Elvis Presley in Memphis

By Alyssa Long

When people think of Memphis, oftentimes the first thing that comes to mind is Elvis Presley’s Graceland. However, the entire city of Memphis played a very important role in Elvis’ life both personally and professionally.

Here are some other Memphis places that were significant to Elvis Presley:

 

Chisca Hotel

chisca
It was here, in the Chisca Hotel on July 8, 1954, that Elvis Presley was played on the radio for the very first time. Popular disk jockey Dewey Phillips played “That’s All Right” and everything changed. For music, for Memphis, and for Elvis.

Today, the Chisca Hotel is undergoing a facelift. While it is still standing, it has been sitting vacant since the 1980s. It is currently in the process of undergoing a major historic renovation and is being converted into apartments, retail, and restaurant space.

 

Humes High School

humes
In 1953, 18-year-old Elvis Presley graduated from Humes High School. Even though he had not officially recorded any music yet, many of his classmates have fond memories of Elvis performing at their annual talent show.

Today, this building serves as a middle school, but you can still imagine young Elvis Presley walking in and out of those doors to go to class.

 

Overton Park Shell

levittshell
At this outdoor theater located in Overton Park, Elvis Presley performed his first official on-stage performance (not counting school talent shows) on July 30, 1954. The Overton Park Shell, Graceland and the Mid-South Coliseum (see below) all have something in common (besides Elvis, that is):  They were designed by the same architect!

Today, the Overton Park Shell is known as the Levitt Shell and is still the home of many outdoors concerts.

 

Audubon Drive

audubon
Graceland wasn’t Elvis’ only home in Memphis. Before purchasing Graceland, he lived on Audubon Drive with his parents. In 1956, 21-year-old Elvis bought this home after “Hearbreak Hotel” became his first Number 1 song. He lived there with his parents for a little over a year.

Today, the house is overseen by the Mike Curb Institute at Rhodes College.

 

Mid-South Coliseum

coliseum
Exactly 22 years to the day after recording “That’s All Right,” Elvis performed his last concert in Memphis on July 5, 1976 at the Mid-South Coliseum. He gave an incredible performance covering all of this hit songs from his 22-year career, all while wearing a stunning white jumpsuit.

Today, the Mid-South Coliseum stands empty and is not open, but many Memphians have very fond memories of events and concerts held at this arena.

These sights are worth seeing while you’re in Memphis for Elvis Week. Check out even more Elvis Week partners you should visit if you’re in town for the week.

Have you explored these places in Memphis? Share your memories in the comments.

 


1 Comment

  1. Memphis IS Elvis!
    I will always remember how thrilled I was to stand on the stage at Overton Shell and know Elvis had been there!!

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