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The Downward Spiral

Taking Stock

Elvis Presley was thirty in 1965, and Colonel Tom Parker had been managing Elvis's career for ten years. Elvis had made seventeen movies, which had grossed about $130 million, and he had sold a hundred million records, which had made $150 million. His fans were still loyal, but whereas once Elvis had such a following because he was an artistic pioneer, the tune had changed. Perhaps the loyalty of Elvis's fans was keeping his career afloat.

Even though Elvis may have wanted to try something new in his career, it wasn't easy. Colonel Parker encouraged Elvis to stick with material that would appeal to the broadest possible audience. Also, Elvis didn't always record with the same group, so it was difficult to have creative support. Finally, Elvis did not write his own songs, as the Beatles did, so he couldn't reinvent his music firsthand.

Did You Know?

Elvis had a group of friends called the Memphis Mafia. They all wore dark suits and sunglasses. They traveled with Elvis everywhere in an official capacity as his bodyguards or accountants, but really because Elvis couldn't stand to be alone.

Additional topics

Musician BiographiesElvis PresleyThe Downward Spiral - Priscilla At Graceland, Grammy Awards And Movie Mania, Viva Las Vegas, The '60s Music Scene And Elvis: An Overview