Get ready to shake, rattle and roll! It’s time for Elvis Week, a weeklong celebration of the man -- the King! -- who forever changed the face of music ... and put rhinestone jumpsuits on the map.
Elvis lives! For the sixth straight year, Elvis impersonators gather from around the world to compete in the annual Elvis Tribute Artist competition. This year’s contestants hail from countries as far and wide as Australia and Japan. Who will win? Find out on the festival's final day, when the King is crowned.
Elvis and baseball -- celebrate 2 American icons during Elvis Week. The Memphis Redbirds kick off the 9-day commemorative event. Extra bonus: The first 5,000 fans to enter the minor league baseball stadium AutoZone Park receive an Elvis bobblehead that’s … <i>all shook up</i>!
Elvis Week began as an act of commemoration. In August 1977, shortly after Elvis Presley’s death, fans gathered at Graceland’s gates to remember the man who’d changed the face of music. The tradition has continued ever since. On the 30th anniversary of Elvis’s death, 75,000 fans held a vigil. That number is expected to be even higher this year -- on the 35th anniversary of the King’s passing.
Want to dress like the King? Head to the Peabody Hotel -- and look inside for a sign that says <a title="Lansky" href=" http://www.lanskybros.com/lansky_at_the_peabody_en/peabody-home.html" target="_blank"><b>Lansky</b></a>. Elvis got many of his early custom-made shirts from Memphis tailor Bernard Lansky. The two met in 1952, when Elvis was 17. Four years later, Lansky outfitted Elvis for his first appearance on <i>The Ed Sullivan Show</i>. In 2001, Lansky Bros. established a line of clothing called “Clothier to the King” -- find this 1950s-inspired clothing line in the Peabody’s lobby.
<i>Well, you may <a title=" run on" href=" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=anjdacZhyno" target="_blank"><b> run on</b></a> for a long time</i> ... or at least for a few miles. Runners begin their Saturday morning with a 5K run. The event kicks off at the gates of Graceland. The first 2,000 participants who cross the finish line receive a gold commemorative medal celebrating the 5K’s 30th year.
Elvis Presley won 3 Grammys -- all for his gospel recordings. The King’s love of gospel began early on: Growing up, he attended the First Assembly of God church in his hometown of Tupelo, MS. Later, in 1966, Elvis recorded with the Southern gospel quartet The Imperials. Hear group members Terry Blackwood and Joe Moscheo (pictured here) perform during Elvis Week.
Walk through Graceland for an intimate look into how Elvis lived. You’ll find no glass partitions here, just stanchions. The King’s spirit pervades the 7 rooms on display -- especially the green-carpeted Jungle Room. In 1976 Elvis converted the room into a recording studio where he completed the majority of his last 2 albums, <i>From Elvis Presley Boulevard, Memphis, Tennessee</i> and <i>Moody Blue</i>.
Get your chance to meet the King -- at Hard Rock Café on Beale Street. Elvis contestants perform in 3 separate rounds, on 3 different nights. There’s also an Elvis meet-and-greet in which fans have a chance to meet some of the competitors.
Ever wondered where the first-ever rock ‘n’ roll show ever occurred? Music historians say it was here -- at the Shell Theatre – in Memphis’s Overton Park. A young Elvis performed at the Shell on July 30, 1954, as the opening act for headliner Slim Whitman.
In a career that spanned 150 albums and singles (certified gold, platinum or multiplatinum), as well as 31 feature films, Elvis worked with many people. Hear some of their treasured memories of the King in the festival’s Conversations on Elvis panel discussion. This year’s panelists include actress Mary Ann Mobley who appeared with Elvis in 1965’s <i>Girl Happy</i>.