Which musician did Elvis admire most?

10 things you did not know about Elvis Presley

He was only 42 years old. Even so, Elvis Presley has immortalized himself in his films and music. Today the singer and actor from Memphis would have turned 80. Instead of looking back, we look ahead - namely to the next pub evening with friends. Because then these useless facts about the King will definitely cause amazed faces.

1. Elvis Presley did not write a single song himself

Even though Elvis Presley is listed as the second songwriter for songs like "Don’t Be Cruel" and "Love Me Tender", he mentioned to a journalist that he had never written any of his songs himself. Manager Parker's business acumen was why Elvis was listed among the song credits anyway. Songwriters were only allowed to work for Elvis if they gave up the full rights. A system that eventually collapsed: the well-known songwriters increasingly refused to work with Elvis Presley. A huge opportunity for the next generation. Artists like Mac Davis or Dallas Frazier started their careers with Elvis songs.

2. Elvis Presley never gave a concert outside of America

It was perhaps the first internationally successful musical act. Even so, Elvis Presley never performed outside of North America. After all, he made it to Canada for five concerts. The reason for this was his manager Tom Parker. He had come to America illegally in the 1920s and was afraid that once he left he would no longer be able to enter the country. Although Elvis Presley lost a lot of money as a result, Parker was at his side as a manager until his death.

Elvis in his classic outfit

© Getty Images

3. Elvis Presley's stage outfits were inspired by martial arts

Even if you didn't really see it towards the end of his career: Elvis Presley had a black belt in karate. His passion for martial arts also inspired his legendary stage outfit, the jumpsuit. At the end of the 1960s, Elvis Presley first appeared in Las Vegas and wanted to stand out from show greats like Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis Jr. A jumpsuit cost Elvis Presley around $ 10,000, and Elvis outfits are now being auctioned for up to $ 300,000.

4. Elvis Presley declared himself an anti-drug officer

At the beginning of his career, Elvis Presley's reputation wasn't exactly good. He was accused of ruining youth with the swing of his hips. In order to gain respect, Elvis entered regular military service at the height of his career. How conservative Elvis Presley really was became clear in the early 1970s. In a letter to Nixon, the singer expressed his deep admiration for the president and asked for a face-to-face meeting, which took place in December 1970. Elvis offered his support in the fight against drugs and counterculture - and received a plaque from the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drug (BNDD) from Nixon himself. Was that the same Elvis who took an estimated 10,000 pills a year and died of a drug overdose?

5. Elvis Presley almost got shot by Alice Cooper

A true Southerner, Elvis Presley knew how to use a gun. At Graceland he had a whole arsenal of 40 guns, and an American gun manufacturer even issued a special edition of a magnum revolver with the King's likeness. Sitting in a Las Vegas hotel room with Alice Cooper, Chubby Checker, Liza Minnelli and Linda Lovelace in the 1970s, he put a gun in Alice Cooper's hand. To show him how easily he can take a gun off someone. Cooper considered briefly whether to pull the trigger. He was already on the floor. With Elvis ’boots on his neck, as he said in an interview with the BBC.

Away from glitter, towards manly toughness: Elvis Presley at his comeback concert in 1968 in rough leather.

© Getty Images

6. Elvis Presley's wife, Priscilla, had an affair with his karate teacher

During his time as a soldier in Germany, Elvis Presley met the then 14-year-old Priscilla Beaulieu, whom he married in 1967. The marriage lasted just six years, one of the reasons for the divorce being Elvis' extramarital affairs. Priscilla was not a child of sadness either. She is said to have had an affair with Elvis' longtime friend and karate teacher Mike Stone. Elvis biographer, Peter Guralnick, writes that Elvis allegedly asked his bodyguard to hire a hit man. Fortunately, that didn't happen.

7. Elvis Presley met Led Zeppelin to compare watches

In 1973 the hard rockers of Led Zeppelin were at the height of their careers. It was to be a special year for Robert Plant and John Paul Jones. In Los Angeles they got an audience with the King of Rock `n` Roll - and were initially speechless. Elvis eased the mood by swapping his $ 5,000 watch for John Paul Jones' watch. Not a good deal, because it didn't have diamonds, but a picture of Mickey Mouse on the number position.

8. Elvis Presley's BMW 507 was originally white

Besides Priscilla, Elvis Presley had only one big love: cars. With his first money he gave his mother a pink Cadillac, and his fleet included motor legends such as the Mercedes Benz 600, a Ford T-Bird and a Stutz Blackhawk. During his time in Germany, he drove a BMW 507, which returned to the BMW plant in Munich in July 2014. Originally the car was white. According to legend, Elvis Presley had it repainted to cover up the lipstick marks on his female fans.

Elvis Presley could wear anything. It's not for nothing that he is the King of Rock'n'Roll.

© Sony Music

9. Elvis Presley flew 1,300 km for a sandwich

Elvis loved food. The fatter the better. A fact that you could tell by the end of his career. At the beginning of his military service in 1960, he weighed around 70 kilograms; when he died in the late 1970s, it was 120 kilograms. He has always been a good eater; by his mid-twenties he could eat eight cheeseburgers, two sandwiches with bacon and three milkshakes. Elvis Presley only did one commercial in his life. For donuts. Graceland was the official station of the Pepsi truck. And one night he flew from Memphis to Denver on his private jet just to have a very special sandwich: the Fool’s Gold. A loaf of Italian bread, hollowed out and filled with peanut butter, jam and a pound of bacon. Hip gold for swinging your hips.

10. Elvis Presley has approximately 85,000 doppelgangers

Several internet sources suggest that there are approximately 85,000 Elvis impersonators worldwide. The Murderous Maths team wanted to know exactly - and calculated that in 2043 everyone will be an Elvis impersonator. In 2013 the last Elvis Tribute Artist World Championships took place in Memphis. And in Bayreuth, an Elvis double is already part of the cityscape. Time Warner and the Elvis Presley Society decided that he is not the best German Elvis. You have declared the Swabian Nils Strasbourg to be the best Elvis in Germany. The King is dead, long live the King!