Elvis Week 2009

In the weeks leading up to Elvis Week 2017, the 40th Anniversary, I have decided to look back on Elvis Weeks past and share my experiences on Elvis Weeks I have attended (on every Thursday #tbt and Friday #fbf leading up to Elvis Week 2017). I attended Elvis Week 2002 (the 25th Anniversary), Elvis Week 2007 (the 30th anniversary), and Elvis Weeks in 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011 when I lived in Memphis. I am starting off with Elvis Week 2009.

32nd Anniversary Candle1

My Elvis Week started Sunday August 9th when I saw Blue Hawaii at The Orpheum, which was the first time seeing it on the big screen for me. The next day Monday August 10th I picked up my Elvis Week event tickets at Graceland.

Blue Hawaii

 

Tuesday August 11th I went to the Elvis film festival at Studio on the Square. It was my third year attending this great event. This year I saw King Creole and Jailhouse Rock. That night I went to the Shawn Klush concert with The Sweet Inspirations (who used to perform with Elvis). I am not much on Elvis Tribute Artists, but he was fantastic! Sang and acted just like Elvis. And of course I loved The Sweets!

Shawn & the Sweets2

Wednesday night August 12th I attended the World Premiere of the documentary At the Gates by Larry Geller’s son Kiara. It took place at the old Memphian Theater (now Playhouse on the Square). Of course the Memphian is the theater Elvis used to rent out for his movie parties – they have his chair on display. Elvis’ friends Larry Geller and George Klein were there. I met Larry and had him autograph his book to me.

The Memphian2Elvis display at Memphian2George, Larry and Kiara At the Gates

Thursday August 13th I attended the Fan Club Presidents’ Event, which was not that great but I learned a few things about Elvis Presley Enterprises.

EPE2

Friday August 14th I went to the Shake, Rattle and Bowl Party where I met Elvis’ 1970s drummer Ronnie Tutt, and he autographed his drum stick for me – highlight of the day for me as it’s all about drums! I also met Darlene Tompkins from Blue Hawaii, and she autographed her photo. I also met and got autographs from members of the TCB Band, the Imperials, the Sweet Inspirations and Millie Kirkham. Then I bowled three games and was sore for two days. That night I went to the ’69 Concert Celebration at the Cannon Center.

Ronnie Tutt at Rock N Bowl2Darlene Tompkins at Rock n Bowl2Myrna Smith at Rock n Bowl2Elvis '69 Concert2

Saturday August 15th I went back to the Cannon Center for Conversations with Elvis. In attendance were author Ken Sharp, journalist Gloria Greer, Elvis music producer and head of FTD Ernst Jorgenson, The Memphis Boys and Chips Momon (recorded with Elvis), Joe Guerio (Elvis’ orchestra leader), James Burton (Elvis’ 1970s guitarist), Millie Kirkham (sang with Elvis in the 70s), Terry Blackwood and Joe Moscheo of The Imperials (sang with Elvis in the 70s). Then we saw a little preview of the new Elvis Cirque de Soleil show in Las Vegas, which I saw the following year. After Conversations, I went to Graceland and saw the Sony Presentation and met Wayne Carman (Elvis’ karate instructor) and he autographed his book and dvd.

Ken Sharp at Conversations2Gloria Greer at conversations2Ernst Jorgenson at Conversations2Memphis Boys & Chips Momon2Joe, James, Millie, Terry, Joe at Conversations2Sony presentationWayne Carmen at Gladiator launch2

After meeting Wayne, I walked over to the Rock n Roll Cafe for dinner. I then went next door and spoke with Elvis artist Joe Petruccio, who is the sweetest! He was debuting his new painting of Elvis and Jerry Schilling (and I love me some Jerry!). I loved the painting, but could not afford to buy it, so Joe graciously allowed me to take a photo of it if I promised not to put it online, which I never did – until now. For eight years I have greatly admired that beautiful piece of art and often looked at the photo I took. Then finally I bought it eight years later the second day of the Grand Opening of Elvis Presley’s Memphis at Graceland in March 3, 2017 and now it hangs proudly on my wall.

Joe Petruccio's Jerry & Elvis217362771_10155157711289168_3110058394969903793_n

 

After speaking with Joe, I went to the opening ceremony for the candlelight vigil, but did not get in line until about 10:30pm because I don’t like to be at the gravesite until after midnight on August 16th – the actual anniversary of Elvis’ death. I was walking out of the gates and back on EP Blvd around 1:45am.

Michelle & Wendy at Candlelight VigilLine at Candlelight VigilMeditation Garden by candlelightGraceland at the Vigil

Even though I left Graceland around 2am, I didn’t get to sleep until almost 5am. So on Sunday August 16th I just drove by Lauderdale Courts (where Elvis lived growing up) and Humes High (where Elvis went to high school – it’s not a middle school). Then I went home and watched Elvis movies the rest of the day.

Lauderdale CourtsHumes JuniorSenior High

Check back here tomorrow to find out what I did during Elvis Week 2010. Then next Thursday Elvis Week 2002 (the 25th Anniversary), Elvis Week 2007 (the 30th Anniversary) the following Thursday Aug 3, Elvis Week 2008 Friday Aug 4 and concluding with Elvis Week 2011 Thursday Aug 10 the last Elvis Week I attended and the day before I leave for Elvis Week 2017.

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About Deena 'DeenasDays' Dietrich (551 Articles)
My name is Deena Dietrich. I live in Ellicott City, Maryland with my 2 dogs Elvis and Cilla. I am making my way as a Social Media Manager, Blogger and now Author. I have written my U2 memoir 'On the Road with U2: my musical journey' (available on amazon) about the 75 (now 100) U2 shows I have been to since ZooTv and the places I’ve seen and the people I’ve met along the way. My motto is “It is better to regret something you have done, than something you haven’t.” So follow me on my journey as I pursue my passions in music and sports with Elvis, U2, Grizzlies, Broncos, LMP, NKOTB, Orioles. Please connect with me @DeenasDays on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Google+ or you can email me at deenadietrich@gmail.com.

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