7 Little Known Facts About the King of Rock and Roll

natedsanders.com
natedsanders.com

Elvis Presley was may be one of the most famous musicians of all time. He had countless hits like Hound Dog and Jailhouse Rock, but there was more to his life than his music. Here are just a few of the interesting facts about Elvis that you probably didn’t know.

1. In his younger years Elvis had crippling shyness.
Most people remember Elvis for his charm, energy, and uncanny attraction to women. However, in grade school Elvis was extremely shy and often bullied by the other kids. He refused to perform in public for many years and usually practiced guitar in the comfort of a neighbor’s home. He missed his first scheduled on-air appearance because he was too shy to follow through.

2. Elvis’ first on-air performance was at the age of 12.
When Elvis was in sixth grade one of his classmates was the younger brother of Mississippi Slim, a well-known hillbilly singer with his own radio show. Elvis would frequently accompany the brother to watch the radio broadcast and learn guitar chords from Slim. Presley, then 12 years old, was eventually scheduled to perform on-air but was so shy he was unable to follow through. However, the following week he gave it another try and succeeded.

3. Elvis was not born with an inherent musical talent.
At 10 years old Elvis entered a singing contest and only came in 5th place after performing a rendition of “Old Shep.” In high school he received a C grade in music class and was told by his teacher that he did not have an aptitude for music. Presley never even learned to read music and instead ended up learning to play by ear.

4. He was part Cherokee.
Though most of Presley’s ancestors were descendants of Western Europe, he had a small amount of Cherokee in his heritage. A great great grandmother of his mother, Gladys Love Presley, was Cherokee.

5. The renowned jet black Elvis hairdo was dyed.
Elvis was actually born with blonde hair that later turned dirty blonde to light brown. He started dying his hair black after his first film, allegedly because he thought it looked better on camera.

6. Elvis might not have composed any of his original songs.
With the exception of a few, almost all of the songs recorded by Elvis were composed by other people. Although that is not uncommon with performers, the few songs that attribute songwriting to Elvis are thought to be a lie. One notable example is Love Me Tender, which is widely disputed at having been written by the King.

7. He was a die-hard fan of Monty Python.
Many friends spoke of Elvis imitating characters’ voices from Monty Python, and reciting jokes or specific lines from Monty Python episodes or movies. Towards the end of his life while locked up in room due to drug-addled paranoia he would reminisce on specific sketch plots, according to one of Presley’s cousins.

Next Article
ADVERTISEMENT
  • Weird Food of the Middle Ages

    People often like to romanticize the Middle Ages, imagining it as a time of knights and princesses, all dressed in elaborate medieval garb. Some even dream about going back in time to experience life during that time, and renaissance fairs and a popular dinner show have capitalized quite well on this obsession. But many people...

    Read More
  • Witches and Alewives: The Historical Connection

    From The Wizard of Oz to Halloween costumes, the archetypal image of a scary witch typically includes a tall, pointy hat, a cauldron, and a broom, among other accessories. But where did this popular conception arise? Many would be surprised to learn that our idea of what a witch looks like is based on the...

    Read More
  • America’s Secret Female President

    Edith Bolling Galt Wilson seemed an unlikely prospect for running one of the most powerful countries in the world. The second wife of President Woodrow Wilson was born in 1872 to a very poor family from the mountains of Virginia. Though she was given a chance to go to college, she dropped out because her...

    Read More
  • The Reality Behind the Legend of the Golden Fleece

    If you are familiar at all with Greek mythology, you have probably heard about the legend of the Golden Fleece. In this story, Jason (a Greek mythological hero) gathered a group of fellow-heroes together. This group became known as the Argonauts because their ship was named Argo, and Jason was their leader. The purpose of...

    Read More
  • Aaron Burr: Would-Be King

    Aaron Burr, one of the United States’ founding fathers and its one-time Vice President, has generally gone down in history as a bad guy because of the duel in which he killed Alexander Hamilton, America’s first Secretary of the Treasury. But for some reason, most people don’t know anything about another chapter in his life...

    Read More
  • Ancient Crocodile Species Identified

    A research team made up of paleontologists from Tennessee, Wisconsin, and Texas has identified a previously unknown species of prehistoric crocodile. The ancient reptile fossils were found in Arlington, Texas, a busy city located right in the middle of the Dallas/Fort Worth metropolitan area. The massive crocodile, which could reach lengths of up to 20...

    Read More
  • The Murder and Lynching that Changed America

    April 26, 1913 was supposed to have been a good day for 13-year-old Mary Phagan. It was Confederate Memorial Day in Atlanta, Georgia, where she lived. She was off for the day from her job at the National Pencil Company. Her plans included stopping by work to pick up her pay and then joining family...

    Read More
  • Female Viking Warrior Grave Identified

    In the 1880s, a Viking grave was excavated in the town of Birka in Sweden. It was obviously the grave of a warrior because it was filled with grave goods signifying as much. Along with weapons, like an axe, arrows, shields, a battle knife, a spear, and a sword, two war horses were also found...

    Read More