Priscilla Presley had heard one of Elvis Presley’s songs even before she met him. In his memoir, he reveals which of his songs he listened to first. Next, she discussed how her reaction to the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll differed from that of her friends.
Why Priscilla Presley’s father bought an album of Elvis Presley songs
Elvis released his first song, a cover of Arthur Crudup’s “That’s All Right”, in 1954. He did not become a major star until 1956, the same year he released his self-titled debut album as well as some widely successful non-album singles. That year, the singer’s future father-in-law decided that he wanted to listen to the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll.
Priscilla describes this event in her memoir, elvis and me. “I was living with my family at Bergstrom Air Force Base in Austin, Texas, where my father, then-Captain Joseph Paul Beaulieu, a career officer, was stationed,” she wrote. “He came home late one evening for dinner and handed me a record album.”
According to Priscilla, Beaulieu mentioned why she bought the album. “I don’t know what this Elvis guy is about, but he must be something special,” Beaulieu told Priscilla. “I stood with half the Air Force in PX to get it for you; everybody wants it.”
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How Priscilla Presley and her friends reacted to the songs of the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll
Priscilla discusses hearing an Elvis song for the first time. “I put the record on hi-fi and listened to ‘Blue Suede Shoes’ rocking music,” she wrote. “The title of the album was Elvis Presley. It was his first.”
Priscilla discussed how her attitude towards the singer was different from that of her friends. “Like almost every other kid in America, I loved Elvis but not as fanatical as many of my girlfriends at Dale Valley Junior High,” Priscilla recalled. “They all had Elvis T-shirts and Elvis hats and Elvis Bobby socks and even lipstick in colors like Hound Dog Orange and Heartbreak Pink.”
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The world’s reaction to Elvis Presley’s ‘blue suede shoes’
The significance of “Blue Suede Shoes” goes beyond being the first song Priscilla heard by her future husband. It became a huge hit. official chart company Report it charted several times in the United Kingdom. In 1956, it peaked at number 9 in the UK, staying on the chart for 10 weeks. It was only the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll’s second hit, after “Heartbreak Hotel”.
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It charted again in 2007, peaking at number 13 in the UK and remaining on the chart for two weeks. This was part of a larger trend where Elvis songs began to chart in the UK in the 2000s. Between 2002 and 2007, songs such as “(You’re the) Devil in Disguise,” “Return to Sender,” and “A Big Hunk O’ Love” became hits again. Priscilla, “blue suede shoes” had some significance for audiences of the 1950s and 2000s.