How Elvis Presley Celebrated His Birthday

Happy birthday, Elvis!

Elvis Aaron Presley was born January 8, 1935, in Tupelo, Mississippi, to Gladys and Vernon Presley.

That’s just the beginning of Elvis’ legendary life, one full of music, movies and memorable birthdays.

For all of the celebrating Elvis did at Christmas and New Year’s Eve, though, Elvis usually celebrated his birthdays pretty quietly. But there were a few extra special birthdays – complete with special gifts and parties – that meant a lot to the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll.

Elvis was already a big fan of music, thanks to his parents, Vernon and Gladys, by the time this photo was taken. A few years after this picture was made, Elvis would receive his first guitar.

Elvis was already a big fan of music, thanks to his parents, Vernon and Gladys, by the time this photo was taken. Not too long after this picture was taken, Elvis would receive his first guitar.

One of the most special birthdays Elvis ever celebrated was his 11th. He actually didn’t get what he wanted for his birthday, but maybe he got what he needed.

Some say Elvis asked for a rifle or a bicycle that year, but Elvis’ mother, Gladys, instead bought him a guitar. He spent the next year teaching himself how to play the guitar – a skill that would become handy in his career.

In 1949, for his 14th birthday, Elvis received a book of cartoons by George Price from his father. Vernon wrote inside the book, “May your birthday be sprinkled through ‘n’ through with joy and love and good times, too. Daddy.” Elvis loved this book, and even took with with him to Germany when he was there serving in the U.S. Army- but, unfortunately, Elvis lost the book there.

Speaking of Germany, Elvis’ fans celebrated the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll’s birthday even while he was away serving the country. “American Bandstand,” hosted by Dick Clark, aired a special birthday tribute to Elvis in 1959.

Elvis celebrated his 24th birthday in Germany. "American Bandstand," hosted by Dick Clark, celebrated the soldier-singer's birthday in the states.

Elvis celebrated his 24th birthday in Germany. “American Bandstand,” hosted by Dick Clark, celebrated the soldier-singer’s birthday in the states.

Elvis was filming “Wild in the Country” in 1961, and on his birthday, the cast and crew threw him a birthday party on the set. The festivities included a cake and they gave him a plaque that read, “Happy Birthday, King Karate.”

Elvis celebrated his 26th birthday on the set of "Wild in the Country" with his cast and crew.

Elvis celebrated his 26th birthday on the set of “Wild in the Country” with his cast and crew.

The next year, Elvis celebrated his 27th birthday at the Sahara Hotel in Las Vegas, cutting a huge cake from Sahara owner Milton Prell.

Many years, Elvis chose to celebrate his birthday quietly at his beloved Graceland. He often rented out a local movie theater so he and his friends could watch the latest movies.

In 1974, the king turned 39, and the mayors of Memphis and Shelby County declared it “Elvis Presley Day.” The day included a parade down Elvis Presley Boulevard to Graceland, and his high school alma mater, Humes, had their band play “Happy Birthday.” Elvis watched the festivities from the front porch and waved to fans. That day was also declared Elvis Presley Day in Georgia by Jimmy Carter, who was, at the time, the Governor of Georgia.

2016 marks Elvis' 81st birthday.

2016 marks Elvis’ 81st birthday.

The Memphis and Shelby County Mayors, as well as other special guests and officials, continue the Elvis Birthday Proclamation tradition each year at Graceland.

The Elvis Birthday Proclamation Ceremony is one event in the annual Elvis Birthday Celebration, which also includes The Auction at Graceland, Club Elvis, the Fan Club Presidents’ Event and Official Graceland Insiders Reception.

Join in on the fun and visit Graceland! And remember, you can watch the Elvis Birthday Proclamation Ceremony live at 9:30 a.m. CT on Friday, January 8 – just click here!


54 Comments

  1. Mark Lee Pringle

    A very Happy Heavenly’ Birthday to Mr. Elvis A. Presley!!! Thank you Sir’ for ALL of the great music!!! (y) 😀

  2. Jesper Ulrich

    Thank You!!!

  3. Brian Breidenback

    Happy 81st. birthday Elvis your still the king

  4. Donna Ogden

    Happy Birthday Elvis…
    We were just at Graceland last week and saw the beautiful Christmas decorations…in 1968 my husband and I lived across the street from you at Royal Oak Apartments…I have such wonderful memories of your Uncle Vester and met you Dad…wouldn’t take anything for that period of my life…your presence is definitely in your home, we feel it every time we go..

  5. lucille walkup

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY ELVIS
    YOU’LL NEVER KNOW HOW MUCH WE LOVED YOU
    OR MISS YOU.

  6. Robert Porter

    HAPPY 81ST BIRTHDAY ELVIS,I AM GLAD TO CELEBRATE ARE BIRTHDAYS TOGETHER,l will be 55 tomorrow on 1/8/61,Friends forever R.S.P.

  7. Happy Birthday Elvis.

  8. william

    elvis birthday should be a holiday and a day off for all tcb william

  9. Linda Kines

    I CERTAINLY WILL BE WATCHING, if I can get it. Usually can not get livestream. Hope there is a video shown later.All my love to Elvis, and happy birtday in heaven. XO

  10. Happy Birthday!!! And Thank You to all who have been a part of keeping Elvis memories alive. Such a fan

  11. Mary,Mcgaha

    Happy birthday Elvis

  12. Mary,Mcgaha

    Happy Birthday Elvis.

  13. Diane Aberts

    Elvis will never be replaced he is the one an only! I got to see him 2 times WOW. My 3 sisters and I came to Graceland years ago would love to go again! Special to me same birthday not year (Jan 8,1949)so will celebrate tomorrow listening to Elvis like all other days.

  14. Nova Raines Zett

    wishing ELVIS A VERY happy 81first birthday, love your music.

    • Nova Raines Zett

      Wishing Elvis a very happy 81 first birthday Jan 8/th 1935 love your music.

  15. Sarah Smith

    Happy Birthday, My Dear Darling….many years and many memories have long ago past. One thing that will always be etched in my mind,until I met up with you again,is the many happy moments you gave me.Many days and nights at Graceland and in Memphis along with the many concerts gave me a purpose to long for more of you. That purpose was the love we had,no other will ever replace you….by: Sarah Smith T.C.B.

  16. Judy Huff

    Happy Birthday to Elvis. King of Rock and Roll

  17. JOYCE JONES

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY,ELVIS!
    GOD, YOU ARE DEEPLY MISSED!
    THINKING OF YOU,ALWAYS!

  18. Nancy Cockrell

    Happy Burthday to the king!

  19. Betty Wilson

    Would love to be there! But Elvis is always on my mind.

  20. I want to become part of the blog, as a member.

  21. Happy Birthday, Elvis, my darling.

  22. Vilma Ballester

    Happy Birthday Mr. Elvis Presley God Bless you sir. You are the luckiest man in the world our hearts belong to you and you belong to us. Long live the king

  23. Madeleine Paul

    Happy Birthday Elvis!
    From Kipawa, Quebec Canada

  24. Happy birthday Elvis !! #GracelandBound

  25. Wanda Veinot

    I love Elvis Just Wish i could visit Graceland,that would be my all-time wish,maybe some day

  26. clyde ortego

    I have enjoyed elvis ‘ s music and movies since I was a young boy.

    In my opinion he was a great entertainer and showman.

    Thanks

    Clyde j. Ortego

  27. adriana

    Happy birthday Elvis! Im your new fan. You was amazing, Im from Europe(Slovakia) and My way will by to Memphiss. You are Always on my mind. …bye…

  28. Happy, Happy Birthday to a most humble and caring man ! You are so greatly missed !

  29. Marco Dolci

    Elvis is the greatest Singer all time.
    His music, his legend never die.

    Marco Dolci
    A great italian Elvis fan

  30. mary S Fisherj

    My mother loved him I went from In.To Tn picked my mother went to Texas on the way back I stopped in Memphis took her to Graceland that was the high light of her life.

  31. mary S Fisherj

    Thank you

  32. Kim Defoe

    I was about 9 years old when I heard Elvis sing the first time. Since then he has been the only performer I have followed. He was and is magical. Happy Birthday Elvis. I’m 68 now. We have been friends all my life. Thank you for your precious voice and pure heart.
    K

  33. Patrizia tesser

    Happy Birthday !!!
    Always on my mind, now and forever.

  34. Adriana Hopf

    I loved Elvis all my life but until I visited Graceland last November I realized how much more I still love him!!! How alive he is and I was celebrating my 32nd wedding anniversary too! Sorry husband!!!

  35. Rest in Paradise
    May you never be forgotten.
    Thanks so much for sharing your God given gifts.

  36. I share the same birthday with Elvis and have been proud to proclaim that for many years I definitely will be watching since I live in Wi I can’t be there but recently visited Graceland last April. Happy Birthday dear Elvis

  37. Milica Djukich

    I will watch it! Nobody like him will ever be, a man who cared about everyone no matter who they were and gave!A generous man who have of himself!

  38. Diana in Seaford, New York

    Happy birthday in heaven to my darling Elvis. Your life affected my life, and the lives of millions and millions of other people, in happy and joyous and deep and meaningful ways. It mattered that you were born! You were indeed a precious gift from God. We will always cherish and love you. Always….

  39. Happy birthday my darling!! Elvis, it’s very hard to comprehend the age now attached to your name officially today, you’re so timeless it doesn’t seem possible, let alone real! No matter the age though, you will always still be Elvis…the one and only. And I will always love you and care for you until I reach the age of 81 myself and beyond that. I’ll never stop loving you my dear!! I miss you so very much! I’ll see you back at Graceland in just a few months!! Happy birthday my friend <3

  40. Lynda parton

    Just watched your birthday on live stream Elvis and now listening to your platinum album … If your up there partying please invite my uncle Joe he was a massive fan and I’ll do the partying down here.. love always .. x

  41. john solis

    Happy 81st Birthday Elvis!

  42. john solis

    Happy Birthday Elvis!

  43. stephen

    You continue to communicate and touch millions long after your death ; happy birthday and thanks for the inspiration back in 1956 and every year since; more than the king, but a great soul.

  44. Hartelijk gefeliciteerd Elvis
    Breda Nederland

  45. anthony luizza

    A little late with birthday wishes but I did celebrate the day by listening to His music and at night watching His concerts on dvd.Simply the best there ever was or ever will be

  46. My granddaughter Abbey was born in 1999 on Elvis birthday. This makes her even more special to me and I have told her what an honor it is to be born on the same day as Elvis. Again I would like to thank you for creating this wonderful blog in such a commercial world that can be so personal.
    Billy M.

  47. Happy Birthday, Elvis!
    You are special still to millions because of your love for everyone and your beautiful voice which you used to express your feelings through song. You also made everyone feel that they were special to you, that you were singing just for them.
    We are all celebrating your birthday!

  48. Yvonne Hart

    A belated birthday greeting for Elvis’ 81st. I came to Graceland to celebrate Elvis’ 80th last year. I saw Priscilla Lisa Marie and her lovely children watched them cut Elvis birthday cake such a surreal experience. It was truly magical. Walking though the beautiful home he loved so much looking at all the displays with the many awards the gold and platinum discs Elvis stage suits was the just magical I would love to come again hopefully next year. Thanks to all who take such care of Elvis’ legacy you do a fantastic job. Eve Hart England

  49. Sending you belated Happy Birthday wishes. A fan as long as I can remember. Thank you for sharing your beautiful voice and generous talents. Proud to share the same state of birth.

  50. Jacquelyn Vogen

    Happy Birthday Elvis!!! Miss you and wish you were here.

  51. Jacquelyn Vogen

    Happy Birthday Elvis and wish you still were here.

  52. Jacquelyn Vogen

    Happy Birthday!! Miss you and wish you was still was here

  53. Oralia Hernandez

    Just got back from Graceland, and I am still in heaven. Went to wish Elvis a happy birthday and visit his grave with my three daughters and my granddaughter. I heard Elvis sing in the Ed Sullivan show and I have been his ardent fan ever since. Thank you Elvis for such wonderful memories. Your voice was a gift from God to us to hear your music. I love to hear your gospel music, it’s heavenly. You will never be forgotten. I love you forever.

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