The Elvis Quiz 

August 16, 2023

On August 16, 1977 — 26 years ago — Elvis Presley, the King of Rock n’ Roll, permanently left the proverbial building at the age of 42. One of the first ever rock stars, an all-American musical icon, sex symbol, and pop culture figure for the ages, his career and life were as short as they were groundbreaking. How much do you know about The King? Take this quiz and find out. Answers are at the end — “thank ya very much.” 


You’ve proven yourself to be an expert on all things Elvis! Celebrate by gifting yourself Steve Binder’s gorgeous coffee table book—Elvis ’68 Comeback.

Looks like it’s time to brush up on your Elvis knowledge! Steve Binder’s Elvis ’68 Comeback book should help you do just that.

#1. Which song made famous by Dolly Parton did Elvis Presley nearly record?

B) “I Will Always Love You”

Parton wrote “I Will Always Love You” for her mentor Porter Waggoner upon leaving the latter’s variety show. Elvis heard Parton’s 1974 recording and wanted to commit to vinyl his own take. Parton declined the chance — Elvis (and his manager, Colonel Tom Parker), asked for half of the extremely valuable, royalty-earning songwriting credits for the tune. 


#2. Elvis is known more for hit singles than albums. So what’s his top selling album of all time?

C) Elvis’s Christmas Album (1957)

With 17 million copies sold, it’s by far Elvis’s most successful long player. It’s also the top selling album of 1957 and the bestselling Christmas album of all time.   


#3. What was Elvis Presley’s final Top 40 hit single?

A) “Guitar Man”

The last big pop hit Elvis had during his lifetime was “Way Down.” The last single he released before he died, the song reached #18 in 1977. The final time Elvis would appear in the upper reaches of the pop chart: in 1981 with the #28 hit “Guitar Man.” 


#4. In December 1968, NBC aired a top-rated special showcasing a leather-clad Elvis’s first live musical performances in seven years. It’s best known as the “’68 Comeback Special,” but that’s not the program’s real name. What is?

C) Singer Presents…Elvis

Sewing machine manufacturer Singer footed the bill for the show, which featured Elvis in a form-fitting leather suit and playing stripped-down versions of some of his biggest hits with a very small and simple backing band.


#5. What was unique about Elvis’s 1973 TV special Aloha from Hawaii?

D) Both A and B

In 1967, several bands including the Beatles participated in One World, a live global satellite-distributed concert; six years later, Elvis’s Aloha from Hawaii would be the first one-act-only special, and at a cost of $2.5 million to NBC — a record at the time.


#6. Elvis’s death in 1977 necessarily put an end to certain projects. Which of these things didn’t The King have plans to do?

A) Serve as a celebrity panelist on Match Game

White-hot singer-songwriter Bruce Springsteen sent a composition called “Fire” to Elvis’s management in hopes that The King would record. He died before he could; the Pointer Sisters took it to the top 10 in 1979. Elvis was scheduled to start a 12-day mini-tour on August 17, 1977, still packing arenas and coliseums. And while he loved to watch Match Game on many of his 14 TVs at his Graceland estate, Elvis never booked an appearance on the daytime game show.


Want more Elvis? Then shake your way to Elvis ’68 Comeback by Steve Binder. It’s all about that iconic 1968 television concert event, and it’s available now from Thunder Bay Books. 

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