ELVIS PRESLEY’S GRACELAND COUNTS DOWN TO THE 60TH ANNIVERSARY OF ROCK ‘n’ ROLL IN 2014 AS MEMPHIS CELEBRATES LANDMARK YEAR WHEN ELVIS CHANGED MUSIC FOREVER
Special events and activities, exhibits, projects and more being planned for 2014 to celebrate the 60th Anniversary
Elvis Presley’s Graceland in Memphis will celebrate the 60th Anniversary of Rock ‘n’ Roll throughout 2014, commemorating the first Elvis recording to be played on the radio on July 8, 1954.
On July 5, 1954, Elvis walked into Sun Studios in Memphis and recorded “That’s All Right” with guitarist Scotty Moore and bassist Bill Black. DJ Dewey Phillips played the song on July 8 on WHBQ radio and the switchboard lit up. Rock ‘n’ Roll was born and the music world changed forever.
A year-long celebration is being planned for the year beginning with special activities on New Year’s Eve and Elvis’ birthday in January 2014. In addition, the celebration will also include a 60th Anniversary exhibit which will open at Graceland on March 1, 2014, special events at Graceland, Sun Studio and other locations in Memphis, special entertainment projects, anniversary activities during Elvis Week 2014, 60th Anniversary artwork for licensed products and much more.
A full calendar and list of activities and events currently in development will be announced later this year.
Elvis InsiderWatch Elvis' Birthday Proclamation Ceremony LIVE
Join Elvis Radio's DJ Argo tomorrow for exclusive interviews with this year's birthday celebration guests, plus a special ceremony with Graceland/EPE officials, a birthday cake cutting and a proclamation of Elvis Presley Day by Memphis and Shelby County officials. The LiveStream of the ceremony takes placeWednesday, January 8 beginning at 10:15 a.m. EST/9:15 a.m. CST.
From Graceland...As we gear up to celebrate 60 Years of Rock 'n' Roll, we look forward to welcoming fans from around the world to help celebrate the life and legacy of the man who started it all. The official 2014 Elvis Birthday Celebration will take place January 8 - 11.
Tickets are available for purchase at Graceland Guest Services or at the door of the event, pending availability. Tickets to Elvis Birthday Celebration events are non-refundable.
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 8
D&N's and Elvis Meetup's Gospel Tribute to Elvis
12:01 a.m. In front of the Graceland gates. D&N's Elvis Presley Fan Club and the Elvis Meetup Fan Club invite you to join their annual tradition. Meet at the gates of Graceland at midnight on Elvis' birthday as they join fans from across the globe singing familiar gospel songs, and of course, "Happy Birthday" to Elvis.
Elvis Birthday Proclamation Ceremony
9:30 a.m. Graceland's North Lawn. Free admission. Enjoy a ceremony with Graceland/EPE officials, a birthday cake cutting and a proclamation of Elvis Presley Day by Memphis and Shelby County officials. Memphis music legend Knox Phillips will participate in the Elvis Presley Birthday 2014 festivities by joining fans for the Proclamation Ceremony on January 8th at Graceland. Son of Sun Records founder Sam Phillips, Knox will help cut the cake as the 60 Years of Rock ‘n’ Roll celebration kicks off at Graceland during the Elvis Presley birthday week. Phillips has been an important presence behind the scenes of the music industry -- as an engineer, producer and studio owner. While attending college, Phillips began recording local garage bands. As an engineer, he worked on several milestone releases including Willie Nelson’s Shotgun Willie. He has also worked closely with original Sun artist Jerry Lee Lewis, a member of his father’s Million Dollar Quartet. Also, David Thibault, the 16-year-old Canadian YouTube singing sensation will lead Elvis fans from around the world in a rendition of “Happy Birthday.” Thibault gained worldwide attention on YouTube in early December. Sharing “Blue Christmas” with Canadian radio station CKOI, the version of the song went viral with over eight million views. Fans, who are unable to attend, can watch the ceremony live via Elvis Presley's Graceland LiveStream.
Birthday Cake & Coffee
10:30 a.m. Chrome Grille, Graceland Plaza. Complimentary birthday cake and coffee served at the Chrome Grille restaurant across the street from the mansion following the ceremony. Free to all who attend.
Special Birthday Stable Tours
11:00 am, 12:00 p.m. and 1:00 pm. Tour the stables at Graceland! Artifacts on display as part of the Elvis Presley Stable Tour include saddles used by Elvis and his entourage, personal western wear worn by Elvis, checks and documents related to the purchase of some of Elvis’ horses, and home movie footage of Elvis on horseback at Graceland. Dates/times are subject to weather conditions, safety issues and availability. Tickets may be purchased at the Graceland Ticket Pavilion on day of the tour.
Tupelo Birthday Celebration
1:00 - 4:00 p.m. Elvis Presley Birthplace located at 306 Elvis Presley Dr, Tupelo, MS. The afternoon event will include a birthday party with cake for all, entertainment throughout the afternoon, plus free admission to the Elvis Presley Birthplace.
Graceland Trivia Tour
4:30 p.m. Event starts at the Graceland Ticket Office. Guests are invited to tour Graceland Mansion and the Elvis Presley Car Museum while simultaneously answering trivia questions to which answers can be found on the Graceland tour. Adult and junior versions of the trivia tour will be available, including Elvis prizes! Tickets for adults are $34.00; children 7-12 are $15.00; children 7 and under are free. Tickets are available for purchase at Graceland Guest Services or at the door of the event, pending availability. Tickets to Elvis Birthday Celebration events are non-refundable.
8:00 p.m. - 12:00 a.m. Elvis Presley Car Museum, Graceland Plaza. Come hang out and enjoy a private party with your fellow Elvis fans as your favorite Elvis disc jockey spins Elvis records for your listening and dancing pleasure. Cash bar featuring adult beverages (ID's checked) and soft drinks. Outdoor smoking area designated - no smoking inside. A wristband allows you to come and go from Club Elvis as often as you like during the evening. Tickets are $25. Tickets are available for purchase at Graceland Guest Services or at the door of the event, pending availability. Tickets to Elvis Birthday Celebration events are non-refundable.
THURSDAY, JANUARY 9
Fan Club Presidents’ Event
10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. University of Memphis's Fogelman Executive Conference Center located at 330 Innovation Drive, Memphis,TN. Elvis fans are invited to celebrate the work of Elvis Presley fan clubs during this special event. In addition to celebrating and recognizing the work of fan clubs, the event will feature a program of EPE company updates and special announcements, including the latest on EPE media, marketing, licensing, merchandise, new exhibits and more. Special guestWayne Mann, Elvis’ cousin and witness to the start of Elvis' career at Sun Studio, shares stories as the city of Memphis gears up to celebrate 60 Years of Rock 'n' Roll. Fan club presidents will get an invite to the event directly from EPE. Tickets are $12. Tickets are available for purchase at Graceland Guest Services or at the door of the event, pending availability. Tickets to Elvis Birthday Celebration events are non-refundable.
Official Elvis Insiders Reception and Graceland Tour
6:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. An event exclusively for members of the Elvis Insiders. A private evening tour of Graceland Mansion in all its holiday splendor and a reception across the street in Graceland Plaza. The reception will be a progressive event moving about the plaza area and will include Elvis' airplanes, the Elvis Presley Automobile Museum, Sincerely Elvis and the Elvis Lives exhibit. Complimentary hors d'oeuvres and cash bars will be available. The special evening tour of the mansion includes the audio tour presentation, plus Elvis Christmas music playing in the background. Decorations for the 2014 holiday season will be in place. Special guests include Sandra Ferra Martindale and Wink Martindale who will be answering questions during an exclusive Q & A session located inside the Elvis Presley Car Museum. Popular radio and television personality Wink Martindale witnessed the historic night at WHBQ in July of 1954, when Sam Phillips brought DJ Dewey Phillips the acetate copy of Elvis' first Sun Record "That's All Right" to be played on "Red, Hot, and Blue." After meeting that evening, Wink and Elvis remained friends throughout the course of Elvis' life. Wink's wife, Sandra Ferra Martindale, who also dated Elvis off and on for several years, will also share stories about spending time with the king. Performances by David ThiBault, the 16-year-old Canadian YouTube singing sensation who gained over eight million views after sharing “Blue Christmas” with Canadian radio station CKOI. Elvis Insiders may purchase only three additional guest tickets in addition to their own. Membership card will be required when picking up tickets. Parking in the main Graceland parking lot is free beginning at 4:30 p.m. Tickets are $49.00 for adults; $26.00 for children 7-12; children 7 and under are free. Tickets are available for purchase at Graceland Guest Services or at the door of the event, pending availability. Tickets to Elvis Birthday Celebration events are non-refundable.
FRIDAY, JANUARY 10
Elvis Morning Movie at Malco Theatres
9:30 a.m. Malco Theatre located at 7130 Malco Blvd, Southaven, MS. Elvis fans had the opportunity to vote between "This is Elvis" or "Girl Happy" and enjoy a special Elvis presentation by Malco Theatres. "This is Elvis" will be the featured film during this year's celebration. This film explores Elvis at different stages of his life, comprised mostly of actual performance footage and interviews with Elvis, his fans and those close to the king. Fans can see rare video of Graceland and the king while on-stage, plus behind-the-scenes footage. All proceeds will benefit the Elvis Presley Charitable Foundation. Tickets are $10. Tickets are available for purchase at Graceland Guest Services or at the door of the event, pending availability. Tickets to Elvis Birthday Celebration events are non-refundable.
Memphis Grizzlies' Elvis Birthday Night
7:00 p.m. FedExForum located at 191 Beale St, Memphis, TN. Join Elvis fans in town for the 2014 Elvis Birthday Celebration as they honor the life and career of a Memphis legend – Elvis Presley. The Memphis Grizzlies will be playing the Phoenix Suns in an arena filled with Elvis-themed music, movie clips, and live entertainment. Come watch the Grizzlies in their “blue suede shoes” defend their home court while honoring the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll. Tickets start at $25 and can be purchased by visitingGrizzlies.com.
SATURDAY, JANUARY 11
60 Years of Rock ‘n’ Roll Tour with Backbeat Tours
1:00 p.m. Enjoy a tour of Memphis. Tour departs from Backbeat Tours window at Blues City Café, located at 140 Beale Street. Join Backbeat Tours for an Elvis-themed tour with a twist! As unique as the man himself, the 60 Years of Rock ‘n’ Roll Tour takes a one-of-a-kind approach to sharing Elvis’ legacy in a high-energy concert and sightseeing tour all rolled into one. Hear all your favorite Elvis hits performed live on Memphis’ only music bus while seeing where he grew up, where he went to school, where he worked, and where he dreamed, as well as sites important to his early career. This special 90-minute tour also includes an optional visit inside the Presley family apartment at Lauderdale Courts – second only to Graceland, the Memphis home where Elvis lived the longest. Meticulously restored to its 1950s appearance, a visit to Apartment 328 of the Courts is like taking a step back in time, offering an unparalleled glimpse into the lives of Vernon, Gladys, and young Elvis. (If you choose to visit Lauderdale Courts, the tour will last approximately 2.5 hours). The tour includes exciting sites such as Sun Studio, Elvis’ high school, the Overton Park Shell (the amphitheater where he performed his first big show in 1954), Lansky Bros. clothing store, the Memphian Theater and the Chisca Hotel (home of the WHBQ radio station). The Hound Dog Tour has become an Elvis fan tradition, with many passengers returning year after year. Come celebrate the man behind the legend: whether you’re a longtime fan or a new admirer, we guarantee fun for all! The price of the 90-minute tour is $28/adults, $26/seniors and $16/child (7-12 years). The price of the 2.5 hour tour that includes Lauderdale Courts is $47/adults, $45/seniors and $32/child (7-12 years). Elvis Insiders receive a 10% discount. Tickets may be purchased online at BackbeatTours.com, or by calling Zerve at 800-979-3370 or Backbeat Tours at 901-527-9415.
Memphis Symphony Orchestra Presents Elvis Birthday Pops
7:30 p.m. Cannon Center for the Performing Arts, 255 North Main Street, Memphis. The Memphis Symphony Orchestra celebrates Elvis’ birthday and songs from the King that helped bring Memphis the distinction of the Birthplace of Rock 'n' Roll. Concert event featuring fan-favorite Terry Mike Jeffrey. Tickets start at $15. Students only $5. Tickets are on sale now through the Memphis Symphony Orchestra website or by calling the Memphis Symphony box office at 901-537-2525.
Tim and oh, all that research.