Elvis Week Day 1: The First Five Things I Noticed at Elvis Week

BY JON WATERHOUSE A flat tire just 30 minutes from Graceland, the unapologetic Memphis heat and the waning effects of copious coffee don’t deter me from my mission. Rolling into town just before the Graceland office closes for the day, I’m able to drape my lanyard around my neck and start taking care of blogging business. No fret fellow fans, I’m on the case. If you see some over-excited bald guy buzzing about Elvis Week 2016, chances are it might be me. The ever-awesome folks at Elvis Presley Enterprises and Graceland have once again blessed me with the geeky dream job of serving as the official blogger for Elvis Week. Simply put, I attempt to be the eyes and ears of the 39th edition of this annual gathering. I’ll be joining the celebration with thousands of my fellow fans, from the casual and curious to die-hards and those who should be, and writing about the experience each day. Call it my hunka, hunka burnin’ blog. THE FIRST FIVE THINGS I NOTICED AT ELVIS WEEK Elvis Week means an attack of the senses. Endless things to hear, see and soak up can be found around every corner. Take a look at the first five things I noticed once I hit the Graceland ground running. Elvis Presley’s Graceland Fan Mosaic Stretching across a wall at Graceland Plaza, you’ll find this amazing piece of art. A seemingly endless array of tiny pictures of Elvis fans come together to create an image of the Graceland mansion. I happen to be taking it all in when Jenny Smith of Des Moines, Iowa finds her face among the thousands. According to her travel buddy, Joyce White, it took them less than 15 minutes to track down Smith’s mug. Most impressive. The Auction at Graceland Preview I quickly shoot across the plaza to the Elvis Presley Automobile Museum for a preview of the upcoming Auction at Graceland. Several of the items that will be on the block beginning 2 p.m. Aug. 13 can be seen in all of their glory. And, man, I’m wanting it all! The collection of kingsized bling Elvis purchased at Harry Levitch Fine Jewelry sparkles with temptation. His boots, his Amex card, those gold shades, they all call to me. Would blowing my life’s savings be grounds for divorce? Elvis Week Merchandise On my first day in town, I typically start scoping...
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Elvis Week By the Numbers

Elvis Week is one week away. The annual celebration of all things Elvis takes place at Graceland on August 10-16, and it’s chock full of events that will make any Elvis fan happy. Geek out at Elvis 101, get some style tips at Designing for the King, team up with your fellow Elvis fans at the Elvis Fan Reunion, dance the night away at the Elvis Sock Hop, cheer on your favorite Elvis tribute artist at the Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest, hear directly from Elvis’ co-stars at Conversations on Elvis and – most importantly – remember Elvis at the Candlelight Vigil. That’s not even all of the events, and we can’t even begin to describe the incredible Elvis Week atmosphere. We can, however, talk numbers – so check out Elvis Week by the Numbers. This year marks the 38th Candlelight Vigil (the first vigil took place a year after Elvis passed way). Fans can bring their own candles to the Candlelight Vigil, but we do provide a few – more than 5,760 – in case anyone needs one. (The free Elvis Week app also has a candle feature!) 110 Fan Clubs from around the world signed up to take part in Honor Guard at the Candlelight Vigil this year. The average temperature during Elvis Week 2015 was 90.4 F. We print 25,000 Elvis Week event guides for visitors to use during the Week. The Elvis Week Main Stage tent is 10,000 square feet. We have 20 Semifinalists in this year’s Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest. This is the 10th year for the Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest. We welcomed the most media outlets to Elvis Week in 2007. More than 100 media outlets, from as far away as Russia and Israel, covered Elvis Week 2007. If you love numbers, check out our Elvis Presley’s Graceland by the Numbers blog! Tickets are still available for Elvis Week 2016! The last day to order your tickets online in advance is August 7, so get your tickets...
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Play the Elvis 101 Trivia Game

How much do you know about Elvis Presley? Put your Elvis knowledge to the test with the Elvis 101 trivia game! The following questions cover Elvis’ music, movies, personal style and accomplishments, and many of them are related to Elvis Week events and guests. And if you love learning about Elvis, check out Elvis 101 at Elvis Week. Elvis 101, with host Tom Brown, features scholars, authors and those who have spent hundreds of hours studying Elvis Presley talking in-depth about different aspects of Elvis’ life and career. Our special guests include author Peter Guralnick, talking about his most recent release, “Sam Phillips: The Man Who Invented Rock ‘n’ Roll;” Dr. Charles Hughes, Director of the Memphis Center at Rhodes College and professor for the course there entitled Elvis Presley and America; and John Jackson, Ernst Jorgensen and Roger Semon, all of Sony Music. Scroll down and enjoy the game, and get your Elvis Week tickets...
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10 Things You Might Not Know About Elvis Week

Are you ready? Elvis Week 2016 is only about a month away, and we can’t wait. There will be several concerts, like Elvis Love Songs, The Gospel Music of Elvis Presley and the Sound & Soul of Memphis, and so many panels and discussions, each with guests who have studied, worked with or were friends with the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll. There’s the excitement of the Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest, and, of course, the always-emotional Candlelight Vigil. It’s a busy week, but it’s full of Elvis and Elvis fans – and that makes it the highlight of the year. Think you know Elvis Week? Think again. Check out 10 Things You Might Not Know About Elvis Week: 1. You could run into someone from anywhere in the world. We all know Elvis is worldwide. But it’s pretty magical to hear “I love Elvis” in accents and languages from across the globe during Elvis Week. During Elvis Week 2015, we had visitors from Zimbabwe, Wales, Venezuela, United Arab Emirates, Canada, Taiwan, Switzerland, Sweden, Spain, Canada, Singapore, Scotland, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Norway, England, Australia, New Zealand, Netherlands, Nicaragua, South Korea, Mexico, Monaco, Israel, Egypt, China, Chile, France, Germany, Belgium, and Japan. And you know what? That’s not even all of the countries. There are more. Lots more. 2. Expect the unexpected. We like to stick to a schedule of events and a confirmed list of special guests… but sometimes, things go off-book. Special guests drop by. Exclusive previews, premieres or special announcements happen. Priscilla Presley has made a few surprise guest appearances, for example, and last year Lisa Marie Presley surprised thousands of fans when she spoke at the Candlelight Vigil. 3. You might get star-struck. Celebrities are Elvis fans, too, and they tour Graceland often (just check out our Celebrity Visitors page). You never know when they’ll stop by – and it might be during Elvis Week. Domenico Dolce of Dolce & Gabbana stopped to tour Graceland a few years ago, as did “Pitch Perfect” actress Anna Kendrick, who was in town celebrating her birthday and stopped by to see the king’s castle. 4. The Candlelight Vigil started in 1978. The very first Candlelight Vigil was held in 1978, the year after Elvis’ passing, by a small group of fans who gathered at the gates of Graceland. That makes this year’s vigil the 38th annual. For the Candlelight Vigil, we...
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Designing for the King – Elvis Presley’s Style

Elvis Presley was totally unique. No one sounded like him. No one dressed like him. If you’ve been to Graceland, you know its design is totally one-of-a-kind. Elvis didn’t follow trends; he was a trendsetter. People watched him slick back his black hair into the perfect pompadour, were dazzled by his eye-catching stage wear and took notice of his custom Pink Cadillac – and then tried their best to mimic his style. He turned a Southern Colonial mansion into a home like only the king could, complete with countless mirrors, a stylish TV room that bears his own personal motto and a mind-blowing billiards room. Who else would dare bring the jungle into his own den? During Elvis Week 2016, we’ll delve into Elvis’ personal style with a panel called Designing for the King, where three designers – Bill Eubanks, Lowell Hays and Hal Lansky – will talk about what it was like to decorate for, dress and accessorize the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll.     While still in interior design school, Bill Eubanks’ met none other than Elvis Presley, who invited him to Graceland to take a look at the home’s interior design. The guys hit it off, and Bill designed several rooms at Graceland, including the Pool Room and the TV Room. The TV Room and Pool Room are two of the most visually stunning rooms at Graceland. The TV Room features a mirrored ceiling (be sure to look up and snap a selfie while you’re here!) and a lightning bolt painted on the wall in brilliant yellow, navy and white. The Pool Room is drenched in fabric – more than 350 yards, covering the walls and ceiling – as well as colorful and exotic furniture and decorations. Bill’s successes continued after his time at Graceland. He’s been named one of the top 50 designers by Elements of Living and receive the inaugural “Star of Design” award from the Design Center of the Americas.     Before Elvis changed the game with his eye-catching jumpsuits, he got many of the fashionable suits he wore on stage – and on TV – at Lansky Bros., right here in Memphis. Elvis started shopping at Lansky Bros. when he was in high school and befriended the store’s owner, Bernard. In fact, Elvis sported some Lansky threads on his first “Ed Sullivan Show” appearance. Lansky Bros. became a hot spot for musicians, like Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee...
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