Elvis Presley: Viva Las Vegas

Elvis Presley is the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll. Las Vegas is the entertainment capital of the world. No wonder these two legends go hand in hand. Elvis was a true Southern gentleman, but he loved the wild West, especially Las Vegas. He ruled Vegas during his residency there, thrilling more than a million fans with his powerful live performances. And of course, one of his most beloved films is the stylish, colorful and fun “Viva Las Vegas.” More than 40 years later, the king returns to Vegas with Graceland Presents ELVIS: The Exhibition – The Show – The Experience, a new permanent, expansive exhibition that covers Elvis’ life and career, as well as live, Elvis-themed shows that honor his legacy. It’s all happening at the Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino, formerly the International Hotel, where Elvis performed more than 600 sold-out concerts. Graceland Presents ELVIS opens April 23 and includes Elvis Experience, the first show in the newly named and renovated Elvis Presley International Showroom. Tickets are on sale now, and you can learn more at Graceland.com/Vegas. Let’s take a look back at Elvis’ wildly successful Vegas shows. Elvis was originally booked for a four-week, 57-show engagement at the International Hotel in Las Vegas, which had just been built and had the largest showroom in the city. He put together a top-notch group of musicians and vocalists to accompany him, and his show opened on July 31, 1969. Elvis soon made the International a home of sorts. He toured the country, but he returned to the International hundreds of times and performed for more than a million fans. Elvis’ Las Vegas shows were a mix of classic hits and new material, as well as covers of songs he liked. He performed two shows a night, one at 8 p.m. and the other at midnight. The stage was Elvis’ natural habitat, and he gave each performance his very best. In between songs, he entertained the audience with jokes and his charming personality. A few of the reviews of Elvis’ Las Vegas shows include: “There are several unbelievable things about Elvis, but the most incredible is his staying power in a world where meteoric careers fade like shooting stars.” – “Newsweek,” August 11, 1969 issue “…a style and panache that come close to pure magic. Lithe, raunchy, the sweat pouring down his face, he now moves with the precision of an athlete, the...
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#Graceland on Instagram

When you visit a place as special as Graceland, you have to take at least a few pictures. Elvis Presley’s Graceland is gorgeous and picturesque, so there are plenty of places for a pretty portrait or a cute selfie. Fans love snapping selfies in front of Graceland’s famous gates. At the mansion itself, many fans take a quick photo of themselves in front of the house, or maybe inside in one of the famous rooms (remember: no flash photography allowed!). The grounds are also beautiful, and of course the plaza offers other picturesque locations like the Car Museum and Sincerely Elvis exhibit. And after you take that perfect photo at Graceland, share it with the world on Instagram. Tag it with #Graceland, and your photo could be featured on Graceland.com! Be sure to follow Elvis Presley’s Graceland on Instagram at @VisitGraceland. Here are a few photos of fans who took their photo at Graceland, used the #Graceland hashtag and have been featured on the Graceland site.                     Don’t forget: When you visit Graceland, tag us in your photo with the hashtag #Graceland. We love seeing and sharing your photos! Visit Graceland.com to plan your visit, so you can take your own selfie in front of the gates, at the mansion or in the Jungle Room. See you at Graceland – and on...
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Elvis Presley: King of Pop Culture

The tone of his voice, his unmistakable style and that one-of-a-kind smile – Elvis Presley is the most recognizable person in the world. Everyone knows – and loves – Elvis. Millions of fans know every word to his songs, even if for many, English isn’t their first language. Elvis’ fans range in age, too: there are those who had the chance to see him in concert, and  there are those who were born decades after hits like “Good Luck Charm” and “In the Ghetto” topped the charts. Elvis continues to make people smile, which is probably why you can find Elvis just about everywhere. His image, his music and his style continue to be referenced in pop culture. It’s easy to spot Elvis and his influence in movies, TV, books and more. Artists and designers often use an image of Elvis or an Elvis element to add some rock ‘n’ roll to their work. Have you spotted Elvis in pop culture, or simply out and about in the world? If you have, tell us about it. We keep a list of Elvis sightings, so be sure to submit yours today. Here are a few memorable and recent Elvis sightings in pop culture. “Supernatural” Elvis fan Angie sent in this fun reference from a popular paranormal drama on The CW. “Supernatural” follows the story of Sam and Dean Winchester (Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles, respectively), brothers who hunt monsters, demons and other creatures that go bump in the night. The brothers drive a 1967 black Chevy Impala and listen to a lot of rock ‘n’ roll, so it’s no surprise how often rock musicians are given a shout-out on the show. As they investigate paranormal cases, Dean and Sam often pose as FBI agents, and their fake identities are references to rock ‘n’ roll stars. They’ve used famous last names like Page and Plant, McVie and Nicks and Perry and Tyler. In the season 10 episode “There’s No Place Like Home,” which aired in January 2015, Dean uses the alias “Mr. Presley.” “The Book of Life” A few Elvis fans, like Bill and Mike, heard one of Elvis’ most beloved tunes in the film “The Book of Life.” In the colorful animated movie, released in 2014, the main character, Manolo (Diego Luna) serenades Maria (Zoe Saldana) with his version of Elvis’ “Can’t Help Falling in Love.” With his black hair and guitar, Manolo definitely...
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Love Letters

It’s February. Love is in the air and, hopefully, in the mail. Elvis received thousands of love letters and fan mail throughout his career. That tradition continues this year: We’re asking fans to write love letters to Elvis, just in time for Valentine’s Day. Fans can write about how he impacted their lives, why they love him and his music and their connection to the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll. Visit Graceland.com for details on how you can send your love letter to Elvis (a few lucky fans may even score an Elvis-themed Valentine’s basket!) – but let’s take a look back at some of Elvis’ more memorable fan letters. This letter arrived in 1958, when stamps cost about three cents each. One of the most charming parts of the letter is the closing line: “We’re counting on you.”   This next letter, sent in the ’60s, is a heartfelt note from a fan. It doesn’t get much more sincere than this.   This letter, from 1964, is from someone who isn’t a fan of Elvis’ music, but instead appreciated his patriotism. Elvis purchased President Franklin Roosevelt’s U.S.S. Potomac early in 1964, and gave it to St. Jude Children’s Hospital in Memphis to sell as a fundraiser. “Americans of all ages should be proud of you, and with our nation in the hands of young people such as you, we should not fear the future,” Mrs. R.S. Stevens wrote to Elvis.   Few letters are as heartfelt as those from Elvis’ youngest fans. This 12-year-old loved Elvis’ ’68 TV special, and she wished him a merry Christmas, too. It would’ve cost Becky about six cents to mail this letter.   Some Elvis fans were serving in Vietnam and had to miss that iconic TV special. That didn’t stop a few of them from sending him a letter from the other side of the world, expressing their love for his music. In 1969, air mail cost about 10 cents. These fans, Mike and Patrick, also shared their condolences on the death of Dewey Phillips.   Not all letters from fans were happy ones – especially if they thought he’d changed his appearance. Many fans wrote in to Elvis after they saw pictures of him at Sonny West’s wedding. They thought he’d grown his hair out to his shoulders, and they hated the look. In fact, he had not grown his hair out – the collar...
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