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 of his black suit matched his black hair, and fans mistook the collar for his hair. “Oh, Elvis,” this fan wrote, “how could you?”
Still, most of the correspondence that arrived at Graceland was overwhelmingly positive. These excited fans wished Elvis the best of luck as he started his Las Vegas residency at the International Hotel. The brightly colored paper and slogans like “Happiness is Being an Elvis Fan” and “Elvis Still Rules” are especially charming.
Elvis entertained fans on his records and on the radio, but it was at his concerts that he cast a spell on his audiences. This fan writes about how much she loved Elvis’ performance at show in 1971 at the International: “Even though I rode over seven hundred miles to see you, I would do it again and again if I could. You were worth every bit of it.”
Don’t forget to send in your own love letter to Elvis during February! We’ll share our favorites on Graceland.com. Happy writing!