Elvis Presley was born in Tupelo, Mississippi. He grew-up there in a shotgun shack that his father, Vernon, built. Elvis was thirteen when his parents moved to Memphis. Throughout his teens, the family moved around, living in small apartments and low-cost public housing.
Elvis Presley’s manager, Colonel Tom Parker, went into the mid 1960’s with a strategy. He repositioned Elvis from a singer who made movies to a movie star who made records. This simple distinction successfully locked in millions of dollars in upfront movie money, and successfully detached Presley from depending on the fickle whims of the demographics which drove disc sales.
One of the few false starts in the meteoric rise of Elvis Presley’s early entertainment career was an ill-fated run in Las Vegas in 1956. Elvis, Scotty Moore, Bill Black and D.J. Fontana spent two weeks trying to light a fire under a stodgy bunch of middle-aged gamesters. Even this fortnight drubbing displayed a silver lining, as an enthusiastic throng mobbed a special Saturday teenage matinee performance. This pointed to the demographic which would make up the sold-out shows when Presley returned in earnest to become the hottest ticket in town from 1969 through the end of his career.