10 Things to Know About Elvis and Graceland

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3717 Elvis Presley Blvd.
Memphis, TN 38116

Only 10 minutes from downtown and 3 minutes from the Memphis Airport.

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3600 Elvis Presley Blvd.
Memphis, TN 38116

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Graceland Blog


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

10 Things to Know About Elvis and Graceland

This past Sunday, 19 of music’s biggest stars honored Elvis Presley, the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll, with the two-hour NBC special, “Elvis All-Star Tribute.”

Long-time Elvis fans loved the show’s ’68 Special theme, the Elvis clips and personal home movies, and the way the stars honored the king with their thoughtful tributes.

What we hope is that the fans of those 19 stars – Yolanda Adams, Carrie Underwood, Keith Urban, Pistol Annies, Darius Rucker, Alessia Cara, Mac Davis, Kelsea Ballerini, Shawn Mendes, Ed Sheeran, Jennifer Lopez, John Fogerty, Dierks Bentley, Josh Groban, Post Malone, John Legend, Adam Lambert, Little Big Town and Blake Shelton, who hosted the special – watched “Elvis All-Star Tribute” and discovered the talent, charisma and power of the one and only King of Rock ‘n’ Roll, Elvis Presley.

If you’re a new Elvis fan, welcome to the club! Elvis is timeless – which is why specials are still made in his honor, why filmmakers continue to make documentaries about him and why he continues to top the charts, 42 years after his passing.

Elvis newbies, this post is for you. Here are the top 10 things you should know about Elvis and Graceland.

1. Elvis is the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll.
Elvis Presley is one of the most – if not THE most – significant cultural icons of the 20th century. Before he became an artist, Elvis was first a music fan – and he loved all genres, from blues to gospel to rhythm and blues to country. He and his first bandmates, Scotty Moore and Bill Black, along with producer Sam Phillips, brought all of those sounds together to create something new and fresh.

Elvis is the best-selling solo artist in the history of recorded music. He won three Grammys for his gospel music, received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award at the age of 36, and is a member of multiple music halls of fame.

Elvis recorded rock ‘n’ roll, blues, gospel, R&B and country music, so no matter what genre is your favorite, you’ll find something to love in Elvis’ catalog.

In addition to his music career, Elvis rocked Hollywood, too. He starred in 31 feature films, plus two documentary concert movies. His two concert TV specials, the ’68 Special and “Aloha from Hawaii,” were pop culture landmark moments. His 1973 “Aloha from Hawaii” was the first entertainment special broadcast live around the world via satellite and garnered 1.5 billion views worldwide. Learn more about Elvis’ career.

2. Elvis was also a son, a husband, a father, a philanthropist and a soldier.
Elvis Aaron Presley was born to Gladys and Vernon Presley in Tupelo, Mississippi, on January 8, 1935. When Elvis was 13, the Presleys moved to Memphis, where Elvis would live for the rest of his life. 

At the height of his career – having topped the charts, toured the country and starred in a handful of movies – Elvis was drafted into the U.S. Army. He put his career on hold to proudly serve two years of active duty (he also served another four years in the reserves). While stationed in Germany, Elvis met Priscilla Beaulieu, who he would later marry in 1967. Elvis and Priscilla welcomed daughter Lisa Marie in 1968.

Elvis was deeply religious and loved gospel music. He was also incredibly generous; he performed several benefit concerts and regularly donated to Memphis charities. Here’s an Elvis biography.

3. Get to Know Graceland
Graceland was built in 1939 as part of a 500-acre farm owned by the Toof family. In March 1957, Elvis, then 22, purchased the home for himself and his family for $102,500. Elvis called Graceland home for the rest of his life. 

Graceland has been open to the public since 1982 and, since then, more than 20 million visitors have passed through those iconic Graceland gates. That includes plenty of celebrity visitors – some of our most recent celebrity visitors include Kacey Musgraves, Kristin Chenoweth, Dua Lipa, Beck,  Lana Del Rey, Foo Fighters, Toni Collette and Niall Horan. Learn Graceland’s history.

4. What can you see at Graceland?
There is so much to see and do at Graceland – and if you haven’t been in the last two years, it’s like you haven’t been at all.

First, there’s the mansion – complete with the famous Jungle Room! While you’re on the mansion grounds, you’ll also tour the Trophy Building, which tells the Presley family story; the Racquetball Building, where Elvis and his friends passed time playing games and exercising; and finally, the Meditation Garden, where Elvis and his family are buried.

Across the street is our new Elvis Presley’s Memphis exhibit and entertainment complex, which houses exhibits and museums about Elvis’ life and career. The two largest museums are Presley Motors, which features Elvis’ car collection (including the Pink Cadillac!), and Elvis: The Entertainer Career Museum, the world’s largest Elvis museum. There, you can walk around Elvis’ incredible jumpsuits, see hundreds of his awards on display, learn more about his movie career and charitable giving, see artifacts from his television specials and more. The latest addition to this museum is Elvis’ Presidential Medal of Freedom, which was awarded to him earlier this year.

The complex also features two restaurants named after Elvis’ parents: Vernon’s Smokehouse and Gladys’ Diner. The complex also houses the Graceland Soundstage, where you can see concerts, Elvis Week events and more.

While you’re at Graceland, make sure you add Elvis’ two custom jets to your tour. Learn more about touring Graceland.

5. Stay at The Guest House at Graceland
Just steps away from the Graceland Mansion is The Guest House at Graceland, a AAA Four-Diamond rated hotel designed with Elvis and Elvis fans in mind. Everything from the photos on the wall to the furniture to the curtains to the architecture is a reference to Elvis Presley.

It’s right in the middle of the action, so if you’re visiting Graceland, you’ll want to be sure to book a room at The Guest House. 

6. See where it all began in Tupelo, Mississippi
Complete the Elvis journey by taking a Graceland Excursions trip to Tupelo, Mississippi. Every Friday, our luxury motorcoach takes Elvis fans from The Guest House at Graceland to Elvis’ birthplace in Tupelo. Our Graceland Archives team shares plenty of knowledge on the drive down, and while in Tupelo, you’ll also see where Elvis went to elementary and middle school, where Gladys bought him his first guitar and more.

Learn more about Graceland Excursions.

7. How does Graceland celebrate Elvis?
Every day is an Elvis celebration at Graceland – but we do have big events each year that bring Elvis fans from around the world to Memphis to honor the king.

Our biggest event is Elvis Week, which takes place every August. This year’s Elvis Week is August 9-17 and features the annual Candlelight Vigil, concerts, panels, the Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest and much more. Get all of the details now at ElvisWeek.com.

In November, we kick off the holiday season with our Graceland Lighting Ceremony. Special guests flip the switch on Graceland’s Christmas lights and decorations. Last year, Scotty McCreery and Marty Stuart were the lucky pair to flip the switch. In December, we celebrate Elvis and the season with the Holiday Concert Weekend.

The holidays aren’t over after Christmas! In January, we host the Elvis Birthday Celebration, which includes concerts, special guests and a cake made for a king. 

There are many more events throughout the year, including the Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Weekend (coming up next weekend, March 1-2!), Graceland’s Military Appreciation Weekend (March 23-24), Scouts Rock at Graceland (April 6) and the Graceland Performing Arts Camp in July. Stay tuned to Graceland.com to learn more, and make sure you sign up for Graceland’s e-newsletters so you’re the first to know the latest news.

8. Where to buy Elvis merch
Every Elvis fan, no matter how new, needs Elvis goods. Our Elvis Presley’s Memphis complex offers several gift shops, and you can shop online at Shop Graceland

Our fashion advice: nothing is as cool and timeless as Elvis’ TCB logo, complete with the lightning bolt. TCB was Elvis’ personal motto: “Taking care of business in a flash.” He gave his friends TCB necklaces, and you can buy your own (there are also T-shirts, scarves, socks and more!).

9. Elvis in 2019
Elvis Presley’s legacy is as strong as ever in 2019. There are endless Elvis references in pop culture. It’s commonplace to spot stars wearing Elvis T-shirts and sunglasses. He’s mentioned in songs, emulated in fashion and design and artists still aspire to his level of fame and reverence. 

Here at Elvis Presley’s Memphis at Graceland, one of our most popular exhibits is ICONS: The Influence of Elvis Presley. It features clothing, instruments and more from musicians and actors who were inspired by Elvis. Artists featured in the exhibit include Bruce Springsteen, Post Malone, Dwayne Johnson, Dolly Parton, Justin Timberlake, Darius Rucker, Shawn Mendes, Jimi Hendrix, KISS and many more.

10. Learn more with the Gates of Graceland web series
Want to know more? The best way to learn about Elvis is, of course, to listen to his music, watch his movies and visit Graceland. But be sure to watch our YouTube series, Gates of Graceland. This on-going series has covered everything from Elvis’ ’68 Special to his Hollywood career. Our “hidden Graceland” episodes are the most popular, so make sure you watch those, too.

There is always something new to learn about Elvis, and always something new to explore at Graceland. We'd love to see you soon at the king's castle! Go to our tickets page now to start planning your Graceland visit!

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