I got really excited when my friend Missy picked this topic. I wouldn’t say I’m an Elvis fanatic. I don’t have commemorative plates with his face on them or anything. But I really do love his music. And, let’s face it, Elvis Presley was a good lookin’ man.
One of the best things about being a Mississippi native, is our claim to some really amazing artistic talents that were born and raised here in our state. Elvis, of course, being at the top of that list. Because he’s “the King” – duh!
Seven years ago, my mom and I spent a week in Memphis. My grandmother was receiving treatment for an optical melanoma, and after her initial surgery, we had a lot of downtime. It was late March/early April and we soon got stir crazy. So mom and I purchased a couple of disposable cameras (neither of us had smartphones at the time) and headed over to Graceland to spend the day immersed in the culture that is the life and career of Elvis Presley.
We had a BLAST. It will always, always, always be one of my favorite memories of time spent with my mother.
The estate is beautiful, and kept much as it was when Elvis himself was residing there. The tour is fascinating and then, when you get across the street to the museums that house his gold albums, stage costumes, and car collection, you really begin to grasp the sheer enormity of his career and the impact he has made on the world’s music.
In the room that showcases his gold albums, there is a TV monitor playing scenes from some of his concerts. When I made my first visit to it, they were playing American Trilogy, and it actually moved me to tears. There has never been, and never will be, another voice like his. If I had lived during his heyday, I think I most certainly would have been one of those girls that lost their minds when he took the stage. In the clips I’ve seen of his concerts, it’s obvious that he loved to perform. Crazy jumpsuits and hairstyles aside, the man had a stage presence unlike anything ever seen. If none of his music moves you, I honestly question whether or not you even possess a soul.
A couple of years ago, we were able to make a girls trip to Memphis and take my sister and daughter to see Graceland for the first time. Reagan was enthralled. Which just goes to show you how timeless the music of Elvis really is and continues to be. My mom, from her own generation, me from mine, my daughter from hers – all able to be moved by the inspiration of someone who gave their whole life to the making of music.
By today’s standards, the man really lived simply, though it appeared very lavish in the 60’s and 70’s. The kitchen in Graceland looks like a dated 70’s design that someone on HGTV would be ripping out to replace with granite and stainless steel. But you can feel the memories when you walk in. Elvis was a southern fellow, so I KNOW he liked to eat. The fact has been well-documented, but I know my Mississippi brethren and there’s not many occasions down here that aren’t centered around some type of culinary experience.
Elvis gave back to his community, shared his wealth, loved his family, and gave the world music. Was he perfect? No. But by doing these things, Elvis still lives.
Favorite Elvis songs
- Cold Kentucky Rain
- Suspicious Minds
- Always on my Mind
- American Trilogy
- Aura Lee (Love me Tender)
- Can’t Help Falling in Love