Elvis Presley

Born 8 January 1935. Died 16 August 1977.
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Elvis Presley- Heartbreak Hotel

A clip from James Marsh's 1993 film 'Tales of Rock and Roll - Heartbreak Hotel'. Elvis' performance of that song is combined with voice recordings and photographs of the rock and roll star at his zenith.

Featured in BBC Music Clips


Elvis Aaron Presley (January 8, 1935 – August 16, 1977) was an American singer and actor. Regarded as one of the most significant cultural icons of the 20th century, he is often referred to as "the King of Rock and Roll", or simply, "the King".

Born in Tupelo, Mississippi, Presley and his family moved to Memphis, Tennessee, when he was 13 years old. His music career began there in 1954, when he started to work with Sam Phillips, the owner of Sun Records. Accompanied by guitarist Scotty Moore and bassist Bill Black, Presley was an early popularizer of rockabilly, an uptempo, backbeat-driven fusion of country music and rhythm and blues. RCA Victor acquired his contract in a deal arranged by Colonel Tom Parker, who was to manage the singer for more than two decades. Presley's first RCA single, "Heartbreak Hotel", released in January 1956, was a number-one hit in the US. He became the leading figure of rock and roll after a series of network television appearances and chart-topping records. His energized interpretations of songs and sexually provocative performance style, combined with a singularly potent mix of influences across color lines that coincided with the dawn of the Civil Rights Movement, made him enormously popular—and controversial.

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BBC Reviews

  1. Review of Sings the Great British Songbook

    Sings the Great British Songbook 2010

    Reviewed by Sean Egan
    A bizarre release that fans of The King probably won’t rush to buy.
  2. Review of Elvis 75: Good Rockin’ Tonight

    Elvis 75: Good Rockin’ Tonight 2010

    Reviewed by Sean Egan
    He genuinely was one of the greatest vocalists who ever drew breath.
  3. Review of The Complete 68 Comeback Special

    The Complete 68 Comeback Special 2008

    Reviewed by Chris Jones
    It's a gift that keeps on giving.
  4. Review of Elvis At The Movies

    Elvis At The Movies 2007

    Reviewed by Zoe Howe
    A trip to the movies with The King himself is, in conclusion, a roller-coaster ride...
  5. Review of Elvis Presley

    Elvis Presley 1956

    Reviewed by Chris Jones
    The skinny white boy from Tupelo's legendary first album...
  6. Review of 30 #1 Hits

    30 #1 Hits

    Reviewed by Chris Jones
    To not have these nuggets of purest pop within reach (in case of emergency) should be...
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