Elvis on the fringe and background of the crowd in Memphis, Tennessee. His hair and clothes made him a fringe weirdo who dressed like the black people in a world of crew cuts.
May 30, 1956
Elvis attended the Humes and South Side High School graduations at Ellis Auditorium.
Elvis was the first one of both the Presleys and the Smiths to graduate high school, the family’s hopes were on him to get a trade for steady work.
There is a statue of Elvis from his Tupelo HomeComing concert in front of Humes High School now. It was installed sometime after 1987, when I was in Memphis.
How Tupelo honors the King of Rock n’ Roll:
In January 1945, Gladys Presley took her son Elvis into Tupelo Hardware Company in his Mississippi hometown to pick out a gift for his eleventh birthday. He tried to talk her into a .22 caliber rifle, but she promptly said no. They compromised on a guitar instead.
The rest, as they say, is history. And to this day Tupelo is the best place to retrace The King’s childhood steps toward stardom.
Born in east Tupelo, Elvis grew up skinny-dipping in Mud Creek, eating cheeseburgers at Johnnie’s Drive-In and sitting on the porch at Mayhorn’s Grocery. He honed his early interest in gospel music at the local Assembly of God Church.
Today each of these sites remains as a part of a 13-stop Elvis Presley Driving Trail around Tupelo. Narrated by historian Memphis Jones it features unique tidbits about the history of Tupelo and its most famous native.
The Elvis Presley Birthplace stands in its original location and is open to the public for tours and the Elvis Presley Museum showcases the personal artifact and collection of Janelle McComb, a Tupelo resident and long-time friend of the Presleys.
Other Elvis-centric sites marked with plaques around the driving trail include the former site of the Shake Rag District and the Elvis Presley Homecoming Statue in the Fairpark District plus Tupelo Hardware.
Jennie Bradford Curlee of the Tupelo Convention and Visitors Bureau says the proceeds from Elvis’ fairground homecoming concerts in 1956 and 1957 changed the lives of children on the east side of town and established the land where the Elvis Presley Birthplace attractions sit today.
“The money that was raised from those concerts, Elvis gave it back to the city. The children on the west side of town had parks and places that they could play, but the kids on the east side didn’t have that. Elvis wanted this to be a park for the kids to enjoy and have things that he didn’t have. It also paid to purchase his birthplace. We have what we have today because of him.”
Tupelo formally honors the King of Rock n’ Roll with special events three times a year — on January 8, Elvis’ birthday; the first full weekend in June, for the music-centered Tupelo Elvis Festival (see above) ; and in August during Elvis Week, to commemorate the week he died.
1975, 76 and 177
May 29, 1967
Elvis and Priscilla wore their wedding outfits again at a second reception held at Graceland for friends, relatives and employees.The room was decorated in green and white for the reception at 8.30 p.m.Later in the evening Elvis went to the Memphian to watch a movie again.