Why Was Elvis In Germany

why was elvis in germany
why was elvis in germany

Elvis Presley, the legendary “King of Rock ‘n Roll,” had more than just a musical career. During the Cold War, he was drafted into the U.S. Army, which provided him with a unique opportunity to spend time in Europe. This experience turned out to be pivotal, both for his personal life and his career. In this article, we’ll explore why Elvis was in Germany and the impact it had on his life.

A Brief Tour of Duty

Elvis’ journey to Germany began when he was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1958. Despite already being a superstar with a recording contract and multiple film projects, he put his entertainment career on hold to fulfill his military obligations. After completing basic and advanced training in Texas, tragedy struck when his mother, Gladys, passed away. Devastated by the loss, Elvis continued his military journey and eventually arrived in Germany.

Stationed in Friedberg

Elvis was stationed at Ray Barracks in Friedberg, Germany, as a member of the “Spearheads” – Company D, 32nd Tank Battalion, 3rd Armor Corps. Unlike many famous individuals in the military, Elvis didn’t seek special treatment or an entertainment assignment. Instead, he participated in regular duties just like any other soldier, including driving vehicles for high-ranking officials and performing cleaning duties.

Off-Post Living

Being away from his family for an extended period was challenging for Elvis, so he received permission to live off-base. He settled in the cozy spa town of Bad Nauheim, a few miles north of Friedberg. Initially, he rented rooms at Hotel Grunewald, later moving to a house at Goethestra├če 14, which he shared with his family. Elvis’ father, Vernon, and paternal grandmother, Minnie Mae Presley, also joined him in Germany.

Love and Courtship

During his time in Germany, Elvis found love in the form of Priscilla Ann Beaulieu, whom he met through a mutual friend. Their courtship began slowly and continued throughout Elvis’ tour in Germany and beyond. Eventually, they got married in 1967, seven and a half years after their initial meeting. Their marriage took place in Las Vegas, cementing their relationship that had blossomed during Elvis’ time in Germany.

The Impact on His Career

While Elvis was serving in Germany, his entertainment career didn’t come to a halt. RCA and Paramount Studios continued releasing songs and films featuring him. In fact, more than 40 songs were either released or re-released during his time in the army. The filming of his movie “G.I. Blues” also took place in Germany, with Elvis starring alongside Juliet Prowse. The film, a romantic musical comedy, was released in 1960 and further solidified Elvis’ popularity.

A Lasting Legacy

Though many years have passed since Elvis left Germany, the town of Bad Nauheim continues to remember him fondly. Every August, the town hosts a festival that celebrates his life and commemorates the anniversary of his death. The festival includes concerts, vintage car and motorcycle exhibitions, parades, an Elvis film festival, fan markets, and more. It is a testament to the enduring impact that Elvis had on both the local community and fans worldwide.

FAQs

Q: Did Elvis serve in the military?
A: Yes, Elvis was drafted into the U.S. Army during the Cold War and served in Germany.

Q: Where was Elvis stationed in Germany?
A: Elvis was stationed at Ray Barracks in Friedberg, Germany, with Company D, 32nd Tank Battalion, 3rd Armor Corps.

Q: Did Elvis continue his entertainment career while in Germany?
A: Yes, RCA and Paramount Studios released songs and films featuring Elvis during his time in the army.

Conclusion

Elvis Presley’s time in Germany was a significant period in his life. While serving in the army, he not only fulfilled his military duties but also found love and continued to make an impact in the entertainment industry. Today, his presence is still felt in Germany, particularly in the town of Bad Nauheim, which holds an annual festival to honor his legacy. Elvis’ time in Germany remains an essential chapter in the story of the “King of Rock ‘n Roll.”

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