July 27, 2021
Elvis Presley, the King, author of “Heartbreak Hotel,” “Hound Dog,” and countless other classics became a household name by 1956.
By that point the King of Rock and Roll had just moved into Graceland, his Tennessee mansion, and looked forward to making it the jewel of celebrity mansions. As Presley bragged, “This is going to be a lot nicer than Red Skelton’s house when I get it like I want it.” However, before the King could fully enjoy his new sprawling estate, he received a summons from the United States military to serve his two years of required service. Thousands of fans wrote to the government, pleading to excuse the King from service but Elvis demurred and proudly agreed to serve his time as a regular soldier.
Not Taking The Easy Way Out
As John Lennon famously once said, “Before Elvis, there was nothing.” In the case of the military, nothing like Presely ever came through Uncle Sam’s boot camp. After taking a deferment to film, “King Creole,” Elvis reported for duty on March 24, 1958. Amazingly, one of the most famous people in the history of the world, decided not to take the easy way out. The Air Force and Navy both offered him cushy positions, ranging from creating his own “Elvis Presley company” to using him as a recruitment model.