Letter from Linda Kelly, Sherry Bane, and Mickie Mattson to President Dwight D. Eisenhower Regarding Elvis Presley


Until the abolition of conscription in the 1970s, all American men were required to register for the draft. Celebrities were drafted alongside ordinary citizens, and the rock-and-roll idol Elvis Presley was no exception. Presley was inducted into the Army in 1958. He took the required haircut in stride, coining the phrase, “Hair today, gone tomorrow.” This letter to President Dwight D. Eisenhower, signed by three girls from Noxon, Montana, identifying themselves as “Elvis Presley Lovers,” asks that the president not cut off Elvis’s sideburns. “If you do we will just about die!” Elvis Aaron Presley (1935-77) was born in a two-room house in Tupelo, Mississippi. His early musical influences included gospel, which he sang from an early age at the Pentecostal churches he and his family attended, country, and blues. After graduating from high school, he worked for a while as a truck driver. He began his recording career with Sun Records in Memphis, Tennessee, in 1954. By 1956 he was an international sensation, known for his distinctive brand of music that combined a variety of styles and that blurred the lines between white and black America.

Last updated: September 22, 2014