He was one the greatest performers of all times. He, the King of Rock and Roll. Elvis Aaron Presley, born on January 8th 1938 in Tupelo, Mississippi. His family moved to Memphis, Tennessee, when he was 13 years old. A passionate musician from young years, Elvis Presley pioneered the rockabilly music genre, an uptempo, backbeat-driven fusion of country music and rhythm and blues. His first single “Heartbreak Hotel” became a number one hit in 1956. With regular appearances on TV and in radio shows, Elvis Presley quickly became the leading figure of Rock and Roll. He also started a career as actor, with his first leading role coming in “Love Me Tender” in 1958.
This was also the year he bought Graceland Mansion outside Memphis, Tennessee, the home for him and his family until his death in 1977. During his short but stellar career, he published 24 albums, 17 soundtrack albums to his films, and he played in 33 movies.
While in Memphis last week, I had to stop by this memorable place while on my way to the airport (Graceland is just a ten minute drive from MEM airport). For all the photos and more info about the King and his house continue after the jump….
The Significant Other and I have visited Graceland before, although we’re not on the same page what year exactly, but both suspecting it was in the very early 90’s. While the house itself did not change, but across the street opened a new exhibition complex, called Elvis Presley’s Memphis, which houses his car collection, Presley Motors (among which is Elvis’ famous Pink Cadillac), plus exhibitions about his military stint in Germany, a collection of his costumes and instruments, movie career and an exhibit about his daughter Lisa-Marie, which is also a singer.
You can visit only the house and gardens, or combine it with a tour through the exhibition area. The house tour is 39 USD (including iPad with audio-visual guide), the combined ticket with the museums is 59 USD. See the photos below to get an impression about what you gonna get for your money.
The tour starts in the house itself. The rooms all feature their original decorations. All is wonderfully retro. It gives you the vibes thinking that Elvis and his family lived here and used all this.
Elvis was a gadget fan, so his rooms all featured TV’s and music systems.
Elvis, a passionate Billiard player, decorated his pool room with more than 350 yards of pleated cotton fabric.
In 1976, the Jungle Room (with the famous waterfall on the wall) was converted into a recording studio, where Elvis recorded his final two albums, “From Elvis Presley Boulevard, Memphis, Tennessee” and “Moody Blue”, his final known recordings in a studio setting. The Jungle Room was also the favorite room of his daughter Lisa-Marie, who loved to sit in the chair with the Panda.
The second floor is not open to the public, and has not been touched since Elvis died in his bathroom on August 17th, 1977.
In the wing behind the pool is a little museum featuring memorabila from Elvis’ life, like his wedding suit (and Priscilla’s dress) and many more personal items.
Outside the house and next to the kidney-shaped pool, Elvis Presley himself added the Meditation Garden, designed and built by architect Bernard Grenadier, that was used by him to reflect on any problems or situations that arose during his life. It is also where he, his parents, and grandmother, Minnie Mae Hood Presley, are buried.
Graceland Mansion and Elvis’ private possessions are still owned by his daughter Lisa-Marie.
On display across the street are Elvis’s two planes, a Convair 880 named after his daughter and a Lockheed Jet Star called “Hound Dog II”. Behind them is the entrance to the Elvis Presley Experience.
Visiting Graceland is not cheap, considering you have to add 10 USD for parking as well. Is it worth it? For any fan yes. I thoroughly enjoyed the tour through the house, but also the visit of the various collections, which are perfectly illustrated. If you are not a hard core Elvis fan (and they become less and less, judging by the age structure of my fellow visitors), but still want to feel the King’s vibes, at least visit the house.
Photography is allowed, only flash and tripods are forbidden. All photos in this post were taken with my iPhone 8 plus.
I hope you enjoyed this little tour of iconic Graceland, the home of Elvis Presley.
Wish you a great Tuesday!