April 25, 1912
Gladys Love Smith is born.
April 10, 1916
Vernon Elvis Presley is born.
June, 1933
Gladys Smith and Vernon Presley are married.
January 8, 1935
In Tupelo, Mississippi, shortly before dawn, in a two-room house built by her husband and her brother-in-law, Gladys Presley gives birth to identical twin sons. The first, Jesse Garon, is born dead. The second, Elvis Aaron, is born alive and healthy. Elvis would be their only child.

Elvis grows up within a close-knit, working class family, consisting of his parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins, who all live near each other in Tupelo. There is little money, but Vernon and Gladys do their best to provide for their son, who is the center of their lives. They move from one house to another in Tupelo, and even live in Biloxi, Mississippi for a short while, returning to Tupelo. Elvis attends the Assembly of God Church with his family, and the music and preaching register deeply.
Other influences are black bluesmen in the neighborhood and country music radio programs enjoyed by his family.

Ten-year-old Elvis stands on a chair at a microphone and sings "Old Shep" in a youth talent contest at the Mississippi-Alabama Fair and Dairy Show, held in Tupelo. The talent show is broadcast over WELO Radio. Second prize is $5.00 and free admission to all the rides at the fair.
Elvis's parents cannot afford a bicycle that Elvis wants, so Gladys talks him into accepting a guitar instead. Elvis's first guitar costs $12.95 and is purchased at the Tupelo Hardware Company. The bicycle would have to wait until Christmas of 1947.
Late 1948
Elvis plays his guitar and sings "Leaf on a Tree" for his Milam Junior High class in Tupelo as a farewell. Elvis and his parents pack their belongings in a trunk strapped to the roof of their 1939 Plymouth and move to Memphis, Tennessee in search of a better life economically. Other members of the Presley and Smith clan would follow

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Elvis and his parents live in public housing or low rent homes in the poor neighborhoods of north Memphis. Life continues to be hard. Vernon and Gladys go from job to job, and Elvis attends The Christine School, then Humes High School. Elvis works at various jobs to help support himself and his parents. The Presley-Smith clan remains close-knit, and Elvis and his family attend the Assembly of God Church. The teenage Elvis continues to be known for singing with his guitar. He buys his clothes on Beale Street and he absorbs the black blues and gospel he hears there. He's also a regular audience member at the all-night white, and black, gospel sings that are held downtown. He wears his hair long (compared to the day's standards) and slick, and lets
his sideburns grow. He's really different from the other kids, a good-natured misfit.
While at Humes High, Elvis nervously sings with his guitar at a student talent show. Much to his own amazement, he gets more applause than anyone else and wins, then performs an encore. The acceptance feels good.
June 3, 1953
Elvis graduates from Humes High School.

Elvis works at Parker Machinists Shop right after graduation. That summer he drops by The Memphis Recording Service, home of the Sun label and makes a demo acetate of "My Happiness" and "That's When Your Heartaches Begin" for a cost of about $4.00. (The studio came to be known as Sun Studio though never officially named that until many years later. For
simplicity this text uses the name Sun Studio.) The studio owner isn't in, so his assistant, Marion Keisker handles the session. Elvis wants to see what his voice would sound like on a record and he has vague aspirations to be a singer. He takes the acetate home, and reportedly gives it to his mother as a much-belated extra birthday present. By the fall, he is working at Precision Tool Company, and soon changes jobs again, going to work for Crown Electric Company. At Crown, he does
various jobs, including driving a delivery truck. He also goes to night school and studies to be an electrician.

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