As Elvis Presley's fame grew, especially after his appearances on television, the number of fans that would congregate outside his Memphis house multiplied. His neighbors, most of whom were happy to have a celebrity living nearby, soon came to find the constant gathering of fans and journalists a nuisance.
Out in the Country:
So in early 1957, Presley asked his parents, Vernon and Gladys Presley, to find a farmhouse like property to purchase. At the time, Graceland was located several miles beyond Memphis' main urban area. In later years, Memphis would expand with housing, resulting in Graceland being surrounded by other properties.
Back of House:
- Graceland is a mansion on a 13.8 acre estate about nine miles from Downtown Memphis, Tennessee.
- Graceland is 17,500 square feet and has a total of 23 rooms, including eight bedrooms and bathrooms.
- It was opened to the public as a museum on June 7, 1982.
- Graceland is the most-visited privately owned home in America with over 650,000 visitors a year, rivaling publicly owned houses such as Biltmore Estate, Hearst Castle and the White House.
- The second floor is not open to visitors, out of respect for the Presley family, and partially to avoid any improper focus on the bathroom which was the site of his death. The floor has been untouched since the day Elvis died and is rarely seen by non-family members.
Basement TV Room:
Yellow TV Room:
- The TV room in the basement is where Elvis often watched three television sets at once, and was within close reach of a wet bar.
- The TV room's west wall is painted with Elvis' 1970s logo of a lightning bolt and cloud with the initials TCB, for 'taking care of business in a flash'.
- The south wall has three built-in television sets, a stereo, and cabinets for Elvis' record collection.
Elvis, an avid billiards player, bought the pool table in 1960 and had the walls and ceiling covered with 350–400 yards of pleated cotton fabric in 1974. One corner of the pool table has a tear in the cloth caused by one of Elvis' friends who attempted a trick shot that failed.
- In the mid-1960s, Elvis constructed a large building, or wing, on the south side of the main house.
- The new wing initially housed a slot car track but was later remodeled to house Elvis' many awards, trophies, and other honors, as well as memorabilia, guitars, jewelery, and stage costumes. Today it is known as the Trophy Building
- There are a number of display cases that exhibit Elvis Presley's many awards, plaques, and proclamations, including his three Grammy Awards and Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Academy for the Recording Arts and Sciences.
Hall of Gold Records:
Hall of Gold:
An 80-foot-long room in the Trophy Building showcases Elvis' original gold and platinum albums and singles in cases that line both sides of the Hall.
Elvis Presley's Grave:
Elvis Presley's Tombstone:
He was initially buried inside a mausoleum in Forest Hills Cemetery in Memphis. But, after his resting place was continuously tampered with by fans and souvenir seekers alike, he was relocated. Elvis Presley and his mother, Gladys, were moved to Graceland.
August 16, 1977:
He had been out for a late-night dental appointment and came home shortly after midnight. Elvis, his girlfriend Ginger Alden, along with his cousin Billy Smith and his wife Jo played a few light hearted games of racquetball (In 1975, Elvis built a 2,100 square foot, two-story structure at Graceland to accommodate his new interest for the sport of racquetball) and then relaxed around the piano with Elvis playing and singing. Shortly thereafter, Elvis retired to his private suite upstairs at the mansion around 7:00am to rest for his evening departure to Portland, Maine; the beginning of the next leg of his concert tour schedule. At midday, he was found collapsed upstairs and was taken by ambulance to Baptist Memorial Hospital. Elvis was pronounced dead on arrival due to heart failure. In a matter of moments, the shock registered around the world.
Elvis Aron Presley or Elvis Aaron Presley?
On his copper tombstone, it reads, "Elvis Aaron Presley," but the artist usually spelled it with a single "a", like Aron. Some fans speculate that this is a clue that Presley is still alive. But when the King grew up, he spelled it with two a's to match the name's spelling in the bible. Presley found a pleasant surprise on a copy of his birth certificate - someone had accidentally spelled his middle name with two a's, exactly the way he wanted it. From then on, everything Elvis signed carried the middle name Aaron.
Both Aaron and Aron are technically correct, but Elvis preferred the version with two a's, giving us "the error" on his tombstone.
Elvis Presley died at Graceland in 1977 due to a heart attack. He was only 42 years old.
Elvis got his first name from his father, Vernon Elvis Presley. But it's unclear where Vernon got it. The name of a 6th Century Irish saint was variously spelled Elvis, Elwyn, Elwin, Elian and Allan.
Elvis had a Twin Brother:
Elvis was born on January 8, 1935 as Elvis Aron Presley (later spelled Aaron). Gladys Presley gave birth in their small, two-room house in East Tupelo, Mississippi. Although Elvis would grow up an only child, he was the second baby Gladys would give birth to.
Just 35 minutes before, Gladys brought Jesse Garon Presley, Elvis' twin, into the world. Tragically, however, Jesse would never get the chance to cherish life with his twin brother. Jesse Garon Presley, twin to the future King of Rock & Roll, was stillborn.
With little to their name, the Presleys would have no choice but to bury Jesse Garon in an unmarked grave. He was laid to rest forever in the nearby Priceville Cemetery the day after his birth: January 9, 1935.
Elvis liked his meat well-done. One of his favorite expressions was "That's burnt, man." Whether he was talking about a steak or a song, something "burnt" was good.
3764 Elvis Presley Boulevard