Elvis History | 1962-1965 | Graceland

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1962 - 1965

1962 - 1965

Fame and fortune only grew for Elvis in the ‘60s as he continued to release worldwide hits and star in box-office-topping roles, and In 1964 Elvis starred in his highest-grossing film ever. The actor and singer also began to spend his money in earnest, both for personal items and charitable causes.

January 1962

Elvis has a new RCA contract that runs until 1966. He also celebrates his 27th birthday.

March 12, 1962

Elvis Purchases a 1962 Dodge House Car complete with air conditioning, a double bed, two bunks and a kitchen. He plans to have George Barris customize it and to use it to drive back and forth to California.

May 23, 1962

“Follow That Dream” opens nationally and gets to #5 on the box office charts. It is warmly reviewed and does fairly well in sales.

March 26 - June 11, 1962

Elvis records and films in Hollywood, and does location filming in Hawaii, for his 11th motion picture, “Girls! Girls! Girls!”  

June 17 - July 1, 1962

Priscilla, now 17 years old, visits Elvis from Germany. It will be the first time they see each other since Elvis left Germany over two years before. They spend the time in Las Vegas. 

August 28, 1962

Elvis records and films for his 12th motion picture, “It Happened at the World’s Fair.” Shooting is done in Hollywood and on location at the World’s Fair in Seattle. 

August 29, 1962

“Kid Galahad” opens nationally and does relatively well with a brief stay in the top 10 on the box office chart.

October 1962

In Mexico, riot behavior in a theater showing “GI Blues” prompts the Mexican government to ban Elvis movies. Torn seats, broken windows and other damage is reported. 

November 21, 1962

“Girls! Girls! Girls!” opens and lands at on the #6 Variety chart and #31 for the year. Soundtrack album goes to #3 and the single "Return to Sender" hits #2. For 1962, Elvis’ movies at the box office are “Blue Hawaii” at #14, “Girls! Girls! Girls!” at #31 and “Kid Galahad” at #37.

December 19, 1962 - January 11, 1963

Priscilla visits Elvis for the holidays in Memphis, only her second time visiting Elvis in the 60s. 

January 21 - March 22, 1963

Elvis records and films for his 13th film, “Fun in Acapulco.” Priscilla moves to Memphis in early March 1963 while Elvis is in Hollywood filming. She graduates from high school on May 29, 1963, five days after turning 18 years old. 

April 10, 1963

“It Happened at the World's Fair” opens nationally and does relatively well at the box office, though its plot is the most frivolous of any Elvis film so far. The soundtrack album hits #4. 

July 1963

Elvis begins recording and filming for “Viva Las Vegas,” co-starring Ann-Margret. It will be his 15th movie to be released, as “Kissin’ Cousins,” which he is to shoot next, will actually be released before “Viva Las Vegas.”

October 1963

Elvis records and shoots for his next motion picture, “Kissin’ Cousins.” He also receives his 2nd degree black belt on October 17, 1963, and carries the card in his wallet until his death.

Late November 1963

Elvis finishes filming “Kissin’ Cousins” on November 14. He is devastated when President Kennedy is assassinated on November 22. 

November 27, 1963

“Fun in Acapulco” opens nationally and quickly goes to number five at the box office. The soundtrack goes to the top five on the pop chart. 

January/February 1964

Elvis purchases the Potomac, former presidential yacht of Franklin Roosevelt, for $55,000 on January 30. He intends to donate it to the March of Dimes for use as a national shrine (FDR suffered from polio, the main disease fought by the March of Dimes). Costs of maintaining the yacht would be prohibitive, so the March of Dimes declines the gift. Elvis attempts to give it to the 7th Coast Guard District Auxiliary in Miami, which also doesn’t work out. Finally, on February 13, he presents the yacht as a gift to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis for them to use to raise funds as they see fit. The ceremony takes place in Long Beach, California, on February 14, with actor and hospital founder, Danny Thomas, accepting.

During this saga of trying to donate the yacht, the Beatles make their first appearance on “The Ed Sullivan Show” and Sullivan reads on the air a congratulatory telegram from Elvis and the Colonel. American music and pop culture will soon change dramatically with the "British invasion" of the sixties, much as it had after Elvis made rock history in the fifties.

February 26 - May 14, 1964

Elvis begins filming for his 16th motion picture, “Roustabout,” co-starring Hollywood legend Barbara Stanwyck.

March 6, 1964

“Kissin’ Cousins” opens nationally. One of the poorest quality films of his career, it still quickly hits #11 at the box office, then quickly falls. The record hits #6.

April 30, 1964

Elvis meets Larry Geller and starts his spiritual studying in earnest.

June 9 - August 3, 1964

Elvis records music for his 17th film, “Girl Happy,” which co-stars Shelley Fabares and former Miss America, Mary Ann Mobley.

June 17, 1964

“Viva Las Vegas” opens nationally and goes to #14 at the box office. It’s one of the better movies from Elvis in the ‘60s and the songs on this record are better as well. By the end of the year, it is #11, outranking The Beatles “A Hard Day's Night” and becoming Elvis' highest grossing film ever. 

September 21, 1964

Elvis becomes an official “Special Deputy Sheriff” for Shelby County.

October 6, 1964

Elvis begins shooting his 18th motion picture, “Tickle Me.” The soundtrack has no new recordings. Instead, previously released non-movie recordings are used, apparently to keep production costs to a minimum. Filming continues until November 24, 1964. 

November 1964

“Roustabout” opens nationally and hits #8 at the box office. The soundtrack, which represents some of the best Elvis movie music in a while, goes to #1 on the Billboard pop album chart. Elvis is ranked as the sixth-biggest-money-making star of 1964. The single "Blue Christmas/Wooden Heart" reach #1 on the Christmas Chart. 

December 1964

Col. Parker renegotiates future movie contracts with both United Artists and MGM. The deals, with salary and % of profits, finally reaches his goal for Elvis of $1,000,000 a movie. 

January 8, 1965

Elvis celebrates his 30th birthday. 

March 9, 1965

Elvis records the soundtrack and does the filming for his 19th motion picture, “Harum Scarum,” which co-stars Mary Ann Mobley. 

April 7, 1965

“Girl Happy” opens and is the 25th top-grossing film of the year. The soundtrack hits #8, while the single “Crying in the Chapel” hits #3. 

April 19, 1965

“Harum Scarum” is released. 

April 1965

“Girl Happy” opens nationally and does relatively good business. The soundtrack album goes top 10. 

May 1965

Elvis records music and does filming for “Frankie and Johnny,” co-starring Donna Douglas. On May 9, 1965 Col. Parker has arranged for a special Mother’s Day radio show to be broadcast on radio stations across the country. 

May 19, 1965

Elvis’ gold Cadillac will go on tour to promote the film “Tickle Me.” The song, “Such An Easy Question,” reaches #11 on the charts.

Learn more about Elvis' life and career from 1966 - 1969. Also, be sure to keep up with the latest Elvis news by following @VisitGraceland on Twitter or liking Elvis Presley's Graceland on Facebook.