Elvis Month: G.I 53310761

Elvis 13/08/2019

Before he enters the Army Elvis films his fourth film ‘King Creole’, often recognised as one of the best Elvis performances.

In March 1958 Elvis is inducted into the US Army at the Memphis Draft Board and is assigned the serial number 53310761.

He receives basic training and is stationed at Fort Hood, Texas for six months. In June he is given his first leave for a recording session.

This is his last recording session until 1960, among the songs recorded is ‘A Big Hunk o’ Love’.

‘King Creole’ opens nationally in the month of July, the reviews are the best his acting career will ever receive.

For many this is seen as the proof that Elvis would have gone to develop an impressive dramatic career, though this is a dream that never will come to pass.

Later in August Elvis’ mother falls ill and Elvis is granted leave to be by her bedside.

Gladys Presley passes away in the early hours of August 14 at the age of 46. She is laid to rest at Forest Hill Cemetery close to Graceland.

In September Elvis is sent to New York and later board the USS Randall to sail for Germany.

He is stationed in Friedberg for 18 months, his family and some friends from Memphis live in an off base residence in Bad Nauheim.

His time here exposed Elvis to European fans who were just as enthusiastic as those in the US.

In January 1959 Elvis is interviewed via trans-atlantic phone by Dick Clark on ‘American bandstand’.

They talk about his time in Germany, his continued success managed by Colonel Tom Parker who continues to release new material, and how Elvis misses home.

In August Captain Joseph Beaulieu arrives to Weisbaden Air Force Base near Friedberg, Germany.

He brings with him his family, including his 14 year old stepdaughter Priscilla Ann. In September Priscilla is invited to a party at Elvis’ home where they first meet.

Elvis is introduced to, and becomes an enthusiastic student of, karate. He is promoted to Sergeant in January 1960, earning his full stripes the following month.

His time in the Army comes to an end in March. He is officially discharged from active duty on March 5 1960 at 9:25am.

During his time it is noted that Elvis was concerned what his lengthy absence may have done to damage his career.