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A classmate later recalled that the teacher "agreed that Elvis was right when he said that she didn't appreciate his kind of singing." In 1950, he regularly began practicing guitar under the tutelage of Jesse Lee Denson, a neighbor two-and-a-half years his senior.

They and three other boys—including two future rockabilly pioneers, brothers Dorsey and Johnny Burnette—formed a loose musical collective that played frequently around the Courts.

He was encouraged to enter a singing contest after impressing his schoolteacher with a rendition of Red Foley's country song "Old Shep" during morning prayers.

The contest, held at the Mississippi-Alabama Fair and Dairy Show on October 3, 1945, was his first public performance.

Ten-year-old Presley was dressed as a cowboy; he stood on a chair to reach the microphone and sang "Old Shep". Over the following year, he received basic guitar lessons from two of his uncles and the new pastor at the family's church.

Presley recalled, "I took the guitar, and I watched people, and I learned to play a little bit. I was very shy about it." In September 1946, Presley entered a new school, Milam, for sixth grade; he was regarded as a loner.

Slim supplemented Presley's guitar tuition by demonstrating chord techniques.The family attended an Assembly of God church, where he found his initial musical inspiration.The family often relied on help from neighbors and government food assistance.Presley was born in Tupelo, Mississippi, and relocated to Memphis, Tennessee, with his family when he was 13 years old.His music career began there in 1954, recording at Sun Records with producer Sam Phillips, who wanted to bring the sound of African American music to a wider audience. Fontana joined to complete the lineup of Presley's classic quartet and RCA Victor acquired his contract in a deal arranged by Colonel Tom Parker, who would manage the singer for more than two decades.

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