The King of Rock'n'Roll was the world's greatest entertainer for a quarter-century, but the world saw little of him.
He virtually never performed outside the US — it's generally believed because his Dutch-born manager "Colonel Tom Parker" (aka Andreas Cornelis van Kuijk) was an illegal immigrant and couldn't get a US passport.
So on the 40th anniversary of the Pelvis' death, Travel is proud to announce Elvis' first world tour:
• 27 Elvis songs feature place names. Hawaii is most popular (Blue Hawaii, Paradise Hawaiian Style, Hawaiian Sunset and Hawaiian Wedding Song); only Kentucky and Acapulco are name-checked twice.
• Presley served in the US Army from March 1958-March 1960, assigned to the 3rd Armored Division in Friedberg, West Germany. He performed only once for the troops, playing piano in the background for a pickup band. On leave, Presley and his friends travelled to Munich and Paris. He met his future wife, Priscilla Beaulieu, then 14, in Germany.
• Chad, Hungary, Belgium and Angola have issued Elvis stamps. The 1992 US 29-cent stamp depicting a young Elvis singing in front of a microphone, was printed and sold in enormous quantities. Over 120 million copies were never used.
• Presley gave only five official concerts outside the US: two each in Toronto and Ottawa in April 1957 and one in Vancouver in August 1957. In 1959 he gave an impromptu performance while on leave from the US Army in Paris.
• The 1973 Aloha From Hawaii concert was the first worldwide satellite TV broadcast, attracting more than 1.5b viewers, a figure that has never been equalled.
• In 1974 Parker nixed a million-dollar bid for an Australian tour.
• He also turned down two shows in front of the Egyptian pyramids with a then-unheard of guarantee of US$2m.
• In 1975 Saudi Arabia offered US$5m for Presley to perform; Parker said no, and no again when they came back with a US$10m bid. Promoters in South America offered US$2.5m but were rejected.
• In 1977 Elvis updated his life insurance. Asked if he was planning on travelling/working outside the US, Presley wrote "Germany, France and Japan".
• It was believed that Elvis set foot in the UK only once, stopping at Prestwick airport, Glasgow, on his way home from army service in Germany in 1960. There's a plaque commemorating it.
In 2008 English theatre impresario and Everton football club chairman Bill Kenwright claimed Presley and UK rocker Tommy Steele had a quiet night out in London years earlier.
"Evidently Tommy got home one night and the phone rings. A voice says, 'They tell me you're good'," Kenwright said.
"Tommy says, 'Who's this?'
"'Elvis', says the voice. 'Get outta here', says Tommy.
"'Are you as good as me?', says Elvis, and they started this mock rivalry.
"It's quite something, isn't it — the thought of them wandering around London together. But the impression I got was that they never got out of the car."
Steele, then 71, would only say: "It was an event shared by two young men sharing the same love of their music and the same thrill of achieving something unimaginable.
"I swore never to divulge what took place and I regret that it has found some way of getting into the light. I can only hope he can forgive me."
Since Presley had been dead for more than 30 years when the story came out, Steele shouldn't have too much to fear from the Memphis Mafia.