Elvis Presley’s Entire Life Changed By An Inspirational Teenage Moment

Fans around the world are gearing up to celebrate Elvis Presley’s 88th birthday on January 8. But this week also marks the anniversary of the icon’s first demo for Sun Records in Memphis. He recorded I wouldn’t be the same without you and I’ll never get in your way when he was just 18 years old on January 4, 1954. He had graduated from school the previous July and took a series of jobs including movie usher and operator of drill. His first tax return in 1954 recorded annual earnings of $916.33. The following year it was already $25,240.15 when his recording and concert career began to take off and $282,349.66 in 1956. Everything had changed after a fateful recording session at Sun Records.

The Sam Phillips-led Memphis label remains legendary for helping launch the careers of not only The King, but also Johnny Cash, Roy Orbison, Charlie Rich and Jerry Lee Lewis.

Anyone could walk into a register and press a register for a small fee. On July 18, 1953, Elvis handed over $3.98 to record the first of two two-sided demo acetates, My Happiness and That’s When Your Heartaches Begin.

In early 1954, Phillips and producer Marion Keisker began to pay attention and thought it had potential. On June 26, 1954, they called Elvis at home at his parents’ rented apartment at 462 Alabama Avenue and told the excited teenager that they had found a song for him that they potentially wanted to release as a single called Without You.

Scotty said: “All of a sudden Elvis started singing this song, jumping up and down and acting goofy, and then Bill picked up his bass, and he started acting goofy too, and I started jamming with them.

“Sam (Phillips), I think, had the control booth door open… he stuck his head in and said, ‘What are you doing?’ And we said, ‘We don’t know.’ ‘Well, go back,’ he said, ‘try to find a place to start, and do it again.'”

The track was recorded in one take and released as a single with Blue Moon of Kentucky on the B-side. Philips promoted the single on local radio stations and it became a sensation in the Tennessee area, selling 20,000 copies.

Elvis signed with Sun Records, and Phillips began trying to gain national attention for nearly a year, with little success.

However, Memphis’s fame generated a very lucrative demand on the local touring circuit, along with the likes of June Carter Cash. Eventually, Elvis attracted the attention of Colonel Parker, who saw the national potential in him and had the contacts (and the rush) to negotiate a new deal with RCA Records on November 21, 1955, purchasing the Sun Records contract for $35,000. .

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