As part of the celebration of the life and legacy of Elvis Presley surrounding the 35th anniversary of his passing, Elvis Presley Enterprises, Inc. is sharing more details about the event that has become a pop-culture phenomenon and annual pilgrimage for music lovers from around the world.
The cornerstone event, the Candlelight Vigil, will begin with the traditional opening ceremony on Wednesday, August 15, at 8:30 p.m. at Gracelands front gate. Elvis music sets the tone of the evening as fans walk up the driveway to Meditation Garden. This free event lasts throughout the night as thousands of participants gather on Elvis Presley Blvd. listening to music, remembering Elvis and enjoying the memorials that are created by fans along the street.
The much-anticipated Elvis 35th Anniversary Concert, on Thursday, August 16, at 8:00 p.m. at the 18,000-seat FedExForum, will celebrate Elvis iconic performances which span multiple music genres including rockabilly, gospel, blues, country, and of course, rock n roll.
The concert puts members of Elvis original bands and back-up vocalists on stage as the King of Rock n Roll is projected larger than life on state-of-the-art screens. All music in the concert production is performed live except for Elvis' voice.
The 35th concert will feature Priscilla Presley and Lisa Marie Presley, along with Joe Guercio, Elvis musical conductor; TCB Band members Glen Hardin and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee James Burton; Norbert Putnam, bass player for many of Elvis recording sessions; DJ Fontana, Elvis original drummer and member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame; The Sweet Inspirations - Estelle Brown, Portia Griffin & Kelly Jones; former members of J. D. Sumner and The Stamps Quartet - Bill Baize, Ed Hill, Larry Strickland and Donnie Sumner; Elvis Imperials - Joe Moscheo, Terry Blackwood, Armond Morales and Jim Murray; and many others.
The Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest returns for the sixth year and features competitors from around the world including Elvis tribute artists (ETAs) from the United States, Canada, Australia and Japan. ETAs will compete during the semifinal rounds of the contest on Friday, August 17, at The Cannon Center for the Performing Arts in two separate rounds - one at 10:00 a.m. and one at 7:00 p.m. The top 10 semifinalists on Friday will then move on to compete for the top spot of Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist of 2012 at 7:00 p.m. on Saturday, August 18.
This year, the Elvis Week Opening Event will take place at AutoZone Park in downtown Memphis beginning at 5:00 p.m. on Friday, August 10, with a street party hosted by the Memphis Redbirds. Attendees can enjoy live bands, a classic car show, and a special appearance by the Budweiser Clydesdales. Following will be an Elvis-themed Memphis Redbirds baseball game against the Tacoma Rainiers which will include Elvis music, video and Elvis merchandise giveaways. The first 5,000 fans to enter the park will receive a commemorative, limited-edition Elvis bobble head. Attendees are encouraged to wear an I Am An Elvis Fan t-shirt at this event as they use the occasion to declare their love for the king.
New for Elvis Week 2012 will be the Elvis Week Main Stage at Graceland, a 1,200 seat air-conditioned venue which will be the location for nine days of special events in a music festival atmosphere.
Events at the Elvis Week Main Stage include:
Friday, August 10, 2012
Memphis Celebrates the King Music Fest
10:00 a.m. 4:00 p.m.
Daylong event featuring performances by local musicians celebrating Elvis. Free to the public but donations will be accepted for the Memphis Music Foundation.
Saturday, August 11, 2012
Conversations on Elvis - Elvis & Gospel
A panel discussion exploring Elvis' love of gospel music and the spiritual side of the king will feature special guests Elvis' Imperials; former members of J.D. Sumner & The Stamps Quartet; and Charley Humbard and Rex Humbard, Jr., sons of Rex Humbard.
Elvis Songwriters Showcase
This exciting, new event will be a blend of storytelling and music with songwriters that gave us some of Elvis most well-known songs. Joining musician Andy Childs will be Mike Stoller of the songwriting team Leiber and Stoller, who wrote songs such as Hound Dog, Loving You, and Jailhouse Rock; Mark James, who wrote songs such as "Suspicious Minds" and Always on my Mind; and Dickey Lee, who wrote "She Thinks I Still Care."
Elvis Week Kick-Off Concert
Kick off Elvis Week at Graceland with this exciting concert event featuring Andy Childs, Brad Birkedahl and their bands along with several special musical guests.
Sunday, August 12, 2012
Southern Gospel Celebration
Enjoy a celebration of the southern gospel music that Elvis loved with Elvis' Imperials including Joe Moscheo and Terry Blackwood along with several other gospel groups.
Conversations on Elvis - Elvis in the Movies
Hear about Elvis in Hollywood from Elvis movie co-stars Mary Ann Mobley ("Harum Scarum" and "Girl Happy"), Jan Shepard ("King Creole" and "Paradise, Hawaiian Style") and others.
Celebrate the King
Featuring past winners of the Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest, Brandon Bennett, Bill Cherry and Justin Shandor performing with the Change of Habit Band.
Jailhouse Rock and Viva Las Vegas Double Feature
A double-feature screening of Elvis classic movies sponsored by Warner Bros. Event includes a cash bar, prizes and lots of surprises.
Monday, August 13, 2012
Elvis Insiders Conference
Special guests for this event that will share behind the scenes details of Elvis life and career are Elvis friend Jerry Schilling and Richard Nixon aide Bud Krogh, who will be discussing the day Elvis met President Nixon at The White House; Wanda Jackson, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee who toured with Elvis in 1955 and 56; Tom and Billie Perryman, a DJ and wife who booked Elvis in east Texas as early as 1954 and in 1955; Dixie Locke Emmons, who met Elvis at church and dated him just as his career was taking off; June Juanico, who dated Elvis from 1955 to 1957; Larry Geller, Elvis' hairstylist and close friend; DJ Fontana, Elvis' drummer for 14 years who played on over 460 RCA cuts with Elvis; Allyson Adams, daughter of actor Nick Adams; and the Holladay Sisters Ginger Holladay and Mary Pederson, who sang on Elvis' famous Memphis sessions at American Sound in Memphis.
Elvis Week Dance Party
Join Elvis fans from around the world as they dance to Elvis music spun by DJ Argo of Elvis Radio on Sirius XM.
Tuesday, August 14, 2012
Fan Club Presidents Event
A program celebrating and recognizing the work of Elvis Presley and his fan clubs around the world. The event will include special guests TCB Band members James Burton and Glen Hardin, plus Elvis musical director and conductor Joe Guerico. The spotlight charity will be Pacific Historic Parks, who is currently is working on restoration efforts for the USS Arizona Memorial.
The Memphis Boys Salute
Enjoy a unique concert experience featuring The Memphis Boys with special guests Andy Childs and Terry Mike Jeffrey. Recently inducted into the Musicians Hall of Fame, The Memphis Boys have played a large part in American music culture for the past forty years as the sound behind over 120 hit singles including Elvis Suspicious Minds, In the Ghetto, and Kentucky Rain. Joining them will also be the Holladay Sisters Ginger Holladay and Mary Pederson - and singer-songwriter and recording artist Scat Springs.
Love Me Tender and Clambake Double Feature
A double-feature screening of Elvis classic movies at a fun event that includes a cash bar, prizes and lots of surprises.
Wednesday, August 15, 2012
Conversations on Elvis - Behind the Camera
Hear from the photographers who captured iconic images of Elvis and learn more about the thousands of photos housed in the Graceland archives. Confirmed special guests include Al Wertheimer, who photographed Elvis in the 1950s, and Als special guest Barbara Gray, who was photographed kissing Elvis in Als famous photo; Dave Darnell, whose photographs include Elvis at the Ten Outstanding Young Men Awards ceremony; Angie Marchese, Director of the Graceland Archives; and Robert Dye, EPE Photography Manager.
Elvis and Friends Concert
Jamie Aaron Kelley and Brad Birkedahl perform their favorite Elvis music in their own unique style. Opening the concert will be entertainers Deborah Allen, Lori Anderson, Gavin Kelly and Jeff Wenberg.
Sony Award Presentations
Join executives from Sony Music for this free event as they present multiple awards for releases of Elvis music that have achieved Gold, Platinum or Diamond status based on RIAA record sales.
Thursday, August 16, 2012
EP Party Jam Featuring Jamie Aaron Kelley, with Brad Birkedahl and John McClure
A unique jam session including a wide variety of Elvis songs - studio, live, movie, home recordings and more.
On Stage with Terry Mike Jeffrey and Andy Childs
Enjoy acoustic sets with fan favorites Andy Childs and Terry Mike Jeffrey, as they each perform some of your favorite Elvis songs. Featuring a special performance by eight-time Grammy award winner Jose Feliciano, singer, virtuoso guitarist and composer known for many international hits including the 1970 Christmas single "Feliz Navidad." Opening will be Gladys and Maybelle.
Friday, August 17, 2012
Conversations on Elvis - Behind the Stage
Go behind the curtain of Elvis' concerts with special guests who were there: Sam Thompson, Elvis personal friend and bodyguard; Dick Grob, former chief of security; Charles Stone, Elvis tour producer; Loanne Parker, Elvis tour secretary and Col. Parkers wife; and Tom Moffatt, the celebrated DJ and event producer responsible for Elvis first performance in Hawaii. Moffatt later worked with Elvis and Col. Parker in the 1960s and 1970s and is helping produce the 40th Anniversary celebration event in January 2013.
Elvis Luau Dance Party
Celebrate Elvis love of Hawaii during a luau fit for the king, featuring Elvis dance music, videos, great prizes and lots of fun celebrating his love of the island.
Saturday, August 18, 2012
Morning Gospel Singin Featuring First Assembly of God, Memphis
Experience the gospel music Elvis heard when he attended services at the First Assembly of God, Memphis.
Conversations on Elvis - In the Studio
Elvis session musicians who helped create the sound behind the king share their memories. Special guests will be David Briggs (piano), Norbert Putnam (bass) and Chip Young (guitar).
Elvis Week Farewell Dance Party Featuring Terry Mike Jeffrey and Jamie Aaron Kelley
Live music and great performances from Terry Mike Jeffrey, Jamie Aaron Kelley and Duke Mason as fans from around the world gather for the last official event of Elvis Week 2012.
Other Elvis Week events include a photography and art exhibition and movie screening at The Brooks Museum of Art, a screening of Elvis on Tour by Indie Memphis at the Levitt Shell, a Rock n Roll Historic Marker Dedication at Plastic Products Record Plant, a Beale Street music note dedication for The Memphis Boys, an Elvis-themed Rugby game, a Graceland Trivia Tour, the Annual Elvis Presley 5K Run to Benefit Livitup, Inc., a concert featuring former Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest winners Shawn Klush and Cody Slaughter, and more.
For a complete schedule of Elvis Week events, including ticket prices, guest bios and venues, visit ElvisWeek.com.