Jailhouse Rock starring Elvis Presley opened in Memphis, Tennessee October 21, 1957.
One of the most significant cultural icons of the 20th century, Elvis helped establish the emerging Rock and Roll sound, incorporating blues and gospel influences. He was also a leader in popularizing both the rockabilly sound and the four-man band line-up which would later dominate the music industry.
His first single, “Heartbreak Hotel” (1956), began a string of number-ones that radically reshaped American music and put Presley at the forefront of rock and roll. In 1958 he was drafted into the army and served in West Germany. Following this, he began a much-derided acting career and did not perform live for seven years. In 1968 he returned to the stage with the acclaimed “Elvis” special, and then took up an extended Las Vegas residency which became iconic in its own right.
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