Elvis Birthday Celebration Kicks Off in Memphis Today
Elvis fans from around the world will travel to Graceland next week to celebrate the King of Rock 'n' Roll's birthday. Numerous events are scheduled, including the Elvis Presley Day Ceremony, which includes a birthday cake cutting and official proclamation.
Elvis Presley's Graceland will also kick-off a year-long celebration of the 60th Anniversary of Rock 'n' Roll during the annual birthday festivities. On July 5, 1954, Elvis walked into Sun Studios in Memphis and recorded "That's All Right" with guitarist Scotty Moore and bassist Bill Black. Memphis DJ Dewey Phillips played the song today, July 8 on WHBQ radio and the switchboard lit up. Rock 'n' Roll was born and the music world changed forever.
Popular radio and television personality Wink Martindale witnessed the historic night at WHBQ in July of 1954, when Sam Phillips brought DJ Dewey Phillips the acetate copy of Elvis' first Sun Record "That's All Right" to be played on the "Red, Hot, and Blue" radio show. After meeting that evening, Wink and Elvis remained friends throughout the course of Elvis' life. Wink will be a special guest for the birthday celebration, along with his wife, Sandra Ferra Martindale, who also dated Elvis off and on for several years early in Elvis' career. Together they will share stories about spending time with the King of Rock 'n' Roll.
Also joining the Elvis Presley birthday events will be the 16-year-old YouTube singing sensation from Quebec, Canada who will lead Elvis fans from around the world in a rendition of "Happy Birthday" at Graceland on January 8th. David Thibault gained worldwide attention on YouTube in early December. Singing "Blue Christmas" on a Canadian radio station, the version of the song went viral with over seven million views in less than a week. The result caught the attention of Ellen DeGeneres and David was invited to perform on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" just before Christmas, where Ellen surprised David with a trip to Graceland. In addition to the ceremony on the 8th, he will also perform at the Elvis Insiders Event on the 9th.
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 8
Elvis Birthday Proclamation Ceremony - 9:30 a.m. Graceland Front Lawn
Graceland/EPE officials will be joined by Memphis and Shelby County officials for a birthday cake cutting and a proclamation of Elvis Presley Day. Free admission. This event will be streamed live via Elvis Presley's Graceland event page on Livestream. Complimentary specially designed 60th Anniversary of Rock 'n' Roll birthday cake and coffee will be served at the Chrome Grille restaurant across the street from the mansion following the ceremony.
Special Birthday Stable Tours - 11:00 a.m., 12:00 p.m., 1:00 p.m.
The Graceland Stable will be available for tours with artifacts on display including saddles used by Elvis and his entourage, personal western wear worn by Elvis, and home movie footage of Elvis on horseback at Graceland. Graceland is currently the home to four horses - Max, Tucker, Bandit and Candy.
Graceland Trivia Tour - 4:30 p.m. Event starts at the Graceland Ticket Office
Guests are invited to tour Graceland Mansion and the Elvis Presley Car Museum while simultaneously answering trivia questions to which answers can be found on the tour.
Club Elvis - 8:00 p.m. - 12:00 a.m. Elvis Presley Car Museum, Graceland Plaza
An Elvis disc jockey spins Elvis records for fans' listening and dancing pleasure.
THURSDAY, JANUARY 9
Fan Club Presidents' Event - 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. University of Memphis Fogelman Executive Conference Center at 330 Innovation Drive
Elvis fans are invited to celebrate the work of Elvis Presley fan clubs during this special event. In addition to celebrating and recognizing the work of fan clubs, the event will feature a program of EPE company updates and special announcements, including the latest on EPE media, marketing, merchandise, new exhibits and more. Special guest Wayne Mann, Elvis' cousin and witness to the start of Elvis' career at Sun Studio, shares stories as the city of Memphis gears up to celebrate 60 Years of Rock 'n' Roll.
Official Elvis Insiders Reception and Graceland Tour - 6:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
A private evening tour of Graceland Mansion decorated for the holidays and a reception across the street in Graceland Plaza. The reception will be a progressive event moving about the plaza area and will include Elvis' airplanes, the Elvis Presley Automobile Museum, Sincerely Elvis and the Elvis in Tupelo Exhibit. Special guests are Sandra Ferra Martindale and Wink Martindale who will be answering questions during an exclusive Q & A session inside the Elvis Presley Car Museum. David Thibault will also be a special performing guest at this event exclusively for members of the Elvis Insiders.
FRIDAY, JANUARY 10
Elvis Morning Movie at Malco Theatres - 9:30 a.m. at 7130 Malco Blvd., Southaven, MS.
Elvis fans will enjoy a special presentation by Malco Theatres of the feature film "This Is Elvis." This film explores Elvis at different stages of his life, comprised mostly of actual performance footage and interviews with Elvis, his fans and those close to the king. In addition, fans can also see rare video of Graceland plus behind-the-scenes footage. All proceeds from this event will benefit the Elvis Presley Charitable Foundation.
NBA's/Memphis Grizzlies Elvis Birthday Night - 7:00 p.m. at FedExForum at 191 Beale Street
Join Elvis fans in town for the 2014 Elvis Birthday Celebration as they honor the life and career of a Memphis legend - Elvis Presley. The Memphis Grizzlies will be playing the Phoenix Suns in an arena filled with Elvis-themed music, movie clips, and live entertainment. Come watch the Grizzlies in their "blue suede shoes" defend their home court while honoring the King of Rock 'n' Roll. Tickets start at $25 and can be purchased by visiting Grizzlies.com.
SATURDAY, JANUARY 11
The Memphis Symphony Orchestra celebrates Elvis' birthday and helps kick off 2014 as the 60th anniversary of Rock 'n' Roll with songs from the king including "That's All Right." The concert event will feature fan-favorite Terry Mike Jeffrey and his band. Tickets are on sale now through the Memphis Symphony Orchestra website or by calling the Memphis Symphony box office at 901-537-2525.
For a complete listing of all events visit www.elvis.com. Tickets for Graceland-sponsored events can be purchased by calling Graceland Reservations at 800-238-2000 or 901-332-3322 or by purchasing them online.