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Music History Events: Military Service

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July 2, 1962 Jimi Hendrix is honorably discharged from the Army after serving a little over a year of his 3-year commitment. The reason for his discharge is "unsuitability," as his superiors agree he will never be a good soldier, in part because he's more interested in his guitar than his rifle.More

May 31, 1961 Jimi Hendrix enlists in the Army and is stationed at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, as a member of the 101st Airborne Division. He signs up for three years, but is honorably discharged a little over a year later, ostensibly because he hurt his ankle in a parachute jump, but really because he is a lousy soldier, constantly thinking about or playing his guitar.

March 24, 1958 Elvis Presley goes to the Memphis Draft Board and enters the United States Army.More

March 5, 1953 America learns of Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin's death when Air Force Staff Sergeant Johnny Cash intercepts a coded message from Russia. Cash enlisted in 1950 after he turned 18 and was assigned to the 12th Radio Squadron Mobile of the US Air Force Security Service at Landsberg, West Germany, where he proved his skill as a Morse Code operator.

April 15, 1969 Archie Bell of The Drells completes his tour of duty in Vietnam and is discharged from the US Army.

May 12, 1967 Archie Bell is drafted into the US Army.

April 5, 1967 Monkees fans march in London in protest of band member Davy Jones' announced induction into the Army. The teen heartthrob is eventually exempted from duty for being his family's main provider.

January 5, 1967 In order to avoid the draft, folk singer Jesse Winchester moves to Canada.

January 3, 1967 Declaring himself a conscientious objector, The Beach Boys' Carl Wilson refuses to be sworn in after receiving an induction notice from the US Army.

November 25, 1961 The Everly Brothers report for duty at Camp Pendleton in southern California after joining the Marine Corps Reserves. By enlisting together, the brothers ensure that they won't be drafted - and separated.

March 5, 1960 Elvis Presley is officially discharged from active duty in the US Army. He will be on reserve for 4 more years.

March 2, 1960 Elvis Presley's Army plane refuels in Scotland - his only appearance in the UK.

February 24, 1960 Carl Dobkins, Jr. performs in full military dress live from Ft. Dixon, Ohio, where he is serving in the national guard, on NBC-TV's Perry Como Show.

January 14, 1960 United States Army Corporal Elvis Presley (53310761) receives a promotion to Sergeant.

November 1, 1959 Elvis Presley's current stint in the Army means that for the first time in nearly five years, no Elvis single resides on the Billboard charts.

October 24, 1959 Elvis Presley, now a Private First Class stationed in Germany, comes down with a bad case of tonsillitis and is admitted to the base hospital.

February 18, 1959 While on leave from the US Army in Paris, Elvis Presley visits the famous Lido Club, performing an impromptu show there.

November 3, 1958 PFC Elvis Presley goes on maneuvers for the first time, with the 32nd Tank regiment near the border of Germany and Czechoslovakia.

October 29, 1958 While still stationed in Germany with the US Army, Private First Class Elvis Presley takes in a Bill Haley show for the troops at Stuttgart.

September 19, 1958 Elvis Presley sails for West Germany with the US Army.

August 12, 1958 On "compassionate leave" from the Army, Elvis Presley travels to Memphis' Baptist Memorial hospital to be by the side of his mother, Gladys, who is quickly deteriorating from acute hepatitis.

June 2, 1958 Barry Sadler joins the US Air Force (he's later a Green Beret in the US Army).

June 1, 1958 Private Elvis Presley completes basic Army training at Ft. Hood, Texas, earning a two-week furlough.

March 29, 1958 Elvis Presley begins boot camp in Ft. Hood, Texas, where he insists on doing KP and guard duty just like the other soldiers.

January 20, 1958 Elvis Presley receives his draft notice, which allows him a 60-day deferment to finish his film King Creole.

January 4, 1957 Elvis Presley reports for his pre-induction Army physical in Memphis.

February 19, 1952 Seventeen-year-old Gene Vincent, still known by his real name Vincent Craddock, enters the US Navy.

December 15, 1944 Glenn Miller, a world-famous bandleader who joined the Army in 1942 and has been entertaining troops with his Army Air Force Band, vanishes when the plane taking him from England to Paris disappears over the English Channel. The plane is never found; Miller, age 40, is presumed dead.

September 24, 1942 Bandleader Glenn Miller makes his last radio broadcast on CBS' Moonlight Serenade program before leaving to enlist in the Army.

December 29, 1966 Gary Lewis, whose band Gary Lewis and the Playboys charted seven Top 10 hits the previous two years, enters the Army. He serves in Korea and Saigon but never sees action. Lewis is the son of Jerry Lewis, but never considered using his connections to dodge the draft. Said Gary: "I got my draft notice, and the first thing that popped into my mind was Elvis did it, I'm doing it. That's all there is to it."

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