1946, Elvis asked his parents for a bicycle, but Gladys being very protective of Elvis was afraid he might fall off and hurt himself, and persuaded Elvis to get a guitar instead.
Over the next year, Vernon's brother Johnny Smith and Assembly of Good pastor Frank Smith gives him basic guitar lessons.Before long Elvis was listening to the radio, tuning into a variety of music as he tried to pick out melodies.
Note: It is also said that....... it was Hubert Tipton and his brother Ernest who taught Elvis to play the guitar.
Elvis would wander along the muddy banks of the Tupelo creek as he strummed his guitar at nightfall.
For Vernon Presley life was at it`s rawest as he struggled to put food on the table and a roof over his family`s head.
One night in 1948, Vernon packed up his family their belongings into a 1939 Plymouth and left for Memphis.
Elvis would later remember, `we were so broke, we just left overnight.`
They arrived, almost penniless, moved into a one-room apartment in one of the shabbiest sections of the City
Gladys Presley wasted no time getting a job; she worked in a cafeteria waitressing.Vernon drove a truck for a while, then ended up getting a job with the United Paint Company, were he earned eighty-three cent`s an hour, but held the job for five long year`s.
Elvis, at thirteen was shy and nervous, but always polite, (being a young gentleman); Elvis would always stand when a woman entered the room.
Elvis was enrolled at L. C. Humes High School he remained shy and unobtrusive. With no money, little confidence, and the only thing Elvis seemed to have was acne.
Read here for more of his early days High School & Early Stardom
Elvis loved football, of course, but was neither the build nor good enough to be a player on the school team.
Elvis would often be seen at the football games when Humes played, always on his own and usually just walking around the stands, Elvis was somewhat of a loner and bit of a dreamer.
After school, Elvis would occasionally wander down to the Mississippi, while strumming his old guitar where the blues could be heard being played.
After Elvis completed his first year at high school, Vernon Presley`s application for Public Housing through the Memphis Housing Authority, was accepted.
After over a year in Memphis, the Presley`s now move into a two-bed roomed apartment in the low rent project called the Lauderdale Courts at 185 Winchester Avenue.It was a welcome step up the economic ladder for Vernon and his family, but the Presley`s knew they weren`t out of the woods.
Elvis later remembers picking through garbage pails for useful things to bring home, to help get through those lean years.
Elvis got his first job, as an usher at Loew`s state Theater, he liked the job but was fired for having a go at a fellow employee over snitching on a candy girl for giving Elvis free food.
Some of Elvis`s earnings went to the household, with what Elvis had left, he would go back to the clothes store Lansky Brothers on the corner of second street Mississippi and purchased himself the slick duds he admired in the window.
As soon as Elvis was old enough to shave, he began growing his sideburns; he also grew his hair long and combed it back with so much gunk that it looked dark and lacquered, (Elvis would choose to have his hair cut at the local Beautician`s rather than the Barbers, to keep the look.)
With Elvis`s individual look, loud clothes and long hair with sideburns, he became a target for the tough, crew cut read neck kids at school.
The Harassment got Elvis into many scrapes, and there were several times he came close to getting his young behind kicked in.
Elvis wanted to be accepted because he was different and the only way to be apart of what was going on, was to be `himself` by setting up his own terms, — an unusual approach for someone so seemingly shy and insecure.
Nevertheless, it was a hard road.
Elvis got his first job after high school with the Crow Electric Company, delivering supplies in a Ford pick up.
In the evenings Elvis would study to become an Electrician, with the plan to one day collect union wages.
Elvis was also quite seriously thinking of becoming a Tennessee State Trooper at the age of Twenty-one.
In 1948 after losing another job Vernon moved the family to Memphis.
Glady's brothers get him a job at the Precision Tool Company and the Presleys moved into a small apartment at 370 Washington Street for $11 a week.
On September 13 Elvis enrolls at L.C. Humes High School
Starting his sophomore year Presley works in the school library and after school at Loew's State Theatre.
In 1951, his receives his first driver's license, joins the ROTC unit at Humes High, tries out for the football team (he's cut by the coach when he won`t trim his sideburns and ducktail), and in his spare time hanging around the black section of town, especially on Beale Street .
In his senior year Presley gets his first car, a 1942 Lincoln Zephyr, from Vernon. At eighteen majoring in Shop, History, and English he graduates from Humes High in 1953.
Quote on what Elvis was like at High School:
"Odd. He was sort of loner. The thing we had in common, because we weren't that close, I had just moved from New York.
And Elvis dressed in very flashy clothes, which was different than the kids back then.
Most of the guys back then wore crew cuts and Levis and t-shirts.
And Elvis wore flashy clothes, wore his collar up, his hair was a lot longer than the rest of the people.
And basically, I dressed the same way, coming from New York.
And the kids used to kid us about who was going to outdress who the next day."
- MARTY LACKER
Chapter 2 ` Elvis Presley early fame and his family`s first fame & fortune
Download the book version of `Elvis Presley Forever` with his life story in full
Back to Elvis Presley biography Home Page
Do you have a contribution to make to this site?
Read the latest articles here:
Click below to see contributions from other visitors to this page...
From Tupelo to Memphis
Elvis lived a few miles down the road from us. We lived in Saltillo, just off Old Saltillo Road, the same road where Vernon built their "shotgun" house ...
Elvis' Family Life: One For The Money, Nothing Like The Show
Not rated yet
Elvis Presley wasn't just loved by his fans. He wasn't just The King on stage; he was also a man with a family. His life was a classic rags-to-riches story;...
Back to Top of page Elvis Presley biography
SITE DISCLAIMER: The Elvis Presley biography information and resources on this site are provided for your entertainment only. No content on this site is intended to be a substitute for therapy or professional advice. While all attempts have been made to verify information provided in this Elvis Presley biography publication, neither the author nor the publisher assumes any responsibility for errors, omissions or contrary interpretation of the Elvis Presley biography or Elvis Presley picture subject matter herein. There is no guarantee of validity of accuracy of any Elvis Presley biography content. Any perceived slight of specific people or organizations is unintentional. This Elvis Presley biography website and its creators are not responsible for the content of any sites linked to.
The Elvis Presley biography contents are solely the opinion of the author and should not be considered as a historical fact or authority on the facts. The author and the Publisher of Elvis Presley biography assume no responsibility or liability and specifically disclaim any warranty, express or implied for any products or services mentioned, or any techniques or practices described. The purchaser or reader of this Elvis Presley biography publication assumes responsibility for the use of these Elvis Presley biography materials and articles and information. Neither the author nor the Elvis Presley biography Publisher assumes any responsibility or liability whatsoever on the behalf of any purchaser or reader of these materials.
Description of site contents: This site contains Elvis Presley biography information, history and Elvis Presley biography life story, Elvis Presley pictures and Elvis Presley biography photos, Elvis Presley song lyrics, Elvis Presley biography movie resources, Elvis Presley biography free e-books and articles listed for your convenient search in subjects of: Elvis Presley pictures and photos, Elvis Presley biography song lyrics, Elvis Presley movie resources, Elvis Presley biography childhood, Elvis Presley biography Band members biography, Elvis Presley girlfriends, Elvis Presley biography spiritual medium stories, Elvis Presley Memphis mafia stories, Elvis Presley biography diary quotes, Elvis Presley movie and music details in relation to the Elvis Presley autobiography and interviews of friends and family members for the Elvis Presley biography website written by a fan for his fans.
Back to Top of page Elvis Presley biography