Failure to Success: Elvis Presley and Charlie Chaplin

Failure to Success: Elvis Presley and Charlie Chaplin

Elvis Aaron Presley was born on January 8, 1935 as a twin, but his twin died stillborn. Elvis Presley came from a working- class family in Tupelo, Mis

Protips: SOL’s
DIY Halloween Costume
Going Behind The Wheel

Elvis Aaron Presley was born on January 8, 1935 as a twin, but his twin died stillborn. Elvis Presley came from a working- class family in Tupelo, Mississippi. His mother Gladys and his father Vernon moved Elvis around frequently because they didn’t have much money, but wherever they moved they always stayed rooted in faith. Elvis and his family attended the Assembly of God Church and the gospel music played at church was a huge influence on his love for music.

Elvis received his first guitar at the age of 11. After years of practicing, Elvis entered a talent show at his high school (Hume’s High School in Memphis) and this was a huge success for him. Upon graduating from high school in 1953, Elvis continued his musical career while working many side jobs to gain a steady income. In that same year he recorded his first demo at what is now known as Sun Studio with the record label owner Sam Phillips. Soon after Sam began working with Elvis personally and became a manager to him. Sam helped Elvis’s name get out more publicly and they started recording more and touring. Although things seemed to be going great Elvis was fired from the Grand Ole Opry after just one performance. The manager told Elvis,  “You ain’t going nowhere, son. You ought to go back to driving a truck.”

However this did not stop him. Afterward he starred in many television shows and played non-stop on the radio. In this time most men at some point were drafted into war. Elvis’s fame did not exclude him. In 1957 he was drafted into the army and served in Germany. While away, his beloved mother Gladys passed away. After the passing of his mother, Elvis was down in the dumps, but this changed when he met a women by the name of Priscilla Beaulieu.

Once Presley returned to Memphis in 1960 he was back on the top of the charts. He soon married Priscilla and they had a beautiful baby girl and named her Lisa Marie. The happy days did not last very long, as his marriage began to fall to pieces due to his ongoing addiction to prescription pills and he also began gaining large amounts of weight. The couple went their own ways in 1973, Priscilla took baby Lisa. In June of 1977, Presley performed at his last concert. Two months later on April 16, 1977 he was found dead in his Memphis mansion, Graceland, at the young age of 42. His death was due to liver failure that was found to be caused by the overdose of prescription drugs.

Graceland is now open to the public and there are vigils held annually in remembrance of Elvis. Even in death Presley is still praised. Elvis was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame as well as the Gospel Music Association’s Gospel Music Hall of Fame.


Charlie Spencer Chaplin, born in London, England, was born April 16, 1889. Charlie lived a real “rags to riches” type of life. His father abandoned him and his family. It was hard enough getting by with no father because all Charlie had was his mother and his older stepbrother.

His mother Hannah tried her best to make ends meet by being a performer at a music hall. Her stage name was Lily Harley and she was a true crowd pleaser, until she lost her voice in the middle of a show. That moment is what brought Charlie into the spotlight when the production manager pushed Charlie out on stage. The manger heard Charlie’s singing voice and knew this was the only thing that could save the show. Charlie was a natural, not only with his voice but with his comedy. He cracked a few jokes about his mother’s failing voice. Although this was a wonderful breakthrough for Charlie, it meant the end of his mother’s career as her voice never returned. She was out of work and the two boys had to find a way to survive on their own from workhouse to workhouse.

Charlie still put use to his mother’s contacts and had gigs here and there. For a while he was a part of the group Eight Lancashire Lads who were clog dancers. This did not last for long, as Charlie had many occupations but was going to follow his dreams no matter what. Charlie told a source, “I (was) a news vendor, printer, toy maker, doctor’s boy, etc., but during these occupational digressions, I never lost sight of my ultimate aim to become an actor. So, between jobs I would polish my shoes, brush my clothes, put on a clean collar and make periodic calls at a theatrical agency.”

His hard work paid off. Charlie starred in Sherlock Holmes as a paper boy. Over the years Charlie starred in 35 films and later signed with the Essanay Company. His first year with this company he made 14 films. Charlie chose to move on from this company after finding a better deal with the Mutual Company. Charlie was known as perfectionist when it came to his work.

On the early morning of December 25, 1977, Christmas, Charlie passed away in his Switzerland home with his wife and eight of his children by his bed side. Charlie’s body was stolen shortly after he was buried and a ransom put up for $400,000 in order to return the body. The thieves were arrested and Charlie’s body was retrieved.

Newer Post