Elvis’s Music: The Foundation
Of his Iconic Role in Pop Culture

Elvis’ music … during his lifetime, it was always the foundation of his multi-faceted career. When the facades of the fifties stage gyrations, the sixties movie roles, and the seventies jump suits are chipped away, the only constants in Elvis Presley’s career are his unique voice and iconic musical style.

Billboard magazine’s record charts through the years testify to the enduring popularity of Elvis’ music. Starting with his first record release in 1956, RCA Victor issued 80 Presley single records until his death in 1977. At least one side of every one of them charted on Billboard’s top singles chart. Elvis’ music generated 14 #1 records, 38 top 10 songs, 61 top 20 sides, and 102 top 40 titles. No other recording act before or since, including The Beatles, can even approach the consistent chart performance of Elvis Presley.

Select from the links below to learn more about Elvis’ music.

Elvis Recordings

“Blue Moon”: Elvis Presley’s most unlikely song did well on the charts in ’56.

"I Forgot to Remember to Forget": Elvis Presley's first #1 record on a Billboard chart.

“Heartbreak Hotel”: The record that made Elvis Presley “King of the Charts” in 1956.

"I Want You, I Need You, I Love You": Elvis's Follow-up to "Heartbreak Hotel."

“Blue Suede Shoes”: A Classic Cut for 2 Rockabilly Singers in 1956.

“Hound Dog” and “Don’t Be Cruel”: Elvis Presley’s most successful double-sided hit.

"Love Me Tender": The history of a signature Presley recording.

“Elvis' Christmas Album": It drew harsh criticism when releasted in 1957.

"Too Much": A disappointing hit single for Elvis in 1957.

“Stuck on You": The Elvis record that sold a million before it was recorded.

“It’s Now or Never”: The record that took Elvis away from rock ’n’ roll and into pop’s mainstream.

“Are You Lonesome Tonight?”: Elvis's classic recording of an old song.

“Flaming Star”: The Elvis record launched by a Denver Bootlegger.

“Surrender”: Elvis's vigorous vocalizing and Doc Pomus's lyrics made it a hit in 1961.

“Good Luck Charm”: The Elvis record that ended an era.

“Return to Sender”: The single that anchored an amazing run for Elvis on the Hot 100.

“Crying in the Chapel": Elvis's classic hymn and Colonel Parker's plan to make Elvis a gospel crooner.

"In the Ghetto": The song that made Elvis relevant again.

Elvis on the Charts

Early Billboard Reviews of Presley Records: Billboard helped push a young Elvis to the top of the charts in 1955-56.

Variety's Reviews of Elvis's Fifties Records: Presley's fifties music puzzled Variety's record reviewers.

Elvis's Army Records: Five single records kept Elvis’s career alive while he was in the Army.

Elvis’s #1 Records: How many #1 records did Elvis Presley really have on Billboard’s top pop chart?

Elvis’s #2 Records: Elvis Presley's 7 number 2 Records on Billboard's Hot 100 Chart helped make him King of the Charts.

Elvis or The Beatles: Which was "The Real King of the Charts"?

Elvis on Cash Box Magazine's Chart: In the'50s and '60s, Elvis did better on Cash Box's "Top 100 Singles" chart than he did on the "Hot 100."

Elvis's Chart Legacy: How Billboard and Joel Whitburn have control over it.

Elvis's Top 5 Singles Streak: No one can match his 7-year, 24-record streak.

Elvis Countdown Lists

Elvis's Best Recordings: A countdown of the King's 20 best songs.

Elvis's Worst Recordings: A countdown of the King's 10 worst songs.

Elvis's Songwriters: A countdown of the King's 10 top "hit" composers.

Elvis Sings Leiber and Stoller: A top ten countdown of the best Presley recordings of Leiber-Stoller songs.

Elvis Presley's Best Love Songs: A top ten countdown of Elvis's best ballads.

Essential Elvis Albums: A top ten list of Presley's best LPs through his career.

Elvis's Best Gospel Recordings: A top ten countdown of Presley's best spiritual performances.

Elvis's Worst Follow-up Records: A list of 10 Elvis singles that failed to measure up.

Elvis's Biggest Records: A list of his 10 best chart performing singles.

Elvis Musical Miscellaneous

Elvis Roots: Early R&B, Hillbilly, and Doo Wop Influences on Elvis.

The "Elvis Is Back" Sessions: The 1960 post-army recording sessions were Elvis's first comeback.

The Beatles Overwhelmed Elvis on the Charts in 1964: The year abdicated his throne as King of the Charts.

Songs by Both Elvis and The Beatles: Each honored the other by singing the other's songs.

Gordon Stoker and the Jordanaires: Their contribution to Elvis's gospel music.

Otis Blackwell: His music fueled the Elvis machine in the '50s & '60s

Elvis’s Missing Lyrics: Why did Elvis drop certain lyrics from some of his recordings?

Chuck Berry Songs: From “Memphis” to the “Promised Land”: Chuck Berry songs Elvis recorded.

Elvis's Cover Songs: Did Elvis steal the thunder of other artists with his cover songs in the fifties?

Elvis in 1970: It was the last great year in Presley's career.

Rolling Stone Rates Elvis: What made Elvis one of Rolling Stone's "Greatest Singers of All Time"?

Elvis’s Musical Legacy: Can you even imagine a world without Elvis?

Elvis’s Foreign Records: Presley vinyl in the sixties was a worldwide business.

Elvis Records Trivia: Fifteen trivia questions about Elvis Presley’s records between 1954-1977.

Elvis and Country Music: Is Elvis the "King of Country Music" too?

My Elvis Records Have Left the Building: Memories remain of collecting Elvis records in the ’60s and ’70s.

Elvis at Stax in 1973: A final triumph or start of the Great Presley Fade Away?

That's The Way It Is: Sucker Alert! They're recycling Elvis's music again.

Elvis Song Lyrics: A breakdown of the lyrical themes of his hits.

The I Am An Elvis Fan Campaign: The CD gimmick that got Presley fans involved.

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