Although Elvis Presley passed away in 1977, he remains alive and well in the hearts of millions worldwide. On Friday, January 8, Elvis would’ve turned 81-years-old – can you believe that? Time flies. Something tells us that if he were still gracing earth with his presence, he’d be on a stage shaking those hips and blowing out jumpsuit-themed candles.
Leading up to this milestone birthday, VisionTV is airing a pair of Elvis programs tonight, including the Canadian-made documentary “Elvis in Love,” as well as the feature film, “Viva Las Vegas.”
To get you set for both, here are some fun facts of the peanut butter and banana sandwich loving, karate move making, rock n’ roll legend, Elvis Presley.
From Blue Suede Shoes to the Silver Screen
As much as Elvis was (and still is) considered the ‘King of Rock ‘n’ Roll,’ he starred in 31 movies from 1956-1969. Some of his most recognizable flicks include “Viva Las Vegas,” “Jailhouse Rock,” “Love Me Tender” and “Blue Hawaii.”
Remained in the U.S. of A
Despite his global icon status, Elvis only performed five concerts outside of America, all of which occurred in Canada during a three-day tour in 1957. It is suspected that Elvis was grounded stateside because his manager, Colonel Tom Parker, was an illegal immigrant and would’ve been deported out of America had he applied for a U.S. passport.
Imitation is the Sincerest Form of Flattery
Elvis may be long gone (even though some still see him working at a car wash in North Dakota from time to time), but his spirit lives on in the form of a large and dedicated collective of impersonators. While it’d be challenging to pinpoint the exact number of Elvis impersonators in the world, there are certainly enough of them to warrant impersonator events, including the massive Collingwood Elvis Festival (sponsored by Zoomer Radio) that’s held annually in Collingwood, Ontario.
Big Solo Sales
As you could imagine, Elvis music still flies off the shelves thanks to younger generations picking up on his tunes and die-hards always looking for new, posthumous releases. According to a January 2015 report from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), Elvis had sold 134.5 million albums in the U.S. While impressive, this tally only landed Elvis in the #2 spot on a list representing the most albums sold by a solo artist. Leading the way was country artist Garth Brooks and his 135 million albums sold.
Graceland’s Birthday Bonanza
This week, Elvis’ birthday will be celebrated in style at Graceland with festivities like the Elvis Birthday Proclamation Ceremony, stable tours, a memorabilia auction, tribute performances, plus something ‘The King’ would’ve surely loved: a chili dinner in his honour.