Elvisworld: From Government Projects to the Big Man House

65

Give us this day – August 11 – our Daily Elvis

55 – Elvis Performed in Longview, Texas.

56 – Elvis Performed  Florida Theater, Jacksonville, Florida at 3.30, 7.00 and 9.00 p.m.

58 – Elvis returned to Basic Training in Texas after a short leave during which, Gladys, his mother died.  Nothing would ever be that same peanut butter and banana fried sandwich and unconditional love again.

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Vernon and Gladys Presley, with Elvis, left Tupelo, Mississippi and eventually ended up in Memphis Tennessee, where Vernon hoped for factory war related work.

They lived in shared housing and sometimes Elvis could earn money working Sunday for their Jewish neighbors.

200px-ElvisandGladysbook Elvis and Gladys at Tupelo

Eventually, they got into Government Housing until Elvis earned so much from performing and Sun Records — and RCA  – well – they bought their own house in the middle class Audubon Drive!

EP & family on Audubo7101 Gladys and Elvis

It seemed so fast, because Elvis hit so suddenly and rose so astonishingly quick – as if it was a question about how pretty he’d be on screen – he looked like his mother.

For Gladys, it was hand to mouth scrapexistance and then suddenly – there was a surplus and then security – But Elvis didn’t want to stop there – he wanted the Big Time.

Loving You nov55 vernon_elvis_gladys_tupelo

Elvis was the very American Dream and that’s what Steve Allen was making fun of.

How Droll, eh?

THE STEVE ALLEN SHOW -- Aired July 1, 1956 -- Episode 2 -- Pictured: (l-r) Andy Griffith, Imogene Coca, and Elvis Presley perform a parody of Country & Western television shows -- Photo by: NBCU Photo Bank

THE STEVE ALLEN SHOW — Aired July 1, 1956 — Episode 2 — Pictured: (l-r) Andy Griffith, Imogene Coca, and Elvis Presley perform a parody of Country & Western television shows — Photo by: NBCU Photo Bank

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I have no idea what they are looking at – when I was there in 1987, the actual Building Elvis lived in had already been torn down and it wasn’t part of the tour. My tour group did drive by it, but I didn’t take a photo then, the poverty was horrifying and crushing.

Elvisapartmenttour1998-600x389 ewe gladys_elvis INVcrop214124 Lauderdale_courts-375x208 wwww A Great Rare Picture of a young Elvis taken at Lauderdale courts,. I would say Elvis is 16 or 17 years old. I have tried, to clear it up and removed the blemishes.

It was weird to my Canadian tour group that Memphis was getting tourism because of Elvis, but were more interested in running the encyclopedia list of “biggest military employer”……..uh.. we’re here for Elvis…..

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From Audubon, Gladys and Vernon picked Graceland and Elvis’ willingness to let a part of the property be for a church, let him move into an elegant Southern Mansion. Modest to be sure – but it became the first Mancave – with Elvis Presley – it was Welcome to the Blingdom.

Elvis would make and re-make Graceland over several times – selling off land to the city that grew up around him and eventually  – when Elvis died, in order to prevent the property being taken over by the city and turned into a tourist attraction.

Vernon handed over everything to Priscilla, in trust for Lisa Marie.

Elvis Presley is dead. Long live Elvis Presley Enterprises.

1b251a0848912df00e2199b08c9f9347 1958_august_17_gladys_grave army_color_elvis_mail article-1261082-08C51B2F000005DC-715_468x387 Elvis_with_parents_1958

Not published in LIFE. Elvis Presley at Fort Dix, New Jersey, shortly before his discharge from the U.S. Army, March 1960.

Not published in LIFE. Elvis Presley at Fort Dix, New Jersey, shortly before his discharge from the U.S. Army, March 1960.

images RARE newspaper article Elvis sayiing goodbye Glayds died vernon_elvis_gradys_death_2

Elvis lived off the base with his parents – the stress of his career on Gladys was her drinking.

gladys_grave_elvis_1960sElvis returning home from the cemetary august 13

Elvis in the 1960s at the Forest Cemetery – and then in 1977 returning home from there.

He had to think that getting her to stay in Texas, in the different climate than Tennesee and the isolation she had – it was one thing to visit her friends from Audobon… she only had that one Christmas at Graceland thinking that soon Elvis would marry Anita and soon there’d be grandchildren …

\graceland_vernon_elvis_grave_2 Gladys and Vernon with Elvis and Anita

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