Tupelo Mississippi, we came to visit friends, Joni & Greg but more on that later.
Today, we want to share a few words and some pics from our afternoon excursion with ELVIS!
Actually, Elvis’ Birthplace!
Born January 8, 1935 in the house his father, Vernon, built. Elvis Aaron Presley lived here till about age 3 and in
Tupelo until 1948 when the family moved unexpectedly and quickly to Memphis, TN looking for a better living.
The story is told with the markers along the pathways and probably many other places via the web, but we
share our experience in hope some of you feel some of the insights we did while walking the grounds.
Being the main focal point, the house is small with only two rooms. It was refurbished with the funds from one of
Elvis’ 1957 concerts and many locals within the area doing the repairs and donating furniture.
Finally opening to fans in 1971, the house is more than a house, it is a home representing the humble
beginnings of a good Mississippi Hillbilly Kid who became The King.
Elvis was quoted in a newspaper article in March of 1965 saying “We were broke, man, broke and left Tupelo overnight.
Dad packed all our belongs in boxes and put them in truck and on top of a 1939 Plymouth.
We just headed to Memphis. Things had to be better.”
Although this is not “the car”, it is a 39′ Plymouth.
Above his Birthplace Home, is a hill that overlooks the town. Upon the top, a monument has been placed
symbolizing the thoughts Elvis might have had as a young kid dreaming of a better way, a better life.
Speculating Elvis “Dreamed the Dream” atop this hill as a kid, two amazing statues have been erected to honor his journey.
The two statues known by only one name . . .
On Elvis’ 11th Birthday, the world changed ~ His mother, Gladys took Elvis to the Tupelo Hardware Store,
which still stands there today, to buy him a bike, but he left with his First Guitar! There is somewhat of a
discrepancy between what’s at the Birthplace vs the Hardware Store.
The Birthplace states ~ She paid $7.75 for the gift and The Hardware Store states $7.90, but for
the music and entertainment industry and for the world, that may now be considered as a priceless legacy.
The minister of his family church taught him three chords, A, D, and E. This is all he needed to play “Ole Shep,” which
was the first song he sang in 1945 in a youth talent contest at the Mississippi-Alabama Fair to win second place.
This is the same fair he played in 1957 when he donated the money to help with the repairs and opening of his birthplace.
Elvis sang in the Church at a very young age and the Church (actual building where the Presley family attended church
services) was relocated to the Birthplace property. Museum, Chapel and Park for visitors to experience and enjoy.
It was here that Elvis was first exposed to the rich, Southern gospel that became a staple of his musical repertoire.
According to the minister, Elvis was fascinated with music and the prospect of learning to play the guitar.
The Fountain of Life
There is a beautiful water feature on the property. Its design is to illustrate the years of Elvis’ life representing
the traits of humility and generosity flowing together to form a complete circle.
We could go on and on about Elvis, his birthplace, life, career, loves, music, shaking hips, movies and all, for there is so
much out there to read and discover about him. Some shocking, most know, but whether you are a fan or not, I think we
can all agree that this little kid from Tupelo Mississippi developed a talent, learned to dream, and created a vision
that he pursued and worked to “become” known as The King of Rock n’ Roll.
Do you remember?
I was 11 when Elvis died and remember sitting watching the TV as they shared the news of his death.
The adults in my life talked about him, his music and what it all meant to them (and to the world),
as they had lived life along side his fame.
There is also a pond on the property and although it is small, it does provide a pause for thought.
If you ever go to visit, take a moment there . . . to reflect.
If not of the coming of age, rags to riches journey of a young man in the 50’s & 60’s,
then of your own journey and path in life.
Info from around the property
Did you notice the Outhouse above? So did Chris!
I can’t turn my back on him!
Thank you for taking the time to read.
Elvis may have left the building for the last time,
but he lives on in the hearts and memories of so many!
Be sure to read the next Blog – its also about visiting another one of a kind place with friends and taking in some music history!