The Official Blog of Graceland

Welcome to the official blog of Elvis Presley’s Graceland! You can take Elvis-inspired quizzes, get first-looks on events here at Graceland and how-to guides on everything you need to know about Elvis and his home. Like Elvis, we come with a little southern charm!

Spring Break, Memphis Style

There are plenty of places to visit during Spring Break, but none quite like Memphis, Tennessee. The Bluff City has it all, from amazing music and food to sports, arts and culture. There’s history, there’s the mighty Mississippi, there’s the unique Beale Street. No wonder Elvis Presley loved this city. Oh, and did we mention you can visit the king’s castle? Memphis is the only city where you can experience the home of the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll – the man who started it all. Graceland is everything, really: it’s American history, music history and a pop culture icon, just like its owner. It’s a must-see for fans who love music of any genre, for those who want a glimpse into the life of the world’s biggest rock star. The mansion itself is amazing, but at Graceland, you can also visit the Meditation Garden where Elvis and his family are buried, as well as his car museum and private jets. A brand new exhibit, “I Shot Elvis,” which focuses on iconic photos of Elvis and the photographers who took those pictures, just opened, and soon a new VIP exhibit will open. Memphis is truly a pilgrimage for music and rock ‘n’ roll fans. If you want even more music history, check out Sun Studio, where it all started for Elvis, as well as artists like Jerry Lee Lewis and Johnny Cash. You can’t miss the Stax Museum, either. The museum was home to the iconic Stax Records, a label that produced hit records by Otis Redding, Isaac Hayes, the Staples Singers, Rufus & Carla Thomas, Wilson Pickett and many, many more. Memphis is home to the National Civil Rights Museum, located in downtown Memphis at the Lorraine Motel, where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated in 1968. The museum offers a powerful and moving experience as it chronicles the Civil Rights Movement from the 17th century through present day. There are exhibits on topics such as student sit-ins, the Montgomery Bus Boycott, slavery and Freedom Rides. Take a walk on the wild side at the Memphis Zoo. Explore Penguin Rock, Cat Country, Tropical Birdhouse, Once Upon a Farm, Dragon’s Lair, Animals of the Night and much more. This month, the zoo opens a new show, Memphis Zoo Takes Flight, a free flight bird show featuring more than 30 birds from 17 species. These Grizzlies aren’t in any zoo – during...
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Elvis Presley: Viva Las Vegas

Elvis Presley is the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll. Las Vegas is the entertainment capital of the world. No wonder these two legends go hand in hand. Elvis was a true Southern gentleman, but he loved the wild West, especially Las Vegas. He ruled Vegas during his residency there, thrilling more than a million fans with his powerful live performances. And of course, one of his most beloved films is the stylish, colorful and fun “Viva Las Vegas.” More than 40 years later, the king returns to Vegas with Graceland Presents ELVIS: The Exhibition – The Show – The Experience, a new permanent, expansive exhibition that covers Elvis’ life and career, as well as live, Elvis-themed shows that honor his legacy. It’s all happening at the Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino, formerly the International Hotel, where Elvis performed more than 600 sold-out concerts. Graceland Presents ELVIS opens April 23 and includes Elvis Experience, the first show in the newly named and renovated Elvis Presley International Showroom. Tickets are on sale now, and you can learn more at Graceland.com/Vegas. Let’s take a look back at Elvis’ wildly successful Vegas shows. Elvis was originally booked for a four-week, 57-show engagement at the International Hotel in Las Vegas, which had just been built and had the largest showroom in the city. He put together a top-notch group of musicians and vocalists to accompany him, and his show opened on July 31, 1969. Elvis soon made the International a home of sorts. He toured the country, but he returned to the International hundreds of times and performed for more than a million fans. Elvis’ Las Vegas shows were a mix of classic hits and new material, as well as covers of songs he liked. He performed two shows a night, one at 8 p.m. and the other at midnight. The stage was Elvis’ natural habitat, and he gave each performance his very best. In between songs, he entertained the audience with jokes and his charming personality. A few of the reviews of Elvis’ Las Vegas shows include: “There are several unbelievable things about Elvis, but the most incredible is his staying power in a world where meteoric careers fade like shooting stars.” – “Newsweek,” August 11, 1969 issue “…a style and panache that come close to pure magic. Lithe, raunchy, the sweat pouring down his face, he now moves with the precision of an athlete, the...
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#Graceland on Instagram

When you visit a place as special as Graceland, you have to take at least a few pictures. Elvis Presley’s Graceland is gorgeous and picturesque, so there are plenty of places for a pretty portrait or a cute selfie. Fans love snapping selfies in front of Graceland’s famous gates. At the mansion itself, many fans take a quick photo of themselves in front of the house, or maybe inside in one of the famous rooms (remember: no flash photography allowed!). The grounds are also beautiful, and of course the plaza offers other picturesque locations like the Car Museum and Sincerely Elvis exhibit. And after you take that perfect photo at Graceland, share it with the world on Instagram. Tag it with #Graceland, and your photo could be featured on Graceland.com! Be sure to follow Elvis Presley’s Graceland on Instagram at @VisitGraceland. Here are a few photos of fans who took their photo at Graceland, used the #Graceland hashtag and have been featured on the Graceland site.                     Don’t forget: When you visit Graceland, tag us in your photo with the hashtag #Graceland. We love seeing and sharing your photos! Visit Graceland.com to plan your visit, so you can take your own selfie in front of the gates, at the mansion or in the Jungle Room. See you at Graceland – and on...
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Elvis Presley: King of Pop Culture

The tone of his voice, his unmistakable style and that one-of-a-kind smile – Elvis Presley is the most recognizable person in the world. Everyone knows – and loves – Elvis. Millions of fans know every word to his songs, even if for many, English isn’t their first language. Elvis’ fans range in age, too: there are those who had the chance to see him in concert, and  there are those who were born decades after hits like “Good Luck Charm” and “In the Ghetto” topped the charts. Elvis continues to make people smile, which is probably why you can find Elvis just about everywhere. His image, his music and his style continue to be referenced in pop culture. It’s easy to spot Elvis and his influence in movies, TV, books and more. Artists and designers often use an image of Elvis or an Elvis element to add some rock ‘n’ roll to their work. Have you spotted Elvis in pop culture, or simply out and about in the world? If you have, tell us about it. We keep a list of Elvis sightings, so be sure to submit yours today. Here are a few memorable and recent Elvis sightings in pop culture. “Supernatural” Elvis fan Angie sent in this fun reference from a popular paranormal drama on The CW. “Supernatural” follows the story of Sam and Dean Winchester (Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles, respectively), brothers who hunt monsters, demons and other creatures that go bump in the night. The brothers drive a 1967 black Chevy Impala and listen to a lot of rock ‘n’ roll, so it’s no surprise how often rock musicians are given a shout-out on the show. As they investigate paranormal cases, Dean and Sam often pose as FBI agents, and their fake identities are references to rock ‘n’ roll stars. They’ve used famous last names like Page and Plant, McVie and Nicks and Perry and Tyler. In the season 10 episode “There’s No Place Like Home,” which aired in January 2015, Dean uses the alias “Mr. Presley.” “The Book of Life” A few Elvis fans, like Bill and Mike, heard one of Elvis’ most beloved tunes in the film “The Book of Life.” In the colorful animated movie, released in 2014, the main character, Manolo (Diego Luna) serenades Maria (Zoe Saldana) with his version of Elvis’ “Can’t Help Falling in Love.” With his black hair and guitar, Manolo definitely...
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Love Letters

It’s February. Love is in the air and, hopefully, in the mail. Elvis received thousands of love letters and fan mail throughout his career. That tradition continues this year: We’re asking fans to write love letters to Elvis, just in time for Valentine’s Day. Fans can write about how he impacted their lives, why they love him and his music and their connection to the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll. Visit Graceland.com for details on how you can send your love letter to Elvis (a few lucky fans may even score an Elvis-themed Valentine’s basket!) – but let’s take a look back at some of Elvis’ more memorable fan letters. This letter arrived in 1958, when stamps cost about three cents each. One of the most charming parts of the letter is the closing line: “We’re counting on you.”   This next letter, sent in the ’60s, is a heartfelt note from a fan. It doesn’t get much more sincere than this.   This letter, from 1964, is from someone who isn’t a fan of Elvis’ music, but instead appreciated his patriotism. Elvis purchased President Franklin Roosevelt’s U.S.S. Potomac early in 1964, and gave it to St. Jude Children’s Hospital in Memphis to sell as a fundraiser. “Americans of all ages should be proud of you, and with our nation in the hands of young people such as you, we should not fear the future,” Mrs. R.S. Stevens wrote to Elvis.   Few letters are as heartfelt as those from Elvis’ youngest fans. This 12-year-old loved Elvis’ ’68 TV special, and she wished him a merry Christmas, too. It would’ve cost Becky about six cents to mail this letter.   Some Elvis fans were serving in Vietnam and had to miss that iconic TV special. That didn’t stop a few of them from sending him a letter from the other side of the world, expressing their love for his music. In 1969, air mail cost about 10 cents. These fans, Mike and Patrick, also shared their condolences on the death of Dewey Phillips.   Not all letters from fans were happy ones – especially if they thought he’d changed his appearance. Many fans wrote in to Elvis after they saw pictures of him at Sonny West’s wedding. They thought he’d grown his hair out to his shoulders, and they hated the look. In fact, he had not grown his hair out – the collar...
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Best Valentine’s Day Gifts for Elvis Fans

You love her tender. He’s your teddy bear. You wear his ring around your neck. She’s got you all shook up. Valentine’s Day is almost here, and if your valentine loves Elvis, you can do no wrong with a gift inspired by the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll. We’ve found the best Valentine’s Day gifts for the special Elvis fan in your life at Shop Graceland. Take a look at our suggestions below, and visit Shop.Graceland.com for even more options. FOR HER   Elvis Crystal Embellished Brown Sunglasses by Sandy Martindale   Does it get more stylish than this? These sparkling sunglasses are a must for the trendy Elvis fan. Each pair is meticulously crystalized by hand using Swarovski Crystal Elements on both earpieces and modeled after a black pair worn by the designer, Sandy Martindale. This Graceland exclusive comes with a protective hard shell zipper case and cleaning cloth, as well as UV400 Polarized lenses, so they’re both protective and stylish. See this product at Shop.Graceland.com.   Lowell Hays Sterling Silver Plated Heart Pave Charm   This charm speaks right to the heart. This gorgeous heart charm was inspired from a necklace Lowell Hayes made for his soon-to-be-wife, Linda. Elvis loved the idea and asked Lowell to create one for him. This heart features 40 pavé set crystals in sterling silver, complete with Elvis’ name engraved on the back. It’s a perfect addition to a charm bracelet, or it can be worn as a necklace. See this product at Shop.Graceland.com.    Elvis Heart Women’s T-Shirt   This adorable scoop-neck shirt features a glittery silver and navy design that’s sure to catch the eye. The lightweight fabric makes it perfect to wear by itself in the summer, or it can be paired with a cute cardigan in the colder months. See this product at Shop.Graceland.com.    Pink Hearts Square Compact   This Elvis compact is a great addition to a large gift, or a cute, stand-alone happy. This pink 1950s compact features two mirrors inside – one standard mirror and one 2X magnifying mirror – and is small enough to fit in the palm of your hand, in a purse or in the pocket of a pair of jeans. It’s sleek and stylish, and it goes with everything. See this product at Shop.Graceland.com.   Elvis Kisses Heart Frame   What says love more than hearts and kisses – and Elvis? This...
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The Gates of Graceland

One of the most iconic features of Elvis Presley’s Graceland isn’t even in the home: it’s the gates of Graceland. Elvis fans from all over the world travel to Memphis to see the mansion, with its famous Jungle Room, totally rock ‘n’ roll TV and pool rooms, its spacious yard and impressive car collection. But the gates of Graceland are instantly recognizable, with their one-of-a-kind sheet music design. Fans tour the mansion, of course, but part of the Graceland experience also means snapping a photo of the gates -or in front of the gates – and signing the wall. Elvis purchased Graceland on March 25, 1957, and he wasted no time turning it into his own castle. In fact, the gates were installed less than a month later, on April 22. The Graceland Archives have an invoice from Tennessee Fabricating Company for the gate at $1,339.00 in April 1957.  There are also invoices and checks  for Dillard Door Company for the gate operators, which includes three car controls. Fans would often line up and hope to catch the world’s most famous entertainer leave or enter those gates. Sometimes he’d sign autographs from behind them, and fans could see him and his family horseback riding on the Graceland property. Today, the gates still serve their original purpose: to protect the rock ‘n’ roll mansion of Elvis Presley, and they still look as gorgeous as ever. Fans snap selfies in front of the gate, and take a minute to leave a personal message to Elvis on the wall. Fans from across the world have left heartfelt messages over the years. The gates of Graceland have stood the test of time, and fans love this unique feature of the King’s castle. Have you left a message on the wall, or taken your picture at the gates? If so, tag us on Twitter or Instagram – we’re @VisitGraceland on both – or use the hashtag #GracelandGates. You could be featured on...
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Play the Graceland Trivia Game

Think you know everything Graceland? Put your knowledge to the test with a Graceland Trivia game! Find out if you make it to the gates of Graceland, the grounds, the front door or inside...
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Young Elvis

The young king grew up in Tupelo, Mississippi, an east Mississippi town with sweltering summers, rolling clay hills, dirt roads and sweet Southern charm. Elvis lived with his family in Tupelo until he was 13; after that, it was off to the big city of Memphis. Still, Elvis never forgot Tupelo, and his childhood friends and playmates have never forgotten him and the happy times they shared. A few of Elvis’ childhood friends often spend time at the Elvis Presley Birthplace, greeting fans from all over the world and sharing personal stories of Elvis’ young days. “As they would say in Tupelo, he was just a little snotty-nosed boy when I was born,” Elvis’ lifelong friend Guy Harris told the North Mississippi Daily Journal in 2010. Guy was a few years younger than Elvis, but that didn’t stop the two boys from becoming good friends – such good friends that, when Elvis introduced Guy to Priscilla, he said Guy “was my best friend growing up.” “I sat right behind him in class in the sixth grade at Milam, and we run around together. I rode him around on my bicycle all over town,” his friend James Ausborn said in an interview with the Daily Journal. “We’d go fishing together down on the creek, on Mud Creek, and he would start singing. I’d get on to him singing. I’d tell him, ‘We ain’t gonna catch no fish, you keep singing.” Guy remembers swimming with Elvis at the swimming hole, and fibbing to Gladys about where they’d been. Gladys was protective of her only son, Guy said, so she didn’t like him playing too far from home where she couldn’t keep an eye on him. Sam Bell remembers fun, carefree days playing with a young Elvis in Tupelo. At a Fan Club event during the 2015 Birthday Celebration, Sam recalled the pair hiding out in a tree house, Elvis’ mother Gladys making them snacks (“She made the best Kool-Aid,” Sam said) and Elvis’ early fascination with music. Gladys purchased a guitar for Elvis from Tupelo Hardware for his 11th birthday. Tupelo heard Elvis’ first attempts on the instrument, and his first chords at singing in public. He carried his beloved guitar to school and competed in a talent show – taking home the fifth place award. But Gladys wouldn’t let Elvis take the guitar outside, where it could get damaged or dirty, Sam said. Elvis...
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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...
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