Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.

Henry David Thoreau

Graceland Part II

Thursday  May 5, 2011
Site #74
Graceland RV Park
Memphis, Tennessee

After being at the Graceland Home,
we stopped in at Rockabilly's Burger Shop for lunch
before going on to the other exhibits.

It’s a great period diner where you can get the typical
burger baskets of all types
Elvis’s favorite sandwich, peanut butter and bananas
on white bread fried in butter.  Hmmmmmm.
Sorry no pic of the sandwich.  But you'll hear about it later.

There is a working vintage jukebox which
actually displays other songs than Elvis'.
Like things by Nat King Cole and Patti Page
but I don't think anyone ever plays them.

This was definitely David's kind of place.
He LOVES period diners and
looks for them all across the country.

After lunch David wanted to see the Automobile Museum.

This was his favorite exhibit and he
took pictures, sometimes multiples,
of every car in it.
Here are just a FEW of them.

This 1966 White Rolls Royce Silver Cloud
has blue leather seats and walnut dashboard paneling.
After Elvis traded it in, it was owned by Michael Landon and Charlie Rich.


Love the story of this 1960 MG.
Elvis used it in the movie Blue Hawaii.
He then gave it to his secretary who traded it in.
A chef on his movie Spinout bought it
and gave it to his daughter as a wedding present.
Some wedding present. 
I owned a 1967 MGB earlier in my life and it was tons of fun!

Legend has it that this 1970 Stutz Blackhawk was ordered
for Frank Sinatra but Elvis charmed the
car dealer out of it.
It was the first Stutz Blackhawk delivered in the United States.

Love the colors of these cadillacs.
I know his mother drove the pink one.

But I thought this was her favorite color.
It was white when he got it but he had it painted and the interior "customized"

David in his element with camera in hand.

I should explain that when I met him
(IF you can believe this)
David owned a 1950 Ford which was his only car
and a 1974 Harley Davidson Superglide.
The car was for rainy days.  J

There are even more cars
that Elvis once owned in another larger museum
located in his home town of Tupelo, Mississippi. 
Share the wealth I guess. 

Apparently every car Elvis ever owned even for a year
and cars he gave to others
have been recovered and are on display at either
Tupelo or Graceland.
Or at least that’s how it seemed.

Next was the “Elvis! His Groundbreaking, Hip-Shaking, Newsmaking Story” exhibit.
This exhibit was prepared by the Newseum in Washington DC
and was shown there during 2010, Elvis’ 75th Birthday Year.
Now isn’t that's an amazing thought,
a 75 year old Elvis. 
But perhaps not,
it does seem old rockers rock forever.

The Newseum exhibit, has a video of his first TV appearances
and tells the story of how he was portrayed in the news media
and how his music and “physicality” (as they called it) 
affected main stream tastes and free expression.

On January 10, 1956, two days after he turned 21,
Elvis recorded Heartbreak Hotel and over 300,000 copies
of this single sold in its first three weeks on the market.
It quickly went to #1 on Billboard's top singles chart
and became Elvis' first single to sell over a million copies.

By October of 1956, Elvis' 2nd album had outsold his
first by 200,000 and his singles had
sold over 10 million representing 2/3rds
of RCA's singles sales for the year.
He was a phenomenon.

 This exhibit explains a lot about the social controversy
over this man and his music.

One last picture from this exhibit which
I specifically asked for of Elvis in the sixties in the movie Charro.
I think it's great of him and shows a very different "look".
May have to get this movie on Red Box if I can and
see what it's like.

I learned Elvis was unhappy that they would never let him
do the dramatic roles he felt he could do
but kept him in the romantic comedy genre
in order to set him up to sing.
Cher has said that she learned a lot from his difficulties
and was able to avoid them for herself in moving into film
and yet staying in music.

Next we spent a few moments looking at the Lisa Marie and Hound Dog II Jets.
 The Lisa Maria flew him to all his concerts.

The Hound Dog II was used for his advance team.

All of the rooms in the Lisa Marie have their furniture covered
in plastic which isn't a problem if you are there but
makes it difficult to get good pictures.

This is the on plane dining table at which
Lisa Marie had her 9th birthday party.
Wonder how many little friends she had in attendance??

The on board bed in blue suede with a gold seat belt.

The interior of the Hound Dog is a tad more sedate


Next we saw the “Elvis Presley: Fashion King” Exhibit
This one was great fun. 
I've never really thought of Elvis as
a 'Fashion King' but they did
convince me that he was a trend setter.

According to the information here,
"Elvis' fashion style paralleled his music
which blended the styles of black rhythm & blues
with southern white gospel and country music.
Similarly, in the 1950's his appearance was a combination of
Southern African and white styles.
His clothing was purchased at stores such as
Lansky Brothers on Beale Street whose patrons
were mostly African American.
At a very young age Elvis began to turn up his collars
 and spend hours on his hair which was said to have been
influenced by his screen idol Tony Curtis.
In the mid-1950's, he laid the groundwork for
the rock n' roll rebel look that forever defined
the extreme of rock style."

The exhibit had a lot of pictures of him in
his clothing and a lot of the clothing itself.
It was all in glass cases which made reflection a serious problem in
taking pictures.

This jacket was my favorite.
And luckily for me one of the only ones
that turned out well enough to post.
Wish I'd seen him wear this.

The final exhibit was
“68’ Special”
which was a video interview with Priscilla Presley,
his wife at the time,
about the making of this important TV program
and his attention to every detail and his concern that it be perfect.
It was especially interesting because we'd just
seen the special the night before at the
Heartbreak Hotel.  I suggest you do that too.

Throughout the video exhibits
there were interviews with Elvis. 
He had a great sense of humor and a quick wit.
He handled ridiculous TV news reporter's questions with
sensitivity and humor.  He was a nice funny guy.
I had come mostly to pay homage to his music
and left wishing I'd actually known this
generous, thoughtful, humorous,
sexy, gorgeous, handsome, hunk-a-hunka


  1. Boy you two had a full day... I just can't imagine how many photos you must have taken!! You really gave us a great tour of the Graceland complex.

    Hope you are on higher ground by now. The Mississippi is really causing some havoc again ;o(

    Rock On!!

  2. What a great couple of posts! I knew Elvis was a big star but didn't know how much his career covered.

    Now we HAVE to go and check out Graceland!

  3. Love the cars. The 68 special was one of my favorites. When Elvis sang "If I can dream", it was the best. I liked looking at him when he was younger but his music was better as he got older.

  4. Excellent tour, Sherry! I can't wait to go see it for myself!


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