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Presley's 75th birthday will be celebrated in Putnam County

Monday, January 4, 2010

Elvis Presley's 75th birthday on January 8 will be celebrated all over the United States including here in Putnam County.
(Courtesy photo)
This Jan. 8, the "King of Rock and Roll," Elvis Presley, would have been 75 years old.

His legend will continue to live on with many celebrations all over the country, including one in Putnam County.

Chief's Restaurant in Greencastle is offering an evening of Elvis with videos, food, drink and an Elvis karaoke competition.

The musical singing contest runs from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. and prizes will be given for the best Elvis singer, Elvis look-a-like, best non-Elvis singer in the style of Elvis and the Grand Elvis with a $25 gift card as the prize.

Plenty of celebrations are taking place everywhere. Graceland, the Memphis, Tenn. estate where Elvis lived at the time of his death, will host a four-day celebration. Las Vegas is opening acts, and even the Smithsonian has a traveling photo exhibit going on display in Los Angeles.

Carnival Cruise lines began offering a cruise honoring Elvis in November. It features "Elvis-themed entertainment, parties and activities, including music and presentations by some of the most noted 'king' impersonators."

These performers will include the Elvis Imperials and the Memphis Boys with Bobo Mereno, as well as Larry Geller, the self-described spiritual advisor to Elvis.

Priscilla and Lisa Marie Presley, the ex-wife and daughter of Presley, will honor the music legend during the opening days of what will be a year-long observance of the milestone at Graceland.

According to a press release from his official Web site, the Jan. 7-10 event will include Graceland tours, a Memphis Symphony Orchestra performance dubbed "Elvis Birthday Pops" and an "Elvis Presley Day Ceremony" that will feature Priscilla and Lisa Marie.

On Stage Touring LLC, in association with Elvis Presley Enterprises Inc., announced the launch of the first-ever Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artists Tour. It will kick off in Ames, Iowa on Jan. 15 and continue to 25 additional cities. 

The tour is a multi-media extravaganza that pays homage to Presley during various stages of his career. The performers portray Elvis in one of four eras: The 1950s, 1960s, during his movie career and his concert years. 

Elvis Aaron Presley was born in very humble circumstances to Vernon and Gladys Presley in a two-room house in Tupelo, Miss on Jan. 8, 1935. His twin brother Jessie Garon was stillborn, leaving Elvis to grow up as an only child.

He moved with his parents to Memphis in 1948 and graduated from Humes High School there in 1953.

His musical influences included the gospel music he heard in church and at the all-night gospel sings he frequently attended. He also absorbed the rhythm and blues music on historic Beale Street in Memphis as a teenager.

The "King" began his singing career in 1954 with the legendary Sun Records label in Memphis.

In late 1955, his recording contract was sold to RCA Victor Records.

According to www.elvispresley.com, "By 1956, he was an international sensation. With a sound and style that uniquely combined his diverse musical influences and blurred and challenged the social and racial barriers of the time, he ushered in a whole new era of American music and popular culture."

Presley starred in 33 films and made history with his television appearances. Around the world he sold over one billion records and he earned gold, platinum or multi-platinum awards for 150 different albums and singles.

Among his many accolades are 14 Grammy nominations (three wins) from the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences, the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, which he received at age 36, and being named one of the Ten Outstanding Young Men of the Nation for 1970 by the United States Jaycees. He also served in the U.S. Army.

Among his many, many hits are songs such as "Heartbreak Hotel," "Hound Dog," "Jailhouse Rock" and "Burning Love."

Known the world over by his first name, he is regarded as one of the most important figures of twentieth century popular culture.

Presley died at Graceland on Aug. 16, 1977.

The 75th birthday celebration will also feature additional events throughout 2010. Complete details are available at www.elvis.com

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