Elvis Presley would have been 76 years old this year. And 34 years after his death, his fans are still celebrating his birthday.
I began the celebration this year on Friday January 7th with a visit to the house where Vernon Presley, Elvis’ dad, used to live. It backs up to Graceland and has become a meeting place for fans to gather and share their love for Elvis. This was my first visit. I finally got to meet Mike Freeman, whose book Memphis Elvis-style I read years before I moved to Memphis – and used as THE Elvis sites in Memphis reference book once I moved here.
After hanging with everyone at Vernon’s, I went to Graceland for the Elvis Insiders Reception and Tour. It wasn’t nearly as crowded as last year’s celebration. I took the second shuttle over to tour the mansion, which was still decorated for Christmas. The trophy room has been changed to a 1956 theme. I was lucky enough to have the meditation garden all to myself for several minutes. It was great to tour Graceland after dark.
Saturday morning January 8th, what would have been Elvis’ 76th birthday, I went back to Graceland for the cake cutting ceremony and birthday proclamation. At 35 degrees, it was 30 degrees warmer than it had been last year for the birthday celebration. But that didn’t prevent hundreds of Elvis fans from gathering on the front lawn of Graceland for Elvis’ birthday. Memphis Mayor AC Wharton was his usual eloquent self in his dedication to Elvis, but the real highlight of the ceremony was Chilean Miner Edison Pena’s rendition of Elvis’ Wonder of You.
Please watch my video of Elvis Presley’s 76th birthday celebration http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gHfpe9Vxkdg