Memphis Jones’ Favorite Things to Do at Elvis Presley’s Graceland

There’s a tour of Elvis Presley’s Graceland… and then there’s a Memphis Jones tour of Elvis Presley’s Graceland. Memphis Jones loves Elvis and Graceland, and he sees the king’s castle like no one else. Even when he’s not hosting one of our online videos for Elvis Week or any of our other special events, he loves visiting Graceland, where he can soak up even more Elvis knowledge and meet Elvis fans from across the globe. Memphis isn’t an official tour guide here at Graceland – we have our award-winning iPad tours narrated by John Stamos for that – but we asked Memphis to give fans his own tour of Graceland. Check out his Favorite Things to Do at Graceland video below, and follow Memphis on Facebook and Twitter.     Experience Graceland for yourself! Book your visit...
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The Chairman and The King: Frank Sinatra and Elvis Presley

When the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll returned from his stint in the Army, he was welcomed home by none other than the Chairman of the Board. Frank Sinatra and Elvis Presley, two of the most beloved and respected artists in music, teamed up for a television special back in 1960, and the show resulted in a truly unique and special duet. In celebration of Sinatra’s 100th birthday on Saturday, December 12, let’s look at this historic “Welcome Home Elvis” special. It was announced in July 1959 that Elvis would appear on Frank Sinatra’s variety TV show upon his release from the Army. He didn’t have to wait long: He was released on March 5 and returned home to Graceland on March 8, and the show was taped on March 26. “The Frank Sinatra Timex Show” – the variety show was sponsored by Timex –  was filmed at the Fontainebleau Hotel in Miami, Florida. Elvis traveled to Miami on March 21, and rehearsed for several days before the March 26 taping. He shared the stage with, of course, Sinatra, as well as his daughter, Nancy, who would later become his co-star in “Speedway” in 1968. Sammy Davis Jr., Joey Bishop and Peter Lawford were also special guests. On the show, Elvis performed “Stuck on You” and “Fame and Fortune,” the two sides of his first post-Army single. Jazz and rock ‘n’ roll collided when Frank Sinatra and Elvis sang a mash-up of their hit singles, “Witchcraft” and “Love Me Tender,” respectively. Sinatra sang “Love Me Tender,” while Elvis crooned “Witchcraft.” It’s so interesting to see these two great singers offer such different versions of each other’s greatest hits. See this duet in the video below. Elvis was paid $125,000 for this show, an unheard of amount in the entertainment industry in 1960. The special aired on May 12, 1960 with high ratings, drawing an impressive 41.5 percent of the American viewing audience that evening. While Elvis and Sinatra never worked together again, they often kept in touch over the years. Sinatra let Elvis and Priscilla borrow his private jet in 1967 to go from Palm Springs to Las Vegas to get married, and travel back to Palm Springs for their honeymoon. Elvis’ personal record collection here at Graceland contains many Sinatra records, and, of course, both men sang powerful versions of “My Way.” Want to learn more about the King of...
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Elvis Presley, the Musician

Elvis Presley built a legendary career around his unforgettable voice, but it wasn’t his only instrument. What instruments did Elvis play? He played guitar, bass and piano, and often toyed with instruments like the drums, accordion and ukulele. While he couldn’t read or write music and had no formal lessons, he was a natural musician and played everything by ear. He could often hear a song, pick up an instrument, and play. He often played an instrument in his recordings, and always produced his own music. Elvis was simply born to create music and he was always learning new ways to do it. Endlessly creative, Elvis often jumped at the chance to play around and practice with whatever musical instruments were available. Elvis famously picked up a guitar as an 11-year-old in Tupelo, when his mother, Gladys, purchased a guitar for him for his birthday from Tupelo Hardware. He used that guitar all through high school, and even in his early career.  He owned many more, and much nicer, guitars during his career, and used many prop guitars in his movies. The guitar is the instrument most associated with Elvis, and while he was a good player, he wasn’t a virtuoso. But what may be more important than that was the whole appearance: Elvis, the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll, always looked even cooler with his guitar in hand. He influenced many young fans to pick up a guitar, just like he did. If it wasn’t for Elvis and his guitar, we probably wouldn’t have The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Bruce Springsteen and many, many more. Speaking of guitars, Elvis played bass, too. On May 3, 1957, Elvis and his band were working on a soundtrack session for “Jailhouse Rock.” Bill Black had a difficult time laying down the bass line for “(You’re So Square) Baby I Don’t Care” on his new electric bass, and he eventually gave up, frustrated. Elvis surprised everyone by picking up the bass and playing the part – so perfect that Jerry Lieber performed a scratch vocal, and the two recorded the perfect instrumental master for Elvis to sing a new vocal track over. When The Beatles visited Elvis in California in 1965, they all jammed, with Elvis on bass. “He had a massive amplifier with a bass plugged into it, and he was up playing bass all the time…” John Lennon later recalled. “So we just...
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Top 10 Holiday Gifts for Elvis Fans 2015

Merry Christmas, baby – the holidays are here! Shop Graceland has a variety of Elvis and Graceland gifts that are perfect for the Elvis fan on your list. Many items at the shop are Graceland Exclusives, and there’s nothing better than getting a gift directly from the king’s castle. Happy shopping! 10) Women’s Elvis Tupelo Boot – Blue Suede – $239.95 Elvis’ style was always one step ahead, and now you can be, too, with these gorgeous cowgirl boots. The handcrafted, genuine leather boots feature fashionable fringe, blue leather and gold studs. Fringe is in right now, and these boots feature fringe all around the top. The snip toe gives these boots a sleek look. See this product on Shop.Graceland.com.   9) Graceland Crystal Paperweight – $12.99 Here’s a gift that’s perfect for any office or study. This crystal paperweight features a 3-D image of Graceland and logo inside, and it’s accented by a beautiful blue tone in the bottom of the crystal. This elegant gift is ready for giving with a keepsake box. See this product on Shop.Graceland.com.   8) Graceland Peacock Stained Glass – Left Side and Right Side – $59.99 each Bring a bit of Graceland into your own home with these beautiful stained peacock stained glass pieces, inspired by the entry window panels at Graceland. These are Graceland Exclusives and  must-haves for Elvis fans! See these products on Shop.Graceland.com – left side and right side.   7) “Elvis: That’s The Way It Is” 45th Anniversary Collage T-Shirt – $24.99 Celebrate the 45th anniversary of “Elvis: That’s The Way It Is” with this vintage-style tee! The full front image features multiple tonal Elvis images, accented by gold text and highlights, including the Graceland logo printed on the back. This Graceland Exclusive is a great way to commemorate Elvis’ Vegas years and the classic documentary! See this product on Shop.Graceland.com.   6) Elvis Graceland Studded Handbag – $65.00 Carry Elvis and Graceland with you! This Graceland Exclusive features studded accents and a stunning publicity image of Elvis from his first movie, “Love Me Tender.” This eye-catching bag is functional, too, with zippered pockets inside and out and interior sleeve pockets. If you love fashion and Elvis, you’ll love this bag. Oh, and how about the matching wallet, too? See this product on Shop.Graceland.com.   5) “If I Can Dream: Elvis Presley with The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra” CD or LP...
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Elvis Presley’s Flying Graceland

Elvis Presley ruled the music charts, the stage and the screen, so it’s only appropriate that he ruled the skies, too. Forty years ago this month, Elvis took off in his own custom private jet for the first time. The Lisa Marie, which he nicknamed his “Flying Graceland,” took Elvis to concerts and family vacations, all in incredible rock ‘n’ roll style. These days, plenty of celebrities have their own jets. But Elvis proved you could travel in style with his beautifully decorated Lisa Marie. In April 1975, Elvis purchased a Convair 880 jet, taken out of service by Delta, for $250,000. He named the plane after his daughter, Lisa Marie. Elvis spent more than $800,000 on remodeling the plane from an ordinary plane to a rock star’s private jet, complete with two half-baths, a lounge area, a conference room, sitting room (which could be turned into a guest bedroom) and a master bedroom. The plane is gorgeously decorated with lush blues, greens and gold. The Lisa Marie features gold-plated belt buckles and accessories, suede sofas, leather-topped tables, a quadraphonic 8-track stereo system, a sky-to-ground phone system and more. The tail features an American flag and Elvis’ famous TCB – “taking care of business in a flash” – logo. He also had the registration number changed to N880EP, and sometimes called it “The Pride of Elvis Presley Airways.” Elvis’ first flight on the Lisa Marie was on November 27, 1975, to Las Vegas. He had two weeks’ worth of concerts to perform there. One of the most memorable trips Elvis made on the Lisa Marie was with the plane’s namesake. He realized that Lisa Marie had never experienced a winter with real snow – Memphis rarely sees snow – so he flew his daughter to Denver, Colorado on the Lisa Marie. The two played in the snow and returned to Graceland soon after. Elvis dreamed of having his own fleet; he purchased five planes over the years. Another of his planes, a 1960 Lockheed Jetstar, which he named the Hound Dog II (the Lisa Marie is Hound Dog I), is also at Graceland and open for tours. The Lisa Marie went on display at Graceland in 1984. It arrived to its destination with much fanfare: the media and fans lined up to watch as the plane was brought down Elvis Presley Boulevard. Like Graceland itself, the Lisa Marie is a “must-see” for every...
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