Musician Biographies » Elvis Presley » Elvis's Childhood - Understanding The Political Climate, Early Musical Influences: Hillbilly, Gospel, And The Blues, The Birthday Present

Elvis's Childhood - High School Graduation

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In April 1953, Elvis performed at his high school's annual talent show and was the only one asked for an encore. “It was amazing how popular I became after that,” Elvis said later.

The Presleys at Work

In 1950, Vernon hurt his back, and Elvis got jobs at Precision Tool and later at Marl Metal products. He worked after school, from 3:00 to 11:30 PM. But when Elvis fell asleep in the classroom, Gladys told her son to quit his job. She took a job as a nurse's aide at St. Joseph's Hospital. Later, Gladys would cite this job as one of the things she was most proud of.

Elvis went to his senior prom with a girl who had been his neighbor at the Courts. He didn't dance, though, saying he didn't know how. Elvis graduated in 1953 and got a job at the Parker Machinists Shop. He then began working as a truck driver for the Crown Electric Company. While driving, Elvis often passed the Memphis Recording Service, the place that turned his entire life around.

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