Portrait of American rock and roll singer Elvis Presley, dressed in an orange open-neck shirt and in front of a brick wall, mid 1960s. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Shine your blue suede shoes, January 8th is Elvis’s birthday! Elvis Presley was born on January 8th, 1935. Love or hate him, Elvis made an impact on rock & roll that changed the world of music.

“The Rolling Stone Encyclopedia of Rock & Roll describes Presley as “an American music giant of the 20th century who single-handedly changed the course of music and culture in the mid-1950s”.

Elvis really portrayed the “image” and lifestyle we expect of our musical icons now. Here are some of the things you may not know about Elvis

  • Elvis has a black belt in Karate

    Elvis learned Karate in 1958 while in the Army and stationed in Germany. His instructor was Shotokan stylist, Juergen Seydel. In 1960, Elvis met Ed Parker, the “father” of American Kempo. Ed would later promote Elvis to the “Black Belt” level.

  • Elvis never performed outside the United States or Canada

    According to Arts & Entertainment, Elvis’s manager, ‘Colonel’ Tom Parker, scrubbed any events outside the US. Tom, being Dutch, was afraid he would not be allowed back into the United States. And Elvis only had a few shows in Canadian cities. 


  • Elvis never wrote any of his music

    Of the 600 plus songs recorded, Elvis wrote none of them. In an interview prior to his debut at the Pan Pacific in Los Angelos, Elvis said It’s all a big hoax, honey. I never wrote a song in my life. I get one-third of the credit for recording it. It makes me look smarter than I am. I’ve never even had an idea for a song. Just once, maybe.

  • Elvis had a pet monkey

    I got it now! The key to success is having a monkey! Elvis knew this and had adopted a chimpanzee named Scatter. Scatter was a tv star even before meeting Elvis. The monkey caused a lot of stress with the “Memphis Mafia” and there are many tales of his monkey antics on Elvis.com.au. (Apparently the official Australian Elvis fan club website) And a song was written about it:



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