Elvis Presley is still the best-selling male solo artist of all time. Before he was selling out performances and generating droves of screaming fans, Presley was working a small job in the town where he grew up.
Presley worked as a delivery truck driver for Crown Electric. At the time, he only made $1 an hour. Although that’s worth a little bit more in modern money, it still was not quite a living wage.
He began working with Crown Electric on April 20, 1954. He was using it as a stepping stone to one day become an electrician. In January of 1954, Presley had arrived at Sun Records to record “I’ll Never Stand in Your Way” and “It Wouldn’t Be the Same Without You.”
Then shortly after he auditioned to be a part of the Songfellows. They were a local vocal quartet. Elvis Presley was again shot down and didn’t get the opportunity. It was after these two career mishaps that Presley started working with Crown Electric.
Shortly after, Elvis got his big break, thanks partially to Sam Philips, the executive at Sun Records. His recording session from July 5 would eventually help launch Presley into fame, especially his hit “That’s All Right,” which was originally an Arthur Crudup song.
By 1956, Elvis Presley had a recording contract with RCA Victor and was an international success. From Crown Electric to electrifying performances, Presley had quite the career change.
Elvis Presley and Money
Elvis Presley had accumulated quite the fortune during his career. From selling records to sold-out performances to television specials to feature films, The King of Rock ‘n’ Roll had a somewhat unmatchable career.
His net worth is somewhere near $23 million today. This is a mixture of his continued music sales and the money that the Graceland estate makes every year.
However, his total earnings would have been somewhere closer to the $1 billion mark. During his film career, he had made about $64 million from total box office earnings. He also owned a $55,000 yacht called the Potomac and purchased Graceland for $102,500.
While he may have made an exuberant amount of money, Presley was often gracious with his money. He was quoted once saying, “Sharing money is what gives it its value.”
He would spoil his only daughter Lisa Maria Presley. According to Forbes, the young Presley had her own ponies and a private amusement park. Elvis even flew her to Idaho for 20 minutes once because she said she wanted to play out in the snow.
Presley had always spent big. However, when he passed away on August 16, 1977, he left behind his estate that was cash-poor. He only had $5 million and had some debt on his name. The IRS determined the estate was worth more than what the tax return documents had said and actually imposed a $10 million estate tax fee.
Eventually, with the help of Priscilla Presley as one of the managers, the estate grew in value to $100 million by 1993.