Elvis Presley’s Home Sweet Homes

A man’s home is his castle – and so Graceland is definitely the king’s castle.

But for about the first half of his life, Elvis and his family had many other home sweet homes. The family moved often in both Tupelo and Memphis, and lived in many different houses and apartment complexes. Before Elvis ever crossed the gates of Graceland, he called many other places in Memphis “home.”

Let’s take a look at where the Presley family lived in Memphis before their move to their beloved Graceland.


In November 1948, Elvis and his parents, Gladys and Vernon, packed up their 1937 Plymouth and drove about two hours northwest from Tupelo, Mississippi, to Memphis, Tennessee. Vernon and Gladys hoped for better job prospects in the bigger city, but work was often scarce or low-wage. And it wasn’t just the three of them; other family members, such as Elvis’ paternal grandmother, Minnie Mae, moved with the family, too.

The family’s first address in Memphis was 370 Washington and they paid $11/week in rent. The Presleys stayed there for less than a year, and then moved to 572 Poplar, where they stayed just a few months. Elvis entered Humes High School while living on Poplar, and he earned mostly B’s and C’s in school.

This photo of young Elvis was taken when the Presleys were living on Poplar in Memphis.

This photo of young Elvis was taken when the Presleys were living on Poplar in Memphis.

In September 1949, the family moved to 185 Winchester Street, which is the address of the Lauderdale Courts apartments. The family shared a two-bedroom, first-floor apartment for $35 a month.

Elvis and some friends hang out at Lauderdale Courts.

Elvis and Buzzy Forbess and Farley Guy hang out at Lauderdale Courts in 1954. Elvis’ career was growing by the time this picture was taken.

The family stayed at Lauderdale Courts from September 1949 to January 1953, which was the longest time they lived at a single residence that wasn’t Graceland.

Elvis had many friends who lived in and around Lauderdale Courts. Some of those friends remember playing music with Elvis in and around the complex. Even after Elvis found fame, he still went back to Lauderdale Courts to see his friends who lived there.

The family packed up again and moved to 698 Saffarans, which was across the street from Humes High School, followed just a couple of months later with a move to 462 Alabama in April 1953. Elvis graduated from Humes High School while they lived on Alabama.

Elvis poses near a car in front of his home at 462 Alabama.

Elvis poses near the family’s Lincoln in front of his home at 462 Alabama.

Next, the family moved to 2414 Lamar Avenue in 1954, followed by 1414 Getwell in late 1955.

There isn’t a lot of detail in Elvis biographies about these moves, because it’s during this time that his career takes off. He records his first acetates at Memphis Recording Service (now Sun Studio), his first single, “That’s All Right,” is played on the radio, and he performs at his first concerts. He also performed at the Grand Ole Opry, joined the Louisiana Hayride, signed with Col. Parker and left Sun for RCA.

Elvis shines up his car at his Getwell home.

Elvis shines up his car at his Getwell home.

As his popularity soared, Elvis needed a better home. He and his parents purchased the house at 1034 Audubon Drive in March 1956, and they lived there for a year.

The young star and his family paid $29,500 for the house – the first they ever owned in Memphis.

Gladys, Elvis and Vernon spend family time on Audubon Drive.

Gladys, Elvis and Vernon spend family time on Audubon Drive.

Elvis’ career skyrocketed in 1956. For the first time in his life, he had the money and the stability to truly buy his forever home, and so he did.

He purchased Graceland, located at 3764 Highway 51 South (now, of course, Elvis Presley Boulevard), in March 1957. After spending the first 22 years of his life moving from house to house, he was ready to settle down. When Elvis purchased Graceland, he didn’t just purchase a house; he purchased his own home sweet home, and with that, stability like he’d never experienced before.

Elvis never moved from Graceland – or Memphis, although his career took him across the country and he could’ve lived anywhere. In the 20 years he lived at Graceland, he took care of his home, regularly redecorated it and managed to turn it into both the first true rock star’s mansion and a cozy family home.

Elvis spent much of his time touring and on movie sets, but he always came home to Graceland.

Elvis spent much of his time touring and on movie sets, but he always came home to Graceland.

Elvis loved and was very proud of Graceland. Experience his home – from the beautiful living room to the unique Jungle Room to the dazzling Trophy Room – for yourself. Plan your trip to Graceland today.


36 Comments

  1. william

    elvis sang home is where the heart is

    • Wildelina logan

      Also Elvis rented a home here in Killeen texas went he was at fort hood army base . I know about that house . He just rented for 8 months during his army training. I’m do proud to be living here at this place.

  2. deedee weber

    Great information, I love learning about Elvis. Keeping his history alive is keeping him alive. Graceland is the only place on my bucket list. Someday I wish to go there, and absorb all of Elvis that I can. I can never get enough Elvis, long live The King.

    • My dream was to go to ELvis house from being 12 years old my family took me for my 60 birthday has a surprise I didn’t know till the day before that was 6 years ago and I think about it every day it was the best birthday and the best holiday I have ever had SO DREAMS DO COME TRUE you must save up and go you will love it thanks to ELVIS family for keeping everything has it was.

  3. Virginia

    he came a long way and deserve to have the best and not just for himself but his parents as well

  4. Interesting information. Hope to visit again before I die.

  5. Diane Hobbs

    Thank you for the blogs. I will never get to Graceland or America so it’s very interesting for me to read up about things about Elvis.
    I know quite a lot & actually went to the o2 in London to see some of his home cars & motorbikes looking forward to the next part.

  6. Diane Freeman

    We visited Graceland at Easter, it was marvellous. The whole holiday was fantastic, we did Sun Studios and saw Humes High. I never realised the family had moved SO much. Elvis loved Graceland and Memphis, he said many times that he’d never leave Memphis. If we can return for another visit we will. We loved America! !!!!!

  7. Juanita Arambula

    Elvis could have bought the most elegant home in America. Yet he humbled himself and bought in South Memphis.This says alot of what where always in his heart.That is why Graceland, to alot of us Fans, is holy ground and much respect to his lovely family.Thank you Elvis,, where ever you may be.

    • agnes lambie

      I have loved Elvis all my life .i am now 61 and some day I will get graceland. .it’s my dream x

  8. John Stone Sr.

    I lived on Adams and Fourth St when Elvis was living in Lauderdale Courts. I was 4 yrs old. We moved to Hurt Village Housing Projects. I lived there until the age of 16.I attended Humes High. Elvis would ride his motorcycles over in our neighborhood but I never did get to meet him during these times.

  9. I love and miss Elvis,love Graceland too :)

  10. glyn fellowes

    I visited Graceland in September the tour seemed rushed and crowded but I enjoyed it very much it was a lifetime dream just to walk in Elvis’s footsteps thank you all for being so welcoming.

    • We always strive for excellence, so we apologize your visit wasn’t satisfactory. We can get crowded at times, but we want our guests to see everything they want to see as comfortably as possible. We’d love to see you again so we can make up for this visit!

  11. Glenda Carter

    Every time I go to Graceland I visit Humes, Audubon Dr and Lauderdale Cts as well as the cemetery and Sun Records. I’d love to see how many other places he lived in are still standing. Thank you for the information.

  12. Ruth Shephard

    Elvis had good taste! Graceland is a very warm, welcoming and cozy home. I love visiting Graceland and Elvis’ birth place home in Tupelo regularly ♡♡

  13. John Thompson

    The photo of Elvis with the bicycle has me puzzled, I thought that was 1947 Tupelo, just a few months before Vernon moved them all to Memphis. It was the last shot on a roll that someone took ad hoc to use their film up.

  14. tracey holroyd

    I visted Graceland on 16th September 2015 and then Tupelo the next day. Its the most facinating experience of my life. I adore Elvis such a talented special man

  15. Owen Parkinson

    My Wife and I visited Graceland in 2006 it was beautiful we spent nearly a Day there taking in the VIP Tour we tried to image back when Elvis lived there how it would been , we hope to go back again one day.

  16. Gezina Ponsen

    I really love all the information and photo’s. Thanks

  17. Laraine Bashford

    Read the blog with great interest, loved the photos,but I love any photo of Elvis.
    I have grown up with Elvis since the early ’60s and will always be a No.1 Elvis Fan.
    All his fans still love him dearly, he is a legend and respect everything that is devoted to Elvis and his family. He was taken away from us to early.

    Still love him to bits.
    Laraine from Bordeaux, France.

  18. Carole Russo

    I have been to the home of Elvis and his family in Tupelo and sat on the swing and could feel your family’s love of this home sweet home and I love Graceland the home of Elvis. He made that home special for his family and Lisa and Priscilla have made it a home for his family of fan’s to drop in and see and feel the love Elvis had to offer. Standing at the doorway of each room you can just visualize Elvis and the famly and friends sitting around talking, laughing and singing.
    I love you Elvis you have given me so many beautiful memories of your life even after life. You will always live in my heart and never be forgotten.

  19. william

    elvis said I am going to keep graceland as long as I can

  20. Linda Kines

    I heard about Lauderdale court, Audubon Drive, Gracekand and a couple of homes in California. Surprised about all the others in memphis, glad to hear about them. So glad Elvis the king of rock n roll finally got his castle.

  21. Dorothea Pollard

    Loving all these life stories about Elvis’s life have been enlightening.

  22. Susan Watson

    Made my first visit to Graceland in 1999, after waiting 20 years to do it. Its such a welcoming place, can understand why ELVIS loved his home so much. Have been lucky enough to visit the house around 10 times since then and hopefully, God willing we will be there in 2017 to pay tribute to the One and only KING. When we visit Graceland it feels like we are going to our second home. ELVIS We still love and miss you even after all these years and you are forever in our hearts.

  23. mary bennett

    In April, I visited Graceland for the first time.What an amazing place. Elvis was so ahead of his time.Thank you Priscilla & Lisa marie for sharing this with the world. And for all the employees who keep this place beautiful & running for the public.

  24. Zulema Miguele

    I have been to Graceland 4 times in the past two years. Graceland has become my most favorite place to vacation. I can’t get enough of Elvis. I was moved to learn of all the difficulties that he experienced from a child to a young adult, and in spite of it all he became a success. His love for his fans, his generosity and kindness speaks volumes to his devoted fans. I also visited Circle G, Tupelo, Lauderdale Court, Audubon Drive and Sun Studio. I feel Elvis’ presence at Graceland. I am not the only one who feels this way. I have made many friends through Elvis. His fans are the best people that I know. I encourage everyone to visit Graceland, it’s the best tour that I have ever taken, and I have visited many places in the past.

  25. Jo Ann Taylor

    From the first time I ever heard a Elvis record I was in love
    with him! all my girlfriends and I would play his records
    over and over…knew every word of every song!
    When he came to Sport I was almost first in line for a ticket..back then $25 was a lot but not too much to see and
    hear Elvis….I have one of his scarfs he threw out and would not take any amount of money for it! love you Elvis!!

  26. It will always be elvis presley’s home. WhenI think of Memphis I think of Elvis Presley.

  27. gwen mumley

    Just amazing all the homes Elvis and his family lived in before their forever home, Graceland. Thank you for sharing.

  28. Elizabeth

    Visited Gracelands 2014 can’t wait to go back. Quite a moving experience especially the garden.

  29. Have been to Graceland many times. So blessed!! Love the blog. Love reading any info that’s true history about Elvis. Classic!!

  30. Mike Freeman

    The photo of Elvis standing between his friends (in 1954) shows the three of them facing the Lauderdale Courts apartment building. The building in the background was another commercial building on Winchester Avenue, but not part of Lauderdale Courts. That building was demolished to make way for Interstate 40. If you are able to tour the inside of the “Elvis apartment” at Lauderdale Courts today: the front door looks out to Interstate 40.

  31. Patricia

    Thank you for sharing the stories of Elvis’s life. During these times must have been very hard financially. Elvis always remained humble. Thank you Priscilla and LisaMarie for sharing all.
    I was at Graceland in 2008 it was an experience I will NEVER forget. My dream is to get back there again.
    I will always love you Elvis. I have Sirius radio and Elvis is always ON!

  32. Sonny Carrington

    Graceland is such a beautiful piece of architecture, I think it would make a beautiful statue for people like myself, who collect miniature cottages. I visit Graceland’s shop every few months, hoping one day a replica will be for sale.

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