The Top Reasons to Attend Elvis Week

Elvis Week 2015 is only about three months away… Are you ready? Elvis Week is a weeklong celebration of everything Elvis here at Graceland in Memphis. It’s an incredible week full of music, fun and, of course, Elvis. Whether you’ve been multiple times or this is your first time, you’ll have an unforgettable experience at Elvis Week. Why should you make the trek to Memphis for Elvis Week 2015? We’re glad you asked.   The Best Elvis Week Hosts Tom Brown returns to host several events at this year’s Elvis Week! Check out his favorite Elvis Week memories in the video clip below.     It’s All About Elvis   If Elvis is your everything, get your Elvis fix at Elvis Week. Elvis Week is the place to meet fellow Elvis fans, play Elvis games, see Elvis movies, stock up on Elvis swag, attend Elvis-inspired concerts, tour Elvis’ home and celebrate everything Elvis. The life and legacy of the one and only King of Rock ‘n’ Roll can only truly be celebrated in Memphis at Graceland.   Special Elvis Guests   Elvis Week gives fans an often once-in-a-lifetime chance to hear from Elvis’ friends, co-stars and fellow musicians. This year’s guests include Diane McBain, who dazzled on the big screen with Elvis in “Spinout.” During Elvis Week, we’ll screen the film and Diane will talk about making the movie with Elvis. Producer and pianist Tony Brown, who shared the stage and recording studio with Elvis during the 1970s, will remember Elvis during the Fan Club Presidents’ Event, and musicians David Briggs and Norbert Putnam will talk about recording with Elvis, too. Additional special guests include Terry Mike Jeffrey, former members of JD Sumner and the Stamps Quartet and more. Visit Graceland.com for a list of special guests. More will be announced soon!   Tour New Exhibits at Graceland   There’s always something new to discover at Elvis Presley’s Graceland. Our two latest exhibits are “I Shot Elvis” and “Elvis: That’s The Way It Is” at 45 Years. The photography exhibit, “I Shot Elvis,” showcases iconic photos of Elvis and the photographers who shot them. The exhibit also features related artifacts, such as clothes worn in the photo. You can even take a selfie with Elvis at this exhibit! The new VIP exhibit, “Elvis: That’s The Way It Is” at 45 Years, celebrates the anniversary of the fan-favorite documentary. Jumpsuits, photos and more...
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Hit the Jackpot: Elvis Presley and Las Vegas Trivia Game

Viva Las Vegas! This week we celebrate the grand opening of ELVIS: The Exhibition, Elvis Experience and the Elvis Presley’s Wedding Chapel at the Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino. The expansive, permanent exhibition features hundreds of artifacts never displayed outside of Graceland. The chapel offers couples the chance to celebrate Elvis and their love as they get married or renew their vows. The first show in the newly renamed and renovated Elvis Presley Theater is “Elvis Experience,” which recreates one of Elvis’ incredible concerts from his time at the International – now the Westgate. Think you know everything about Elvis and Vegas? Try your hand at our Elvis trivia game! But before you test your knowledge, don’t forget to book your tickets to ELVIS: The Exhibition and Elvis Experience, and plan to tie the knot in the Elvis Presley’s Graceland Wedding Chapel! You’ll test your knowledge of song lyrics, film trivia and other facts about the king of rock and roll and his music performances in Las Vegas. Take the ten-question Elvis trivia quiz below and see how many questions you can answer...
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Elvis Presley and Record Store Day

This Saturday, April 18, is Record Store Day, and this one will be the most Elvis one yet. Record Store Day celebrates everything about independent record stores – the customers, the owners, the musicians – and vinyl records. The movement has grown so much since its inception in 2007 that now thousands of record stores across the world participate. Artists plan new or special, limited releases that are available at participating stores for that day only (and those releases are often in very limited quantity). Of course, Elvis Presley and records go hand-in-hand, so Record Store Day is an excellent way to celebrate the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll. Elvis’ own personal record collection included thousands of records from all sorts of genres of music. He loved rock ‘n’ roll, soul, country and gospel. His collection includes Tom Jones, Ray Charles, Otis Redding, Johnny Cash, Patsy Cline and many, many more. He had an impressive collection of gospel records by artists such as The Blackwood Brothers, The Stamps Quartet, The Statesmen Quartet and Mahalia Jackson. He also had copies of his own tunes. You can see part of his record collection in the TV Room at Graceland. What Elvis didn’t keep, however, was the first music he ever recorded at the Memphis Recording Service, home to Sun Records. He recorded “My Happiness” and “That’s When Your Heartaches Begin,” and took the 78 rpm acetate of those songs to the home of his friend Ed Leek, who owned a record player. He left the acetate with Leek, and Leek’s family had it included in the Auction at Graceland on January 8, 2015. Renowned musician Jack White purchased the acetate, known as rock ‘n’ roll’s “holy grail,” for more than a quarter of a million dollars at the auction. White, known for his solo work and his bands The White Stripes, The Dead Weather and The Raconteurs, has his own label and record store, Third Man Records, in Nashville. Third Man is dedicated to preserving vinyl while also pushing the limits of the medium; they’ve released all kinds of unusual and unprecedented types of vinyl records, including a Triple Decker Record (a 7″ within a 12″), a Rose-Petal Filled Record, Liquid Filled Record and a Scented Record. White took the record to Alan Stoker, curator of Recorded Sound Collections at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum (and he’s the son of Jordanaires member Gordon Stoker). Stoker carefully made a...
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Performing at Elvis Presley’s Graceland

There’s still music being made at Elvis Presley’s Graceland. Graceland welcomes student groups from across the globe to tour and even perform at the king’s castle. Some explore Graceland, while others take the tour and perform for guests at the Graceland Plaza. At Graceland, the possibilities are endless. In 2014, student groups from 33 states visited Elvis’ home. Graceland also hosted student groups from Canada, Denmark and Britain. In addition to touring Graceland, students can further explore Elvis’ life in the new Archives Studio, the Automobile Museum and other exhibits. Graceland just opened two new exhibits, “Elvis: That’s The Way It Is” at 45 and “I Shot Elvis.” The “I Shot Elvis” exhibit even has a perfect place for an #ElvisSelfie, which has been a hit with students. They also love the new iPad tour at Graceland. Graceland offers many educational tools, too. There are activity books, Elvis trivia and scavenger hunts for students to participate in while they learn about the king. Students of all ages are welcome, from grade school through college. Choirs, orchestras and bands are welcome to play in the Graceland Plaza or other outdoor venues for our guests. It’s not a requirement that bands or choirs perform Elvis tunes, but some will often work in an Elvis tune or an Elvis medley. Not many folks can say they’ve performed at Elvis Presley’s Graceland, so this is definitely a special opportunity. Groups that have either toured or performed and toured Graceland in the past year include the Royal Hospital School Band from London, England; Pleasant Grove High School from Texas; Keystone Elementary in Tennessee; New Albany Middle School from Mississippi; Brookline High School from Massachusetts; the Monticello High School Choir from Iowa; Orange County School of Arts from California; and Springs Christian Academy from Manitoba, Canada. Later this spring, Graceland will welcome the Africa University Choir from Zimbabwe, as well as many other groups from across the world. Bring your students to Elvis Presley’s Graceland! Visit Graceland.com for more information on educational tools, student tours, performance opportunities and student dining. And remember, teachers tour for...
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How Great Thou Art: Elvis Presley’s Gospel

There are not many rock ‘n’ roll stars who also created incredible gospel music, but then again, there is only one Elvis Presley. Elvis shook the world with his infectious brand of rock ‘n’ roll, but he also took the world to church with his beautiful, soulful gospel music. Elvis loved traditional sacred music as much as he loved soul, country and rock – maybe even more so. For Elvis, gospel music was the beginning. The first songs he ever sang were gospel songs at church in Tupelo, Mississippi, and he never stopped singing those hymns. He recorded gospel albums, sprinkled a few of his favorite hymns into his rock ‘n’ roll concerts and loved to sing old-time spirituals with his friends. His vast personal record collection included hundreds of vinyl gospel albums by the likes of the Blackwood Brothers, The Stamps Quartet, Mahalia Jackson and The Statesmen Quartet. Elvis’ take on the classic spiritual “How Great Thou Art” – whether recorded in the studio or performed on a stage in front of thousands – was always special and sacred. It was one of his favorites, and his performances are always reverent and powerful. Elvis’ daughter, Lisa, loved to hear her father sing it. The first record of Elvis gospel music, entitled “His Hand in Mine,” was released in 1960. Elvis recorded his second gospel album, also titled “How Great Thou Art,” over four days in 1966. The Jordanaires backed him on the album, but due to a scheduling conflict, the group had to miss part of the recording sessions. The Imperials filled in for them, so Elvis had the pleasure of recording with two of his favorite gospel quartets on the same album. “How Great Thou Art” was produced by Felton Jarvis. Elvis kept Felton on as his producer for the rest of his life. Ever generous, Elvis helped pay for a kidney transplant Felton needed in 1972. “How Great Thou Art” won Elvis the first of his three Grammy wins. His third and final gospel album, “He Touched Me,” also won a Grammy Award. Elvis’ third Grammy Award was also for his gospel music. His live performance of “How Great Thou Art,” included on his “Elvis Recorded Live On Stage in Memphis,” won a Grammy Award in 1975. While Elvis was invited to the Grammy Awards each year, he actually never attended. He earned 14 Grammy nominations, and each of his three...
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