Elvis Presley’s Graceland – Top 20 Moments

3764 Highway 51 South, Memphis, Tennessee. The house at that address – now better known as 3764 Elvis Presley Boulevard – has become more than just a house. It’s the home of the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll, Elvis Presley. Millions of fans have made the ultimate rock ‘n’ roll pilgrimage to his home to celebrate and honor him, to light candles in his name and to write messages to him on the wall. Musicians, world leaders and dignitaries have found inspiration on its grounds. This past week, Elvis Presley’s Graceland celebrated 20 million visitors since the house opened to the public in 1982. That’s just the latest milestone during the house’s celebrated and storied lifetime. To continue our 20 Million festivities, check out Graceland’s Top 20 Moments. 1939 – Graceland Built Dr. Thomas Moore and Ruth Brown Moore built Graceland in 1939. The home was named Graceland in honor of Ruth’s aunt, Grace. Learn more about Graceland’s history.   1957 – Elvis Purchases Graceland In March 1957, 22-year-old rock star Elvis Presley purchased Graceland and its grounds for just over $102,000. Elvis had just skyrocketed to fame thanks to hits like “Heartbreak Hotel” and “Don’t Be Cruel,” and he’d already made his first film, “Love Me Tender.”   1957 – Graceland Gates Installed One of the most iconic features of Graceland is its gates, which feature Elvis’ silhouette and music notes. The gates were installed at Graceland in April 1957, and Elvis often greeted fans and signed autographs at the gates. Today, it’s one of the most popular locations for a selfie for Graceland guests. Learn more about Graceland’s gates.   1960 – Elvis’ ‘Home from the Army’ Press Conference at Graceland  Elvis was drafted into the Army at the height of his fame in 1958. When he returned home from active duty, he held a press conference in his father, Vernon’s, office at Graceland. He tells reporters he has no plans to leave Memphis and that “I’m going to keep Graceland as long as I possibly can. …Somebody asked me this morning what I missed about Memphis, and I said, ‘Everything.’”   1968 – Lisa Marie Presley Comes Home from the Hospital Elvis and Priscilla Presley’s daughter Lisa Marie was born on February 1, 1968, in Memphis. Elvis and Priscilla brought Lisa Marie home to Graceland a few days later.   1976 – Elvis Records in the...
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Elvis Presley’s Graceland by the Numbers

Put on your party hats, Elvis fans – we’re celebrating. This week, Elvis Presley’s Graceland celebrated 20 million visitors to the king’s castle since opening to the public in 1982. That’s 20 million who have passed through the famous gates of Graceland, 20 million who have rock ‘n’ rolled in the Jungle Room, 20 million who have admired their reflection in Graceland’s mirrors, 20 million who have paid their respects to the king. We have plenty of ways you can help us celebrate, and we’ll get to that in a minute. First, learn more about Graceland’s numbers – because 20 million is just one of our many fascinating numbers. Built in 1939, Graceland is currently 77 years old Graceland has been open to the public for 34 years 20,000,000 visitors have toured Graceland since opening to the public Fans from more than 140 countries have visited Graceland Approximately 3,000 groups (both adult and student) tour Graceland annually The Graceland tour is translated into 9 languages 55 performance groups performed at Graceland in 2015 More than 815 celebrities have visited Graceland 450 rooms at the new Guest House at Graceland (Want to know more about The Guest House at Graceland by the Numbers? Watch this.) Graceland Details: Elvis lived in Graceland for 20 years Elvis was 22 years old when he purchased Graceland Graceland is 17,552 square feet Graceland sits on 13.8 acres of land Elvis purchased Graceland for $102,500 The sofa in the living room is 15 feet long and the coffee table is 10 feet long 14 TVs in the mansion 5 staircases 3 fireplaces 1 pool, which is 10 feet deep 2 lions in front of Graceland 4 horses currently live at Graceland 1 jukebox, which holds 100 45s 3 record players 1 pull-down movie screen 350+ yards of fabric in the Pool Room, which took 3 people 10 days to hang 19 pillows on the sofa in the TV Room In the Graceland Archives: 88 jumpsuits 90,000 images 3,000 pieces of wardrobe 1,000,000+ documents On display are: 14 Grammy nominations 3 Grammy Awards 18 Golden Boot Awards 9 cars 3 Harley Davidson motorcycles 2 Rolls Royces 1 dune buggy 2 super trikes 1 golf cart 2 airplanes 1 grass mobile 1 black leather suit The numbers continue with our 20 Million Elvis Fans Celebration! We have 3 ways to celebrate: 1) Enter our Graceland’s 20 Million Elvis Fans giveaway....
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The King’s Horses

The King of Rock ‘n’ Roll was a cowboy at heart. And if home is where the heart is, his heart was at Graceland – especially at Graceland’s barn. Elvis and his family owned several horses during their years here at Graceland, and there are still horses that live in the stables behind the king’s castle. When Elvis wasn’t working, he loved to spend time riding horses all over the Graceland grounds. In celebration of the 144th Kentucky Derby next week, let’s meet the horses who call Graceland home. It was almost destined for Elvis to own horses. In 1957, Elvis purchased Graceland, which included the barn behind the mansion itself. The barn, like the house, was built in 1939. Graceland was originally a cattle farm, and the barn actually had air conditioning before the mansion did, to keep the prize bull cool. When Elvis moved in, he kept a few animals in the barn – he owned a few horses and a donkey. But he became a serious horse owner in 1966. That Christmas, Elvis purchased a Quarter Horse named Domino for Priscilla, his soon-to-be wife. He also purchased a horse named Sheba for Priscilla’s friend Sandy, so the pair could ride their horses together. Elvis soon bought a horse that would become his favorite, a golden palomino Quarter Horse named Rising Sun. Of course, the barn had to get a new name, too, and it became House of the Rising Sun. It wasn’t long before the barn was full of horses. One of Elvis’ favorites was a Tennessee Walking Horse named Bear. He also loved Mare Ingram, a grand mare he named after Memphis Mayor William B. Ingram. He purchased horses for his friends and family, too. A few of Elvis’ horses include Ebony’s Double, Beauty, Buckshot, Lady, Golden Sun, Star Trek, Sun Down, Thundercloud, Memphis, Flaming Star (doesn’t that name sound familiar?) and Traveler, who had been previously owned by Mary Travers of Peter, Paul and Mary. Elvis’ daughter Lisa also had her own horse, Moriah. The last horse Elvis purchased was a Tennessee Walking Horse named Ebony’s Double. Alene Alexander rode Ebony’s Double in the horses’s retirement ceremony in 1983 at the Tennessee Walking Horse Celebration. Alene started working as a tour guide at Graceland when it opened to the public in 1982, and she still works at Graceland as the stables ambassador. She and her...
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Stop, Look and Listen: Elvis Presley’s Stereos

Every April, the world celebrates Record Store Day, which focuses on vinyl records and the physical shops that sell them. This month’s Gates of Graceland episode shows off a few of Elvis Presley’s favorite 45s. But what’s a record without a record player? Elvis loved music, and he made sure you could hear it all over Graceland. He could play selections from his extensive record collection anywhere, whether he was in his bedroom, downstairs in his colorful TV Room, in the Jungle Room and even in his own racquetball court. Let’s take a look at  some of the stereos and record players here at Graceland. The TV Room at Graceland was really Elvis’ place to enjoy entertainment. In addition to the room’s three TV sets, this room is also home to a stereo, jukebox and record player. Elvis owned thousands of records, and most of them were housed in the TV Room. At Graceland, music is actually built right into the walls. Check out the jukebox in the TV Room: It’s easy to spot Elvis’ music in the TV Room, but the record player in the Jungle Room is hidden. Find out where the record player is in the Jungle Room in this “Hidden Graceland” episode of our web series, Gates of Graceland:   Anyone who’s been inside Elvis’ Racquetball Building knows it wasn’t just used for that sport. It also includes a pinball machine, piano, and this stereo system: This system is made by Crown International – pretty fitting for the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll, huh? A fire destroyed most of the Crown manufacturing facility in November 1971. It was rebuilt as soon as possible, and this stereo is one of the first ones manufactured following that fire. Another record player that’s housed inside Graceland is the one in Elvis’ bedroom. This is that record player, complete with the record Elvis left on it. That record is an untitled one by The Stamps. What else did Elvis listen to? Check out this month’s Gates of Graceland episode:   Want to know more? See where Elvis listened to music, where Elvis relaxed, where Elvis called home, where Elvis lives – visit...
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Money, Honey: Elvis Presley and Taxes

Just pity all those millionaires, they never can relax Because they’re always worryin’ about their income tax Why waste time on high financin’? I’d rather spend it on good romancin’ What if my pockets are empty as can be? Who needs money? Not me. – “Who Needs Money?” Elvis Presley In so many ways, Elvis Presley was like everyone else. He loved his family, he enjoyed his career, he had fun with his friends, he loved music and he gave back to his community. But he was also the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll, and he lived like rock ‘n’ roll royalty, with his own airplanes, gorgeous cars, stunning stage wear and, of course, his own castle, Graceland. Here in the United States, tax day is April 18 this year. And while Elvis was the king, he still had to pay his taxes, like his fellow Americans. But his receipts and deductions were definitely a little more unusual than that of the average Joe. Besides, how many of us can claim couture jumpsuits as office attire? But before he was a star, he was like a lot of other blue collar workers in Memphis. Check out his very first tax return from 1953: In 1953, Elvis’ refund was for a whopping $5.10. In 2016 dollars, that equals $45.18. Just four years later, though, Elvis had purchased Graceland. Elvis wasted no time turning the mansion into a home fit for a rock star. Here’s one invoice for the gates of Graceland: Of course, as Elvis’ career blossomed, so did his bank account – and the amount he paid to Uncle Sam. For example, in 1958, Elvis’ income was $1,001,727.89, with an income tax of about $360,000. In 1961, his income was $902,610 from movies and $775,078 from music publishing and recording. In today’s money, Elvis’ 1958 income equals about $8,342,735, and his income tax equals $2,998,204. His income from films in 1961 would be about $7,164,088 in today’s money, and his income from music would equal about $6,151,856 in 2016. In 1962, Elvis made $902,000 from movies and $775,000 from music and recording, and he paid out more than $800,000 in income taxes. In 2016 dollars, that’s $7,111,518 in income from films, $6,110,229 in income from music and $6,307,333 paid in taxes. Of course, Elvis had expenses like no on else. Check out the invoice below for his gorgeous jumpsuits. In 1973, Elvis made $3,860,000 from personal appearances, $4,214,000 from...
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