Saturday (January 8th) marks what would have been the “King of Rock n' Roll” Elvis Presley's 85th birthday. From his meteoric rise to fame in the 1950's, to his death at the age of 42 in 1977, through to the present-day; the world is still fascinated by everything that is Elvis. After working as a movie theater usher and a truck driver for a Memphis Electrical Company, Elvis began singing locally as “The Hillbilly Cat,” and signed to the late Sam Phillips' Sun Records, who then sold his contract for $35,000 to RCA Victor in 1955. Elvis went on to become rock's first true global superstar.
Following years of declining health and prescription drug abuse, Elvis died of a heart attack on August 16th, 1977 at his Graceland mansion in Memphis, Tennessee. He remains among the highest earning dead celebrities. Internationally, Elvis has sold well over one billion records, more than any other artist. His American sales have earned him gold, platinum or multi-platinum awards for 140 different albums and singles. Elvis starred in 31 films and made history with his television appearances and specials.
Over the decades “The King's'” career has been kept alive by a string of reissues and deep vault dives, including a specialty label FTD (Follow That Dream) that issues several projects each year for his still die-hard fan base chronicling Elvis' raw studio takes, out of print soundtrack albums, and previously unheard live concerts.