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Singing and playing guitar, he opened with "Till I Waltz Again with You", a recent hit for Teresa Brewer. when I came onstage I heard people kind of rumbling and whispering and so forth, 'cause nobody knew I even sang.
Presley recalled that the performance did much for his reputation: "I wasn't popular in school ... It was amazing how popular I became after that." Presley, who received no formal music training and could not read music, studied and played by ear.
In November 1948, the family moved to Memphis, Tennessee. Humes High School, Presley received only a C in music in eighth grade.
After residing for nearly a year in rooming houses, they were granted a two-bedroom apartment in the public housing complex known as the Lauderdale Courts. When his music teacher informed him that he did not have an aptitude for singing, he brought in his guitar the next day and sang a recent hit, "Keep Them Cold Icy Fingers Off Me", in an effort to prove otherwise.
In 1938, they lost their home after Vernon was found guilty of kiting a check written by the landowner, Orville S.
Bean, the dairy farmer and cattle-and-hog broker for whom he then worked.
Accompanied by guitarist Scotty Moore and bassist Bill Black, Presley was an early popularizer of rockabilly, an uptempo, backbeat-driven fusion of country music and rhythm and blues. RCA Victor acquired his contract in a deal arranged by Colonel Tom Parker, who managed the singer for more than two decades.
Presley's first RCA single, "Heartbreak Hotel", was released in January 1956 and became a number-one hit in the United States.
His energized interpretations of songs and sexually provocative performance style, combined with a singularly potent mix of influences across color lines that coincided with the dawn of the Civil Rights Movement, made him enormously popular—and controversial.Ten-year-old Presley was dressed as a cowboy; he stood on a chair to reach the microphone and sang "Old Shep". Over the following year, he received basic guitar lessons from two of his uncles and the new pastor at the family's church.Presley recalled, "I took the guitar, and I watched people, and I learned to play a little bit. I was very shy about it." In September 1946, Presley entered a new school, Milam, for sixth grade; he was regarded as a loner.In November 1956, Presley made his film debut in Love Me Tender. He resumed his recording career two years later, producing some of his most commercially successful work before devoting much of the 1960s to making Hollywood films and their accompanying soundtrack albums, most of which were critically derided.
In 1968, following a seven-year break from live performances, he returned to the stage in the acclaimed televised comeback special Elvis, which led to an extended Las Vegas concert residency and a string of highly profitable tours.
The family attended an Assembly of God church, where he found his initial musical inspiration.