Today marks the 33rd anniversary of Elvis’s leaving the building, so to speak. Celebrations and Elvis-themed events took place all week, at Graceland and around Memphis. When I visited the Land of Elvis in May 2008, I was very impressed and the fond memories of my trip remain. While I really liked Graceland as a house, especially the outside architecture and how time stood still with all the 70’s stylish (read: tacky) decor, the thing that impressed me most was the Trophy Room at the back of the house. It was more than a room, as it had cases and cases of his outfits, many of his gold records on the wall, posters from his films, video monitors with concert footage, and much more Elvis memorabilia. Visitors walk around with small hand-held monitors and headphones to guide them through every step of Graceland. It’s a testament to the vast catalog of Elvis music, his extensive film work, and the unmeasurable influence he had on music and culture. Long live the King!
Below, is a short film about the Graceland Trophy Room, where Elvis’s jumpsuits and gold records are on display.
I saw gold records of some of Elvis greatest hits close up, and here are just a few of those songs.
Don’t Be Cruel
In the Ghetto
At the Rock & Soul Museum in Memphis, there was more Elvis memorabilia on display, including one of his guitars and, encased in plastic, the organ on which Suspicious Minds was composed. Below, pictures I took with my cell phone. Of course, visitors are instructed not to touch anything, but I could not refrain from leaning over and touching the organ for a quick second. Plus, my friend and I were the only people at the museum at the time, so I knew I probably wouldn’t get busted.
And here is Elvis performing Suspicious MInds.
Like many visitors are doing this week down in Memphis, I will take you on a tour of Elvis’ Graceland. Elvis purchased his home in March of 1957. Bellvue Boulevard was renamed Elvis Presley Boulevard on January 8, 1972 (Elvis’ 37th birthday). To quote Paul Simon’s song Graceland: “For reasons I cannot explain there’s some part of me wants to see Graceland.” For a while, I had wanted to travel to Memphis, but I never got around to it. However, three months ago, I was turning the big 4-0 and decided that was where I wanted to celebrate. And my trip to the Land of Elvis and the Home of the Blues has lingered in my head longer than any other.
Below are some pictures I took at the mansion and at the other Elvis exhibitions on the grounds of Graceland.
Those were just a few highlights. For more on Graceland and Elvis, along with a great video tour of Graceland go here: Elvis Presley’s Graceland