Learning Karate And Meeting Priscilla
Life was not all dreary in Germany or in the army. Elvis became interested in karate; later in life he became a black belt. He also became smitten with fourteen-year-old Priscilla Beaulieu, the daughter of an air force officer.
In 1960, shortly after Elvis was promoted to sergeant, he was discharged a month early. The Colonel immediately rereleased Jailhouse Rock. RCA made the decision to press a million copies of Elvis's first post-army single, even before the single had been recorded! Elvis's first TV appearance after leaving the army would be on The Frank Sinatra Show. Elvis would receive $125,000 for the appearance. It was more money than any other TV appearance had ever commanded.
At a press conference in Germany, Elvis saw Marion Keisker, from Sun Studio, who was a captain in the air force. “What do I do? Kiss you, or salute you?” Elvis asked. “In that order,” she told him. Elvis told the newsmen the part Keisker had played in his career. She was very touched; it was the first time he had publicly acknowledged her part in his musical success.
There are photos of Priscilla waving goodbye to Elvis at the airport. However, those photos were taken the day after Elvis left. The pictures were staged for publicity, to be published in magazines. Elvis and Priscilla really said their good-byes privately. They promised to write to each other.
Starting with the letters they wrote before Priscilla went to live at Graceland, Elvis and Priscilla's courtship would last for eight years, culminating in marriage and then divorce. As the mother of Elvis's child, she was queen to his king in a way no one else was, though Elvis openly cheated on her during their marriage.
After his army experience in Germany, Elvis went back to America, anxious to see whether he could pick up his career where he had left off.