Elvis Aaron Presley (b. January 8, 1935 in Tupelo, MS; d. August 16, 1977 in Memphis, TN) was a musician and actor. He is perhaps one of the biggest icons of American popular culture in the 20th century. Often referred to as "The King" of rock 'n' roll, some of his biggest hit singles are "Hound Dog," "Blue Suede Shoes," "Jailhouse Rock," and "All Shook Up." His major breakout year as a recording artist was 1956 and he has since become the highest selling artist worldwide in the histroy of recorded music. He began focusing on acting in the 1960s. The Hugo Keesing collection on Elvis Presley consists of books, serials, clippings, and memorabilia related to his life and music. This collection has been separated into nine series with dates ranging from 1935 to 2002 with the majority of materials dating from 1974 to 1990.
The collection is open for research use. Materials from this collection must be used in the Michelle Smith Performing Arts Library's Irving and Margery Morgan Lowens Special Collections Room, 10:00 am to 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday. Contact the curator for an appointment: http://www.lib.umd.edu/scpa/contact
Copyright was not transferred with the donation of the materials; all rights remain with the creators and rights holders.
3.50 Linear Feet
The Hugo Keesing collection on Elvis Presley covers the period from 1935 to 2002; the bulk of the materials date from 1974 to 1990. This collection contains realia, ephemera, clippings, serials, catalogs, books, and programs relating to Elvis Presley's life and music, with much of the materials pertaining to his late career and following his death. There are a significant number of newspaper clippings, magazines, and magazine articles related to his passing. This collection also contains several pieces of sheet music of songs made popular by Elvis or songs about Elvis.
[See finding aid for the Hugo Keesing collection on popular music and culture for information on Hugo Keesing]
Elvis Presley (January 8, 1935 - August 16, 1977) was one of the first true rock 'n' roll stars. Referred to as "The King of Rock 'n' Roll," Presley had a major influence on popular music and musicians. Teenagers idolized Presley, viewing him as a symbol of liberation, while teachers, clergy, and many other adults saw his hip-shaking stage presence as overly suggestive.
Presley's early music, a combination of rock 'n' roll with country, is described as rockabilly. The gospel and blues elements that also contribute to Presley's sound stem from his earliest musical experiences, singing at the First Assembly of God Church in East Tupelo, Mississippi and listening to legendary blues artists on Beale Street in Memphis, Tennessee. Presley's earliest releases, from 1954, were issued by Sun Records. Presley was the "white man with the Negro sound and the Negro feel" that Sun owner Sam Phillips had been looking for. In late 1955, RCA purchased Presley's contract and in 1956, his debut album, Elvis Presley reached number one on the charts. Between 1956 and 1977, Elvis had nine number one albums on the United States charts and eighteen number one singles. He also appeared in thirty-one feature films, which were usually commercially, if not critically, successful. Presley died in August 1977 of what officials called congestive heart failure, although his death has since been determined to be drug-related.
Both during his lifetime and continuing today, Presley-related merchandise (including posters, clothing, and household items), Elvis impersonators, and the commercial success of his recordings, serve as a testament to the profound and enduring impact Presley has had on popular culture. In 1982, Graceland, Presley's church-turned-mansion home, was opened to the public, and has since hosted millions of tourists.
This collection is organized into nine series.
Gift of Hugo Keesing received in shipments beginning in September 1996, and is ongoing (as of 2015).
Original order was maintained to a reasonable degree. All materials are processed and described at the item level.
Part of the Michelle Smith Performing Arts Library