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February 11th and 18th,  2018   -   Daily Journal   /   Elvis Express Radio
A little over 72 years to the day, that historic event will be recreated when artist, musician and entertainer Ronnie McDowell takes the stage at the Elvis Presley Birthplace and
Museum on Saturday at 6 p.m.

“An American Trilogy on Canvas” will serve as the pilot to McDowell’s new television series, “Ronnie McDowell Painting America,” which filmed in downtown Tupelo in January and will
feature footage from the live performance at the Birthplace.

The pilot will center around Gladys and Elvis’ visit to Tupelo Hardware Company, where the young musician bought his first guitar, with McDowell having painted his vision of that
event, entitled “That Magic Moment”

“This is a wonderful project we’re doing,” McDowell said in an interview with the Daily Journal. “It’s good for the community, Elvis fans and Tupelo in general.”

The art will be unveiled at the end of McDowell’s performance on Saturday.

Five hundred prints of the painting will be available for sale, with proceeds and portions of ticket sales going to benefit Regional Rehabilitation Center.

“I had this idea about a year ago about traveling all over America and painting historical things that people would love for us to do,” he said. “It came to fruition when someone asked
me why nobody had ever painted when Elvis got his first guitar. I wondered why I didn’t think of that. So I came to Tupelo and went in the Hardware Store and asked Connie that
works there why nobody had ever painted that. She told me she knew exactly why, because it was meant for me to do it. I guess it was, because I’m doing it.”

McDowell calls the event “full circle,” as his 1977 song “The King is Gone” was a tribute to the late King of Rock ‘n’ Roll.

The pilot filmed at Tupelo Hardware Company, the Birthplace and Johnnie’s Drive-In in January with the final taping happening at the concert on Saturday.

Other episodes in the series will include McDowell and Dolly Parton with a painting he did of Parton and Elvis performing “I Will Always Love You,” and a visit to the oldest-running
silent move house in Tennessee.

McDowell has previously painted Presley in his piece “Reflection of a King,” depicting a young Elvis staring at his more well-known appearance in the mirror, holding a guitar.

While at Tupelo Hardware, McDowell took photographs in the store and had people recreate the scene for him, later painting from that imagery.

“It’s the same way my hero Norman Rockwell did,” McDowell said. “He would take photographs and pose people.”
McDowell is excited for Tupelo to be the first example of the series, featuring a moment he calls “monumental.”
“Think about it,” McDowell said. “What if he had gotten the rifle instead? He changed culture with that guitar.”

Elvis Express Radio Adds: 18th February 2018
Yesterday (17th) there was a sold out crowd in attendance at Elvis' Tupelo Birthplace to see a live concert by Country singer and painter, Ronnie McDowell and the unveiling of
McDowell's new painting.

McDowell revealed his new, original painting of Elvis getting his first guitar at the Tupelo Hardware Store to the crowd of which he titled, "That Magic Moment." At one point, McDowell
even tracked down Elvis' guitar to show to the audience Saturday.

The whole event was a PR stunt to launch a brand new TV show which had it's Pilot episode filmed at the famous Tupelo store back in January.

McDowell says no one had ever painted something like this before and he is glad to host this event at Elvis' birthplace.

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