Elvis Presley Beloved by Millions


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North America » United States » Mississippi » Tupelo
June 7th 2020
Published: June 13th 2020
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Elvis Presley age 13Elvis Presley age 13Elvis Presley age 13

Shortly thereafter the family moved to Memphis.
The end came with a toxicology report that revealed a laundry list of opiates; dilaudid, percodan, demerol, some codeine and qualludes. Years of drug abuse from the time Elvis was in the military when his friends introduced him to “little brown and green stimulants” to keep him awake during patrols. Once military life ended Elvis didn’t walk away from those pills. Elvis’s thirst and addiction expanded over the years and those drugs took a beloved and admired musician, actor, and celebrity on August 16, 1977.

Elvis often referred to as the King of rock and roll, he recorded 710 songs and performed in 31 films. He made women around the world swoon. His fame, movies and music continue on decades after his death. Elvis has now been dead 43 years –he only lived 42 years, so he’s been dead longer than he lived. Take a moment to ponder that information. Yep...he would celebrate his 85th birthday this year.....no way we can imagine him that old. We'll just keep the memories of him where they belong....

We visited Tupelo, Mississippi to take in the birthplace of Elvis Aaron Presley which has been designated as a historic landmark by the State
Childhood home placeChildhood home placeChildhood home place

Born in the front room.
of Mississippi. The museum is on about an acre of land. It contains the house Elvis grew up in and his childhood church, which were moved to this location and restored as best as possible. Years ago, Vernon Presley, Elvis’s father was a consultant in helping to select the furnishings for this tiny home as the originals no longer existed. After all, he took a loan from his employer in 1934 to build this little shack of a house for about $180.

The house is tiny. It is basically a two-room shack with no running water....the outhouse was out back. The house had one lightbulb dangling from the kitchen ceiling. Elvis came from meager beginnings. A docent provides some basic information on early life in this home. Of note is that Elvis had an identical twin brother....who was still born...Jessie Garon.

Part of this historical site is the Assembly of God Church where Elvis and his family attended church until he was 13 when the family moved to Memphis. Elvis had an active church life where he was exposed to gospel music. A video presentation is a re-enactment of Elvis community and church life. It gives one a
Elvis MemorialElvis MemorialElvis Memorial

Capturing his essence
real sense of the family struggles. A little known fact is that Elvis "only" won three Grammy Awards.....all for gospel music. Surprised? Don't be.....the Grammy's didn't start until 1958.

As we strolled the museum it was often stated that Elvis grew up in east Tupelo. We believe the point was to emphasize that he grew up on the poorest side of town. Elvis truly came from nothing. Elvis loved going to the movies and when his mother could spare a few cents she would send him off to enjoy the westerns that he so loved. For Elvis’s eleventh birthday his mother took him to the hardware store to pick out his present. He wanted a rifle so he could pretend he was in one of those western movies, but his mother was able to talk him into something safer and he left with a guitar. From there the rest is history.

On this property they have built a modern memorial chapel for meditation. There are a few statues as tribute and a story wall which shares memories from childhood friends. It was well done and touching. Once Elvis became famous he came back to Tupelo and performed at
Tupelo MississippiTupelo MississippiTupelo Mississippi

Where Elvis was born.
the county fair in 1956 & 1957 donating the money to the town. Over his life he injected money into the community of Tupelo building a park and youth center.

Personally, we thought the cost of seeing this tiny home, church and museum seemed a bit high at $15 each but we don’t regret spending the money. It was a walk in history and Elvis was larger than life for many years. Graceland, his home in Memphis still gets over 500,000 visitors a year. More on that in a later blog....

In the United States, the deep south is where blues music was born. Music filled back rooms and juke joints where this expressive melodic music exploded over decades and became more popular. The Blues and gospel music was buried deep in Elvis's soul and influenced all of his musical work and career. Elvis was exposed to gospel and the blues as a youth....as the story goes, he would wander past some juke joints playing "that" music on his way home from school. Music he heard on the radio helped shape his musical legend.

If you take a road trip to this small city in Mississippi, you will find rolling hills, farmland and stands of lovely trees along the highways. This is rural America and offers a very slow pace. Nearby is the Natchez Trace Parkway is in this area which offers 400 miles of scenic roadsides, some bike paths and small civil war battlefields.

Food for thought The question we pose is will Elvis remain an icon after the baby boomers pass on? Will the next generations have any interest in his music, movies and visiting his museums? Do you have a favorite Elvis song? Or are you just happy "Riding with The King".... lyrics from Eric Clapton/BB King fans....this is for you!


Additional photos below
Photos: 16, Displayed: 16


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Elvis of course really dug the BluesElvis of course really dug the Blues
Elvis of course really dug the Blues

It was part of his recordings in the early days.
Tiny KitchenTiny Kitchen
Tiny Kitchen

Elvis childhood home
Family AutoFamily Auto
Family Auto

Replica of the car that took the family to Memphis from Tupelo.
Elvis's OuthouseElvis's Outhouse
Elvis's Outhouse

Not really.....a replica...very basic


13th June 2020

My surreal Trip down memory lane
I remember my 7th grade music teacher crying while grieving about his death. Before that, I'd never seen a grown man cry. My parents never listened to his music so I had no exposure to him until I was older. The year he died I was winning disco contests dressed in polyester leisure suits after the release of J. Travolta's Saturday Night Live. I just watched his music videos this evening ...this is the first and only time I've been fed pro-Trump ads via YouTube and Google when searching for his name so the Russians must have done more research on demographics than I have so that surprised me. Seemed like the King's amazing talents would have no boundaries. Blue Suede Shoes is catchy. I didn't know that he always told RCA to not release his 'cover' versions while the original songs were still doing well in the charts as was the case with Blue Suede shoes. Return to Sender video highlights his dimples, he looks happy and it would be easy to Swing dance to (had I not just gotten a new hip).
13th June 2020

Trip down memory lane
I saw Elvis in concert and he could win a crowd. It was a something to see. Many people cried and many are still emotional about his death which is a puzzle to me at this point. I can picture you in those leisure suits! Love to see a photo of that. Dancing to his song my be good rehab for your hip. Give it a go. My mom and I always watched Elvis movies together. MJ
13th June 2020

Elvis!
Hi Guys, Another great blog! Our route around North America went further south and numerous friends tell us we missed all the excitement of Tupelo and Memphis! Thank you for letting us share.
13th June 2020

Elvis!
David and Janice, thanks for your continued support. A road trip was in order and we picked a good location. Tupelo doesn't hold much excitement but we'll tell you more about Memphis soon. There are so many great small American towns to visit that you can't see all of them. MJ
13th June 2020

My favorite
My favorite Elvis song is Kentucky Rain- don’t know why. There are so many to choose from 😊!
13th June 2020

My favorite
Kentucky Rain is a great song and Elvis sang it with such emotion. As you say there are so many to choose from .... 310. :) MJ
13th June 2020

The Man, the Legend...
I really enjoyed reading this very well written blog (and your photos) about Elvis and the museum dedicated to his early life. It sounds very much worth a visit! What an incredible success story for someone coming from such a humble background; it's said he was an extremely generous person too. I had visited Tupelo in the '60's as a child, and lived in Memphis for a year (1976 - early 1977) --- Elvis was still alive at that time and I still have a photo of my Mother and myself taken by the front gate of his home there, Graceland.
13th June 2020

The Man, the Legend....
Elvis was so charismatic. He loved performing and loved being adored. I don't want to oversell the museum. It is tiny but we enjoyed it. It really does give one the sense of what he over came. Remarkable really. I'll bet living in Memphis in the mid-70s was something. We are taking a tour of Graceland today.
13th June 2020

Humble Beginnings
Good read for a rainy morning far from the south, My favorite song is "How Great Thou Art". Gospel was truly his forte.
13th June 2020

Humble Beginnings
Thanks for reading along and commenting. Always great hearing from you. Gospel was in his soul. The church was a strong foundation for him. I'll have to listen to that song again. We've been playing a lot of Elvis music recently. MJ
13th June 2020

Living in Blues Country...
you must think you have died and gone to heaven! We stopped at Elvis's home before there was a museum. So many famous and successful Americans have arisen from such poverty, which is a testament to the country we live in. Some have to try harder than others. We then drove the Natchez Trace Parkway to Vicksburg to visit the Civil War battlefield. I was really into Civil War battlefields at the time.
13th June 2020

Living in Blues Country.......
We are certainly happy to be in Memphis for a few months. There is a lot to explore. As you say many have worded hard and found their way out of extreme poverty. The Natchez Trace Parkway is very scenic. We enjoyed the drive but did not stop at any battlefields. I have an appreciation for them but find they all look very similar. Thank you for commenting.
13th June 2020

Childhood memories...
My Dad was a HUGE Elvis fan, and some of my earliest memories are of Elvis’ 70s era music booming through the house. Later on when I was in High School in the late 80s, there used to be old Elvis films on TV on weekend afternoons that Dad and I used to watch - nostalgia for Dad and avoiding doing homework for me :) I was surprised to read about his father because I always had the impression he was from a single parent home. Memphis has always been on the list of places I’d like to visit when we eventually do a US road trip :)
13th June 2020

Childhood memories....
Elvis touched people around the world and that is one of the many things that made him so special. I can't tell you how many times I've watched Elvis movies... (watching GI Blues right now) and his music streams from many venues and crosses generations. Elvis was a momma's boy but definetly grew up in a two parent home full of love ....in later years Vernon played a role in Elvis's business. Vernon went to prison for 2 years back in the 30's so he wasn't around for a short time. I hope you make it to Memphis and maybe Tupelo. The Deep South has interesting places to offer. I do hope when you come this way we can see you and please let us make a few suggestions on your trip. We can be very helpful.
14th June 2020

Next generation!
Indeed Elvis has been bigger than life. You raised a very interesting point - will the baby boomer be so thrilled with his memory as we move forward. Your 'food for thought' question got me thinking, MJ...My son is a music enthusiast and he goes to all kinds of concerts...any music icon, information or history is on his finger tip. I rarely saw him discussing about Elvis, but he admires him as an icon. Elvis is immortal and will live in our heart for years to come. I think how he would be remembered in the next generations and beyond will depend on many factors, - the trend of music, style and other socioeconomic elements of life ....I guess, that is the way history stays alive...just like our first landing on moon - a giant leap for mankind...Yes, Elvis is! Thanks for sharing, MJ...
14th June 2020

Next generation!
You need to expose your son to Elvis before it is too late to pass it along. If your son appreciates the blues he'll have to study Elvis and the influence it had on him. I have read Elvis has a large following in Japan and Blues making a resurgence in Europe.... so maybe is will continue.
17th June 2020

Suspicious Minds
When I was young and everyone that was cool in Oz had long hair, there was much ado as to whether Elvis was "The King" or whether The Beatles who came slightly after were the Kings of Rock 'n Roll. There was something about his brush back hair, swagger and drop dead smile that will endure forever. In the rural town of Parkes in New South Wales there is an Elvis train that leaves Central Station in Sydney in the second weekend of January each year for the Parkes Elvis Festival where any self-respecting Elvis impressionist and fan meets for an orgy of all that is Elvis. This year the town was still in drought but the rains came a month later dousing the bushfires that had ravaged the Australian East coast. You say Elvis died 43 years ago. Gotta say that is questionable. I'm told he lives in Parkes NSW and many brave souls can testify 'tis a fact! Long may he rule...but those that know me know there is only one King and the is BB...BB...King of the Blues!
17th June 2020

Suspicious Minds
We are with you that B.B. King remains the King of the Blues! Maybe Elvis can survive the generations with all the impersonators. No one has his swagger and smile. He was a force to be reckoned with. Glad to know we can find him in Parkes NSW when we need him. Thanks for commenting.

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