Presley began his career as one of the first performers of rockabilly, an uptempo fusion of country and rhythm and blues with a strong back beat. His novel versions of existing songs, mixing "black" and "white" sounds, made him popular—and controversial—as did his uninhibited stage and television performances. He recorded songs in the rock and roll genre, with tracks like "Hound Dog" and "Jailhouse Rock" later embodying the style. Presley had a versatile voice and had unusually wide success encompassing other genres, including gospel, blues, ballads and pop. To date, he is the only performer to have been inducted into four music halls of fame.
In the 1960s, Presley made the majority of his thirty-three movies—mainly poorly reviewed musicals. In 1968, he returned to live music in a television special and thereafter performed across the U.S., notably in Las Vegas. Throughout his career, he set records for concert attendance, television ratings and recordings sales. He is one of the best-selling and most influential artists in the history of popular music. Health problems plagued Presley in later life which, coupled with a punishing tour schedule and addiction to prescription medication, led to his premature death at age 42.
Elvis Presley is the self-titled debut album by Elvis Presley on RCA Records. Released in March 1956, The album was recorded during one session at Sun Studio in Memphis, two mid-January sessions at RCA Studios in Nashville, and two in late January at RCA Studios in New York. It spent ten weeks at #1 on the Billboard Top Pop Albums chart that year. The "Elvis Presley" title and photo were also used on RCA-issued Extended Play and 2x Extended Play records released at the same time.
Presley was buried at Forest Hill Cemetery, in Memphis, next to his mother. After an attempt to steal the body, his and his mother's remains were reburied at Graceland in the Meditation Gardens.
The epitaph which appears on Elvis' tombstone was written by Janelle McComb and commissioned and directed by Elvis' father Vernon Presley:
Elvis Aaron Presley
January 8, 1935 — August 16, 1977
Son of Vernon Elvis Presley and Gladys Love Presley
Father of Lisa Marie Presley
He was a precious gift from God
We cherished and loved dearly.
He had a God-given talent that he shared
With the world. And without a doubt,
He became most widely acclaimed;
Capturing the hearts of young and old alike.
He was admired not only as an entertainer,
But as the great humanitarian that he was;
For his generosity, and his kind feelings
For his fellow man.
He revolutionized the field of music and
Received its highest awards.
He became a living legend in his own time;
Earning the respect and love of millions.
God saw that he needed some rest and
Called him home to be with Him.
We miss you, Son and Daddy. I thank god
That He gave us you as our son.