Elvis was born in East Tupelo, Mississippi, on
January 8, 1935. Elvis's twin brother was a still born. And Elvis was the only child of Gladys and Vernon Presley. Gladys was a sewing
machine operator and Vernon, a truck driver.
Elvis had a troubled childhood. When he was 3, Vernon was pleaded guilty on a forgery case and was sent to prison. Though he served only for 8 months, it affected his working life grossly. Vernon could never make a come back in his professional life. Gladys and young Elvis were forced to move in with Vernon's parents. And somehow they managed to live just above the poverty line.
He attended the First Assembly of God Church whose Pentecostal services always included singing.
This is where Elvis grew up with the gospel music of the Pentecostal
It was there music made an entry in his life. When in the fifth grade, his teacher asked him to compete in a talent contest on
Children's day at the Mississippi-Alabama Fair and Dairy Show. He was then ten. Dressed in a cowboy suit, and standing on a chair to reach the microphone, Presley for his rendition of Red Foley's "Old Shep" won second place, a $5 prize and a free ticket to all the rides. On his birthday the following January he received a guitar. By the year next, his uncle gave him basic guitar lessons.
In 1948 Vernon moved the family to Memphis. With a new job of Vernon, the Presleys moved into an apartment at 572 Poplar Avenue.
And Elvis was enrolled at L.C. Humes High School. In 1953 he graduated from Humes High
majoring in Shop, History and English. He was 18 then.
After graduation he took a job at Parker Machinists Shop. But soon he took
to driving a truck for the Crown Electric Co. After a short stint in the stock room he is promoted to truck and began to
sport his long hair, the current truck driver style.
But working life could not daunt Elvis's talent in music. Growing up in
Memphis, had already made him exposed to blues and jazz on Beale
Street. Meanwhile an 18-year-old Presley had paid a visit to the Memphis
Recording Service. It was also the home of Sun Records. And he was
determined to record his voice. He went on to
record his first songs "My Happiness" and "That's When Your Heartaches Begin", at Memphis Recording Studio.
And soon Elvis's career took off to a flying start.