Long live The King
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Date: 9 August , 2007

Photo: public domain (official White House photograph from 1970)

 
'John Lennon said: "Before Elvis, there was nothing." Frank Sinatra said: "His kind of music is deplorable, a rancid smelling aphrodisiac."'

It's 30 years since Elvis Presley died - Andrew Chapman gets all shook up with an A-Z of The King

A is for Aaron (or Aron - there's some confusion on the subject), Presley's middle name.

B is for birth - Presley was born on January 8th 1935 in Tupelo, Mississippi, the second of identical twins (his brother was stillborn).

C is for comeback - after his career began to flag, Elvis had a successful comeback concert in 1968.

D is for divorce - Elvis divorced his wife Priscilla in 1973; both of them had allegedly been unfaithful.

E is for eighteen - the number of US number one hits that Elvis had.

F is for fame: Elvis is the only performer to have been inducted into three different music halls of fame.

G is for Graceland, the mansion in Memphis that Elvis bought in 1957 and mainly lived in until his death.

H is for Heartbreak Hotel - Elvis' first single with RCA Victor Records, which went on to become number one in the US and sell a million copies.

I is for impersonators. There are legions of Elvis imitators, including Paul Elvis Chan, a Chinese Elvis impersonator with a restaurant called Gracelands in the Old Kent Road, London. Both Paul and his son perform during the night (and the food's very good as well - Ed).

J is for Jailhouse Rock, one of Elvis' many films; the title song was a number one in 1957.

K is for Kirsty MacColl, whose song 'There's a guy works down the chip shop swears he's Elvis' refers to the many alleged sightings of the King after his death.

L is for Lisa Marie Presley, the only child of Elvis and his wife Priscilla. She has married four times, including to Michael Jackson and Nicolas Cage.

M is for Mississippi Slim, the young Elvis' first musical hero, a hillbilly singer in Tupelo.

N is for Newport Restaurant, an eatery in Ottawa, Canada where the Elvis Sighting Society is based.

O is for Old Shep, the first song Elvis ever sang in public, at a country fair - he was 10 years old.

P is for polypharmacy (the taking of many drugs), alleged to have caused the singer's death, though a later report suggested he had a heart attack.

Q is for quotes. John Lennon said: "Before Elvis, there was nothing." Frank Sinatra said: "His kind of music is deplorable, a rancid smelling aphrodisiac."

R is for Richard Nixon, who told Elvis: "You dress kind of strange, don't you?" Elvis replied: "Well, Mr. President, you have your show and I have mine."

S is for sandwich: the King's favoured variety contained many ingredients such as peanut butter, honey, banana, and bacon! It was several thousand calories per sandwich, and after finishing one, which had been flown in on a private jet, Elvis asked for another. His aide asked if he was joking at which point Elvis fired him!

T is for teddy bear - Elvis' teddy bear Mabel was on display at Wookey Hole Caves in Somerset until a guard dog destroyed it in 2006.

U is for UK. Elvis visited Britain only once, making a two-hour stopover at Prestwick Airport in Scotland on his way back from military service in 1960.

V is for Vernon, Elvis' father, a truck driver and share cropper convicted for petty forgery when Elvis was a toddler.

W is for women - although Elvis dated many of the women who adored him, reports suggest he very rarely had sex with them.

X is for xenophobia and racism, of which Elvis was accused. He allegedly once said: "The only thing Negro people can do for me is to buy my records and shine my shoes."

Y is for YouTube - the website has more than 30,000 clips of the King to watch.

Z is for Zappa - the first track on Frank Zappa's album 'Broadway the Hard Way' is called Elvis Has Just Left the Building.