Notably (Un)Successful Electricians

Posted on:January 9, 2017 10:06 am CST
Graceland hosts a full weekend of activities every year to celebrate Elvis' birthday. Graceland hosts a full weekend of activities every year to celebrate Elvis' birthday. (Photo: www.graceland.com, Jan. 8, 2016)

Elvis fans flocked to Graceland over the weekend to celebrate what would have been his 82nd birthday. Entertainment, tours, tributes and – of course – cake kicked off what is sure to be a year full of exciting Elvis events, ramping up to the August 2017 "Elvis Week" that will honor the 40th anniversary of his death.

Looking back at his tremendous success, it's easy to forget that Elvis wasn't always the King of Rock 'n' Roll. At the same time that he was recording first hits, he was working at Crown Electric in Memphis, Tennessee, driving a supply truck and starting to train.

"I was training to be an electrician," he said of his early career. "I suppose I got wired the wrong way round somewhere along the line."

In Elvis' honor, here are a few of our favorite (un)successful electricians.

I was training to be an electrician. I suppose I got wired the wrong way round somewhere along the line. – Elvis Presley "I was training to be an electrician. I suppose I got wired the wrong way round somewhere along the line." – Elvis Presley

4 Household Names who Started as Electricians

  1. Elvis Presley. Just before his career took off, Elvis made $1 an hour by driving the Crown Electric supply truck to support electricians on the job. He financed some of his studio time with his regular paychecks from Crown, reportedly, which gave him the leg up he needed to record "That's All Right" and become a full-time musician.
  2. George Harrison. Another apprentice-turned-musician is the famous "quiet" Beatle. Initially thought to be too young for the band, Harrison's prospects took a turn when he could drop his apprenticeship at age 16 and go on tour as one of The Beatles. It's a good thing, too, since he apparently kept blowing things up!
  3. Alfred Hitchcock. Although it was short-lived, Hitchcock got his start as an electrician apprentice at a London department store. The position gave him the perfect jumping-off point into sales, merchandising and project planning – which gave him a great foundation for filmmaking.
  4. Albert Einstein. One of Einstein's first jobs was pulling cable and running electric lights to the first Oktoberfest in Munich, in 1896. His father's company was one of the first to support electricity in the city, but lost out to a larger company when it came time to build Munich's citywide electrical system. Fortunately, Einstein had some other pursuits to occupy his time.