Today in 1960, Elvis Concluded His Army Service (Video)
On March 5, 1960 (56 years ago today), Sergeant Elvis Presley was honorably discharged from a 2-year stint in the US Army. (He remained on reserve service, but wasn't called up again.) He had been drafted back in 1958. Upon returning to Memphis, the 25-year-old man gave an interview (conducted March 8, 1960). The first question: "Did you get the black-eyed peas when you got home?" Presley's answer: "I haven't eaten anything yet. [laughs] I've just been lookin' around, more or less, since I got back, you know?"
This interview is remarkable for plenty of reasons. One thing is that we have a very young Elvis Presley here, interfacing with the media—this tells us a good bit about both Presley and the media of the time. His easy charm comes across throughout, and he comes across as polite, humble, and just a little bewildered to be home. Imagine you're 25, you're Elvis, and you've just returned to Graceland. Now look:
This wasn't his first interview after coming home, though. Just prior to his discharge, he gave a full press conference at Fort Dix. The video quality here is a bit rough, but it's worth a watch for super-fans (and the Nancy Sinatra bit at the beginning is kind of amazing):
And of course, let's not forget Elvis getting his Army haircut in 1958. This is a clip that most of us of a certain age have seen many times.