Celebrate Elvis in Memphis This Year

Graceland // photo by Pictophile via Flickr

Barbara Noe, The Daily Telegraph, January 5, 2015

In 2015, it will be 80 years since Elvis Presley, the King of Rock and Roll was born. Barbara Noe looks forward to a year of celebration in Memphis, his hometown.


Hold onto your Blue Suede Shoes: Elvis Presley would have turned 80 on January 8, 2015, and his hometown of Memphis is revelling in grand style. That morning, be on the North Lawn of Graceland, Elvis’s over-the-top opulent, white-columned estate, when the birthday cake is sliced and officials proclaim January 8 as Elvis Presley Day for evermore. Listen to those who knew him best—producers, friends, co-stars—reminisce about the good ’ole days at a special “Conversations on Elvis” forum. Bid on your own piece of Elvis paraphernalia—including his first driver’s licence and an autographed copy of “That’s All Right”—at the Auction at Graceland. Then dance the night away to Elvis-only tunes at the Elvis Birthday Dance Party.

If you aren’t lucky enough to be there on the day, there are plenty of Elvis-related activities going on the rest of the year. At Graceland (graceland.com), you’ll see the King of Rock 'n’ Roll’s green-shag “Jungle Room” and the silk tuxedo he wore to marry Priscilla in 1967, along with gold records and vinyl rarities. Downtown, the Memphis Rock 'n’ Soul Museum ( memphisrocknsoul.org ) takes you on the rollicking journey of American music history, including Memphis’s (and Elvis’s) vital role. And Sun Studio ( sunstudio.com ) is where rock pioneer Sam Phillips recorded the likes of Johnny Cash, Roy Orbison … and Elvis.

At the end of the day, seek out some Memphis barbecue at one of the city’s hundreds of BBQ joints. The special “rib rub” at Central BBQ ( cbqmemphis.com ) is out of this world, though Elvis probably would have gone for the BBQ bologna. Then stroll along legendary Beale Street, where day or night BB King’s, Rum Boogie, and other clubs reverberate with the vivacious beat of delta blues, rock 'n’ roll, R&B, and gospel in the very place where it all began.

How to go:

Bon Voyage (0800 316 3012; bon-voyage.co.uk ) offers four nights in the historic Peabody Hotel and entrance to Graceland and Sun Studios for £995 per person (based on two people sharing) including flights from Heathrow.


This article was written by Barbara Noe from The Daily Telegraph and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.