Elvis: "A Day in the Life"                                                                                                                             January 8, 1950 (Sunday)

The Presleys celebrated Elvis' 15th birthday in Memphis.

Elvis: "A Day in the Life"                                                                                                                                                    January, 1950

Sam Phillips opened the Memphis Recording Service at 706 Union Avenue.

It's a ten minute walk from the Hotel Peabody downtown, where he and his assistant, Marion Keisker, work for WREC, Memphis' most prestigious radio station. (Among other things Phillips engineers the big-band broadcasts on a network hookup from the Peabody Skyway every Saturday night.) About his new venture Phillips, a native of Lorence, Alabama, let's it be known that his purpose is to record "Negro artists of the South who [want] to make a record [and have] no place to go", and he begins with such soon-to-be-legendary figures as B.B. King, Joe Hill Louis and (the following year) Howlin' Wolf. 

Elvis: "A Day in the Life"                                                                                                                                                           June, 1950

Sam Phillips met with Memphis D.J. Dewey Phillips (no relation), whose "Red, Hot and Blue", a mélange of "boogies, blues and spirituals" is the hottest thing on Memphis radio, which attracted a huge black and white audience (particularly white teenagers) with it's idiosyncratic style. Sam Phillips recognised a kindred spirit in Dewey, and while the partnership that they formed later this summer, known as "The Phillips" label, doesn't last more than a month or two, they remain the closest of ideological allies.

Elvis: "A Day in the Life"                                                                                                                                              September, 1950

SCHOOL ENROLLMENT (10th Year) - L.C. Humes High School, 659 North Manassas Street, Memphis, Tennessee.

Elvis entered his 10th-grade year, and enrolled in ROTC, in which he received a grade of C for the first term and B for the second. Except for an A in English and an F in typing, his grades are C's and B's. He was issued a Social Security Card. Number: 409-52-2002. Elvis began to work as an usher at Loew's State Movie Theatre on South Main Street.

Elvis: "A Day in the Life"                                                                                                                     December 25, 1950 (Monday)

The Presleys celebrated Christmas at Lauderdale Courts.

Elvis: "A Day in the Life"                                                                                                                             January 8, 1951 (Monday)

The Presleys celebrated Elvis' 16th birthday in Memphis. (photo date unknown)

Elvis: "A Day in the Life"                                                                                                                                     June 15, 1951 (Friday)

Elvis got a summer job at Precision Tool, where Gladys' brother Travis Smith continued to work. 

Elvis: "A Day in the Life"                                                                                                                                              September, 1951

SCHOOL ENROLLMENT (Junior Year) - L.C. Humes High School, 659 North Manassas Street, Memphis, Tennessee.

Elvis entered his junior year. He received C's and was reported tardy three times. During this year at school, friends and teachers noticed a change in Elvis, as he began to gain self-confidence, attempted to grow sideburns and grooms his hair meticulously (some would day obsessively) with Rose Oil hair tonic and Vaseline. His clothers, too, became more flamboyant, and without calling attention to himself in any other way, he became a kind of visual focal point. His attempt to join the football team would seem to have been thwarted by his appearance, his size, and his mother's opposition. 

Elvis: "A Day in the Life"                                                                                                                                                November, 1951

Gladys began work as a nurse's aide at St. Joseph's Hospital within sight of the Courts at a salary of $4 a day. She had worked at Britling's Cafeteria downtown in the past, but this was the best job she has ever had, and she was very proud of it. 

 


At some point during the year Elvis took the test for his driver's licence in his uncle Travis' 1940 Buick. 

Elvis: "A Day in the Life"                                                                                                                           January 8, 1952 (Tuesday)

The Presleys celebrated Elvis' 17th birthday in Memphis. 

Elvis: "A Day in the Life"                                                                                                                                                   February, 1952

Gladys was forced to quit her job at St. Joseph's because of her salary and the rest of the family's combined income, they failed to qualify for public housing. Vernon explained to the Housing Authority that he had a bad back and had been out of work for a while and the family was in debt. The Presleys were permitted to sign a new lease at $43 per month.

Elvis: "A Day in the Life"                                                                                                                                                             April, 1952

Elvis returned to work at Loew's State in Memphis.

Elvis: "A Day in the Life"                                                                                                                                                             May, 1952

Elvis was fired from his job at Loew's over an altercation with another usher.

Elvis: "A Day in the Life"                                                                                                                                                           June, 1952

Vernon bought a 1941 Lincoln which Elvis considered to be "his car".

Elvis: "A Day in the Life"                                                                                                                                                      August, 1952

Elvis applied for a job at Upholsters Specialities Company. He gave his birth date as January 8, 1934, in order to qualify for the position as an eighteen year old. He worked for one month and earned a total pay of $109.

Elvis: "A Day in the Life"                                                                                                                                              September, 1952

Elvis found employment at MARL Metal Products, Furniture Manufacturers, on the 3.00pm to 11.00pm shift, he would learn to use hand tools and electric drills on the job.​

SCHOOL ENROLLMENT (Senior Year) - L.C. Humes High School, 659 North Manassas Street, Memphis, Tennessee.

During his senior year at Humes, Elvis' teachers reported of his falling asleep in class. Gladys made him quit his job and she went back to work at St. Joseph's.

Elvis: "A Day in the Life"                                                                                                                        October 15, 1952 (Tuesday)

Gladys received her voting card. (photo)

Elvis: "A Day in the Life"                                                                                                                    November 17, 1952 (Monday)

The Presleys received an eviction notice from the Memphis Housing Authority, that ordered them to leave the premises by February 28. Because of their combined income came to $4,133, they were far above the ceiling for family assistance.

Elvis: "A Day in the Life"                                                                                                                   December 25, 1952 (Thursday)

The Presleys spend their last Christmas at Lauderdale Courts.

Elvis: "A Day in the Life"                                                                                                             December 31, 1952 (Wednesday)

On the family's 1952 tax return Gladys declared an income of $555.70 which she earned from St. Joseph's Hospital and Vernon received $2,781.18 from United Paint. Vernon's mother, Minnie Mae, was declared a live-in dependent, and Gladys' disabled brother, Tracy Smith, was listed as a resident for ten days a month. This copy of the form, which was filled out in pencil, did not include any income for Elvis.

Elvis Presley™ is a trademark of The Estate of Elvis Presley, LLC

 © 2020 Elvis: A Day in the Life