Elvis Presley in the Lone Star State

When you think of Elvis Presley, you think of Tennessee and Mississippi – the state of his beloved home, and the state in which he was born. But another important state for the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll is Texas. Outside of his standing engagements at the Las Vegas Hilton, the highest number of Elvis’ performances while touring occurred in the state of Texas. Elvis performed in Texas approximately 138 times from 1954-1977. Texas saw the young King of Rock ‘n’ Roll as he began his career, and welcomed him back with record-breaking crowds in the ’70s. Most of his Texas concerts took place in 1955, as he performed on the Louisiana Hayride. The radio show covered the east side of the state, and these early concerts provided Elvis and his band the opportunity to perfect their live shows. The Louisiana Hayride concerts led Elvis to perform in many small towns, especially in Texas. He and his band often performed in more than one city and more than one venue per day, so they often had to race from one stage to another. Elvis performed a whopping 308 times in 1955, and a fourth of those performances took place in the Lone Star State. Elvis’ tour schedule changed and slowed over the next few years, as he left the Louisiana Hayride, released his first album, made TV appearances and began making movies (and, of course, as he was inducted into the Army – but more on that in a bit).   Elvis spent much of the 60s making movies, and he returned to the stage in 1969 with his Las Vegas residency. His first shows outside Vegas were in Texas in early 1970. From February 27, 1970 – March 1, 1970, the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll performed six shows at Houston’s Astrodome as part of the Texas Livestock Show. He made an impression when he entered the building for the first show – he circled the arena in an open Jeep, waving and greeting fans. He broke his previous attendance record with the February 27 evening show, with a crowd of 36,299 – which was 10,000 more than his previous record. The evening crowd on February 28 was another record breaker – 43,614 – which also set a record for indoor rodeo performances in any arena. Elvis gave a press conference before his first and after his last Houston shows in 1970. At the...
read more

Designing Elvis Presley’s Graceland

Last week, you took our quiz to find out what room at Elvis Presley’s Graceland matches your personality. Are you as playful as the Pool Room? Do you want to geek out in the TV Room? Wanna go wild in the Jungle Room? If you missed the quiz, no worries – you can take it here. This week, we’re going to go a little more in-depth into the Graceland rooms featured in the personality quiz to learn more about their design. Thousands of Elvis fans took the Which Room at Graceland Matches Your Personality? quiz, and more than 33% of responders most identify with the Living Room. Trends came and went in the twenty years that Elvis lived at Graceland, and Elvis redecorated Graceland to match the times and his own personal taste. In the Living Room, the custom 15-foot sofa and 10-foot coffee table, matching end tables and a few other pieces offered a classic look, and they were in the Living Room from 1957 through the summer of 1974, when he redecorated (more on that in a minute). He often changed upholstery, carpet, paint, drapery and other accessories always evolved. The blue drapes that you now see on tour in Graceland are from the later 1960s-mid 1970s. During the Christmas season, the blue drapes were replaced with vibrant, festive red drapes – a tradition that remains true at Graceland every holiday season today. In 1974, Elvis redecorated the Living Room with dramatic French Provencal furniture décor, including red carpet, red velvet furniture and red satin draperies. This look remained in place until the mansion opened for tours in 1982. The decision was made then to bring the older furnishings out of storage and return the Living Room – along with the Music and Dining Rooms – back to the way they were during most of the years Elvis lived at Graceland. Furniture and other details from the Living Room’s red redecoration are now on display in the Trophy Building. The famous stained-glass peacocks in the living room were added in 1974. Elvis, a student of religion, added them as peacocks were an ancient Christian symbol of eternal life and resurrection. Nearly 27% of people who took our What Room at Graceland Matches Your Personality? quiz got a wild result: the famous Jungle Room. Elvis never called the Jungle Room by that name; to him, it was just the den....
read more

Which Room at Graceland Matches Your Personality?

Whether you’re as colorful as the Pool Room, as elegant as the Living Room or as exotic as the Jungle Room, there’s a room at Elvis Presley’s Graceland that perfectly matches your personality. Take the quiz below to find out which room fits you, and be sure to tune in to next week’s Graceland Blog when we learn more about each of the rooms featured in the quiz. Don’t forget to go to Graceland.com to start planning your Graceland experience, so you can experience these rooms for yourself!...
read more