Elvis Presley 78th birthday January 8, 2013 (by Jeff Schrembs)


On January 8, 2013 Elvis Presley would have celebrated his 78th birthday.

While I acknowledge this date my thoughts, and prayers, go out to those who; knew, loved, worked with, were related to, etc. Elvis (onstage and off).

Here are a few facts about what Elvis did on some of his birthdays:

Elvis turned 20 on January 8, 1955: Elvis was in Shreveport, Louisiana (for his eighth appearance on the Louisiana Hayride and he sang four songs; “That’s All Right,” “Blue Moon of Kentucky,” “Hearts of Stone,” and “Fool, Fool, Fool”). His third record on the Sun label, “Milkcow Blues Boogie” / “You’re a Heartbreaker,” had been released 10 days earlier.

Elvis turned 21 on January 8, 1956:  Elvis flew home to Memphis on his birthday. He was asleep that morning when Colonel Parker called to wish him a happy 21st. Just two days later Elvis would record “Heartbreak Hotel” in New York City.

Elvis turned 22 on January 8, 1957: Elvis had just appeared for his third and last time on The Ed Sullivan Show on January 6th, Elvis spent his birthday at home in Memphis with his parents. On the same day the Memphis Draft Board announced that Elvis has been classified 1A for the draft. In theatres: Love Me Tender. On the Top 100: “Love Me Tender” at #3.

Elvis turned 23 on January 8, 1958: This would be the last birthday that Elvis would spend with his beloved mother (Gladys Love {Smith} Presley) who (sadly) would die on August 14, 1958. Elvis spent his birthday At Graceland, Elvis posed for photos with March of Dimes poster child, eight-year-old Mary Kosloski. Later that day a party was given to Elvis as he was scheduled to leave two days later for Hollywood to start work on King Creole. In theatres: Jailhouse Rock. On the Top 100: “Jailhouse Rock” at #3.

Elvis turned 24 on January 8, 1959: Having been drafted into the US Army this is the first birthday Elvis had ever spent out of the United States. Elvis celebrated his birthday in the army at the Hotel Grunewald in Bad Nauheim, Germany. On the Hot 100: “One Night” at #5 and “I Got Stung” at #14.

Elvis turned 25 on January 8, 1960: Elvis agreed, and did, a publicized telephone interview with Dick Clark the host of  American Bandstand show. Priscilla Beaulieu, who Elvis had recently met in Germany, was among 200 guests who attend a birthday party for Elvis at a local recreation center. Four days later, Elvis left for Paris on a 12-day leave. Elvis’ honorable discharge, from the US Army, was 57 days away and Elvis wondered if his career (i.e. music, and in the movies) could be “restarted”.

Elvis turned 26 on January 8, 1961: Since Elvis’ birthday was on  a Sunday a  party in his honor took place on the set of Wild in the Country on Friday, January 6. The cast and crew gave Elvis a plaque reading, “Happy Birthday, King Karate.” In theatres: Flaming Star. On the Hot 100: “Are You Lonesome Tonight?” at #1. (It would be the only time during his career that Elvis had a record at the top of the Billboard pop chart on his birthday.)

Elvis turned 27 on January 8, 1962: Elvis was away from home for his birthday in Las Vegas. Sahara Hotel owner Milton Prell, a friend of Colonel Parker, provided Elvis with a large cake. In theatres: Blue Hawaii. On the Hot 100: “Can’t Help Falling in Love” at #5.

Elvis turned 28 on January 8, 1963: Elvis spent his birthday with Priscilla, who had flown in from Germany for a Christmas visit at Graceland. She would head back to Germany three days later, after Elvis and Elvis’ father Vernon Presley, had tried (but failed)  to convince her parents to extend her visit. In theatres: Girls! Girls! Girls! On the Hot 100: “Return to Sender” at #8.

Elvis turned 29 on January 8, 1964: Elvis spent the last birthday in his twenties with family and friends at Graceland. Four days later he traveled to Nashville for a recording session that produced “Ask Me,” “Memphis,” and “It Hurts Me.” In theatres: Fun in Acapulco.

Elvis turned 30 on January 8, 1965: Elvis stayed at Graceland and celebrated his birthday privately.  In theatres: Roustabout.

Elvis turned 33 on January 8, 1966:  Elvis went to the movies at the Memphian Theater (note: Elvis would pay the owner a certain amount to make the entire theatre available to him, complete with concession stands, and his party to watch movies) and watched the comedy named ”It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World”. In theatres: Harum Scarum. On the Hot 100: “Puppet on a String” at #21.

Elvis turned 32 on January 8, 1967: This was Elvis’ last birthday as a “single man” as he would marry Priscilla in May. Gordon Stoker of the Jordanaires visited Elvis on his birthday at Graceland. Elvis was in the midst of a horse-buying spree. Five days before his birthday, he purchased three horses, including a registered palomino and a Tennessee walker. On January 9 he bought three more horses; black gelding, a buckskin mare, and a sorrel. The Graceland barn was being remodeled to house all the horses. In theatres: Spinout.

Elvis turned 33 on January 8, 1968: Elvis celebrated his birthday for the first time as a married man. He and Priscilla spent the evening at the Memphian theatre. Four days later Colonel Parker reached an agreement with NBC for a TV special to be aired at year’s end. In theatres: Clambake.

Elvis turned 34 on January 8, 1969: Elvis spent his birthday, which was the first birthday since he became a father to Lisa Marie (who was born in February of 1968)  with his family at Graceland. Plans were in the works for Elvis’s January recording session to be held at Chip Moman’s American Studio in Memphis instead of at the usual RCA Studio B in Nashville. On the Hot 100: “If I Can Dream” at #26.

Elvis turned 35 on January 8, 1970: Elvis and his family were in Los Angeles as Elvis prepared for his highly anticipated Las Vegas debut in February Las Vegas engagement at the International Hotel. Two days later Elvis began rehearsals at RCA’s studio on Sunset Boulevard. In theatres: Change of Habit. On the Hot 100: “Don’t Cry Daddy” at #15.

Elvis turned 36 on January 8, 1971: Elvis has a police radio installed in his Mercedes and buys an array of police equipment, including revolving blue lights, shoulder holsters, chemical weapons, and handcuffs.  The next day Elvis received an unexpected present. The U.S. Junior Chamber of Commerce named him one of the country’s Ten Outstanding Young Men of 1970. In theatres: Elvis: That’s the Way It Is. On the Hot 100: “There Goes My Everything” at #35.

Elvis turned 37 on January 8, 1972: One of the saddest birthday’s of Elvis life because his wife,  Priscilla , told Elvis 10 days earlier  that she was leaving him. Elvis flew girlfriend Joyce Bova into Memphis to spend his birthday with him at Graceland. Four days later Elvis flew to LA to prepare for his late-January opening at the Las Vegas Hilton.

Elvis turned 38 on January 8, 1973: Elvis was in Los Angeles prior to flying to Honolulu the next day. He had lost 25 pounds on a crash diet in preparation for his upcoming “Aloha From Hawaii” TV special concert on January 13. On the Hot 100: “Separate Ways” at #28.

Elvis turned 39 on January 8, 1974: The two mayors of Memphis, city and county, declare Elvis’ thirty-ninth birthday to be Elvis Presley Day, and both march in a parade down Elvis Presley Boulevard to Graceland. In Georgia governor Jimmy Carter issues a similar proclamation, in deference to Elvis’ five Atlanta performances in 1973.

Elvis turned 40 on January 8, 1975:  Elvis was at Graceland, and friends/family recall that he was “unavailable” spending the time in his room, while newspapers mocked him with headlines and stories like; “Elvis Fat and Forty” . A story in the Memphis Commercial Appeal noted that Elvis spent the day “in self-imposed seclusion” at Graceland. On the Hot 100: “Promised Land” at #38.

Elvis turns 41 on January 8, 1976: Elvis spent his birthday in a rental home at a Vail, Colorado, ski resort. With him were friend Jerry Schilling and Myrna Smith of the Sweet Inspirations. Elvis stayed secluded indoors during the day, emerging on the slopes only at night to ride a rented snowmobile.
Elvis turns 42 on January 8, 1977: Elvis celebrated the last birthday of his life in Palm Springs with girlfriend Ginger Alden and her sister Rosemary. On the Hot 100: “Moody Blue” at #5.

Jeff Schrembs


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