HBO unveiled the documentary Elvis Presley: The Searcher on Saturday night, and it was filled with 3 hours worth of facts, memories and forgotten moments in "The King of Rock 'n' Roll's" career.
The doc analyzes the biggest moments of Presley's career, from his first exposure to blues to his final recording sessions at Graceland.
Many of the moments are well-known by die-hard and casual Presley fans alike. However, there were interesting accounts and facts that were unknown by most.
Scroll through to see some of the most interesting takeaways from Elvis Presley: The Searcher.
While Ike Turner is recognized as one of the first rock 'n' roll musicians, Presley's connection to the controversial star goes a bit further than a simple influence. According to an archived interview with the late Turner, Presley would come by a nightclub and watch Turner perform and dance to the music.
"Elvis, he would park his truck in the alley behind the club, and he used to come around to the back of the place and he would watch me play the old upright piano," Turner said. "When you'd see him stand up, he'd be doing his legs like when he'd be playing the guitar. All of this came from back in those days when we used to do this."
Presley has a pretty iconic stage presence, and The Searcher included an archive interview with Presley were he revealed how his signature leg shakes and twists came about.
"The very first appearance after I started recording, I was on a show and I was scared stiff," Presley said. "I came out and I was doing a fast-type tune. Everybody was hollerin' and I didn't know what they were hollerin' at. Everybody was screaming. I came off stage and my manager and told me they was hollerin' 'cause I was wigglin' my legs. I was unaware. I went back out for an encore and I did a little more. The more I did, the wilder they went."
Presley was discovered by Sun Records founder Sam Phillips, who also steered the early part of his career. However, he could not take Presley to any greater heights and sold his rights to Presley's works to RCA Records.
From there, Presley became the biggest musician in the world. However, Phillips claimed he did not regret losing Presley.
"People have asked me repeatedly: Do I regret selling Elvis Presley? I do not," Phillips said in an archive interview.
Presley loved his mother, so much so that he would call her eacha nd every day, no matter where in the country he was.
"His mother worried so much about him," Priscilla Presley said. "He always wanted to be a good son, mostly to his mom and didn't want to give her any fears. They would talk every single day."
Even years after his mother's death, Presley refused to clear out her belongings from Graceland. When Priscilla first arrived at the mansion, she discovered a closet of her clothes still perfectly intact.
"I opened up a closet and it was filled with her clothes," Priscilla said. "And I had such a sense of her. She loved soft fabric. Her hats, her shoes, he held on to those personal things. Even though it had been a few years, there was still a lingering scent there of her."
Presley's movie career started out promising, with commercial hits like King Creole and Blue Hawaii and several dramatic roles he enjoyed doing. However, by the end of his film era, he was miserable and was a slave to contracts with movie studios.
According to Priscilla, his movie career was something you just did not talk to him about, even if you were in his inner circle.
"You really didn't talk about the movies around Elvis," she said. "You didn't really got there. Why get him upset? The guys were around to bring him up."
An interesting note about Presley's post-Hollywood period is what inspired him the most: folk music.
Writer Alan Light claimed that Presley was inspired by the writing of many folk artists, especially Bob Dylan.
"He was interested in this new folk music: Peter, Paul and Mary [and] the songs of Bob Dylan," Light said. "He didn't love Bob Dylan's voice, but he was interested in this imagery and this language that drew from the gospel and the blues."
While he was not in Memphis at the tie of MArtin Luther King Jr.'s assassination, Presely was still profoundly affected by the act of violence.
Friend Jerry Schilling, who was with Presley when the news broke, revealed the singer's sadness at the loss of King.
"We were making a movie at MGM. We heard on the radio about [the death of] Martin Luther King," Schilling said. "King was that hope to bring us all together, and Elvis knew that. Elvis looked down, and he said, 'He always told the truth.'"
Presley's 1968 comeback TV special, Singer Presents...ELVIS, is one of his most iconic moments. However, it almost collapsed entirely.
According to director Steve Binder, Presley cleared out the dressing room to tell him about a serious matter. Binder asked what the probelm was, and Presley revealed his nerves had the best of him.
"The problem is, I changed my mind," Presley said. "I don't want to do this."
The charismatic iconic then confessed that he had forgotten the words to his songs and could not remember the humorous stories he was supposed to tell on camera.
"My mind is blank, Steve," Presley said. "Let's just call it off. It's not going to happen."
Luckily, Binder convinced him to go on anyway, and history was made.2comments
Elvis Presley: The Searcher is available to stream on HBO On Demand, HBO NOW, HBO GO and other streaming platforms partnered with HBO.
Photo Credit: HBO