Some interesting music trivia about the astounding pop chart successes of the King of Rock n’ Roll.
- Elvis has been awarded more gold and platinum records than anyone else in history. In total, the King has 90 gold records (for sales of 500,000 copies of an album or single), 52 platinum records (for sales of a million), and 25 multi-platinum awards.
- It’s hard to track exactly how many records Presley has sold, because methods weren’t computerized until 1991, but the Recording Industry Association of America estimates that 600 million Elvis recordings have sold in the U.S. alone. His label, RCA, estimates worldwide totals at a billion).
- Presley had the first song in the rock n’ roll era to top the charts for more than 10 weeks. In 1956, the double-sided “Hound Dog” and “Don’t Be Cruel” 45 spent 11 weeks at #1. That was also the longest-running #1 until 1992, when Boyz II Men’s “End of the Road” made it to 12 weeks.
- Elvis took 18 songs to #1 in his career. That’s surpassed only by the 20 chart-toppers of the Beatles. However, in cumulative weeks at #1, Presley leads the way, with 79 weeks—that’s a year and a half in all.
- Presley had 36 top 10 singles in his career, only recently topped by Madonna, who has 38. In terms of top 40 singles, however, Presley has 114, way more than second-placer Lil Wayne’s 64.
- Elvis was the first musician to replace himself at #1. After “Hound Dog” and “Don’t Be Cruel” fell from the top slot in October 1956, it was replaced with “Love Me Tender.”
- Between 1959 and 1961, Presley had five consecutive singles top the charts. The first was “A Big Hunk o’ Love,” and the final was “Surrender.”
- Elvis’s final hit single was a cover of the Frank Sinatra classic “My Way” in 1977, which reached #22.
For more music trivia enjoy Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader Plunges into Music.