"Somebody asked me what I missed about Memphis, and I said everything!" - Elvis
Your journey to Elvis' hometown Memphis starts of course with Elvis' home Graceland. The Graceland Mansion tour includes a digital audio guide, narrated by Elvis' daughter, Lisa Marie Presley. It highlights The living room, the dinning room, the jungle room, the trophy Building, the special exhibits, and the meditation garden were Elvis is burried. You can also tour Elvis' private jets and stroll through the Elvis Presley Automobile Museum and Sincerely Elvis exhibition.
Whether you're a devoted Elvis fan or just a curious visitor, you'll likely find Graceland one of the most memorable museums you've ever visited.
Elvis Unlimited also arrange tours to Nashville, Tupelo and in around Memphis. On these you'll see among other things, The Audubon Drive house, Humes High School, Sun Studio, Beale Street and much more. You'll also get the info on concerts and special exhibitions that take place while we are there.
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There's a story waiting for you in Memphis. It might be on the top floor of a high rise or in the back room of a rib shack. Maybe it's at center court. Maybe it's in the Jungle Room. Maybe it's standing in the dim swirling smoke after the lights of the last set have faded. When you get ready to answer that call and come looking for that story, give us a call.
Memphis spills up out of the rich black soil. Memphis lingers on the warm breeze with the sweet smoke of barbeque pits and the melancholy mojo of the best guitar you ever heard. There's just something real about Memphis. From the holy grails of music landmarks to the restaurants, from the basketball court to the acclaimed zoo, from the elegant hotels to the mystical nightclubs on legendary Beale Street, there's an irresistible soul that's drawn people here for more than a century.
Elvis Presley bought Graceland in March 1957. He paid $100.000 without knowing that this 14 acres big mansion would be his home until his death.
In 1956 Graceland was part of the suburb called Whitehaven. In 1969 Whitehaven became part of Memphis. Before Elvis moved in Graceland was a church called, Graceland Christian Church.
Elvis bought the house from Ruth Brown Moore, she was also offered $ 35.000 from YMCA, but of cause accepted Elvis' offer.
Graceland was build between 1861 and 1865 by publisher Toof, who owned Memphis Daily Appeal. The mansion was then 260 acres big. Toof named the house after his daughter Grace. The house was rebuild in 1939 and Elvis added rooms to the house a few times in the 20 years he owned it. Among these is the trophy room.
The house had originally 23 rooms including 5 bedrooms. When Elvis died the house was valued at $500.000.
July 7, 1982, Priscilla and her staff opened the house to the public. The entrance back then was $ 5.00. Today nearly 700.000 people walk thru this famous house. Graceland is only second to the White House as a tourist attraction.
You are not allowed to visit the first floor. Elvis died up there on August 16, 1977. The Presley family has decided to keep everything here as it was the day Elvis died. This means that no visitors are allowed. But what you will see on the tour is, The music room, living room, dining room, kitchen, Vernon and Gladys bedroom, Jungle Room, TV Room, Pool Room, Vernon's Office, the Trophy Room, Charlie Hodges Room and the Racquetball building where you can see some of Elvis Jumpsuits and his large collection of gold records and awards.
The last thing you'll see before the bus brings you back to Elvis Presley Boulevard is the Meditation Garden where Elvis is buried. Also Gladys, Vernon and Grandma Minnie Mae is buried here.
Across the street from Graceland, you'll find the Elvis car museum. There you can see his famous Stutz Blackhawk, Ferrari, Mercedes and the very famous Pink Cadillac. His many flashy motorcycles are also displayed in this fantastic museum.
Sincerely Elvis, is a teamed based exhibition. You'll find it close to the car museum. Here will you find things from Lisa Maries childhood and a lot of clothing from Elvis and Priscilla.
Walk A Mile In My Shoe is a short movie about Elvis career. You can watch this movie daily at a small theater close to Graceland.
Lisa Marie, Elvis' airplane named after his daughter. It's a Convair 880 Jet, also Hound Dog II, a Jetstar Aircraft is on display next to the Graceland Plaza. And yes you can walk thru Lisa Marie and also see the Hound Dog II.
It's easy to spend a day at Graceland, and we recommend that you at least go thru the house twice, as you will see details on your second trip, that you did not see on the first. The Graceland Plaza is where you buy tickets for Graceland and all the other attractions. There also a very typical American dinner there. If you want to send postcards to friends and family, then don't forget to have them mailed from Graceland's own post office. You can buy the special Elvis stamp here and get them stamped with Graceland's own pad. You can also find thousands of Elvis items for your collection at the Graceland souvenir shops, so we guarantee that you'll not come home empty handed.
While in Memphis don't forget to see:
Take a guided tour through the "Birthplace of Rock 'n' Roll!" The tour explains the history of the most famous recording studio in the world, where the blending of Blues and Country music came together in the big bang of Rock 'n' Roll. Hear outtakes from sessions, touch Elvis' first microphone, see loads of memorabilia and hear the real, complete story of the studio that launched the careers of Johnny Cash, Rufus Thomas, Charlie Rich, Bobby "Blue" Bland, Howlin' Wolf, Roy Orbison, Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis, Elvis Presley and many others.
One of America's most famous music streets! Located in the heart of downtown Memphis. Beale street is more than three blocks of than 30 + nightclubs, restaurants and retail shops. Music includes traditional Blues, Rhythm and Blues, Jazz and Rock 'n' Roll. Catch a concert at Handy Park or attend one of the annual festivals or parades. It is also recommended to visit BB King's Club
The Mississippi River winds its way 2,552 miles as it travels from the headwaters in northern Minnesota to the Gulf of Mexico in Louisiana. The river begins 1,475 feet above sea level. The Mississippi is the longest river in North America. The Mississippi passes through ten states. Do you know which ones? From north to south: Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi and Louisiana. The Mississippi--Missouri River system is the world's fourth longest. Only the Nile, Amazon and Yangtze Rivers are longer. The Mississippi River drains approximately 40% of the continental United States-all or part of 31 states, and two Canadian provinces, Ontario and Manitoba. The total drainage area of the Mississippi River is approximately 1.25 million square miles. The Mississippi releases 2.3 million cubic feet of water per second into the Gulf of Mexico and more than 400-million cubic yards of mud, sand and gravel each year. The Mississippi River provides transport for more than 472-million tons of cargo each year, including 46% of the grain exported from the United States. More than 12 million people live in the 125 counties and parishes that border the Mississippi River. The Mississippi River valley generates over $7 billion in agricultural and forest products and $29 million in manufacturing goods each year. The Mississippi is a major flyway for migratory birds. It is used by up to 40% of North America's duck, goose, swan and eagle population. Waterfowl hunting in the flyway is valued at $58 million per year and sport fishing is valued at over $100 million annually. The Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife Refuge reports 3.5 million visits a year. That's more than the number of visits to Yellowstone National Park. International visitors spend an estimated $2.6 billion each year throughout the ten river states, generating more than 53,000 jobs. The Mississippi River is a water source for over 4 million people. A system of 29 locks and dams control navigation on the Upper Mississippi between Minneapolis, Minnesota and St. Louis, Missouri.
Humes High School
Elvis attended Humes High School from 7 to 12 grade. Stories of Elvis's shyness and timidity began during that first traumatic year. The family abruptly moved during his 7th grade year. Elvis transferred from Milam Junior in Tupelo to the much larger Humes School. Vernon remembered that Gladys walked him to school those first few days to keep him from skipping. Gradually Elvis felt comfortable in these new surroundings and made some friends. By his senior year Elvis had created his own image, which was radically different from everyone. Elvis wore his hair long and bought flashy, colorful clothes. Many students did not like his non-conformist appearance. But the teachers allowed him to be different, because Elvis was so polite to them and never started any trouble. Elvis often carried his guitar to school. At the Senior Talent Contest, Elvis received the only encore applause. Today Humes is a Middle School, grades 6 to 8. The auditorium has been renamed after Elvis. During Tribute Week the school is open for tours.
Elvis and his family lived in Lauderdale Courts housing project from 1949 to 1953, at 185 Winchester #328. Compared to their previous addresses, this public housing apartment was a vast improvement. Residents had to conform to rules of conduct and have their apartments ready for inspection. In return they received a clean, safe environment. Lauderdale Courts consisted of 66 buildings and 449 apartments, with its own power plant, recreational facilities, and office space on 26 acres. In this photograph is a section of Lauderdale Courts called the Market Mall. Here a wide green space separates the apartment buildings. Residents liked to gather on the apartments steps and the musicians among them brought their instruments for informal jam sessions. Other residents of the Courts remember that Elvis was at first very shy about his musicianship. But as he grew older, he would often join these sessions at the Market Mall. Lauderdale Courts will soon undergo renovation.
Circle G Ranch
In 1966 Elvis saw a ranch for sale near Graceland. It was beautiful, especially at night with a lighted bridge that spanned a fourteen acre lake. What attracted Elvis the most was the lighted thirty foot cross behind the bridge. Elvis took this as a sign from God and purchased the ranch. He named the ranch the Circle G, after Graceland. The ranch came complete with a red brick home that Elvis used as a second home. Elvis spent a great deal of time at the ranch and returned there for his honeymoon. Priscilla most likely became pregnant while on her honeymoon at the ranch.
Elvis lived here from 1956 to 1957. It was the first home he ever owned.
926 E. McLemore ave. Elvis recorded three albums here in 1973. The albums are Raised On Rock, Promised Land and Good Times. The original studio was torn down in the late 1980's, but it was rebuild in 2002. Today does it function as a studio and a museum.
Forest Hill Cemetery 1661 S. Elvis Presley Blvd. Memphis, Tennessee is the address where Elvis, Gladys and also Bill Black is buried. Vernon decided to move Elvis and Gladys body to The Meditation Garden at Graceland mansion, in October, 1977.
Elvis played live here in 1974, 75 and 76. Elvis as Recorded Live On Stage In Memphis is recorded here. Midsouth Coliseum is also next to Libertyland, where Elvis invited friends after official opening hours. Midsouth Colliseum is also where Graceland held the first complete BIG SCREEN show. This was on August 16, 1997 and it was at this show, we for the first time heard Lisa Marie sing.
Tupelo - Elvis Presley Birthplace
To fans of the Elvis Presley Birthplace, the most important house in the world is decorated with ordinary flowered wallpaper and lit by a single bulb in each of its two rooms.
The small rural house where the King of Rock n' Roll was born, on January 8, 1935, draws more than 50,000 visitors each year from all over the world. Tupelo bought the house and land with money provided from a 1957 Tupelo concert by Elvis himself, who wanted a park for neighborhood children.
An official Mississippi landmark, the Elvis Presley Birthplace is part of the 15-acre Elvis Presley Park, currently undergoing an improvement and renovation phase that will continue for the next two years. It includes expansion of the main parking lot to accommodate motor coaches, a garden walkway system, new entrance signage, more landscaping and a pond journey which will reveal highlights of Elvis' life.
Already completed are renovations to the gift shop, including more than 1,300 square feet of shop, office and storage space. By spring/summer 2003, park officials plan to unveil a new granite story wall - a collection of anecdotes from people who knew Elvis during his early Tupelo days, before his family headed to Memphis and to his destiny as the most popular entertainer in the world.
Among the storytellers are a handful of regulars who relate their memories of young Elvis each year inside the Elvis Presley Memorial Chapel - a popular attraction of the Elvis Presley Park. In addition to the Chapel, Birthplace, Gift Shop, Statue, and Museum the Park offers opportunity for picnics and community events.
The chapel stands near the 15-by-30-foot Birthplace house that Vernon Presley, Elvis' father, built on a dairy farm where he worked. He borrowed $180 to build the small house. Elvis never forgot his modest beginnings, revisiting on occasion after his rise to legendary status. The museum traces his road to fame, beginning with a unique collection of clothing and concluding with such personal items as riding boots and a Las Vegas jumpsuit.
At the Elvis Presley Birthplace, the emphasis is on Elvis in his early years - he was 13 when he and his family moved to Memphis from Tupelo. The Elvis Presley Memorial Foundation recently unveiled a life-size bronzed statue, "Elvis at 13", on what would have been his 67th birthday. Designed by Michiel Van der Sommen of Greensboro, N.C., the statue portrays a young Elvis as remembered by hometown friends - wearing overalls and toting a guitar.
A nice addition to the history and life of Elvis as a young lad is the newly developed Elvis Presley Driving Tour. It points out 10 significant locations that were very important to Elvis in his journey to become the artist of the century. 1) The previous Assembly of God Church, location where Elvis and his family attended church under the pastor of Rev. Frank Smith; 2) Lawhon Elementary School, the first school Elvis attended; 3) Johnnie's Drive In, where Elvis shared priceless moments with his friend James Ausborn while enjoying a cheeseburger and RC Cola; 4) Tupelo Hardware, where Elvis bought his first guitar; 5) Lee County Library, where Elvis received his first library card; 6) Shake Rag, a significant part of Elvis' past where he gained influence from sanctified gospel and blues music; 7) Lee County Courthouse, where Elvis performed his first live radio show hosted by Mississippi Slim and WELO; 8) the previous Mayhorn's Grocery Store, where Elvis used to sit on the porch and listen to blues and gospel music in the neighborhood where he lived; 9) Milam Jr. High, last school Elvis attended before moving to Memphis; and 10) Tupelo Fairgrounds, where Elvis performed concerts in 1956 and 1957.
Taken altogether - the park, museum, chapel, driving tour and statue - Tupelo is the place to discover the man who made a name for himself.
There is a lot of Elvis history in the Music City US - Nashville. First of all the Ryman Auditorium where Elvis was told in 1954 to go back to Memphis and drive a truck again.
Then the old RCA Studio B were Elvis recorded most of his hits. Today that studio is a museum and a part of the Country Music Hall of Fame At Country Music Hall Of Fame can you see a lot of Elvis memorabilia, like his GOLD CADILLAC and his 24 carat GOLD PIANO and other very interesting items. But if you visit this beautiful town, then don't forget to check the down town area out, especial TOOTSI, the little pink bar, next to the Rymans, where all the Country stars used to hang out after the show at Rymans.