More Featured Artifacts
Each week, a rare or never-before-seen photo or document from the Graceland archives is added to the Elvis Insiders
artifacts gallery. This gallery is exclusive to Elvis Insiders Basic and Plus members. Insiders can click here to see the complete gallery.
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March 27, 2013
often credited the gospel music he heard in church and the all-night
gospels he attended as a child as being major influences on his personal
life and music career. Elvis received 14 Grammy nominations from the
National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. His three wins were for
gospel recordings - the album "How Great Thou Art," the album "He
Touched Me" and his live Memphis-concert recording of the song "How
Great Thou Art." In celebration of Elvis's passion for spirituality and
his gospel performances, we wish all of our Elvis Insiders and fans a
Happy Easter! This week's exclusive artifact features two "Easter
Greetings" cards personally signed by Elvis in 1968 and 1969. Basic and
Plus members can view this exclusive image in the MEDIA section on the
March 19, 2013
On March 25, 1961, the Honolulu Star-Bulletin featured an article announcing Elvis' benefit concert for the USS Arizona Memorial
In 1960, initial fundraising efforts to build the Memorial had stalled,
with only half of the funds needed raised. In an effort to re-energize
the campaign, Hawaii journalists sent out an appeal to newspaper editors
across the country asking for editorial support. Elvis Presley and his
manager, Colonel Tom Parker, read about the effort to raise funds and
decided to do a benefit concert in Hawaii to help. More than 4,000 fans
attended the concert on March 25, 1961, purchasing tickets ranging in
price from $3 to $100. The concert, which featured Elvis Presley and an
all-star lineup of entertainers, raised just over $54,000 toward the
$500,000 goal. Many public and private donations followed the show, and
the USS Arizona Memorial was dedicated on May 30, Memorial Day, 1962.
This week's exclusive artifact features this newspaper announcement
which features several photos of Elvis along with the announcement.
Basic and Plus members can view this exclusive image in the MEDIA
section on the Insiders Forum.
March 8, 2013
loved water sports and spent many vacations near the ocean or on
McKellar Lake with family and friends. Elvis was often known to collect
the coolest new gadgets including the latest boats and even donated a
yacht, the U.S.S. Potomac, to St. Jude in his continued effort to
support the children's hospital. After being honored by the Tennessee
State Legislature in March of 1961, Elvis went on shopping spree at
Memphis boat supply story for $5,171.48. This week's Insiders exclusive
features a check to Russell Hardwick Boats that was paid on March 10,
1961. Basic and Plus members can view this exclusive image in the MEDIA
section on the Insiders Forum.
March 1, 2013
of fans have traveled from around the world to visit Graceland and
leave personal messages to Elvis on the outside wall. The wall outside
of Graceland has given fans a sense of warmth, welcome and camaraderie.
In April of 1957 after Elvis purchased the Graceland property and was
filming "Jailhouse Rock," the famous Graceland wall was installed with
Alabama field stone and was one of the first additions to the grounds
along with the famous iron gates. The Graceland wall has been signed by
millions of people, including celebrities, politicians and fans from
around the world. During this time, the Kentucky style white fence
surrounding the property was also installed. In honor of our new "To Elvis With Love: Writings on the Wall" video series
this week's exclusive Insiders artifact is the invoice from Chisca
Fence Co. who installed the white fencing. Basic and Plus members can
view this exclusive image in the MEDIA section
on the Insiders Forum.
February 15, 2013
of 1956 was a monumental moment in Elvis' career as he catapulted to the
scene and set the stage for rock 'n' roll. As "Heartbreak Hotel" was
climbing up the charts on its way to #1, Elvis' fifth and last single to
be released on the Sun label, hits #1 on Billboard’s national country
singles chart. This marked his first #1 hit on a national chart. During
this time, traveling and personal appearances continued including the
“Louisiana Hayride” appearances for which he was still under contract.
This week's exclusive Insider artifact features a typed out schedule of
Elvis' tour to his parents, Gladys and Vernon Presley. Among the places
expected for him to make appearances was six performances on the Jackie
Gleason-produced “Stage Show,” starring Tommy and Jimmy Dorsey, on CBS.
Basic and Plus Insiders can view the detailed itinerary from Colonel Tom
Parker's secretary Carolyn Asmus to Elvis' parents in the MEDIA section
on the Insiders Forum.
February 8, 2013
'50s and '60s were a revolutionary time for music with Elvis shaking up
the world with his television appearances in the '50s and opening the
doors for rock legends such as the Beatles. On February 9, 1964, Colonel
Tom Parker and Elvis sent a Western Union telegram to be read on air
during the Beatles live appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show. Elvis
congratulated the fab four on their success and their trip to the United
States. The influence Elvis had over the young Beatles and the one and
only meeting between the two world icons is carefully explored through a
series of video interviews shot exclusively for the "Elvis and Us
Exhibit" at The Beatles Story in Liverpool. The interviews feature
Priscilla Presley, The Beatles 1960s press officer Tony Barrow, NME
journalist Chris Hutchins, and members of The Quarrymen, the band that
evolved into The Beatles. "Elvis and Us"
is now open at The Beatles Story until October of 2013. The new exhibit tells the amazing story of how The King of Rock
'n' Roll inspired The Beatles to go on and become the legends who helped
changed rock music forever.
January 31, 2013
On January 28, 1956, Presley began a string of six appearances on The Stage Show on CBS that would mark his debut on the national television stage. Despite criticism from several television personalities, these performances opened the doors to some of the king's most legendary appearances. The last of these six appearances was on March 24, 1956. Elvis continued to travel for personal appearances during this time, including the “Louisiana Hayride” appearances for which he was still under contract. This week's exclusive Elvis Insider artifact features the original telegram to Colonel Tom Parker confirming four of Elvis's performances on the "Jackie Gleason Stage Show" with the first appearance on January 28, 1956. The telegram includes details about his appearances and how much he was paid per show. Basic and Plus Insiders can view this image in the MEDIA section on the Insiders Forum.
January 22, 2013
In January of 1971, Elvis attended a day of events after being named one of the Ten Outstanding Young Men of the Nation by the United States Junior Chamber of Commerce (The Jaycees). This was the one and only time Elvis accepted an award in person and gave a speech. Elvis was touched, excited and truly proud of this achievement. This national honor had been given each year since the late 1930’s and recognized young men who made great achievements in their field of endeavor. The award not only acknowledged Elvis' world-wide success in his music career, but also applauded his humanitarianism and community service. For Elvis, a man who grew up poor and knew the sting of ridicule, this was one of his proudest moments. It was a sign that he had achieved acceptance, recognition, and respect for his work. This week's artifact is the complete agenda from The United States Jaycees 1971 ceremonies.
January 11, 2012
As part of the "Aloha from Hawaii" 40th Anniversary Celebration, fans can view a special exhibit of Elvis Presley and learn how his efforts helped build the USS Arizona Memorial. Dedicated on Memorial Day 1962, the structure is one of the world's foremost architectural icons of remembrance and one that had special significance for the king. On March 25, 1961, at Pearl Harbor’s Bloch Arena, Presley performed a historic benefit concert that raised over $64,000 for the building of the Memorial. Over the years, due to the natural exposure to weather, salt water spray and foot traffic of more than 50 million visitors, the Memorial is in need of an extensive restoration. This week's Insiders artifact features an original advertisement issued by RCA Victor for the 1961 Benefit Concert for the USS Arizona Memorial. Fans attending the Aloha celebration can learn more about touring the USS Arizona Memorial by visiting NPS.gov
December 28, 2012
With the upcoming Aloha From Hawaii 40th Anniversary Celebration
coming up in less than two weeks, we look at Elvis' commitment to raising funds for the USS Arizona
located in Hawaii. On January 11,1961, this press release announced details about the benefit concert held for the USS Arizona
In the release, Colonel Tom Parker spoke at a press conference, setting
the goal for at least $50,000 to help finish the current phase. Parker
stated that they would pay for the production of the show and even Elvis
would purchase his own ticket to the concert. On March 25, 1961, Elvis
performed the benefit concert to help raise much needed funds. At the
time, fundraising for the memorial had lost much of its early momentum.
The benefit concert raised $54,000 and made up 10% of the final
construction costs. The USS Arizona
Memorial would also go on to
secure many more private, state, and federal donations just in time for
the Memorial Day dedication. Fans attending the Aloha celebration can
learn more about touring the USS Arizona
Memorial by visiting NPS.gov
December 20, 2012
was always a special time for Elvis and he often turned to the Bible
for spiritual guidance. In 1964, his entourage gifted him with a special
Bible featuring a “tree of life” motif drawn on the first page. At the
top of the tree is one of Elvis’s favorite quotations, “And ye shall
know the truth, and the truth shall set you free” written in English,
Hebrew and Latin. Elvis' name is spelled out vertically down the “tree
of life” and the names of each entourage member is written on the
branches of the tree. This week's artifact features the hi-res image of
the first page of this bible. Elvis Basic and Plus Insiders can view the
complete image in the MEDIA
December 14, 2012
Elvis played a major role in helping to fund the USS Arizona Memorial
which is dedicated to the Pearl Harbor attacks. On March 25, 1961,
Elvis performed a benefit concert to help raise much needed funds. At
the time, fundraising for the memorial had lost much of its early
momentum. The benefit concert raised $54,000 and made up 10% of the
final construction costs. The USS Arizona
Memorial would also go
on to secure many more private, state, and federal donations just in
time for the Memorial Day dedication. The Secretary of the Navy
cordially invited Elvis to the dedication ceremony which took place on
May 30, 1962. This week's Insiders exclusive artifact is the original
invitation for the dedication ceremony. Insiders can view the complete
image by clicking on "Exclusive Images" under the MEDIA section.
December 6, 2012
1968, it had been more than seven years since Elvis had appeared in
front of a live audience. Elvis missed the closeness of his audience,
the energy and excitement of live performing. Beginning on June 3, 1968,
Elvis rehearsed for the taping of his first television special. A press
conference was held on June 25 and live audiences packed the NBC
studios for the taping on June 27, 28, 29 and 30. Elvis made television
and entertainment history when the television special aired on December
3, 1968. The TV special titled “Elvis” was seen by 42% of the viewing
audience and featured some of his greatest and most memorable moments
captured on video. Iconic performances include the jam session portion
of the show where Elvis is dressed in all leather, along with the
remarkable "If I Can Dream" performance where he appears in an all white
two-piece suit. This week's exclusive artifact features an original
ticket to the taping of "Elvis" or what has come to be known as the '68
Special. This ticket was for the June 29 taping of the show.
November 27, 2012
part of the Christmas celebration here at Graceland, we always decorate
the house in the same manner Elvis liked to decorate the mansion. This
week's exclusive Insiders artifact features the Christmas tree display
formerly set up in the Jungle Room. What became known as Lisa Marie's
tree, was originally featured here at Graceland starting in 1993 as a
place to display Lisa Marie's toys for Christmas. In 2010, the staff at
Graceland decided to return to the original trees that Elvis would set
up each year. This tree is no longer on display for tours. In honor of
Elvis' love for Christmas, the staff continues to honor his memory and
we invite fans to share in the king's holiday spirit. No matter where
you are staying warm this holiday season, we offer many fun ways to experience the magic of Elvis and Graceland this holiday season
. Elvis Basic and Plus Insiders can view the complete image in the MEDIA section.
November 16, 2012
those of us who remember the 8-track tape craze, you're not alone, even
Elvis had an 8-track tape collection which includes even one of his own
releases, "Elvis Sings The Wonderful World of Christmas." This record
was originally released on vinyl in 1971. This album topped the
Billboard Holiday Albums Chart and was certified gold and platinum in
1977. The Christmas favorite later received triple platinum status in
1999. Several of the songs were published by Elvis Presley's publishing
company, such as "Holly Leaves And Christmas Trees," "I'll Be Home On
Christmas Day," "If I Get Home On Christmas Day" and "On a Snowy
Christmas Night." This week's Insiders exclusive is the original 8-track
from Elvis' personal collection.
November 6, 2012
November 1, 1972, the concert-documentary film "Elvis on Tour" opened
to the public peaking at #13 and later winning a Golden Globe award for
"Best Documentary Film." As part of the 40th anniversary of the film's
release and production, Elvis Presley Enterprises produced the
first-ever e-book covering the monumental concert tour that resulted in
the award-winning film. In April of 1972, MGM filmed Elvis in a
Hollywood recording studio and then on and off stage during his 15-city
concert tour. This week's exclusive artifact features a full-page ad
placed in "Rolling Stone" magazine on November 9, 1972. The ad features a
photo of Elvis along with a description of the concert plus favorable
quotes from the "The New Yorker," "The New York Times" and "Rolling
October 28, 2012
On October 28, 1956, a 40-foot cutout of Elvis was unveiled at Times Square Paramount Theater in New York City, announcing the premiere of his first movie "Love Me Tender." Elvis attended the unveiling right after receiving his polio shot as part of a March of Dimes public service campaign. Thousands of Elvis fans crowded around the Paramount Theater as Elvis greeted fans, signed autographs and answered questions from the press about his movie debut. During his appearance at the unveiling, Colonel Tom Parker passed out "Elvis for President" buttons. After his press conference, Elvis went on to make his second appearance on "The Ed Sullivan Show" at the Maxine Elliot Theater. This week's artifact features a photo of this famous cutout and the crowds of fans who surrounded the Paramount Theater just to get a glimpse of the king.
October 20, 2012
On October 19, 1970, Elvis picked up the first TCB pendants for his entourage from Schwartz and Ableser Jewelers in Beverly Hills. Elvis wanted to give this as a gift for his entourage's loyalty and for "Takin' Care of Business." Elvis also gave the women in his group TLC necklaces which stood for "Tender Loving Care." Elvis incorporated the letters in an emblem with a lightning bolt and the logo has become a staple in the Elvis community. Lowell Hays was Elvis' jeweler in the late 1960s and through the 1970s.
He designed the famous TCB ring and the TCB and TLC necklaces, among many other custom
pieces of jewelry. Elvis' own band was also known as the TCB Band which formed the core rhythm section during his live performances in the '70s. This week's Insiders artifact features an original invoice for TCB jewelry designed specifically for Elvis and his entourage.
October 11, 2012
On October 8, 1956, Elvis wrapped up post-production and was released from his first film, "Love Me Tender." The movie premiered at the Paramount Theater in New York City in November, opening nationwide in the days following. Elvis' film debut became a smash hit with a mix of critics’ reviews for his acting in the melodrama. The film is set in the American South of the 1800’s Civil War era and includes Elvis performing several songs. "Love Me Tender" was originally intended to be a straight acting role for Elvis, but due to the popularity of the single and Colonel Tom Parker's desire to promote Presley's films with a soundtrack, four songs were added to the film. This week's Elvis Insiders artifact features one of the less favorable reviews from the Daily Mail for "Love Me Tender."
October 4, 2012
On January 14, 1973, Elvis made television and entertainment history with his “Elvis: Aloha from Hawaii - Via Satellite” special. Over one billion viewers from 40 countries watched this televised event and more American households watched this performance that man's first walk on the moon. Originally, the fundraising event's goal was to raise $25,000 but the Elvis' concert tripled those numbers, bringing in over $75,000 for the Kui Lee Cancer Fund in Hawaii. In honor of this iconic moment in Elvis career, Elvis Presley Enterprises is returning to Hawaii for the 40th anniversary celebration which includes an upscale Elvis experience in the place where Elvis loved to travel, film, and perform. This week's Insiders artifact is an original ticket to this iconic performance at the Honolulu International Center Arena. Fans will get to experience an enhance screening of this legendary concert in the same arena on January 14, 2013. Fans can book their Elvis-themed Hawaiian getaway by visiting Elvis.com/Aloha
September 26, 2012
One of the most iconic moments in Elvis' career happened in his childhood hometown on September 26, 1956. Elvis performed two shows at the Mississippi-Alabama Fair and Dairy Show in Tupelo, MS, the same fair he performed at when he was 10 years old. Elvis arrived with his parents to a day-long celebration where he was greeted with a large banner that read "Tupelo Welcomes Elvis Presley Home." Tupelo Mayor James Ballard presented Elvis with a guitar-shaped key to the city and Mississippi Governor J.P. Coleman read a list of Elvis' many charitable contributions and accomplishments naming Elvis, "America's Number One Entertainer." A popular restaurant called Rex Plaza served "Elvis Presley Specials with 'Don't Be Cruel' prices" which included the "Love Me Tender" steak and "Heart Break Hotel" cobbler, among other Elvis inspired dishes and sides. This week's Insiders artifact features the entire Rex Plaza menu created for Elvis' Tupelo Homecoming in 1956.
September 20, 2012
This week's Insiders artifact is a check for the 1971 DeTamaso Pantera that Elvis purchased on September 19, 1974. Elvis bought the car for Linda Thompson, his girlfriend at the time. The actual amount of the car has long been disputed and this artifact debunks many reports of how much Elvis actually paid for the car. Previous reports said Elvis paid $2,400. Elvis fans are quite familiar with this car due to stories about Elvis shooting through the steering wheel when the car would not start. According to StreetLegalTV.com
, the DeTomaso Pantera was a mid-engined, Italian car sold through Lincoln-Mercury dealers from 1971 - 1975. When Ford eliminated importation in 1975, production continued for several years afterwards bumping the total build to approximately 7,200 vehicles.
September 14, 2012
This week's artifact is from Elvis' famous tour in April of 1972. An article from the Albuquerque Journal on April 20, highlights the night Elvis made an 8-year-old girl's dream come true. On April 19, 1972, Denise Sanchez was battling terminal cancer when she attended his concert at the Tingley Coliseum in Albuquerque. Due to her condition, Denise was almost unable to attend the concert. The 8-year-old girl and her mother were invited back-stage during intermission where she finally got to meet her musical idol. Leaving the star-struck child speechless, Elvis greeted her with a kiss and told her she was beautiful. She asked him to sing a song for her and Elvis said he wanted to surprise her during the show. Elvis then dedicated "You Gave Me a Mountain" to Denise during the second half of his performance. Elvis fans can read more about this personal story with the king and his 15-city, 15-day tour in the new “Elvis on Tour” e-book now available at Amazon.com
. The new e-book features rare photos of Elvis on stage, press clippings and reviews of the concert tour, and an up-close look at artifacts from both the actual tour and the awarding winning “Elvis on Tour” documentary film.
September 6, 2012
This week's Insiders artifact features the TV Guide listing for the first of Elvis' three appearances on "The Ed Sullivan Show" on September 9, 1956. Elvis had already appeared on other national television shows such as "Stage Show," "The Milton Berle Show" and "The Steve Allen Show," when Sullivan booked Elvis. After negotiations with Colonel Tom Parker, Sullivan paid Elvis $50,000 to appear on September 9, 1956, October 28, 1956, and then on January 6, 1957. For Elvis' first appearance, Ed Sullivan was not able to host due to injuries from a very serious car accident. In his place, Oscar-winning actor Charles Laughton hosted the show from New York. Elvis actually appeared on a stage in Hollywood where he was filming "Love Me Tender." Wearing a plaid jacket and holding a guitar, Elvis thanked Laughton and said, "This is probably the greatest honor that I've ever had in my life." Elvis attracted the highest ratings for any television variety show at the time, receiving 80% of the national viewing audience.
August 30, 2012
This week's artifact is the poster from Elvis' tenth film, "Kid Galahad," which opened nationwide 50 years ago on August 29, 1962. The musical film starred Elvis as a boxer and ranked #37 for the year. To prepare for his role, Elvis trained with former junior welterweight champion Mushy Callahan. Some critics regard this as one of Elvis' best acting roles. The supporting cast included Gig Young, Lola Albright and Charles Bronson. The film was a remake of the 1937 original directed by Michael Curtiz who also directed Presley's 1958 film "King Creole." Fans can view the original movie trailer
on Elvis.com or purchase the Follow That Dreams release of the "Kid Galahad" soundtrack at ShopElvis.com
August 23, 2012
week's artifact is an advertisement for Elvis' show at Sick's Stadium
in the Oregon Journal on August 26, 1957. Elvis along with Scotty Moore,
Bill Black, and DJ Fontana performed in front of 16,000 fans in Tacoma,
Washington on September 1, 1957. The most expensive ticket to the show
was $3.50. Elvis appeared in his gold lame jacket and sent thousands of
teenage girls into a frenzy after his final performance of "Hound Dog."
This concert followed his only three appearances outside the country in
Canada. At the age of 14, Seattle native Jim Hendrix was in attendance
and made a color drawing of Elvis performing on stage. This drawing
along with his notes were featured at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in
Cleveland. Hendrix often credited this performance as his inspiration to
continue his music career. This was one of the first concerts to be
held in an outdoor stadium.
August 10, 2012
This week's artifact features the invoice from T.J. Malone & Son who moved the two imported marble lions from 160 Cherry Road to Graceland. The company charged $1,000 to purchase and install the lion statues. The two white marble lions were placed at the front entrance and currently serve as the spot where millions of Elvis fans have taken photos. These lions have become an integral part of the king's legacy and the place he called home. Fans continue to travel from around the world to make the rock 'n' roll pilgrimage to Graceland. This year's 35th celebration of Elvis Week is expected to be one of the largest in history.
August 3, 2012
This week's Elvis Insiders artifact is an article from the Tampa Daily News on August 6, 1956, after thousands of screaming fans packed the Fort Homer Hesterly Armory to see Elvis perform. The news clipping describes Elvis as "bringing the house down with every frantic breath." The writer refers to Elvis as a "21-year old contortionist whose singing style resembles a fast-moving tennis player." Of the three photos featured in the article, the first image shows thousands of teens who crowded the Armory for a chance to see the king, the next photo is a close up of several teenage girls in tears when Elvis left the stage, and the last image is a photo of Elvis in 1956.
The writer says Elvis was saved from mobs of teenagers wanting autographs after Tampa police escorted him from the auditorium and describes the scene as a "hysterical Sunday afternoon." The article was kept in a scrapbook by the late Colonel Tom Parker and is among thousands of artifacts preserved at Graceland.