Presley - Career & Financial Facts
Presley's parents had to borrow the $3 needed for their marriage
license and both lied about their ages on the application.
2. Dr. Hunt, Gladys
Presley's obstetrician, only charged the
Presleys $15 for delivering
Elvis because they were so poor. Page 13
3. In 1938
Elvis' dad, Vernon, was sent to jail for altering a check that
was originally for $4 so that it would look like it was for more money.
4. Money was so tight in the
Presley household when Elvis was young that
most meals were cornbread and water.
5. While Vernon was
in jail Gladys earned $1.50 for each one hundred pounds of cotton she
6. Vernon once earned $52 a month as a skilled carpenter under the Federal
Works Project Agency.
Elvis got his first guitar when he was 11. It cost $7.75 along with 2
cents sales tax. Source
8. In 1949 the Presleys were renting a room for $9.50 per week.
9. Elvis and his best friend Buzzy banded together to do odd jobs and cut
grass for $2 per yard.
10. When his parents were out for the evening Elvis would hold dances in
the family apartment and each boy would contribute a quarter for himself
and his date enough for popcorn and Cokes.
Presley's first royalty check was for $500 but he did not have a checking
account into which he could deposit it. He wanted to buy new clothes
with the money.
12. Elvis paid $15 for a marriage license when he married Priscilla.
13. Elvis' manager
Colonel Tom Parker used to paint sparrows yellow and sell them as
canaries (before Elvis). Additionally, Parker held an incredible power
over Elvis — most managers take 10-15%, but by the end of Elvis’s career
Colonel Tom was taking 50%.
14. Elvis only ever did one advertisement — on the radio for doughnuts in
15. Elvis sold enough
Cokes at Monday night professional wrestling bouts that he could earn
$3-4 in one evening. Page 59
16. Elvis' prom date spent $14.98 in 1953 on her pink prom dress. Page 60
17. Elvis' first car was a 1941 green, two door Lincoln that cost $35.00.
18. On July 18, 1953,
Elvis Presley paid a private recording studio $4 to make a 2
sided acetate recording of two of his songs as a belated birthday
present for his mom.
19. In 1954 Elvis was driving a delivery truck for $1 per hour and studying
to be an electrician. Page 70
20. In 1955 Elvis was making $200 per performance. Page 122
may have received a "C" in his 8th grade music class, but on November 21, 1955
Elvis Presley Sun contract was sold to RCA for
$35,000.00. Page 35
22. In 1956 Elvis got a contract to star in a movie with an option to be in
6 more. The first movie would pay him $15,000 and up to $100,000 for the
7th movie. Page 132
23. In April 1956
Elvis Presley earned $7,500 a week for a two week performance in
Las Vegas. Later that same year he was paid $20,000 + a $7,500
commission on souvenirs for a 10 day tour that ended in New Orleans.
24. At Christmas 1956 Elvis' girlfriend Barbara spent all of her money ($5)
on a gold vest for him. Elvis got her a Sunbeam shaver. Page 204
25. In 1957 Elvis bought Graceland for $102,500.00 and had a 25 year
mortgage after his down payment. Page 221
26. In 1958 during his first week in the Army he was given $20 for
toothpaste and other basic necessities. Page 253
27. In 1973, Elvis
gave Muhammad Ali a $10,000 white robe, with the words “People’s
Champion” emblazoned across the back.
28. In 1974 Elvis bought 14 Cadillacs in the same day for $140,000.00,
giving one to a complete stranger, a bank teller called Mennie Person
who was admiring Elvis’ custom Cadillac limo parked outside.
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