Graceland’s Top 14 Moments of 2014

Fans got closer to Elvis than ever before, thanks to the new Archives Studio. Elvis’ favorite car shines again. Priscilla shared her vision for Graceland. Elvis’ contribution to music history was celebrated. A few royals came to visit the King’s castle. 2014 was an exciting  year for Elvis Presley’s Graceland. Take a look at our wonderful year, and share some of the  memories you made at Graceland in 2014. From our family to yours, Happy New Year!   iPad Tour Launch   Elvis loved technology, so no doubt he would approve of Graceland’s state-of-the-art upgrade: the new interactive iPad tour. Launched during Elvis week, the iPad tour gives guests a 21st century view of one of the world’s most historic landmarks. Fans can explore content hotspots, which, when activated, allow them to dive deeper into Elvis’ life through unique archival video, audio and photo elements. Elvis fan and celebrated actor John Stamos narrates the tour. John Stamos Lights Up Graceland   Speaking of Stamos, our iPad tour narrator turned on the Christmas lights at Graceland this year, and what a magical night it was. Patients from Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital helped him flip the switch on Elvis’ original decorations, and Santa made an appearance, too. The holiday decorations are on display through Elvis’ birthday. Archives Studio Opens   Fans can get closer to the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll than ever before, thanks to the new Archives Studio. The studio opened in August and is home to the Graceland Archives Experience, which gives fans a peek into the archives vault to see artifacts not seen on the traditional tour. Fans have enjoyed seeing photographs, outfits, documents, film clips and more, some of which is being displayed for the first time. 60 Years of Elvis Exhibition Opens   The big bang of Rock ‘n’ roll was in July 1954, when Elvis recorded his first song, and fans all over the world celebrated the 60th anniversary this year. To celebrate the milestone anniversary, a new exhibit, “60 Years of Elvis,” debuted at Graceland as a part of the Graceland VIP tour. Rare artifacts on display include Elvis’ personal “That’s All Right” 45 RPM record, a pay stub from his early days as a driver at Crown Electric, an original script from “Jailhouse Rock” and much, much more. The exhibit is open through February 2015.   60th Anniversary Concert Rock ‘n’ roll’s diamond anniversary was...
read more

Inside Elvis at The O2

Many Elvis fans know the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll never performed outside North America, but that didn’t stop the spread of his global popularity. Across Europe where he maintains superstar status, Elvis fans are now celebrating his long-awaited arrival with a new London exhibition, direct from Graceland in Memphis. Over 300 artifacts have been pulled from the vast Graceland Archives – and a few from Graceland mansion – to create a retrospective of the king’s career and a unique look into his life at Graceland. If you have ever moved once in your life, you know that packing up 300 items and shipping them to a foreign country is no easy task, especially when sending such precious items, including two classic cars. Such was the task for the talented Graceland Archives team, which rose to the occasion in planning the exhibition along with pulling and packing of artifacts and the painstaking task of installation once in London. The timeline for exhibition development and installation was accelerated by space availability at a prime London venue, the famous O2, known during the Olympics as the Arena at Greenwich. If there is ever a must-see concert in London, it is always at The O2, which made it the perfect place for a king-sized Elvis exhibition. Twenty-thousand square feet of space at London’s main stage now houses a nine-month run of an amazing exhibition that traces the steps of the Presley family from Tupelo to Memphis all the way through his record-breaking performances in Las Vegas. Most personal is the Graceland section of the exhibit which features a select few artifacts from the mansion, including a bust of Elvis made by a fan. This artifact has been seen by millions of visitors to Graceland over the years, and while you might miss it if you blink during the mansion tour, it takes center-stage in London sitting in front of a larger than life photo of the living room covering an entire wall. For visitors, this and other artifacts are the closest some will ever come to seeing Graceland. On opening day, one fan that travelled two hours by train to London remarked that her husband who was battling terminal cancer would never make it to Memphis. To them, this exhibit was a dream come true. During what is a difficult time for families, this was a rare, joy-filled day, and it was all because...
read more

Remembering the Attack on Pearl Harbor

As much as Elvis Presley gave back, he could have been nicknamed the King of Generosity. This week marks the 73rd anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. Today, millions visit the USS Arizona Memorial, thanks, in part, to Elvis. More than 2,400 were killed and 1,178 were wounded in the surprise military strike conducted by the Imperial Japanese Navy  against the United States naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii on December 7, 1941. The USS Arizona was sunk, and 1,177 of its crewmen were killed. The attack led to the United States’ entry into World War II. Elvis performed for service personnel and their families at Pearl Harbor on November 11, 1957, his last public performance before he entered the Army. Elvis was drafted into the Army that year, and he served two years before being honorably discharged in the spring of 1960. Later that year, Elvis and his manager, Col. Tom Parker, learned that there was a fundraiser for a memorial to the USS Arizona, which was sunk at Pearl Harbor. The pair decided to raise money for the memorial with a benefit concert. Col. Parker announced the concert on January 11, 1961, at the Hawaiian Village Hotel in Honolulu. Every dime raised at the concert would go to the benefit, he said, and even Elvis himself would have to buy a ticket to get in – and he did. “You know,” Parker told the crowd, “Elvis is 26, and that’s about the average age of those boys entombed in the Arizona. I think it’s appropriate that he should be doing this.” Elvis’ trip to Hawaii was all about TCB – not only was he going to raise money for the memorial, but he also started filming “Blue Hawaii.” Elvis flew to Honolulu with his co-star for the show, Minnie Pearl, on March 25, 1961. Fans lined up to greet him, of course, and he spoke at a press conference. The show took place that night at Pearl Harbor’s Bloch Arena, and Elvis was accompanied by the Jordanaires, Scotty Moore and D.J. Fontana. Seats closest to the stage sold for $100, while other tickets were sold for $3-10. It was Elvis’ last public performance until his iconic 1968 television special. It was also the last time he wore his gold lamé suit. Elvis’ concert raised awareness of the fundraiser, and the remaining funds needed were raised quickly. The memorial was completed a year later, and...
read more

Unseen Graceland: In the Details

In October, we took you “Beyond the Ropes” with our first Unseen Graceland post. We’re back again with another Unseen Graceland feature, and this time we’re focusing on the details of Elvis’ home, cars and more. Thousands of fans visit Graceland, the car museum and other exhibits on the property, and they see so much, but there’s still even more to discover. From hidden fixtures to used appliances, let’s dig into the details of some of Elvis’ most beloved parts of his home.   The kitchen was a busy hub at Graceland, and Elvis was always happy to have his guests’ favorite meals prepared for them. Fans simply walk through the kitchen on the way to the basement, but if you open the drawers – and we ask that you don’t, because the drawers are beyond the ropes – you’ll find all of the utensils that were used to cook delicious meals at Graceland. As fans move from the dining room to the kitchen, they walk by – and usually don’t even notice – a staircase that leads upstairs. That’s OK, because upstairs is off limits, but fans do miss this stunning light fixture that hangs in that stair way. The beautiful jewels provide a colorful show when it’s turned on. Hay, hay and more hay – what else can you expect to find in a barn loft? The horses here at Graceland, several of which are rescues, would surely love this photo. The horses currently kept at Graceland are Bandit, a rescued Quarter Horse; Candy, a Tennessee Walking Horse; and Max, another rescued horse. A Golden Palomino named Tucker is here in honor of Elvis’ Golden Palomino, Rising Sun, which inspired him to name the barn the House of the Rising Sun. Now let’s take a peek inside Elvis’ rides – there are plenty of surprises in the car museum. Elvis’ pink Cadillac is a sight to behold. The cool thing is, it’s just as pretty on the inside as it is on the outside. Elvis purchased his famous pink Cadillac in 1955 and later gave it to his mother, Gladys. The matching pink interior still looks flawless. The “E” in the floorboard is the perfect finishing touch. It’s definitely a Cadillac fit for a king – or his mama. Elvis had the latest and greatest technology of his time, including this smooth car phone in his Mercedes limousine, on display at the car museum....
read more

Merry Mail: Elvis’ Christmas Cards from Celebrities

Imagine making a list of your Christmas card recipients, and one of the people on that list is none other than Elvis Presley. Plenty of celebrities and entertainers sent cards to Elvis and his family during the holiday season. Some cards included personalized notes, but some didn’t. Some included family portraits. Some were funny; some were sacred. Elvis kept these special cards, and sent some out himself, which often included happy holiday wishes from  his manager, Col. Tom Parker. The Colonel was fond of sending telegrams to wish stars a happy holiday or happy birthday, as well as wishing them a good opening night on a performance. He often signed such messages from himself and Elvis, but he also sent Elvis a “Happy Thanksgiving” message one year. (Click the photos to enlarge.) Elvis received a sweet card from actress Jayne Mansfield, her husband Matt Cimber and her four children. Another card with a family portrait is this gem from the Nelson family, sent at Christmas 1967. It’s from Rick Nelson and his wife Kris, and their (at the time) three children, Tracy and twins Matthew and Gunnar. Elvis also received this card from his drummer, DJ Fontana, and his family. Comedian George Burns wanted to wish a happy holidays in many languages. Singer Sammy Davis Jr. sent Elvis a beautiful spiritual scene. Some celebrities couldn’t resist a laugh, even at the holidays. Bob Hope and Sophie Tucker’s cards surely made Elvis smile. As the year rounded out, Elvis didn’t just receive holiday mail, but also Happy New Year cards and messages. Here’s a telegram to the Colonel from “Casablanca” director Michael...
read more

Page 30 of 35« First...1020...2829303132...Last »