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Graceland Announces Additional Guests for Elvis Week 2019

Graceland Announces Additional Guests for Elvis Week 2019

Elvis Week™ 2019 will mark the 42nd anniversary of Elvis' passing and Graceland® is preparing for the gathering of Elvis fans and friends from around the world for the nine-day celebration of Elvis' life, the music, movies and legacy of Elvis. Events include appearances by celebrities and musicians, The Auction at Graceland, Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest Finals, live concerts, fan events, and more. Events will be held at the Mansion grounds, the entertainment and exhibit complex, Elvis Presley's Memphis,™ the AAA Four-Diamond Guest House at Graceland resort hotel and the just-opened Graceland Exhibition Center.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of Elvis' legendary recording sessions at American Sound that produced songs such as "Suspicious Minds," "In the Ghetto" and "Don't Cry Daddy." A special panel will discuss the sessions in 1969. Panelists include Memphis Boys Bobby Wood and Gene Chrisman, who were members of the legendary house band at the American Sound between 1967 until it's closing in 1972; Mary and Ginger Holladay, who sang back-up vocals; Elvis historian Sony Music's Ernst Jorgensen; songwriter Mark James, who wrote "Suspicious Minds"; and musicians five-time GRAMMY Award winning singer BJ Thomas and six-time GRAMMY Award winning singer Ronnie Milsap, who will also perform a full concert at the Soundstage at Graceland that evening. At American Sound Ronnie played on Elvis' "Kentucky Rain" and sang harmony on "Don't Cry Daddy." There will also be an American Sound 50th Anniversary Celebration Concert on the evening of August 14 at the Soundstage at Graceland.

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of Elvis' return to Las Vegas, the 1969 50th Anniversary Concert - Elvis Returns to Vegas on August 16 will feature Elvis live in concert on the big screen, with performances by Elvis' TCB Band - James Burton, Ronnie Tutt, and Glen Hardin, along with Imperials Terry Blackwood and Jim Murray, and singer Estelle Brown, a member of The Sweet Inspirations who began performing and recording with Elvis in 1969. There will also be a special Elvis in Vegas Panel on August 17 which will offer stories and memories from those who shared the stage with Elvis, starting with his 1969 return to the live performances through the 1970s. Confirmed guests include TCB Band members James Burton, Ronnie Tutt and Glen Hardin, Estelle Brown, Elvis historian Ernst Jorgensen and John Jackson of Sony/Legacy Recordings, plus original members of The Imperials Terry Blackwood and Jim Murray.

Other Elvis Week highlights include the Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist competition where 17 of the best Elvis tribute artists in the world will compete for the crown of the Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist of 2019; fans and collectors from around the world will have the opportunity to participate on-site and online for The Auction at Graceland featuring third-party artifacts authenticated by Graceland Authenticated; a special Fan Celebration event will celebrate what it means to be an Elvis fan; an Elvis Presley Gospel Homecoming concert including former members of J.D. Sumner and The Stamps Quartet: Donnie Sumner, Ed Hill and Larry Strickland and other gospel groups with special Elvis connections; a Gospel Brunch with live gospel music by the Blackwood Brothers Quartet; nightly parties and a live music pavilion at the all-new Graceland Exhibition Center that will feature continuous live entertainment and a comfortable area for fans to recharge and reconnect.

New to the schedule is a concert by Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest winner Cody Ray Slaughter at The Guest House Theater. Cody will also join Dean Z on for Elvis Unplugged: The Early Years.

The Conversations on Elvis event will include Elvis' personal friend former Shelby County Mayor and Sheriff who was friends with Elvis Bill Morris; Bonya Rhodes McGarrity, a Memphis native who worked at Graceland as Elvis' secretary from 1961-1963; and Memphis native Pat West who was a college student when she began working for Elvis as a secretary at Graceland and who, through Elvis, met and married Red West of the famous "Memphis Mafia."

The cornerstone event, the Candlelight Vigil, will begin on Thursday, August 15, at 8:30 p.m. CDT at Graceland's front gate. Elvis music sets the tone of the evening as fans walk up the driveway to the Meditation Garden. This event lasts throughout the night as thousands of participants gather on Elvis Presley Boulevard listening to music, remembering Elvis and enjoying the memorials that are created by fans along the street. The Candlelight Vigil will be open for all to attend. No special passes or wristbands are required to participate in the Candlelight Vigil.

Legendary guitarist and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer James Burton will be celebrating his 80th birthday in August. A special event to close out Elvis Week that celebrates James' life and legacy of music will be held at the Guest House Theater on August 18. This retrospective event, hosted by musician Andy Childs, will feature music and storytelling as James talks about his life and storied career of working with everyone from Elvis, Johnny Cash, the Everly Brothers, Ricky Nelson, John Denver, Merle Haggard - to Joni Mitchell, Roy Orbison and Elvis Costello.

Elvis Week tickets and packages are on sale at the Elvis Week ticket page.

For complete line-up of all Elvis Week shows, events and activities, go to

The Guest House at Graceland resort hotel will offer nightly live entertainment, many free Elvis Week activities and free shuttles to Graceland. There is limited availability at on select nights during Elvis Week. Visit for availability and room reservations.

All guests, times, prices and details are subject to change. All ticket sales are final and non-refundable.

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