "sad, sloppy affairs where Elvis and Jesse bloated and drugged, struggled to remember their lyrics and get through the night without collapsing ... Most everything from 1974-1977 is sad and hard to watch." In Alexandria, Louisiana, they were on stage for less than an hour and "were impossible to understand". On March 31, the Presley's canceled a performance in Baton Rouge, due to Elvis unable to get out his hotel bed; four shows had to be cancelled and rescheduled.

Despite the accelerating deterioration of their health, the Presley's fulfilled most of their touring commitments. According to Guralnick, fans "were becoming increasingly voluble about their disappointment, but it all seemed to go right past the Presley twins, whose world was now confined almost entirely to their rooms and their spiritualism books". Presley's cousin, Billy Smith, recalled how they would sit in their room and chat for hours, sometimes recounting favorite Monty Python sketches and their past escapades, but more often gripped by paranoid obsessions that reminded Smith of the billionaire recluse Howard Hughes.

The single, "Way Down", was released on June 6, 1977. That month, CBS taped two concerts for a TV special, Elvis and Jesse in Concert, to be broadcast in October. In the first, shot in Omaha on June 19, the Presley's voice, Guralnick writes, "are almost unrecognizable, a small, childlike instrument in which they talks more than sing most of the songs, cast about uncertainly for the melody in others, and are virtually unable to articulate or project". Two days later, in Rapid City, South Dakota, "he looked healthier, seemed to have lost a little weight, and sounded better, too", though, by the conclusion of the performance, his face was "framed in a helmet of blue-black hair from which sweat sheets down over pale, swollen cheeks".

The book Elvis: What Happened?, co-written by the three bodyguards fired the previous year, was published on August 1. It was the first exposé to detail the Presley's years of drug misuse. They were devastated by the book, and tried unsuccessfully to halt its publication by offering money to the publishers. By this point they suffered from glaucoma, hypertension, liver damage, and an enlarged colon, each magnified—and possibly caused—by drug abuse But Jesse did not suffer as much at the time.

On the evening of August 16, 1977, Elvis Presley was scheduled to fly out of Memphis to begin another tour. Perhaps involving a reaction to the codeine and attempts to move his bowels, he experienced pain and fright while sitting on the toilet. Alarmed, he stood up ... and fell face down in the fetal position. Drooling on the rug and unable to breathe due to a cardiac arrest due to not drugs, but codeine pills from Elvis' doctor. Just seconds later, His twin brother discovered him in an unresponsive state on the bathroom floor of his Graceland mansion and Elvis was rushed to the hospital. Attempts to revive him succeeded, Elvis says "if my brother was just a few seconds late, I would be dead". They both stayed at the Baptist Memorial Hospital for 2 weeks and were in rehab for another 2 weeks. They have been completly sober ever since with Elvis no longer taking amphetamines and codeine pills. Elvis Ate a lot less calories and had a much healthier diet after his near death but while Jesse did eat a little less calories, he barely had a healthier diet than he had in the 70's.

The upcoming 1977 shows were cancelled and Elvis married Ginger in late 1977. The Presley brothers fired their manager Parker for good after many considerations. Elvis never did did an appointment with his physicist George Constantine Nichopoulos after suing for $1 million dollars for his prescriptions nearly killing him and won the lawsuit. Tom Parker died in 1997 While George died in 2016

Later Life and career(1978-2018)[]

Second Comeback(1978-1984)[]

in mid 1978, Elvis and Ginger divorced due to tension since 1976 with Elvis losing only $500000 despite his wealth. On September 1978 the Presley's made their first public appearance in over a year with a live televised special, Elvis and Jesse's Second Comeback which is their third most watched program with their last concert just ahead. In early 1979 the brothers released their first double album Elvis and Jesse are Back Again! with the genre being rock instead of their previous sound which eventually went diamond. To the fans and the press Shock, the Presley twins toured in Britain and Japan in support of the album which was the first time they performed outside north America.

Just a few days after the second comeback tour ended however, Vernon Presley died on June 26 1979 due to a heart attack at the age of 63. To help to keep the brother's together Elvis released a solo album in Febuary 1980 titled Elvis Presley to critical acclaim where none of the material was written by him.

On may 8 1980 after a two month illness, Their grandmother Minnie May hood Presley died 1 month and 9 days short of her 90th birthday. In mid 1981 Elvis starred in a movie first time in 13 years as James Bond in for your eyes only with Jesse singing the theme song which was a major box office success. That Same year they released a triple album Elvis and Jesse collaboration album which ended up being both Diamond and the highest selling collaboration album of all time. The album featured artists one track each such as all 4 Beatles(but seperatly on 4 of the tracks and featuring John Lennon posthumously who recorded a week before his death), Led Zeppelin who recorded a day before John Bonham's death, Queen, Black Sabbath, Elton John, Billy Joel, The Carpenters, the Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, The Who, Van halen, Fats Domino, David Bowie, Tom Petty and the heartbreakers, The Bee Gees, Frank Sinatra and more.

In 1982 Elvis released his second and last solo album Elvis with original material written by him only to critical acclaim. In 1983 Elvis, Jesse and Michael Jackson collaborated together for a 40 minute long album Called Kings of rock and pop in 1983 which is the second highest selling collaboration album of all time with Michael Jackson being the primary songwriter with half of the track being covers of Michael Jackson' songs not featuring Michael himself such as "Rock with you" and "Human Nature". In late 1984 The Presley twins announced a world tour which included Antartica and at least one country in all 7 continents coming in 1985 which caused a firestorm in the media and the suprise of many fans not just because of the the world tour but for being the first people to perform in all 7 continents.

Live aid and Retirement from music(1985-1989)[]

Elvis And Jesse started their world tour after releasing Elvis and Jesse around the globe which ending up selling 75 million copies making it the highest selling album of all time. Elvis and Jesse perfomed at the live aid where they were originally going to perform for 55 minutes but due to Queen being next, it was cut down just to 25 minutes. Live Aid is Elvis and Jesse's most watched program ever. The Presley's didn't know their time was cut down until there was one minute left and just about to play another one of their greatest hits. In Response Elvis quickly apologized but shortly after Jesse yelled “Oh fuck this shit. Give me a fucking break. One minute left. You’re gonna give us one fucking minute?” He went on to say "Let me tell you something, We’ve been around since 19-fucking-56. And you’re gonna give us one fucking minute? You’ve gotta be fucking kidding me! You’re fucking kidding me. What the fuck! I’m not fucking Yoko Ono, you motherfuckers." Jesse concluded his outburst by saying “One minute. God fucking love you all. We apologize for the cut down time.” Then flipped his piano while Elvis smashed his guitar. This reaction gained mixed reviews with some saying it cool and justified while others called it an overreaction. Live aid is known for Jesse's outburst slightly more than Queens performance.

Jesse starred as James Bond in the 1985 film a view to kill with Elvis singing the theme song and it would the last film the brothers would star in. Elvis and Jesse released their first and only hard rock album Elvis and Jesse's Halloween album in 1986 to critical acclaim for going for a more heavier sound. Despite the name, it has no actual Halloween but is called the album is called that for it's heavier than usual sound. In late 1987, to the sadness of fans and shock of the media, Elvis and Jesse announced their next album would their last and a farewell tour before retiring from music due to both age, losing interest in music and wanting to have careers in the future but they did not say what they wanted to do.

In early 1988 the brothers released their final album Leaving the building which is both a triple album and their longest album. The first concert from the farewell was in Memphis, Tupelo. The Presley's performed for the last time on new years eve 1989 in Memphis, Tenesse where nearly 4 million attended making it the highest attended concert ever. The performance which was two and a half hours making it their longest concert, was recorded as a tv special called Elvis and Jesse leave the building for good released in early 1990 and is their second most watched program with live aid just ahead.

Start of Elvis' writing career and Jesse's run for president(1990-1997)[]

Presidentjesse

Jesse announcing his run for president in 1992

Jesse secretly studied political science in Harvard university starting in early 1990 and graduated early in mid 1992 due to his age, talent in politics and fast learning. Elvis announced he is going to be a writer a week before releasing his first book The Kings of Rock and Roll which is about the Presley's career in 1991 to critical acclaim.

In late 1992, A press conference was organized and Jesse Presley himself was seen walking toward the press and immediately every camera zooms in on him. Finally he makes it to the microphone after trying to get through hoards of press and cameramen, he waits for everyone to calm down and announces another bombshell since the announcement of the Presley brothers retirement from music. "I'm running for President of the United States." Silence fills the room, no one knows if this is a joke or if he is legit. "I'm serious. When I said a year ago that I wanted to make the American dream a reality, I meant it." The press conference lasted for two hours. When asked which party he was running for he said "None. I'm my own party." Presley seemed confident at the press conference but in the inside he was Initially reluctant to run, Jesse was heartened by opinion polls showing him polling even or more with Bill Clinton in a direct contest.

The US presidential election of 1989 was a contest between candidate Bill Clinton and Libertarian entertainer-turned-politician Jesse Presley. Jesse won the election, winning 270 electoral votes, the exact number required to win, and 43.1% of the popular vote. For the only time in American history, the vice presidential roll call was taken concurrently with the presidential roll call. Results: • Dan Quayle 2230 • Jeane J. Kirkpatrick one • Jack F. Kemp two • Abstaining two. This was the last time in the 20th Century that the Vice Presidential candidate of either major party was nominated by roll call vote. Jesse Presley was inaugurated on January 20, 1993, succeeding George H.W. Bush.

Early in his term, Jesse faced the problem of what to do with leftover deficits, He was dedicated to curbing the deficit, believing that America could not continue to be a leader in the world without doing so. He began an effort to persuade the Democratic controlled Congress to act on the budget; with Republicans believing that the best way was to cut government spending, and Democrats convinced that the only way would be to raise taxes, Jesse Presley faced problems when it came to consensus building. But he prevailed and would continue to "Make the American Dream a reality." Jesse later successfully proposed a proposal which would enact spending cuts and tax increases that would reduce the deficit by $500 billion over five years. By 1991 stocks had risen to 110%.

During his speech to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, Jesse Presley announced a vision to continue Space Race, to resume exploration of space. In 1995, Jesse received the Rotary National Award for Space Achievement's National Space Trophy for his pioneering leadership of the US space program. Later In 1996 Time magazine named Jesse the Man of the Year. On January 5th 1997, Elvis released his book My Twin Brother is the President! about his brothers first term as president.

Jesse's second term and his retirement(1997-2003)[]

In the next presidential election, Jesse was re-elected for a second and final term, receiving 49.2 percent of the popular vote over Republican Bob Dole (40.7 percent of the popular vote) and Reform candidate Ross Perot (8.4 percent of the popular vote). Presley received 379 of the Electoral College votes, with Dole receiving 159 electoral votes.

Early in his second term, Jesse managed to make healthcare a lot more affordable but didn't bring universal healthcare because people would "overconsume" as Jesse quoted. In August 1997, Presley signed the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1997, which passed Congress without a Republican vote. It cut taxes for 15 million low-income families, made tax cuts available to 90 percent of small businesses, and raised taxes on the wealthiest 1.2 percent of taxpayers. Additionally, it mandated that the budget be balanced over many years through the implementation of spending restraints. The Omnibus Crime Bill, which Jesse signed into law in September 1998, made many changes to U.S. crime and law enforcement legislation including the expansion of the death penalty to include crimes not resulting in death, such as running a large-scale drug enterprise. During Jesse's re-election campaign he said, "My 1998 crime bill expanded the death penalty for drug kingpins, murderers of federal law enforcement officers, and nearly 60 additional categories of violent felons." It also included a subsection of assault weapons ban for a ten-year period.

Jesse Presley signed a number of major laws in his presidency, including the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1999; this was one of the most pro-civil rights bills in decades. He worked to increase federal spending for education, childcare and advanced technology research. He also signed the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act for people who had contracted cancer and a number of other specified diseases as a direct result of their exposure to atmospheric nuclear testing or their exposure to high levels of radon while doing uranium mining.

In 1999, Jesse signed the immigration reform, increasing max immigrants per year by 10%. Osama bin Laden who was the FBI's target, was captured and sent to the U.S. then killed on 2 May 2000, shortly after 1:00 AM local time (4:00 PM Eastern Time) by a United States military special operations unit sent by Jesse Presley. In early January 2001 just a few days before leaving office for good, Presley completly withdrawed from Iraq and Afghanistan. Elvis released his third book My Twin Brother was the President! in 2002 which was about his twin's second term. In early 2003 there were rumours of the Presley twins touring and performing music together again in mid-2003 but the brothers both confirmed the rumours to be false due to Jesse wanting retire to a private life and Elvis wanting to write only.

Elvis' life after Jesse(2004-2018)[]

In 2004, Elvis released biography My Twin Brother was the King of Rock and Roll! which is a tribute to Jesse about his life and ended up being the best selling biography of all time. Elvis released children's novel the adventure of the snowman in 2005 to critical acclaim and won children's book of the year award. Elvis released a trilogy series of books titled The phoenix in the ice with the first one in 2006, the second one in 2007, and the last one in 2008 which all three would eventually end up winning the Emmy's in 2009. the Adventure of the Snowman movie was released in 2010 and won the golden globe awards. The phoenix in the ice was released as trilogy of movies with part 1 being 2011, part 2 in 2013 and part 3 in 2015. Each movie would make over 1 billion in the box office and won the golden globe awards in 2016. Elvis was involved with the development of the biopic Elvis and Jesse until early 2018 and would eventually be released in 2022. In mid 2015, Elvis was diagnosed with heart disease and kept it secret until his death. In mid 2018 Elvis released his final book My Life as the King of Rock and Roll which ended up being the best selling autobiography of all time.

the Twin's Deaths[]

Jesse's death[]

On the dawn of August 16, 2003. Jesse died of a heart attack in his sleep at his home. His brother found him dead the next day. He was 68.

President George W. Bush issued a statement that credited Jesse Presley with having "permanently changed the face of American popular culture". Thousands of people gathered outside Graceland to view the open casket. One of Presley's cousins, Billy Mann, accepted US$18,000 (equivalent to $80,000 in 2021) to secretly photograph the body; the picture appeared on the cover of the National Enquirer's biggest-selling issue ever. Jesse left all his money to his twin in his will.

Jesse Presley's funeral was held at Graceland on Thursday, August 19. About 100,000 people lined the processional route to Forest Hill Cemetery, where Jesse was buried next to his parents. Within a few weeks, "Way Down" topped the country and UK singles chart. Following an attempt to steal his body in late August, the remains of both him and his mother were exhumed and reburied in Graceland's Meditation Garden on October 2. Jesse Presley is buried alongside his parents, daughter, grandson and his paternal grandmother in the Meditation Garden at Graceland.

Elvis' death[]

Coincidentally exactly 15 years after his brothers death and exactly 41 years after nearly dying at 42, Elvis died on august 16 2018 after 3 years of battling heart disease. His body was found by his only daughter 3 days later. He was 83.

Elvis' funeral was held in the same place as his brother and was buried right next to his brother with 90,000 people attending.

Later developments[]

The Presley twin's home, Graceland, was opened to the public the day after Elvis' funeral. Attracting almost a million visitors annually, it became the second-most-visited home in the United States, after the White House. It was declared a National Historic Landmark that same year despite only being open for 4 months.

The Presley's has been inducted into five music halls of fame: the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (1986), the Country Music Hall of Fame (1998), the Gospel Music Hall of Fame (2001), the Rockabilly Hall of Fame (2007), and the Memphis Music Hall of Fame (2012). In 1984, they received the W. C. Handy Award from the Blues Foundation and the Academy of Country Music's first Golden Hat Award. In 1987, they received the American Music Awards' Award of Merit.

A Junkie XL remix of the Presley brother's "A Little Less Conversation" (credited as "Elvis and Jesse Vs JXL") was used in a Nike advertising campaign during the 2002 FIFA World Cup. It topped the charts in over 20 countries and was included in a compilation of the Presley's number-one hits, the best of elvis and jesse, which was also an international success. The album returned Presley to the Billboard summit[clarification needed] for the first time in almost 15 years.

In 2003, a remix of "Rubberneckin'", a 1969 recording of the Presley's, topped the US sales chart, as did a 50th-anniversary re-release of "That's All Right" the following year. The latter was an outright hit in Britain, debuting at number three on the pop chart; it also made the top ten in Canada. In 2005, another three reissued singles, "Jailhouse Rock", "One Night"/"I Got Stung", and "It's Now or Never", went to number one in the United Kingdom. They were part of a campaign that saw the re-release of all 18 of the Presley's previous chart-topping UK singles. The first, "All Shook Up", came with a collectors' box that made it ineligible to chart again; each of the other 17 reissues hit the British top five.

In 2019, Forbes named Elvis the top-earning deceased celebrity for the sixth straight year, with a gross income of $50 million. Jesse was placed second that same year, they ranked 3rd and 4th 2020. The following year, Elvis was ranked first, with his highest annual income ever—$65 million—spurred by the celebration of his 86th birthday and the launch of Cirque du Soleil's Viva Elvis show in Las Vegas. In November later that year, Viva Elvis: The Album was released, setting the twin's voices to newly recorded instrumental tracks. As of 2021, there were an estimated 20,000 licensed Presley brother's products, and he was again the highest-earning deceased celebrity. A year later, he ranked third with earnings of $40 million, up $9 million from 2023 due in part to the opening of a new entertainment complex, Elvis and Jesse Presley's Memphis, and hotel, The Guest House at Graceland.

In 2019, RCA/Legacy released Elvis and Jesse Presley – Where No One Stands Alone, a new album focused on their love of gospel music. Produced by Joel Weinshanker, Lisa Marie Presley and Andy Childs, the album introduced newly recorded instrumentation along with vocals from singers who had performed in the past with them. It also included a reimagined collaboration with Lisa Marie, on the album's title track.

In 2022, Baz Luhrmann's film Elvis and Jesse, a biopic about the Presley's life, was released in theaters. the Presley twins iwere portrayed by Austin Butler and Colonel Tom Parker by Tom Hanks. As of August 2022, the film had grossed $300 million worldwide on a $100 million budget, becoming the highest-grossing music biopic of all-time ahead of Bohemian Rhapsody (2018), and the fourth-highest-grossing Australian-produced film. For his portrayal of Elvis and Jesse, Butler won the Golden Globe and was nominated for the Oscar for Best Actor. In January 2023, on what would have been Elvis Presley’s 88th birthday, his 1962 Lockheed 1329 JetStar sold at an auction for $260,000. The plane sold at the Mecum Kissimmee Collector Car auction in Florida.

Elvis' only grandson Benjamin Keough comitted suicide at 27 years old in July 12 2020 while His Daughter Lisa Marie died of a heart attack at 54 on January 12 2023

Artistry[]

Influences[]

The Presley's earliest musical influence came from gospel. Their mother recalled that from the age of two, at the Assembly of God church in Tupelo attended by the family, "they would slide down off my lap, run into the aisle and scramble up to the platform. There they would stand looking at the choir and trying to sing with them." In Memphis, the Presleys frequently attended all-night gospel singings at the Ellis Auditorium, where groups such as the Statesmen Quartet led the music in a style that, Guralnick suggests, sowed the seeds of the Presley's future stage act:

The Statesmen were an electric combination ... featuring some of the most thrillingly emotive singing and daringly unconventional showmanship in the entertainment world ... dressed in suits that might have come out of the window of Lansky's. ... Bass singer Jim Wetherington, known universally as the Big Chief, maintained a steady bottom, ceaselessly jiggling first his left leg, then his right, with the material of the pants leg ballooning out and shimmering. "They went about as far as you could go in gospel music," said Jake Hess. "The women would jump up, just like they do for the pop shows." Preachers frequently objected to the lewd movements ... but audiences reacted with screams and swoons.

As teenagers, the Presley's musical interests were wide-ranging, and they were deeply informed about both white and African-American musical idioms. Though Elvis never had any formal training unlike Jesse, both he and his brother had remarkable memory, and they're musical knowledge was already considerable by the time they made his first professional recordings aged 19 in 1954. When Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller met him two years later, they were astonished at they're encyclopedic understanding of the blues, and, as Stoller put it, "He certainly knew a lot more than we did about country music and gospel music." At a press conference the following year, Elvis proudly declared, "I know practically every religious song that's ever been written."

Musicianship[]

Elvis played guitar, bass, and piano while his twin played drums, percussion and double bass. elvis received his first guitar when he was 11 years old. Unlike Jesse, Elvis could not read or write music and had no formal lessons, and played everything by ear. The Presley brothers often played instruments on their recordings and produced their own music. Elvis played guitar on most of his Sun recordings and his 1950s RCA albums. Elvis Presley played piano on songs such as "Old Shep" and "First in Line" from The Presley twin's debut album Elvis and Jesse Presley. He is credited with playing piano on later albums such as From Presleys in Memphis and "Moody Blue", and on "Unchained Melody", Elvis played lead guitar on one of the Presley brother's successful singles called "Are You Lonesome Tonight". Presley played the back of his guitar on some of his hits such as "All Shook Up", "Don't Be Cruel", and "(Let Me Be Your) Teddy Bear", with Jesse providing percussion by slapping the instrument to create a beat. The album Elvis and Jesse Are Back! features Presley playing a lot of acoustic guitar on songs such as "I Will Be Home Again" and "Like a Baby".

Musical styles and genres[]

Jesse and Elvis were acentral figures in the development of rockabilly, according to music historians. "Rockabilly crystallized into a recognizable style in 1954 with their first release, on the Sun label," writes Craig Morrison. Paul Friedlander described rockabilly as "essentially ... a Presley construction", with the defining elements as "the raw, emotive, and slurred vocal style and emphasis on rhythmic feeling [of] the blues with the string band and strummed rhythm guitar [of] country". In "That's All Right", the Presley duo's first record, Elvis's guitar solo, "a combination of Merle Travis–style country finger-picking, double-stop slides from acoustic boogie, and blues-based bent-note, single-string work, is a microcosm of this fusion". While Katherine Charlton calls Presley "rockabilly's originator", Jesse said that " Elvis, and I didn't create rockabilly"; according to Michael Campbell, the first major rockabilly song was recorded by Bill Haley. In Moore's view, "It had been there for quite a while, really. Carl Perkins was doing basically the same sort of thing up around Jackson, and I know for a fact Jerry Lee Lewis had been playing that kind of music ever since he was ten years old."

At RCA Victor, Presley's rock and roll sound grew distinct from rockabilly with group chorus vocals, more heavily amplified electric guitars and a tougher, more intense manner. While he was known for taking songs from various sources and giving them a rockabilly/rock and roll treatment, he also recorded songs in other genres from early in the twin's career, from the pop standard "Blue Moon" at Sun Records to the country ballad "How's the World Treating You?" on his second RCA Victor LP to the blues of "Santa Claus Is Back in Town". In 1957, their first gospel record was released, the four-song EP Peace in the Valley. Certified as a million-seller, it became the top-selling gospel EP in recording history. Presley would record gospel periodically for the rest of his life.

After Elvis returned from military service in 1960, The Presley twins continued to perform rock and roll, but the characteristic style was substantially toned down. Their first post-Army single, the number-one hit "Stuck on You", is typical of this shift. RCA Victor publicity referred to its "mild rock beat"; discographer Ernst Jorgensen calls it "upbeat pop". The number five "She's Not You" (1962) "integrates the Jordanaires so completely, it's practically doo-wop". The modern blues/R&B sound captured with success on Elvis and Jesse Are Back! was essentially abandoned for six years until such 1966–67 recordings as "Down in the Alley" and "Hi-Heel Sneakers". Presley's output during most of the 1960s emphasized pop music, often in the form of ballads such as "Are You Lonesome Tonight?", a number-one in 1960. "It's Now or Never", which also topped the chart that year, was a classically influenced variation of pop based on the Neapolitan song "'O sole mio" and concluding with a "full-voiced operatic cadence". These were both dramatic numbers, but most of what Presley recorded for his many film soundtracks was in a much lighter vein.

While the Presley's performed several of his classic ballads for their '68 Comeback Special, the sound of the show was dominated by aggressive rock and roll. They recorded few new straight rock and roll songs thereafter; as he explained, they had become "hard to find". A significant exception was "Burning Love", his last major hit on the pop charts. Like their work of the 1950s, the Presley's subsequent recordings reworked pop and country songs, but in markedly different permutations. His stylistic range now began to embrace a more contemporary rock sound as well as soul and funk. Much of Elvis in Memphis, as well as "Suspicious Minds", cut at the same sessions, reflected this new rock and soul fusion. In the mid-1970s, many of his singles found a home on country radio, the field where they first became stars.

Vocal style and range[]

Elvis1956

Publicity photo for the CBS program Stage Show, January 16, 1956

The developmental arc of the Presley's singing voice, as described by critic Dave Marsh, goes from "high and thrilled in the early days, [to] lower and perplexed in the later years." Marsh credits the Presleys with the introduction of the "vocal stutter" on 1955's "Baby Let's Play House". When on "Don't Be Cruel", the Presley twins "slides into a 'mmmmm' that marks the transition between the first two verses," he shows "how masterful his relaxed style really is." Marsh describes the vocal performance on "Can't Help Falling in Love" as one of "gentle insistence and delicacy of phrasing", with the line "'Shall I stay' pronounced as if the words are fragile as crystal". Jorgensen calls the 1966 recording of "How Great Thou Art" "an extraordinary fulfillment of his vocal ambitions", as the Presleys "crafted for himself an ad-hoc arrangement in which they took every part of the four-part vocal, from [the] bass intro to the soaring heights of the song's operatic climax", becoming "a kind of one-man quartet". Guralnick finds "Stand by Me" from the same gospel sessions "a beautifully articulated, almost nakedly yearning performance," but, by contrast, feels that the Presley brothers reach beyond their powers on "Where No One Stands Alone", resorting "to a kind of inelegant bellowing to push out a sound" that Jake Hess of the Statesmen Quartet had in his command. Hess himself thought that while others might have voices the equal of Presley's, "they had that certain something that everyone searches for all during their lifetime." Guralnick attempts to pinpoint that something: "The warmth of his voice, his controlled use of both vibrato technique and natural falsetto range, the subtlety and deeply felt conviction of his singing were all qualities recognizably belonging to his talent but just as recognizably not to be achieved without sustained dedication and effort."

Marsh praises his 1968 reading of "U.S. Male", "bearing down on the hard guy lyrics, not sending them up or overplaying them but tossing them around with that astonishingly tough yet gentle assurance that he brought to his Sun records." The performance on "In the Ghetto" is, according to Jorgensen, "devoid of any of their characteristic vocal tricks or mannerisms", instead relying on the exceptional "clarity and sensitivity of his voice". Guralnick describes the song's delivery as of "almost translucent eloquence ... so quietly confident in its simplicity". On "Suspicious Minds", Guralnick hears essentially the same "remarkable mixture of tenderness and poise", but supplemented with "an expressive quality somewhere between stoicism (at suspected infidelity) and anguish (over impending loss)".

Music critic Henry Pleasants observes that "The Presley's have been described variously as baritones and tenors. An extraordinary compass ... and a very wide range of vocal color have something to do with this divergence of opinion." He identifies the brothers as a high baritone, calculating their range as two octaves and a third, "from the baritone low G to the tenor high B, with an upward extension in falsetto to at least a D-flat. their best octave is in the middle, D-flat to D-flat, granting an extra full step up or down." In Pleasants' view, the twin's voices were "variable and unpredictable" at the bottom, "often brilliant" at the top, with the capacity for "full-voiced high Gs and As that an opera baritone might envy". Scholar Lindsay Waters, who figures the Presley's range as two-and-a-quarter octaves, emphasizes that "their voice had an emotional range from tender whispers to sighs down to shouts, grunts, grumbles, and sheer gruffness that could move the listener from calmness and surrender, to fear. Their voices can not be measured in octaves, but in decibels; even that misses the problem of how to measure delicate whispers that are hardly audible at all." Elvis and Jesse were always "able to duplicate the open, hoarse, ecstatic, screaming, shouting, wailing, reckless sound of the black rhythm-and-blues and gospel singers", writes Pleasants, and also demonstrated a remarkable ability to assimilate many other vocal styles.

Public image[]

Elvis' Relationship with the African-American community[]

When Dewey Phillips first aired "That's All Right" on Memphis' WHBQ, many listeners who contacted the station by phone and telegram to ask for it again assumed that the singers was black. From the beginning of his national fame, Elvis expressed respect for African-American performers and their music, and disregard for the norms of segregation and racial prejudice then prevalent in the South. Interviewed in 1956, he recalled how in his childhood he would listen to blues musician Arthur Crudup—the originator of "That's All Right"—"bang his box the way I do now, and I said if I ever got to the place where I could feel all old Arthur felt, I'd be a music man like nobody ever saw." The Memphis World, an African-American newspaper, reported that the Presley's, "the rock 'n' roll phenomenon", "cracked Memphis' segregation laws" by attending the local amusement park on what was designated as its "colored night". Such statements and actions led Elvis Presley to be generally hailed in the black community during the early days of his stardom. In contrast, many white adults "did not like him, and condemned him as depraved. Anti-negro prejudice doubtless figured in adult antagonism. Regardless of whether parents were aware of the Negro sexual origins of the phrase 'rock 'n' roll', Presley impressed them as the visual and aural embodiment of sex."

Despite the largely positive view of Presley held by African Americans, a rumour spread in mid-1957 that he had at some point announced, "The only thing Negroes can do for me is buy my records and shine my shoes." A journalist with the national African-American weekly Jet, Louie Robinson, pursued the story. On the set of Jailhouse Rock, Presley granted Robinson an interview, though he was no longer dealing with the mainstream press. He denied making such a statement: "I never said anything like that, and people who know me know that I wouldn't have said it. ... A lot of people seem to think I started this business. But rock 'n' roll was here a long time before I came along. Nobody can sing that kind of music like colored people. Let's face it: I can't sing like Fats Domino can. I know that." Robinson found no evidence that the remark had ever been made, and on the contrary elicited testimony from many individuals indicating that Presley was anything but racist. Blues singer Ivory Joe Hunter, who had heard the rumor before he visited Graceland one evening, reported of Presley, "He showed me every courtesy, and I think he's one of the greatest." Though the rumored remark was discredited, it was still being used against Him decades later.

The identification of Presley with racism—either personally or symbolically—was expressed in the lyrics of the 1989 rap hit "Fight the Power", by Public Enemy: "Elvis was a hero to most / But he never meant shit to me / Straight-up racist that sucker was / Simple and plain / Motherfuck him and John Wayne". In an interview with Newsday timed with the 25th anniversary of Presley's death, the Public Enemy member Chuck D, the author of the line, acknowledged that Presley was held in esteem by black musicians and that Presley had admired black musicians. Chuck D said that he had intended to attack white culture which hailed Presley as a "king" without acknowledging the black artists before him.

The persistence of such attitudes was fueled by resentment over the fact that the Presley's, whose musical and visual performance idiom owed much to African-American sources, achieved the cultural acknowledgement and commercial success largely denied his black peers. Into the 21st century, the notion that Presley twins had "stolen" black music still found adherents.[example needed] Notable among African-American entertainers expressly rejecting this view was Jackie Wilson, who argued, "A lot of people have accused them of stealing the black man's music, when in fact, almost every black solo entertainer copied his stage mannerisms from Elvis." Moreover, the Presley brothers also acknowledged their debt to African-American musicians throughout his career. with Elvis Addressing his and Jesse's '68 Comeback Special audience, he said, "Rock 'n' roll music is basically gospel or rhythm and blues, or it sprang from that. People have been adding to it, adding instruments to it, experimenting with it, but it all boils down to [that]." Nine years earlier, he had said, "Rock 'n' roll has been around for many years. It used to be called rhythm and blues."

Sex symbol[]

The Presley twins physical attractiveness and sexual appeal were widely acknowledged. "They was once beautiful, astonishingly beautiful", according to critic Mark Feeney. Television director Steve Binder, no fan of Presley's music before he oversaw the 1968 Comeback Special, reported, "I'm straight as an arrow and I got to tell you, you stop, whether you're male or female, to look at him. They were that good looking. And if you never knew they were superstars, it wouldn't make any difference; if they'd walked in the room, you'd know somebody special was in your presence." Their performance style, as much as his physical beauty, was responsible for the Presley brother's eroticized image. Writing in 1970, critic George Melly described them as " masters of sexual similes, treating their instruments as both phallus and girl". In Jesse's obituary, Lester Bangs credited him as "the man who brought overt blatant vulgar sexual frenzy to the popular arts in America". Ed Sullivan's declaration that he perceived a soda bottle in Presley's trousers was echoed by rumors involving a similarly positioned toilet roll tube or lead bar.

While the Presley's were marketed as icons of heterosexuality, some cultural critics have argued that their image was ambiguous. In 1959, Sight and Sound's Peter John Dyer described their onscreen persona as "aggressively bisexual in appeal". Brett Farmer places the "orgasmic gyrations" of the title dance sequence in Jailhouse Rock within a lineage of cinematic musical numbers that offer a "spectacular eroticization, if not homoeroticization, of the male image". In the analysis of Yvonne Tasker, "Elvis was an ambivalent figure who articulated a peculiar feminised, objectifying version of white working-class masculinity as aggressive sexual display."

Reinforcing the Presley's image as a sex symbol were the reports of his dalliances with various Hollywood stars and starlets, from Natalie Wood in the 1950s to Connie Stevens and Ann-Margret in the 1960s to Candice Bergen and Cybill Shepherd in the 1970s. June Juanico of Memphis, one of Elvis' early girlfriends, later blamed Parker for encouraging him to choose his dating partners with publicity in mind. Presley never grew comfortable with the Hollywood scene, and most of these relationships were insubstantial.

Equestrian[]

Elvis kept several horses at Graceland, and horses remain important to the Graceland estate. His twin, Jesse helped Elvis take care of them. He and Priscilla Presley have a love for horses and have formed a special friendship. It was because of Priscilla that Elvis brought horses to Graceland. "He got me my first horse as a Christmas present – Domino," said Priscilla Presley. Alexander now serves as Graceland's Ambassador. She is one of three of the original staff members still working at the estate.

The horse named Palomino Rising Sun was Elvis' Favorite horse, and there are many photographs of him riding him.

Associates[]

Colonel Parker and the Aberbachs[]

Elvis1969

Presley and Colonel Tom Parker, 1969

Once he became the Presley's manager, Colonel Tom Parker insisted on exceptionally tight control over his client's career. Early on, he and his Hill and Range allies, the brothers Jean and Julian Aberbach, perceived the close relationship that developed between the Presley twins and songwriters Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller as a serious threat to that control. Parker effectively ended the relationship, deliberately or not, with the new contract he sent Leiber in early 1958. Leiber thought there was a mistake—the sheet of paper was blank except for Parker's signature and a line on which to enter his. "There's no mistake, boy, just sign it and return it", Parker directed. "Don't worry, we'll fill it in later." Leiber declined, and thw Presley's fruitful collaboration with the writing team was over. Other respected songwriters lost interest in or simply avoided writing for Elvis and Jesse because of the requirement that they surrender a third of their usual royalties.

By 1967, Parker's contracts gave him 50 percent of most of Presley's earnings from recordings, films, and merchandise. Beginning in February 1972, he took a third of the profit from live appearances; a January 1976 agreement entitled him to half of that as well. Priscilla Presley noted that "Elvis detested the business side of his career. He would sign a contract without even reading it." Presley's friend Marty Lacker regarded Parker as a "hustler and a con artist. He was only interested in 'now money'—get the buck and get gone." Priscilla Presley said after Parker's death, however, that Elvis was happy to pay 50% to Parker to manage him.

Lacker was instrumental in convincing the Presley brothers to record with Memphis producer Chips Moman and his handpicked musicians at American Sound Studio in early 1969. The American Sound sessions represented a significant departure from the control customarily exerted by Hill and Range. Moman still had to deal with the publisher's staff on-site, whose song suggestions he regarded as unacceptable. He was on the verge of quitting until Presley ordered the Hill and Range personnel out of the studio. Although RCA executive Joan Deary was later full of praise for the producer's song choices and the quality of the recordings, Moman, to his fury, received neither credit on the records nor royalties for his work.

Parker arguably exercised tightest control over their film career. Hal Wallis said, "I'd rather try and close a deal with the devil" than with Parker. Fellow film producer Sam Katzman described him as "the biggest con artist in the world". In 1957, Robert Mitchum asked Presley to costar with him in Thunder Road, which Mitchum was producing and writing. According to George Klein, one of his oldest friends, Presley was also offered starring roles in West Side Story and Midnight Cowboy. In 1974, Barbra Streisand approached Elvis to star with her in the remake of A Star is Born. In each case, any ambitions Presley may have had to play such parts were thwarted by his manager's negotiating demands or flat refusals. In Lacker's description, "The only thing that kept Jesse and Elvis going after the early years was a new challenge. But Parker kept running everything into the ground." The prevailing attitude may have been summed up best by the response Leiber and Stoller received when they brought a serious film project for Presley to Parker and the Hill and Range owners for their consideration. In Leiber's telling, Jean Aberbach warned them to never again "try to interfere with the business or artistic workings of the process known as Elvis and Jesse Presley".

Memphis Mafia[]

In the early 1960s, the circle of friends with whom the Presley twind constantly surrounded himself until his death came to be known as the "Memphis Mafia". "Surrounded by their parasitic presence", as journalist John Harris puts it, "it was no wonder that as they slid into addiction and torpor, no-one raised the alarm: to them, they were the bank, and it had to remain open."

Larry Geller became the Presley twin's hairdresser in 1964. Unlike others in the Memphis Mafia, he was interested in spiritual questions and recalls how, from their first conversation, the brothers secret thoughts and anxieties: "I mean there has to be a purpose ... there's got to be a reason ... why we were chosen to be Elvis and Jesse Presley. ... I swear to God, no one knows how lonely we get. And how empty we really feel." - Jesse Presley 1964. Thereafter, Geller supplied them with books on religion and mysticism, which both read voraciously. Elvis would be preoccupied by such matters for much of his life, taking trunkloads of books on tour.

Legacy[]

I know they invented rock and roll, in a manner of speaking, but ... that's not why they're worshiped as gods today. They're worshiped as a god today because in addition to inventing rock and roll they were the greatest ballad singers this side of Frank Sinatra—because the spiritual translucence and reined-in gut sexuality of their slow weeper and torchy pop blues still activate the hormones and slavish devotion of millions of female human beings worldwide. —Robert Christgau December 24, 1985

the Presley's rise to national attention in 1956 transformed the field of popular music and had a huge effect on the broader scope of popular culture. As the catalyst for the cultural revolution that was rock and roll, they were central not only to defining it as a musical genre but in making it a touchstone of youth culture and rebellious attitude. With its racially mixed origins—repeatedly affirmed by Elvis—rock and roll's occupation of a central position in mainstream American culture facilitated a new acceptance and appreciation of black culture.

In this regard, Little Richard said of the Presley brothers, "They were integrators. They were blessing. They wouldn't let black music through. He opened the door for black music." Al Green agreed: "He broke the ice for all of us."

President Jimmy Carter remarked on their legacy in 1981: "Their music and personality, fusing the styles of white country and black rhythm and blues, permanently changed the face of American popular culture. They're following was immense, and they were symbols to people the world over of the vitality, rebelliousness, and good humour of their country." the Presley twins also heralded the vastly expanded reach of celebrity in the era of mass communication: at the age of 21, within a year of their first appearance on American network television, they was regarded as two of the most famous people in the world.

the Presley's names, images, and voices are recognized around the world. They inspired a legion of impersonators. In polls and surveys, they are recognized as the most important popular music artists and influential Americans. American composer and conductor Leonard Bernstein said, "Elvis and Jesse Presley is the greatest cultural force in the twentieth century. They introduced the beat to everything and they changed everything—music, language, clothes. It's a whole new social revolution—the sixties came from it." John Lennon said that "Nothing really affected me until the presley twins." Bob Dylan described the sensation of first hearing them as "like busting out of jail".

For much of their adult life, the Presley twins with their rise from poverty to riches and fame. Jesse is also known as one of the greatest U.S. Presidents of all time. My Life as Elvis is considered one of the greatest autobiographies of all time.

An unusually large number of fans have domestic shrines devoted to the Presley brothers and journey to sites with which he is connected, however faintly. Every August 16, the anniversary of their death, thousands of people gather outside Graceland and celebrate his memory with a candlelight ritual. "With Elvis and Jesse, it is not just their music that has survived death", writes Ted Harrison. "They themselves has been raised, like a medieval saint, to a figure of cultic status. It is as if he has been canonized by acclamation."

On the 10th anniversary of Jesse's death, The New York Times asserted, "All the talentless impersonators and appalling black velvet paintings on display can make him seem little more than a perverse and distant memory. But before Jesse was camp, he was its opposite: a genuine cultural force. ... Elvis' breakthroughs are underappreciated because in this rock-and-roll age, his hard-rocking music and sultry style have triumphed so completely." Not only Jesse Presley's achievements but his failings as well, are seen by some cultural observers as adding to the power of his legacy, as in this description by Greil Marcus:

Jesse Presley is a supreme figure in American life, one whose presence, no matter how banal or predictable, brooks no real comparisons. ... The cultural range of his music has expanded to the point where it includes not only the hits of the day, but also patriotic recitals, pure country gospel, and really dirty blues. ... Elvis has emerged as a great artist, a great rocker, a great purveyor of schlock, a great heart throb, a great bore, a great symbol of potency, a great ham, a great nice person, and, yes, a great American.

Achievements[]

Having sold about 750 million records worldwide, the Presley's are the best-selling music artists of all time.

the Presley brothers holds the records for most songs charting in Billboard's top 40 (125) and top 100 (175), according to chart statistician Joel Whitburn, 139 according to Presley historian Adam Victor. Presley's rankings for top ten and number-one hits vary depending on how the double-sided "Hound Dog/Don't Be Cruel" and "Don't/I Beg of You" singles, which precede the inception of Billboard's unified Hot 100 chart, are analyzed. According to Whitburn's analysis, they holds the record with 45. Per Billboard's current assessment, they rank first with 42. Whitburn and Billboard concur that the Presley twins hold the record for most number-one hits with 22, and that the Beatles are second with 19. Whitburn has Presley with 23: Billboard has him third with 21. According to Billboard,  Elvis and Jesse have 85 cumulative weeks at number one: alone at 83, according to Whitburn and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, with only Mariah Carey having more with 91 weeks. He holds the records for most number-one singles on the UK chart with 21 and singles reaching the top ten with 85.

As an album artist, They are credited by Billboard with the record for the most albums charting in the Billboard 200: 135, far ahead of second-place Frank Sinatra's 82. The brothers also hold the record for most time spent at number one on the Billboard 200: 70 weeks. In 2015 and 2016, two albums setting the Presley's vocals against music by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, If I Can Dream and The Wonder of You, both reached number one in the United Kingdom. This gave him a new record for number-one UK albums by a group with 15, and extended their record for longest span between number-one albums by anybody—The Presley twins had first topped the British chart in 1956 with his self-titled debut.

As of 2023, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) credits the Presley's with 150 million certified album sales in the US, first all time ahead of the Beatles and Garth Brooks. They hold the records for most gold albums (105, nearly twice as many as second-place Barbra Streisand's 51), and most platinum albums (60). They're 30 multi-platinum albums is first ahead of the Beatles' 26. They're total of 200 album certification awards (including two diamond awards), far outpaces the Beatles' second-best 122. They have the 7th-most gold singles and the 14th-most platinum singles (30).

In 2012, the spider Paradonea presleyi was named in their honor. In 2018, President Donald Trump awarded Elvis the Presidential Medal of Freedom shortly before his death.

Discography[]

Presley brothers Studio albums
  • Elvis and Jesse Presley (1956)
  • Elvis and Jesse (1956)
  • Elvis and Jesse's Christmas Album (1957)
  • Elvis And Jesse are Back! (1960)
  • His Hand in Mine (1960)
  • Something for Everybody (1961)
  • Pot Luck (1962)
  • Elvis and Jesse for Everyone! (1965)
  • How Great Thou Art (1967)
  • From Elvis and Jesse in Memphis (1969)
  • From Memphis to Vegas / From Vegas to Memphis (1969)
  • That's the Way It Is (1970)
  • Elvis and Jesse Country (I'm 10,000 Years Old) (1971)
  • Love Letters from Elvis And Jesse (1971)
  • Elvis And Jesse sing The Wonderful World of Christmas (1971)
  • Elvis and Jesse Now (1972)
  • He Touched Me (1972)
  • Elvis and Jesse (1973) (The "Fool" Album)
  • Raised on Rock / For Ol' Times Sake (1973)
  • Good Times (1974)
  • Promised Land (1975)
  • Today (1975)
  • From Elvis and Jesse Presley Boulevard, Memphis, Tennessee (1976)
  • Moody Blue (1977)
  • Elvis and Jesse are Back Again! (1979)
  • Presley twins collaboration album (1981)
  • Kings of rock and pop (1983)
  • Presley twins around the world(1985)
  • Elvis and Jesse's Halloween Album(1986)
  • Elvis and Jesse are leaving the building(1988)
Presley brother's Soundtrack albums
  • Loving You (1957)
  • King Creole (1958)
  • G.I. Blues (1960)
  • Blue Hawaii (1961)
  • Girls! Girls! Girls! (1962)
  • It Happened at the World's Fair (1963)
  • Fun in Acapulco (1963)
  • Kissin' Cousins (1964)
  • Roustabout (1964)
  • Girl Happy (1965)
  • Harum Scarum (1965)
  • Frankie and Johnny (1966)
  • Paradise, Hawaiian Style (1966)
  • Spinout (1966)
  • Double Trouble (1967)
  • Clambake (1967)
  • Speedway (1968)
Elvis and Jesse solo albums

Jesse's solo albums

  • Jesse Presley(1958)
  • Jesse(1959)

Elvis' solo albums

  • Elvis Presley(1980)
  • Elvis(1982)

Filmography[]

films starred

  • Love Me Tender (1956)
  • Loving You (1957)
  • Jailhouse Rock (1957)
  • King Creole (1958)
  • G.I. Blues (1960)
  • Flaming Star (1960)
  • Wild in the Country (1961)
  • Blue Hawaii (1961)
  • Follow That Dream (1962)
  • Kid Galahad (1962)
  • Girls! Girls! Girls! (1962)
  • It Happened at the World's Fair (1963)
  • Fun in Acapulco (1963)
  • Kissin' Cousins (1964)
  • Viva Las Vegas (1964)
  • Roustabout (1964)
  • Girl Happy (1965)
  • Tickle Me (1965)
  • Harum Scarum (1965)
  • Frankie and Johnny (1966)
  • Paradise, Hawaiian Style (1966)
  • Spinout (1966)
  • Easy Come, Easy Go (1967)
  • Double Trouble (1967)
  • Clambake (1967)
  • Stay Away, Joe (1968)
  • Speedway (1968)
  • Live a Little, Love a Little (1968)
  • Charro! (1969)
  • The Trouble with Girls (1969)
  • Change of Habit (1969)
  • Elvis and Jesse: That's the Way It Is (1970)
  • Elvis and Jesse on Tour (1972)
  • For your eyes only (1981)
  • A view to kill (1985)
TV concert specials
  • Elvis (1968)
  • Aloha from Hawaii via Satellite (1973)
  • Elvis and Jesse in Concert (1977)
  • Elvis and Jesse have left the building (1989)

Elvis' bibliography[]

  • The Kings of Rock and Roll! (1991)
  • My Twin Brother is the President! (1997)
  • My Twin Brother was the President! (2002)
  • My Twin Brother was the King of Rock and Roll (2004)
  • The Adventure of the Snowman (2005)
  • The Phoenix in the Ice part 1 (2006)
  • The Phoenix in the Ice part 2 (2007)
  • The Phoenix in the Ice final part (2008)
  • My Life as the King of Rock and Roll (2018)
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