In 1956, Elvis Presley returned to his hometown of Tupelo, Mississippi, wearing the navy blue shirt his mother had made for him. He sang his gratitude to the crowd at the Tupelo amusement park, and the mayor gave him the keys to the city.
While he was in town, Presley discovered that his birthplace and surrounding land was for sale. He gave Tupelo enough money to buy the property. When he returned the following year for another concert, he funded the town to build a youth center on the property.
“This is a 21-year-old rock star who says a lot about him,” said Roy Turner, executive director of the Elvis Presley Birthplace and Museum.
Presley’s birthplace and museum, along with 13 other sites dedicated to Presley, consistently draw visitors to the northeastern Mississippi town in search of the “King.”
Presley was born in Tupelo, grew up in a predominantly black neighborhood, attended two schools, and bought his first guitar at Tupelo Hardware on his 11th birthday. He enjoyed westerns in Lyric his theater and was forced to sit in the “colored section” with his friend Sam his bell.
Elvis spent many nights at the Bell House and always paid tribute to his friends’ grandparents.
“They were thinking of a little Elvis world because he said ‘yes, ma’am’ and ‘no,'” Turner said. “It tells me Gladys did a good job of teaching Elvis to respect people.”
tours and festivals
Visitors to Tupelo can visit 14 Presley-related sites on either an Elvis Tupelo Driving Tour or a self-guided bike tour. Attractions include Lyric Theater, where Presley is rumored to have had his first kiss. Johnny’s Drive-In, the oldest restaurant in Tupelo. Lee County Courthouse where Presley appeared on his WELO his radio show “Saturday His Jamboree”.
At Presley’s Birthplace, visitors will find an informative museum, a chapel, his childhood church with interactive films that illustrate Presley’s early musical influences, and a Presley home decorated with period furniture. I can. The interior door was created by Elvis’ father, Vernon his Presley.
“There are about 60,000 to 80,000 visitors to the house each year,” said Turner, an Elvis historian since 1981. It’s a classic American dream story to be poor and go far. Elvis touched the lives of many. ”
Tupelo hosts the annual Elvis Festival, where tribute artists compete for regional titles and qualify for the national competition in Memphis. The festival, which runs from June 7-13, 2023, will mark his 25th anniversary of the event and will be the largest yet, said Jenny Bradford, public relations manager at the Tupelo Convention & Visitors Bureau. Curry said.
Vernon Presley moved his family from Tupelo, Tennessee, to Memphis in 1948 in search of a better job. The family moved to the Court Public Housing Project in Lauderdale, where he lived until 1953.
“There was a massive exodus from the South at the time,” Turner said, adding that many Mississippians left for industrial cities such as Detroit in search of better jobs. “A lot of people went to Memphis who didn’t want to venture far from home.”
Elvis Presley grew up listening to blues and soul sounds in Tupelo, but his repertoire stretched along Beale Street in Memphis. Musicians from the Deep South played there in blues clubs and lounges.
Record studios popped up all over the city as the new sound came out of Beale Street. One was Sun’s studio, owned by Sam Phillips. In 1951, Phillips recorded “Rocket 88” with his Delta Cats, which included Jackie Brenston and Ike Turner.
One day, a teenage Presley walked into Sun Studios and paid Phillips $4 to record a song. When Phillips asked him who he sounded like, Presley replied, “I don’t sound like anyone.”
the rest is history
Studio executives were not impressed, but when Presley was goofing off with “That’s All Right”, Phillips recorded the song. The song played on the radio and became an instant hit. The rest, of course, is history.
Visitors can tour Sun Studio and stand in the room where Presley recorded some of his early songs.
Of course, no visit to Memphis is complete without a trip to Graceland, the elaborate mansion built by Presley after he became world famous.
The house and surrounding 14-acre grounds include the Hall of Gold, featuring Presley’s gold records and awards, the Honest Elvis Museum, Presley’s collection of vintage automobiles, and the planes he used during his tours, all with Presley describes the legacy of
The ideal way to follow in Presley’s footsteps is to download the “Follow Elvis” app. This app highlights the places Presley worked, visited and ate in Memphis. The definitive guide includes articles about Presley, hours of film and audio, sights, and even a quiz. This app is available from Apple and Google Play.