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!

Cast Your Vote in Our Elvis for President Quiz

It’s Election Day in the United States! In celebration of the democratic process, we launched the Elvis for President campaign last year. We’ve given away Elvis for President kits and encouraged fans to get to know why Elvis would’ve made a great presidential candidate. Let’s see how much you’ve learned – here’s our Elvis for President...
read more

Elvis and The Guest House at Graceland

There’s everyone else, and then there’s Elvis. Elvis always stood out from the crowd – not just for his voice and stage presence, but for his personal style. He was always ahead of the fashion trends for both every day and stage wear, and once he purchased his home, Graceland, he decorated it in the most unique ways that changed with his one-of-a-kind taste. Few homes can pull off so many mirrors, a jungle-themed room or a room covered in fabric, but Graceland does, and beautifully. The Guest House at Graceland is also uniquely Elvis. The new hotel, which celebrated its Grand Opening last weekend, is full of designs and décor that came directly from Elvis and Graceland. Everywhere you look, you see something that reminds you of Elvis. Let’s take a look at just a few of these Elvis-inspired designs. The Lobby Ceiling Elvis’ sparkling, eye-catching jumpsuits are a part of what makes the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll so iconic. Not only did he put on powerful performances, but he did so in these incredible outfits that raised the bar for all performers. The Guest House at Graceland lobby ceiling was lovingly designed to match the stunning crystal design on this cape that Elvis wore on stage. The Color of Royalty A pretty purple hue accents many areas of The Guest House at Graceland, from the lobby furniture to carpet designs. Elvis loved purple – as seen in his beautiful Purple Cadillac. The color is also found in Elvis’ parents’ bedroom. The Staircase Sure, you could take an elevator up to the next floor, but why do that when you can take a staircase that looks like the one inside Graceland? Shake, Rattle & Go One of five dining options at The Guest House at Graceland is Shake, Rattle & Go, for guests who need to grab nourishment on the go. Of course, Shake, Rattle & Go is a reference to Elvis’ hit “Shake, Rattle & Roll,” and the Shake, Rattle & Go sign is similar to the beautiful gold clock in the living room at Graceland. TCB Elvis’ personal motto design – TCB with the lightning bolt – is iconic. The designers of The Guest House at Graceland “took care of business” and included the lightning bolt design in these beautiful light fixtures in the Founders lounge. Peacocks The two colorful stained glass peacocks in Graceland’s...
read more

Where Elvis Presley Stayed

We’re about one week away from the Grand Opening Celebration for the brand new hotel, The Guest House at Graceland. The 450-room resort hotel, located steps away from Graceland, features two restaurants, meeting space, a theater and more – and the hotel is uniquely Elvis, and elegantly rock ‘n’ roll. The Guest House at Graceland is the perfect place to stay if you want to explore everything that Graceland and Memphis has to offer. Elvis, of course, did quite a bit of traveling, whether it was while on tour, filming a movie or making a television appearance. With hotels in mind, let’s take a look at just a few of the hotels Elvis frequented while he was traveling.   Elvis stayed at the Hilton Hawaiian Village several times, most notably around the time he filmed”Blue Hawaii,” which was filmed in the spring of 1961. The hotel’s Carousel Room was home to a press conference with Elvis and comedian Minnie Pearl on Saturday, March 25, 1961. The pair discussed the benefit concert they were set to perform in a few hours at the Bloch Arena. The concert raised money to build a memorial to those killed and injured in the attack on Pearl Harbor. The resort first opened in 1955 and is one of the most prominent resort hotels on Waikiki Beach in Honolulu. The hotel and its famous towers, including the Rainbow Tower, have been renovated many times over the years, with new pools, restaurants and other amenities added to the property. While Elvis was in Hollywood filming his first movie, “Love Me Tender,” he stayed at the Knickerbocker Hotel. Photographer Ed Braslaff takes some photos of Elvis at the hotel on August 18, and later, Elvis and his friends spend $750 at the Long Beach Amusement Park. The Knickerbocker opened in 1929 and was still glamorous when Elvis stayed there. Many celebrities stayed there, including Marilyn Monroe, Joe DiMaggio and “I Love Lucy” actor William Frawley.  After falling into disrepair over the years, the building has since been renovated, and it’s now a retirement community called the Hollywood Knickerbocker Apartments.   While Elvis never toured Europe, he did travel there while serving in the United States Army. In the summer of 1959, Elvis was stationed in Germany when he took a 15-day furlough. He traveled to both Munich and Paris with his friends, and in Paris, the guys stayed in a...
read more

Elvis Presley and the Louisiana Hayride

If you love Elvis Presley today, you can give thanks, in part, to the Louisiana Hayride. The Hayride, a regional radio (and later television) show, helped launch Elvis’ early career. In fact, “The Cradle of the Stars,” as it was known, was the springboard to fame for many country artists such as Hank Williams, Jim Reeves, Slim Whitman, Faron Young, Johnny Cash, Kitty Wells and George Jones, to name a few. The Louisiana Hayride began as a radio program on April 3, 1948, and was broadcast from the Municipal Auditorium in Shreveport, Louisiana. Admission for the three-hour show was – get this – 60 cents for adults and 30 cents for children. The show aired in the South, and parts of it aired nationally on CBS Radio and overseas on Armed Forces Radio. Many of the Hayride regulars toured around the region in Louisiana, Texas and Arkansas. Elvis performed on “The Grand Ole Opry” on October 2, 1954, and it was… not exactly the warm reception he’d hoped for. So a week after that performance, his producer, Sam Phillips, booked Elvis on the Opry’s main competition, the Hayride.  Elvis’ first appearance on the Hayride was October 16, 1954. Elvis returned to the Hayride on November 6 with his parents, who had to also sign Elvis’ contract with the show, since Elvis was just 19. Elvis’ pay was $18 per show, and his bandmates, Bill Black and Scotty Moore, would each receive $12 per show. Through the rest of 1954 and 1955, Elvis appeared weekly in Shreveport at the Louisiana Hayride. In October 1955, Elvis’ contract was renewed for $200 per show, as Elvis’ fame had grown in the year since his initial appearance. But that contract wouldn’t last long. In 1956, Elvis released his debut album, appeared on national television and was touring the country. In late 1956, he began filming his first movie. The weekly trips to Shreveport to perform on the Hayride just didn’t fit in with Elvis’ busy schedule, so his new manager, Col. Tom Parker, bought Elvis out of his Hayride contract for $10,000 with a promise that Elvis would perform on the Hayride’s special charity show on December 15, 1956. Elvis’ last regular appearance on the Hayride was March 31, 1956. While the Louisiana Hayride didn’t make Elvis a household name, it did help him reach many new audiences – and of course, that only...
read more

Elvis Presley in Every Language

Music – especially the music of Elvis Presley – is the universal language. No matter where you go in the world, everyone knows the word “Elvis.” They also know his movies and music, even if English isn’t their first language. And as Elvis fans, we all know the iconic images of the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll, including the posters for his movies like “Jailhouse Rock” and “Blue Hawaii.” Those movies had to be marketed to international fans, too – and that’s where we get these amazing international movie posters. These colorful collectors items offer a different look at Elvis movies. Take a look at a few of these cool international movie posters below. This Japanese poster for 1965’s “Girl Happy” is an adorable salute to the movie, complete with the cute beach scene behind Elvis and his co-star, Shelley Fabares. When these movies were marketed internationally, the film titles were translated into many different languages. Many of them are direct translations, but sometimes their meanings are just a little different. Many of the international titles for “Girl Happy” translated to something like, “Girl Crazy” or “Crazy for Girls.” The Japanese poster for “Jailhouse Rock” manages to work in several important scenes from the film, including a fight scene and the famous “Jailhouse Rock” performance. Most of the international titles for “Jailhouse Rock” stayed pretty faithful to the original title. Elvis’ 1968 film “Live a Little, Love a Little,” had similar posters both domestically and internationally. The U.S. poster is vertical and features this main image, in addition to a few others. Here are the Spanish and German posters for “Viva Las Vegas” or, “Love in Las Vegas” and “Great Nights in Las Vegas.” The busy but fun Japanese poster for “It Happened at the World’s Fair” features many scenes from the film. For several international markets, the title was changed to “Blondes, Brunettes and Redheads.” A few other international title changes include “Loving You,” which in Denmark was known as “The Golden Guitar.” “G.I. Blues” was known in many markets as “Cafe Europa.” “Spinout” was changed to “California Holiday” for several international markets. What do you think about these international posters? What’s your favorite Elvis movie? You can see a great collection of Elvis movie posters and movie memorabilia here at Graceland, so if you love Elvis’ films, make sure you plan your Graceland visit...
read more

Test Your Knowledge – Elvis Presley’s Television Appearances

This year on the Graceland Blog, we’ve been pretty focused on celebrating all of Elvis’ many accomplishments from 1956 – including his many television appearances. We haven’t covered them all yet, but we’re getting there. From his first appearance on “Stage Show” to his celebrated “Aloha from Hawaii” special, Elvis always drew audiences to the small screen. How well do you know Elvis’ television appearances? Find out how much you know by taking the Elvis’ TV Appearances quiz below! Let us know how you did in the...
read more

Elvis Presley’s Homecoming Concert

Just 21 years after he was born there, and eight years after he left with his family as a young teen, Elvis Presley returned to Tupelo, Mississippi, as a star. Sixty years ago this month, Elvis performed a homecoming concert to celebrate his whirlwind success. In his touring years, Elvis performed many concerts in and around Tupelo, but this show, on September 26, 1956, was the big one, complete with a parade, thousands of fans and lots of press. Elvis performed that day in 1956 at the Mississippi-Alabama Fair and Dairy Show, and it was actually his third time to perform at the fair. When he was 10, he had entered a talent contest at the fair, where he sang “Old Shep” and came in fifth place. Elvis and his band returned to the fairgrounds in 1955 to perform a set alongside artists such as Webb Pierce and Wanda Jackson, but he wasn’t the star of the show. 1956 was, as we’ve covered before on this blog, a turning point for Elvis’ career. He’d recorded and released his debut album, performed several times on national television – including the prestigious “Ed Sullivan Show” – and was filming his first movie. Elvis was Tupelo’s most famous hometown boy, and the town wanted to celebrate him. The celebrations included a parade through downtown Tupelo, which Elvis didn’t attend – his manager, Col. Tom Parker, feared for Elvis’ safety in such a big crowd. But the town enjoyed the parade anyway, and encouraged participants to create Elvis-themed floats. Elvis performed two shows that day, at 2:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Admission to the fair was typically 25 cents for children and 50 cents for adults, and the day of Elvis’s show, they charged 75 cents for everyone. Admission to Elvis’ show was $1.50. Elvis and his parents, his girlfriend Barbara Hearn and his friend Nick Adams all drove down from Memphis for the show. Elvis wore a beautiful blue velvet shirt made for him by Natalie Wood’s dressmaker. Elvis, backed by his band and the Jordanaires, performed thrilling shows, and thousands of fans were in attendance – anywhere from 5,000 to 12,000 to 50,000, depending on what news report you believe. Teenage fans rushed the stage, somehow defying the massive security team, and Elvis encouraged them to be safe – and they did. In the audience that day – in fact, in...
read more

The King’s Jokers

How do you open up for Elvis Presley? How do you entertain a crowd who’s ready for none other than the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll? In the late 1960s and 1970s, a few comedians found out, when they were asked to be the opening act for Elvis. This was a pretty daunting task, to open up a show for one of the most celebrated entertainers in the world, but these guys took on the challenge – with a smile and a laugh. Elvis’ all-female backing vocal group, The Sweet Inspirations, also opened for Elvis in addition to performing during his concerts. But a few comedians also helped get the audience ready for Elvis’ concert. In 1969, Col. Tom Parker saw Sammy Shore open up for Tom Jones and thought the trumpet-playing comedian was a hoot. Shore was a showbiz veteran, having worked on TV shows and movies like “Accidental Family,” “Sandford and Son,” “Love, American Style” and “History of the World, Part 1.” Sammy opened up for Elvis from 1969 to 1972, and in 1972 Sammy helped found the legendary comedy club, The Comedy Store, on the Sunset Strip in Hollywood. Many comedians got their start at The Comedy Store or simply entertained fans there – including Billy Crystal, Chris Rock, David Letterman, Steve Martin, Amy Schumer and many more. Sammy continues to bring the laughs and his sons, Pauly and Peter, are both in entertainment – Pauly is an actor and comedian, and Peter worked as a director. Sammy’s ex-wife, Mitzi, continues to run The Comedy Store. After Shore left to run the venue, comedians Nipsy Russell and Bob Melvin stepped in to open up for Elvis. But then, Col. Parker spotted Jackie Kahane opening up for Wayne Newton, and knew Jackie’s family-friendly fare would go over well with Elvis and his audience. Jackie also worked with other stars such as Sammy Davis Jr., Tina Turner, Dionne Warwick and Tony Bennett. In 1961, he was named as one of Time magazine’s Outstanding Comedians, one of his highest honors. Jackie opened up shows for Elvis from 1972-1977, and he delivered the eulogy at Elvis’ funeral. He went on to start a production company and he produced TV shows like “Honeymoon Haven” and “Off the Wall.” Both Sammy and Jackie honored Elvis at the Elvis in Concert event in 1997, presented at the Mid-South Coliseum in Memphis on the...
read more

60 Years Ago Today: Elvis Presley on the Ed Sullivan Show

Sixty years ago today, more than 60 million people watched Elvis Presley perform on “The Ed Sullivan Show.” Elvis’ first performance on “The Ed Sullivan Show” took place on September 9, 1956. At this point in his life, he’d already performed on national television shows like the Dorsey Brothers’ “Stage Show” and “The Milton Berle Show.” He’d released his debut album and was filming his first movie. He had a few hit songs on the charts, like “Heartbreak Hotel.” He was still living on Audubon Drive in Memphis and wouldn’t purchase Graceland for another few months. Elvis was famous, and he was thisclose to becoming the most famous man in America. But of course, Elvis has not yet been booked on the country’s most popular variety show, “The Ed Sullivan Show.” And the show’s host had promised he wouldn’t feature the then-controversial young singer; Elvis had a reputation among conservative leaders and parents for his performances, which they often labeled as inappropriate or even dangerous. Elvis was simply unlike any other performer they’d ever seen, and they were concerned. It was a surprise, then, when Ed announced in the summer of 1956 that Elvis would perform not just once, but three times on his show. Ed had watched Elvis’ career blossom and knew he’d pull in high ratings if he allowed Elvis to perform. Elvis’ manager, Col. Tom Parker, negotiated hard, and the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll was to be paid $50,000 for all three performances – an unprecedented amount at the time. On September 9, 1956, neither Elvis or Ed Sullivan were in the studios that day for filming. Ed had suffered injuries in a car accident and was at home recuperating, while actor Charles Laughton filled in for him on the show. And Elvis wasn’t in New York City, where “The Ed Sullivan Show” was filmed. He was seen from Hollywood, where he was in the middle of filming “Love Me Tender.” Still, the show was a success – 60 million people, or 82.6 percent of the entire television audience, watched Elvis perform “Don’t Be Cruel,” “Love Me Tender,” “Ready Teddy” and a few verses of “Hound Dog.” “Love Me Tender” had not yet been released, so fans ate up the new single – which only increased the hype for the new movie and its soundtrack. Elvis returned to “The Ed Sullivan Show” – this time with Ed hosting, and...
read more

In the Studio with Elvis Presley

Fans saw Elvis on stage and on the big screen, but fans never had the chance to see Elvis work in one of his favorite environments – in the studio. And, really, the studio is at the heart of Elvis’ career. It was in studios in Memphis, Hollywood, Nashville and New York, where he cut songs that became No. 1 hits, songs that shook the foundation of American music, and songs that became fan favorites. Elvis had hundreds of recording sessions in many different studios, but let’s take a look at just a few of the special ones where Elvis recorded some of his biggest hits. ELVIS’ FIRST STUDIO – SUN STUDIO The very first songs Elvis recorded at Memphis Recording Service – aka Sun Studio – were “My Happiness” and “That’s When Your Heartaches Begin,” in 1953. But his recording sessions got interesting on July 5-6, 1954, when he recorded a little record you may have heard of – “That’s All Right” – as well as “Blue Moon of Kentucky” and “I Love You Because.” During Elvis’ time at Sun, he recorded many songs that would go on to become classics, like “Good Rockin’ Tonight,” “Shake, Rattle and Roll,” “Baby Let’s Play House,” “Mystery Train” and “I Forgot to Remember to Forget” (Elvis’ first No. 1 hit), all with Sam Phillips at the helm. In the spring of 2017, the new state-of-the-art entertainment complex, Elvis Presley’s Memphis, will open at Graceland and will feature a permanent Sam Phillips exhibit. HOLLYWOOD Two of the Hollywood studios Elvis used were the Paramount Scoring Stage and Radio Recorders. Here are some insights into just a few of the sessions that took place at these studios. On September 1-3, 1956 Elvis recorded a slew of songs at Radio Recorders – a studio used by most of the major labels – for RCA. On September 1, he recorded songs like “Love Me” and “How’s The World Treating You,” followed by “Long Tall Sally,” “Too Much,” “Old Shep” and “When My Blue Moon Turns to Gold Again.” On September 3, he wrapped the session by recording “Ready Teddy,” “First in Line” and “Rip It Up.” Elvis was very familiar with “Old Shep” – he performed that song in a talent show as a young boy growing up in Tupelo (and only won fifth place). He performed the master recording in one take, but performed...
read more

Page 4 of 17« First...23456...10...Last »