I spent the week of August 13th in Memphis, Tennessee soaking up Elvis Week 2012.  Elvis week is held every August in memory of the passing of the King of Rock 'n' Roll himself.  This year commemorated 35 years since his passing and, I can tell you from first hand experience, the fanbase has not dwindled.  Thousands of Elvis fans walked the streets of Elvis Presley Blvd. to show their dedication.

I've always liked Elvis' music, but I didn't know much about his history until recently.  What an amazing man.  Pure talent and determination.  He recorded his first hit at Sun Studio in the early 50's after a year of trying to get the attendion of Sam Phillips (the studio's founder).  A lot of people would have given up after a week, but Elvis stuck it out.  Thank goodness he did!  He opened the door for the music that exists today.


There's something really weird and wonderful about conventions.  You go from being one of the few people (if not the only person) in your social network that has some particular interest to being completely surrounded by a group of people that all share that interest.  What normally sets you apart from you usual pack becomes your main focus for a dedicated amount of time.  It honestly kind of intense.  What you may have been secretly really interested in comes into the light and is exposed for all to see.  

When I got to Memphis, I knew what I was coming into.. kind of.  I knew there'd be Elvis music, lots of sideburns, and maybe even a few tears.. but the week definitely surpassed my expectations. I got to visit Tupelo, Mississippi - the birthplace of Elvis.  We drove the same route that Elvis and his parent took to Memphis when Elvis was 13 years old.  We stopped in Holly Springs, Mississippi to visit Graceland Too (which is too wonderful for this already long blog post, so I'll be posting about it later).  We visited Beale Street where the blues started.  We stepped into the recording room of Sun Studio where Elvis, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins all got their start and where countless famous musicians have gone to soak up just a little of the magic.  I put my head on the very spot where Elvis recorded "That's All Right (Mama)" back in 1954.  I felt the energy in the room.  I got chills.  I was inspired.  We met James Burton, Elvis' guirtarist and heard Priscilla and Lisa Marie Presley talk about Elvis.  I heard a great episode of This American Life about conventions.  Definitely worth checking out and if you're ever near Memphis, Tennessee in August or January (to celebrate his birthday) or really any day of the year, be sure to stop in.  Visit Graceland.  Shake your hips.  You'll feel the spirit of the King of Rock 'n' Roll.

1 comment:

  1. Wish I coulda been there!
    I've always wondered about "If I haver," as I love that song "I'm gonna be 500 miles." I thought maybe haver meant puke, in the context of the song...


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