Daily Elvis: December 25

Give us this day, our daily Elvis

Tupelo, Mississippi

1935-1940

306 Old Satillo Road, Elvis’ birthplace, is now 306 Elvis Presley Drive.

December 24, 1937

Vernon in prison

December 24, 1938

Vernon in prison

1940-41
Reese Street, where the Presleys stayed with Vester and Clettes Presley and their daughter Patsy,

1942
Kelly Street, a rented, small apartment.

December 24, 1945
Berry Street – “Doll” Smith lived here with the Presleys and then Minnie Mae Presley moved in.

1946
Commerce Street, a rental
510 1/2 Maple Street, South Tupelo -the Presleys lived with Glady’s cousin Frank Richards and his wife, Leona.

Mulbery Alley
1010 North Green Street, in the Shakerag section of Tupelo..

1948

The Ravens’ incredible version of “White Christmas” entered the R&B hit registry, reaching #9. It was the standard by which all future R&B versions would be judged, even the legendary Drifters’ version, which was almost a note-for-note copy. The 78’s B-side, a haunting version of “Silent Night,” reached #8.

“The Christmas Song,” one of the season’s most enduring standards, charted, reaching #8, R&B. Though it has long since been credited to Nat King Cole, the original recording was attributed to the King Cole Trio.

Memphis, Tennessee

1949-1953

Humes High School, Memphis, Tennessee

572 Poplar Avenue
185 Winchester Street, a two- bedroom apartment (number 328)

The Sun Records Rockabilly Era

December 25, 1954

Bing Crosby’s ‘White Christmas’ entered the Billboard Pop chart for the eleventh time. Bing’s rendition has sold over 100 million copies around the world, with at least 50 million sales as singles. It was the largest selling single in music history until it was surpassed by Elton John’s ‘Candle in the Wind 1997’.

The Penguins’ classic “Earth Angel” charted en route to #8 pop. It is considered to be the most popular R&B oldie of all time.

Elvis spent Christmas with his parents in the family’s Memphis apartment at 462 Alabama Street.

December 25, 1955

Again Elvis was home on Christmas Day. The family had moved to a house at 1414 Getwell in Memphis. A month earlier he had signed on with RCA Victor, and his 21st birthday was just two weeks away.

The RCA Victor Atomic Powered Singer

Elvis celebrated Christmas in the Audubon Drive House.
For their first Christmas as a married couple, Jerry Lee Lewis gives his thirteen-year-old wife Myra a red Cadillac convertible with a white leather interior. Although she routinely drove it around Coro Lake, Tennessee, she wouldn’t be of age to get her driver’s license for another three years.
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Elvis spent Christmas at Graceland with his parents and Anita Wood. The first and only Christmas for Gladys at Graceland and the draft notice cast a pall over the day.
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Gladys wanted Elvis to marry and start with the grandchildren, give up fame and buy a business.
Anita Wood was a Memphis celebrity and recorded on the Sun Records label.

The Military Service Disruption

Alan Freeds Christmas rock n’ roll spectacular in New York took place with Jackie Wilson, Bo Diddley, Chuck Berry, Dion, the Everly Brothers, and Eddie Cochran.
The First Christmas without Gladys: The whole family celebrated Christmas at the Hotel Grunewald with a very special meal and gifts.
Elvis received an electric guitar from Vernon. There was also a card from the Colonel, dressed like Santa.
Elvis arranged to have a French poodle delivered to Anita Wood for Christmas.
In Germany Elvis threw a Christmas party at the Goethestrasse for family and friends.
Priscilla was there too and she gave some bongo drums to Elvis for his Christmas.
Christmas 1959: Elvis Presley December 25, 1959, in the Army, Germany

The Hollywood Decade/The Elvis Establishment

December 25, 1960

Elvis celebrated Christmas at Graceland.

The photo on Colonel Parker’s Christmas card that year featured Elvis sitting on Colonel Santa’s lap. It was taken in November on the set of Wild in the Country.

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December 25, 1961

Elvis spent the holidays with friends at the Sahara Hotel in Las Vegas. It was the last Christmas of his life that he would spend away from Graceland.

Elvis and Priscilla gave a private party for 30 friends. Elvis gave a toy poodle to Priscilla and she gave a wooden cigarette box, playing Surrender, to Elvis.
Elvis spent Christmas with Priscilla at Graceland.
The Supremes, Marvin Gaye, The Temptations, The Miracles, Stevie Wonder and The Marvelettes all appeared at The Fox Theatre, Brooklyn, New York.
The Beatles recorded six songs for the BBC radio program Saturday Club in London: ‘Rock and Roll Music’, ‘I’m a Loser’, ‘Everybody’s Trying to Be My Baby’, ‘I Feel Fine’, ‘Kansas City/Hey Hey Hey Hey’ and ‘She’s a Woman.’
At Christmas Elvis received a special gift from all the “boys”. At Marty Lacker’s behest they had bought a special Bible with a “tree of life” on the front page. On each branch of the tree was a name of one of the guys and at the bottom there was Elvis’ favorite quotation: “and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free”, written in English. Hebrew and Latin. Elvis noticed that Larry’s name was missing and he did not want to accept the gift until this was corrected. During this same period Elvis started to wear a Jewish “chai” around his neck.
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The Beatles 6th album Rubber Soul started a nine-week run at No.1 on the UK chart. It spent a total of 42 week’s on the UK chart and was also a No.1 in the US.
Elvis received a statue of Jesus, which the entourage had bought for $500 from a local artist. (it is still in the Meditation Garden) Priscilla gave Elvis a home slot-car racing set, purchased at the Robert E. Lee Raceway, where they had been spending much time since they returned to Memphis. Elvis liked it very much.
Elvis spent Christmas at Graceland with Priscilla and his family. Christmas dinner was catered by Monte’s Catering Service as always.

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Christmas at Graceland. By the end of the year the remaining horses were brought back to Graceland, where Elvis and everybody else continued to ride in the fields behind.
Led Zeppelin arrived in the United States for the very first time in preparation of their debut North American tour. The group were paid an average of $1,500 for each show.
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Elvis and Priscilla spent Christmas at Graceland. It was Lisa Marie’s first, and Grandpa Vernon dressed up as Santa.
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Christmas was spent at Graceland again. Elvis gave Priscilla a black fox coat, while she gave him a velvet suit and shirts and slacks, designed for his personal use by Bill Belew.

The Vegas Artist in Residence and Tour Decade

Elvis spent Christmas quietly at home at Graceland with Priscilla and Lisa Marie. They went to see Little Fauss and Big Halsy, at the Memphian.
Christmas was spent at Graceland. When it was time to hand out the presents Elvis joked around, distributing MacDonald’s gift certificates, before revealing his real presents.
Although everything seemed normal, many of the guys recollected that Priscilla and Elvis appeared distant over the Christmas holidays.
Elvis presented to Linda Thompson on Christmas Even a mink coat that he had purchased from King Furs in Memphis.
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Romances: Linda Thompson

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Tupelo friend Janelle McComb, Elvis and Linda Thompson.

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Christmas was spent at Graceland. One of the gifts from Elvis was a mink coat from King Furs in Memphis.
Elvis spent Christmas at Graceland. He had Voice flying in and out during this holiday season.
In the evening Elvis took everyone up in the Lisa Marie and gave out jewelry that he had personally selected for each individual from Lowell Hays’ collection.
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At the end of the evening Elvis’ aunt Delta got drunk and cursed out his friends.
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Image result for elvis presley december 25
December 25, 1976
The Supremes ‘ “You’re Driving My Wheel” reached #85 pop, becoming their last of forty-seven singles to hit the Top 100. The last original member, Mary Wilson, then left the group to form Mary Wilson & the Supremes.
American MOR singer Johnny Mathis was at No.1 on the UK singles chart with ‘When A Child Is Born’, the singers only UK No.1 and the Christmas hit of 1976.
The final Christmas season of Elvis’s life was a hectic one: returning to Memphis on December 13, after a bizarre Las Vegas engagement, then just two days after Christmas, he would appeared at Wichita State University to start a new tour.
Six-and-a-half months later, Elvis died at Graceland.

Romances: Ginger Alden

The Wake and Aftermath

1982

In one of the most successful duets in Christmas music history, and surely the strangest, 30-year-old David Bowie and 73-year-old Bing Crosby achieved the number one song in the UK with “Peace On Earth / Little Drummer Boy”. The song had been recorded in September, 1977 when Crosby was in Great Britain to tape a TV special called Merrie Olde Christmas. Having him share a number with Bowie was the brainchild of producers Gary Smith and Dwight Hemion. After the recording circulated as a bootleg for several years, RCA decided to issue it as a single. It has since become a holiday standard, but it is entirely possible that neither Crosby or Bowie were familiar with each other’s work.

1989

Absent from the charts after an Oscar winning movie career phase, Cher’s  “Just Like Jesse James” hit number 8. She chart again in Top Ten again with “Believe” in 1998.

1990

On Christmas Day, James Brown is given a four day furlough from prison, during which time he gives his first concert in two years. Brown performed for a crowd of Ft. Jackson, South Carolina soldiers whose leave had been cancelled because of the impending Gulf War.

1995

Dean Martin, who recorded such standards as “Memories Are Made of This” (#1 in 1955), “Return To Me” (#4 in 1958) and “Everybody Loves Somebody” (#1 in 1964), died of acute respiratory failure on Christmas morning at the age of 78. He had been diagnosed with lung cancer two years earlier. During his career, Dean recorded over 100 albums and placed 17 songs on the Billboard Top 40 between 1955 and 1967. He also starred in a popular TV variety show that ran from 1965 to 1974 for 264 episodes.

2003

Michael Jackson recorded his first interview since news of the allegations of sexual abuse with a 12-year old boy.

2006

James Brown the ‘Godfather of Soul’, died at the age of 73 after being diagnosed with severe pneumonia. Brown went to his dentist in Atlanta the previous day who told him something was wrong, and sent him to a doctor immediately. His hits included ‘Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag’, ‘I Got You (I Feel Good)’, and ‘Get Up (I Feel Like Being A) Sex Machine, Pt. 1’. Brown was married four times, at the age of 16, was arrested for theft and served 3 years in prison. In 1988, Brown was arrested following a high-speed car chase along the Georgia-South Carolina state border.

2008

American actress, singer, and cabaret star Eartha Kitt died from colon cancer at her Weston, Connecticut home at the age of 81. Best known for her 1953 Christmas song ‘Santa Baby.’

2014

Ed Sheeran was at No.1 on the UK album chart with x, (pronounced “multiply”). In 2015, x won the Brit Award for British Album of the Year, and at the 57th Grammy Awards it was nominated for Best Pop Vocal Album and Album of the Year. Spotify named x the most-streamed album in the world for 2014, racking up more than 430 million streams for the year.

2016

Vocalist George Michael passed away at the age of 53. In the mid-1980s he paired with Andrew Ridgeley in Wham! to score eight Billboard Top 10 hits, including “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go”” (#1), “Careless Whisper” (#1), “Everything She Wants” (#1), “Freedom” (#3) and “I’m Your Man” (#3). As a solo artist, he reached the US Top 40 fifteen more times, including six number one records, “Faith”, “Father Figure”, “One More Try”, “Monkey”, “Praying For Time” and “Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me”.

 

 

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