Elvis Presley’s first live performance was in a singing contest – and it didn’t go well

After The Beatles, Elvis Presley is the best-selling music artist of all time, while also being No 1 solo artist. But did you know that The King of Rock and Roll came fifth place in a singing contest that was his first-ever live performance? The event took place 75 years ago this week on October 3, 1945.

A ten-year-old Elvis Presley took part in a singing contest at the Mississippi-Alabama fair and Dairy Show in Tupelo. 

The future King of Rock and Roll dressed up as a cowboy and stood on a chair so that he could reach the microphone. 

There, Elvis sang a rendition of Old Shep by Red Foley and Arthur Willis about a dog called Foley.

Although he only came fifth place, he won $5 a free ticket for fairground rides.

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On this day in 1945, ten-year-old Elvis sang “Old Shep” at the Mississippi-Alabama Fair and Dairy Show in Tupelo. #ElvisPresley

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Some nine years later on October 2, 1954, Elvis had a chance to sing at The Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, Tennessee.

However, his performance did not go down so well, with the Opry’s talent director Jim Denny taking a big swipe at the future King.

The country music pioneer responded to the 19-year-old: “You ain’t going nowhere son.

“You ought to go back to driving a truck.”

https://www.youtube.com/embed/bUJtq9EdcVE

According to Elvis expert Billy Stallings Spa Guy, Elvis’ guitarist Scotty Moore said what happened next backstage.

He said that Elvis got so mad that he ripped his shirt off and tore it in two pieces.

“And threw it in the trash can in the dressing room.

“Scotty said if he knew how famous Elvis was gonna be, he’d have got that shirt, but he didn’t know.”

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Of course, we all know that The King went on to have the last laugh.

Spa Guy ended his video saying: “Exactly two weeks to the day, Louisiana Hayride [the radio and TV country music show] signed Elvis to a year-long [run], every Saturday night.”

Lucky Elvis didn’t listen to Jim then.

If anything maybe the cutting words just spurred The King on further to achieve the insurmountable heights he did.

The Elvis biopic movie is currently shooting in Australia and Lord of the Rings actor David Wenham has been cast as country music star Hank Snow.

A regular at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, Tennessee, Snow persuaded the directors to allow the young unknown Elvis to perform on the stage in 1954.

The singer used The King as his opening act and even introduced him to Colonel Tom Parker.

Elvis is set for release in cinemas on November 5, 2021.

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