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June 04, 2016  -  The Leader  /  Elvis Express Radio
Caught in the trap of summer boredom? That’s alright, mama, because a wild ride down memory lane is less than three hours away.

Grab your blue suede shoes, hop in your pink Cadillac and head south. Our Day Trippin’ destinations this week are Tupelo and Memphis, homes of rock 'n' roll legend Elvis Presley.

Popular for his suave good looks and wild, gyrating hips, Elvis Aaron Presley rose to fame as one of the pioneers of rock ‘n’ roll after recording “That’s Alright, Mama” with Scotty
Moore and Bill Black at Memphis’ Sun Studio in 1954.

Though he became a superstar as the king of rock 'n' roll, Elvis had humble beginnings. Born to Vernon and Gladys Presley in Tupelo, Miss. on Jan. 8, 1935, his twin, Jessie Garon
Presley, was stillborn, leaving him an only child.

In 1948, the family moved to Memphis and Elvis graduated from Humes High School in 1953.

At age 22, Elvis purchased Graceland – a property in Memphis located in the Whitehaven community, nine miles from downtown and four miles from the Mississippi River – as his
private residence. On Aug. 16, 1977, he died in the mansion.

Rock and roll history is so close that it’d almost be a shame not to take a day to learn more about the life of one of the most recognized cultural icons of the 20th century.

Humble beginnings in Tupelo

He died in a mansion, but Elvis was born in a two-room home built by his father. The Depression-era home, which contains only a bedroom and a kitchen, is now the most popular
tourist attraction in Mississippi.

"Our main focus is on the boy Elvis, the first 13 years of his life," said assistant director Blair Hill, grandson of the late Janelle McComb, a longtime Presley family friend who donated
items from her personal collection for the museum.

The landmark also includes the church The King once attended. If you're hungry, Hill recommends Johnny's Drive-In, Fairpark Grill and Vanelli's. For more information, visit

A mansion fit for The King

Famous for being the place where Elvis lived and died, Graceland mansion is the second most popular residential tourist attraction in the country. (Only the White House sees more
visitors each year.)

After Elvis' death, his father became executor of his estate; the title was then passed on to ex-wife Priscilla in 1979 when Vernon Presley died.

In 1982, after facing the possibility of selling Graceland, Priscilla opened the property as a tourist attraction. It currently sees 600,000 guests annually.

Tours of the mansion include Elvis’ living room, music room, parents' bedroom, dining room, kitchen, TV room, pool room and the famous Jungle Room.

One of the most popular attractions at Graceland besides the mansion is the Elvis Presley Automobile Museum, which features 33 motorized vehicles Elvis owned, including his
John Deere tractor plus the world famous Pink Cadillac.

There are self-guided tours and interactive iPad tours narrated by "Full House" star John Stamos. See graceland.com for packages.

For more fun, family-friendly events, see our calendar events. The third part in the Day Trippin' series will be published on June 9.