Elvis Week: Fans, Friends, Family

Elvis Presley has the best fans in the world. They supported him throughout his decades-long career, buying every record, seeing every movie, experiencing live performances and collecting memorabilia. Today, they’re still listening to his music (even if it’s on an iPhone instead of a record player), watching his movies, collecting memorabilia, touring his home and gathering in Memphis every August to celebrate him. And it’s during Elvis Week that fans become more than just fans – they become friends, and they become family. That’s the power of Elvis. Elvis Week brings together fans from all over the world. Even if they don’t speak the same language or see eye-to-eye on anything else, they can all agree on one thing: Elvis. Friendships are formed. Year after year, Elvis Week becomes like a family reunion, as fans and friends all travel to Memphis to pay tribute to the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll and see their fellow Elvis fans again, and they welcome the newest members of the Elvis Week family. In celebration of International Day of Friendship, let’s look at some terrific friendships that have been made at Elvis Week.     Are you an #ElvisWeekAlum? If so, share photos of yourself with your friends at Elvis Week, use the #ElvisWeekAlum hashtag, and tag us on Instagram, or share this blog post on Facebook and tag your Elvis Week friends. If you’ve made friends at Elvis Week or by being a Graceland Insider, share that story in the comments. And don’t forget to get your Elvis Week tickets if  you haven’t...
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Five Things to Expect at Elvis Week 2015

By Alyssa Long Somebody please pinch me. As I sit here to write my first official Elvis Week blog post, I can hardly believe this is real life. Can you say “dream come true”? Anyway, allow me to introduce myself! I am Alyssa Long, a Memphis lifestyle blogger and this year’s Elvis Week blogger. As a fan of all things Memphis and all things Elvis, having the opportunity to play this special role during Elvis Week is a huge honor and something I am beyond thrilled to be doing! You’ll be hearing from me right here throughout Elvis Week where I’ll be highlighting, recapping, and talking about all the fun things going on at Graceland. So, speaking of Elvis Week, whether this is your first visit or your fifty-first visit, here are some things you can expect this year.     1) To Meet Elvis Fans from All Over the World   Elvis Week is truly something remarkable. People travel from all over the world to spend the week in Memphis with other Elvis fans. The best part about it? Everyone who is here has at least one thing in common, they all love Elvis. So, don’t be shy! Make some new friends and if you see me around, definitely say hello!   2) Honor the King   Elvis Week allows everyone to remember the incredible life of Elvis Presley. The Candlelight Vigil is a special time set aside to honor the King of Rock ‘n’Roll. I get goosebumps just thinking about the candlelight procession up the Graceland driveway. Elvis is still influencing people every single day. It’s amazing.   3) Do Things You Can Only Do in Memphis   There’s only one Graceland and that’s in Memphis. There are things to be done during Elvis Week that you can’t do anywhere else. I mean, you can’t walk through the Jungle Room anywhere else! That’s pretty awesome if you ask me.   4) Learn Something New and Interesting About Elvis   The amazing people behind Elvis Week have really outdone themselves this year. Throughout the week there are so many different events, special guests, and unique experiences that even the biggest Elvis fans are sure to learn something new.   5) Have the Time of  Your Life   Bottom line, Elvis Week is fun. Whether you’ve been an Elvis fan your entire life or you’re new to the party, you will...
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Elvis Presley and Country Music

Elvis Presley is the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll, but he ruled country music, too. Elvis was raised on country, gospel and blues music. He brought all of those influences with him when he stepped into Sun Studio to record his early music. His music had the soul of blues music and the twang of country, and because the term “rock ‘n’ roll” was still in its infancy, Elvis’ music was initially labeled as country. Throughout his life, Elvis loved playing, listening to and recording country music, even if his name became synonymous with rock ‘n’ roll. Elvis spent much of his early career on tour with great American country stars. He performed at the Grand Ole Opry at the Ryman Auditorium – the “mother church of country music” – in 1954 and sang the classic country tune “Blue Moon of Kentucky.” His rock ‘n’ roll swagger wasn’t a perfect match with the traditional country crowd, and a few weeks later he joined the Opry’s competitor, the Louisiana Hayride. Between the Hayride and other tours and performances, Elvis toured and shared the stage with the likes of Johnny Cash, Marty Robbins, Hank Snow, Slim Whitman and Faron Young. “I Forgot to Remember to Forget,” a single Elvis released in 1955 on Sun, was his first No. 1 single, and it topped the country charts. (“Heartbreak Hotel,” which he released on RCA, was his first single to go Gold, and his first No. 1 on the pop chart.) Elvis’ success paved the way for other young country stars to find national success, too. Elvis’ extensive personal record collection is full of gospel, rock ‘n’ roll, blues, classical and, of course, country. He had records by his fellow Memphis musicians such as Johnny Cash and his old touring partners like Marty Robbins and Hank Snow. His collection also includes music by country stars like Ray Price, Conway Twitty, Dolly Parton, Patsy Cline, Hank Williams, Ronnie Milsap, Buck Owens and Merle Haggard. Elvis and his producer Felton Jarvis recorded many songs during several recording sessions in 1970 and realized many of the tracks were country, or had a country flavor. It was out of these sessions that the idea for “Elvis Country,” a complete album full of country tunes, was born. They recorded several more country songs that fit the bill and the album was released on January 2, 1971. The album includes tracks such as the singles “I Really Don’t...
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Celebrating Elvis Presley’s ‘Spinout’

Buckle up: Dangerous curves ahead! Elvis Presley’s colorful 1966 musical romantic comedy saw Elvis, starring as the singing, race-car driving bachelor Mike, dodging three beautiful, marriage-minded women. “Spinout” is Elvis’ 22nd feature film, and the sixth time he teamed with director Norman Taurog, who directed nine Elvis films. Let’s take a look at one of Elvis’ most fun flicks, which will get some love at this year’s Elvis Week – but more on that in a bit. “Spinout” was released in late 1966. Elvis’ co-stars in this film include Diane McBain, Shelley Fabares, Dodie Marshall, Jack Mullaney and Deborah Walley. In the movie, Elvis is a single, singing race-car driver who loves his bachelor lifestyle, but he runs into trouble when he meets three women, all of whom are looking to become his wife. Hilarity ensues as he tries to avoid a walk down the aisle – oh, and he has to race a few cars, too. If Elvis playing a guy named Mike sounds familiar, it should: This was the third film in which Elvis played a character named Mike. In “It Happened at the World’s Fair,” he was Mike Edwards, and in “Fun in Acapulco” he played Mike Windgren. In “Spinout” – the final film in which he’s a Mike – he’s Mike McCoy. “Spinout” was an especially fun movie for Elvis, who, when he wasn’t starring as a race-car driver on screen, loved slot car racing off-screen. He loved it so much that his wife Priscilla purchased a slot-car racing set for Elvis to have at Graceland in 1965. Later, he purchased a larger professional track and he enclosed what was a patio area to house the track. After he grew tired of the hobby, he turned that building into a space to house his awards and trophies – fans know it today as the Trophy Building here at Graceland. The “Spinout” soundtrack includes “Stop, Look and Listen,” “Adam and Evil,” “Beach Shack” and “Never Say Yes.” The soundtrack is Elvis’ 27th album. Elvis recorded the soundtrack in February 1966, just as principle production on the movie started. Elvis’ “Spinout” co-star Shelley Fabares starred alongside the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll a year earlier in “Girl Happy,” and in the following year in “Clambake.” Shelley also starred on “The Donna Reed Show,” and actor Carl Betz played her father on both the TV show and in “Spinout.” A very young Rita Wilson, who went...
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Ways to Save at Elvis Presley’s Graceland

Elvis Presley’s Graceland is an absolute must: It’s a must-see, must-tour, must-experience travel destination. There’s only one place in the world that the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll called home, and that’s Graceland. From his iconic gates and wall covered in fan signatures to his famed Jungle Room and everywhere in between, Graceland is an unforgettable rock ‘n’ roll adventure, a sacred place for remembrance and a glimpse into the life of a music and pop culture legend who lived like no one else. There are several ways to experience Graceland, too. Die-hard fans will want to experience it all on the VIP tour, while casual fans with little time may choose to only tour the mansion. It never hurts to save a few bucks, too. Here are some excellent ways to experience the king’s castle and save your hard-earned money when planning Graceland getaways. Graceland’s Summer Family Savings   Now through August 31, families can save up to $40 on their Graceland experience. Get a discount of 50% off each child or student Platinum Tour for each adult Platinum Tour ticket purchased. The Platinum Tour – our most popular – takes fans through the mansion, Elvis’ car museum and other exhibitions at the Graceland Plaza. Click here for offer details and information on how to score this excellent deal.   Get Closer to Rock ‘n’ Roll Package   Our Get Closer to Rock ‘n’ Roll Package is the best way to experience Graceland AND Memphis. The package includes two nights at Elvis Presley’s Heartbreak Hotel, two VIP tours of Graceland, two tickets to Sun Studio, Stax Museum of American Soul Museum and the Memphis Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum, lunch for two at the Hard Rock Cafe on Beale Street and free shuttle service to Beale Street. This incredible package even offers an Elvis gift pack and Graceland Insiders membership. Oh, and this package saves you more than $120 off the regular price. Sweet. Book this package today!   Book a Hotel Package   Get a hotel, tour Graceland and save some money with our hotel packages, which are designed for just about any kind of traveler. The Graceland Package and Graceland VIP Entourage Package are great for those who want to focus on Elvis and Graceland, and stay at Heartbreak Hotel. In love? The Love Me Tender Package is for you. It includes a night at Heartbreak Hotel, tours of Graceland, a...
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