Tag Archives: Graceland

Elvis ex Linda Thompson returns to Graceland where she lived with King almost 50 years ago

Elvis Presley dated Miss Tennessee model Linda Thompson from 1972-76, with the couple living together at his Graceland mansion. Now, almost 50 years ago since she moved in, the 71-year-old has returned to her old home of almost half a decade. Linda shared a selection of photos of herself inside some of Graceland’s most famous rooms.

Linda Thompson wrote on her Instagram: “I took a walk down memory lane today at my former home, where I lived for 4 1/2 years – Graceland in Memphis.

“I also revisited the airplanes that I flew on to countless concerts all around the country with the greatest entertainer who ever lived, Elvis Presley.

“It’s surreal to remember decorating with him the legendary jungle room, stained glass peacocks in the living/music room, the fabric covered pool room, TV room & other areas – as well as the Lisa Marie airplane.”

The 71-year-old was on her way through Memphis to Elvis’ birthplace in Tupelo, Mississippi, just south of the Tennessee state line.

The New York Elvis concerts attracted some fellow music stars who The King had influenced before they were famous.

Graceland added: “David Bowie, Bob Dylan, George Harrison and Art Garfunkel were among some of the music stars spotted at the shows.

“Nine days after the last Madison Square Garden show, RCA released a live album from one of the shows titled “Elvis as Recorded at Madison Square Garden.”

Meanwhile, a biopic of The King’s life and career has been shot on Australia’s Gold Coast.

Moulin Rouge’s Baz Luhrmann has directed the Elvis movie, which stars Austin Butler as The King and Tom Hanks as Colonel Tom Parker.

The Warner Bros production rebuilt Graceland on the Australian set with expert advice thanks to the Memphis mansion museum’s archivists.

Baz is currently editing the film in post-production but there’s no sign of a first trailer just yet.

Elvis will hit cinemas on June 3, 2022.

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This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Entertainment Feed

Elvis Presley: Surprising contents inside The Jungle Room’s treasure chests at Graceland

As for why the items haven’t been removed in almost 40 years, Angie said it’s so the items that Elvis once owned didn’t lose their authenticity.

As for what was found inside The Jungle Room treasure chests, the contents were surprisingly what you’d expect from a regular household rather than that of a megastar.

There were wires, a lightbulb, old batteries and a mystery padlock. Although, not all the contents of the drawers inside Graceland are so ordinary.

By the kitchen is a secret drawer featuring a 1993 phone book that was used by Elvis’ Aunt Delta, who continued to live at Graceland until her death that year.

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This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Entertainment Feed

Elvis' Graceland before Linda redecorated: Ice cream bar, movie theatre and 'hidden room'

Billy added: “The TV room back then was a cream colour. He had three TVs put in, there were only three channels.

“Above those TVs he had his gold records hanging. That’s where they were kept in the beginning long before the Trophy Room.

“Above that there was a movie screen. You pulled it down.”

The colours and decor may have changed over the years, but Graceland still has one of the TV sets that Elvis famously shot.

Everyone from Priscilla Presley to the Memphis Mafia members have described how the King woud fire his guns at the screen if he didn’t like someone on a show.

The TV would be immediately replaced but Graceland’s Vice President of Archives and Exhibits Angie Marchese has revealed that Elvis’ father Vernon never threw anything away, from paperwork to discarded furnishings.

SCROLL DOWN TO WATCH BILLY SMITH TALKING ABOUT ELVIS AND GRACELAND

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This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Entertainment Feed

Elvis Presley’s Graceland upstairs bedroom: The King ‘liked it dark and very, very cold’

Danny, who was a teenager when he knew The King, replied: “Yes, Elvis liked it dark and he liked it very, very cold.”

In fact, it was so cold that Memphis Mafia member Lamar Fike would joke that you could hang meat in there.

So when his friends were hanging out in his bedroom, Elvis would hand out sweaters and racquetball jackets to keep others warm.

The King’s cousin added: “When he was at the hospital, he put aluminium foil over the windows, to keep the light out, to keep it darker.”

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This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Entertainment Feed

Elvis Graceland archives tour: The King's bling and Lisa Marie's fantastic reaction to it

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This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Entertainment Feed

The instantly recognisable TCB ring contains 16 carats of diamonds with an 11 1/2 carat solitaire diamond in the centre. TCB stood for Elvis’ motto ‘Taking Care of Business.’

Angie also told us: “His pinky ring size was between an 8 and a 9, his ring finger was around a 10. He wasn’t in to thumb rings.” 

Elvis had always loved to give expensive jewellery as gifts, but in his later years, he started wearing more and more himself.

Angie said: “Elvis never left Graceland not dressed. He was always ready to be seen and that meant to be fully dressed with his accessories, rings, jewellery, necklaces.

“Lisa always said you could hear him coming down the stairs before you saw him. And it wasn’t him walking heavily it was the clangs of the necklaces and stuff.

“When he left the upstairs he was ready to be seen and always fully decked out. He knew as soon as he went out the gate that he was on stage.”

WATCH A PREVIOUS FEATURE ABOUT THE ARCHIVES BELOW

Elvis Presley’s final moment with Lisa Marie hours before he died upstairs at Graceland

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This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Entertainment Feed

Both cover tracks, Blue Eyes Crying In The Rain features on Elvis’ 1976 album From Elvis Presley Boulevard, Memphis, Tennessee.

While Unchained Melody is the opening track on The King’s final record, 1977’s Moody Blue.

Around 6:15am, the two couples left the racquetball court to return to the main house.

In a recent virtual live tour of Graceland, archivist Angie Marchese recounted what Elvis did next after playing the piano that fans can still see there to this day.

Elvis Presley: The changes made to Graceland when Lisa Marie Presley visits with family

For the first nine years of her life, Lisa Marie Presley spent much of the time living with her father Elvis Presley at Graceland. The King left the Memphis mansion to his daughter and in 1982 the home was opened to the public for tours. Even though Graceland remains an incredibly popular tourist attraction to this day, it’s still very much home for Lisa Marie.
During a recent virtual live tour of Graceland which Express.co.uk attended, archivist Angie Marchese shared details of what Lisa Marie and her family get up to when they visit, plus the changes made inside for their arrival.

The Elvis Presley expert said: “The family…do not stay here at Graceland but they do come here and visit.

“They don’t use Elvis and Priscilla’s china, we do have new china which we’ve purchased for Lisa to use when she’s here.”

Angie also explained how two extra tables are set up next to the one in Graceland’s dining room for when the family have meals together there.

READ MORE: Elvis’ Graceland Mansion virtual tour review: Thrilling step inside

During the tour, Angie guided the live stream camera into a largely unseen room by the side of Graceland’s kitchen.

Inside was Aunt Delta’s bedroom, where Vernon’s sister lived until her death in 1993 over a decade after tours began.

And inside the chest of drawers there, Angie revealed the storage place for the china that Lisa Marie and her family use when they visit the mansion for meals.

While back in Graceland’s kitchen, the archivist was showing off the oven when she explained another change made for the arrival of Elvis’ daughter.

Later on during the virtual live tour, Angie guided the camera outside The Jungle Room to the porch.

Here she revealed how Elvis’ grandmother Minnie Mae Presley liked to sit there, while Lisa Marie uses it to relax to this day.

It’s not surprising considering how quiet and peaceful that outdoor space is, overlooking Graceland’s horses.

After the tour ended, a fan asked Angie: “When Priscilla and Lisa Marie visit Graceland do they listen to records on the jukebox in the TV room and do any of the family members play either the piano in the Music Room or the one in the Racquetball court? And do they ever swim in the pool?”

Angie replied: “They have listened to music in the house, but not in the jukebox on the record players.

“I have never seen any of the family play the pianos. But we do keep them tuned and clean to preserve them as instruments in case they want to.

“No swimming in the pool either. Their favourite thing to do is ride golf carts all over the property.”

To find out more about Graceland’s virtual live tours, click here.

This article originally appeared on Daily Express :: Entertainment Feed

Elvis’ dad Vernon Presley put a sign up outside his Graceland office to keep Priscilla out

As Elvis Presley shot to fame, he decided to buy the Graceland mansion in Memphis, Tennessee, moving in with his extended family in 1957. Behind the house is Vernon Presley’s office, where The King’s father would handle his son’s finances, household bills and oversee two secretaries replying to fan mail. Now, if you’ve ever visited Graceland, you’ll have seen the passive-aggressive sign Vernon put on the door.
Vernon’s sign reads: “Please read and observe: no loafing in the office, strictly for employees only!

“If you have business in here, please take care of it and leave. Vernon Presley.”

Express.co.uk took part in a virtual live tour of the Graceland mansion earlier this week and archivist Angie Marchese revealed the true story behind the blunt notice.

The Elvis Presley expert said: “My favourite story about the office is the note that’s on the door that Vernon had put up there because Priscilla would come here and visit with Patsy [Presley].”

READ MORE: Tom Jones insider exposed swipe at first meeting with Elvis Presley

Last year, Angie gave Elvis fans a mini-tour of Vernon’s office, which was shared on Graceland’s official Instagram account.

Inside she pointed out a surprising revelation found in a 1958 Memphis phonebook.

The archivist looked up the Presley surname inside and found Harold, Elvis’ cousin and lots of other Presleys, but there was no sign of The King.

Perhaps Elvis was retracted to stop fans constantly calling up the mansion, trying talk to the star?

Angie also shared what was kept inside Vernon’s office safe cabinet, discovering a pair of Elvis’ sunglasses and a stack of The King’s RCA records.

Also inside were some To and From labels addressed to Elvis at Graceland.

Vernon died in 1979 aged 63, two years after Elvis. The King’s father is buried next to his son in Graceland’s Meditation Garden.

Interestingly, Graceland only have one item of Vernon’s clothes in the archives, a pair of trousers, as girlfriend Sandy Miller handled his estate.

Elvis Presley: Graceland upstairs layout and attic entrance described by The King’s cousin

Elvis Presley’s Graceland may be open to the public, but the upstairs remains off-limits. The rooms up there were The King’s private space in life and remain so in death. But now his cousin Billy Smith has described Graceland’s upstairs layout and attic entrance in a new video.
Speaking on his son Danny’s Memphis Mafia Kid YouTube channel, Billy was asked to clarify where the entrance to Graceland’s attic was.

The King’s cousin said: “When you went up the stairs…you turned to the right, you went up another flight of stairs.

“When you got to the top of that, there was two big leather doors which led into Elvis’ office and his bedroom.

“Just on the other side, facing Elvis’ bathroom, right there on the left-hand side there was a door.”

READ MORE: Elvis Presley death: King’s cousin on last chat upstairs at Graceland

Billy added: “Now that door went up to the attic, which covered all the other rooms and everything else. Big attic, big attic.

“If you went upstairs and you took a right and you went down the hall, at the end of the hall was a linen closet.

“And that was a door. So I think a lot of people probably got that…[mixed up as the attic’s entrance].”

Meanwhile, Elvis’ daughter Lisa Marie, who owns Graceland and says she feels safe upstairs in the mansion, has described it as a shrine.

In another video, Billy said: “[For] many years I’d always heard these fans saying, ‘Is Elvis still alive?’

“So many sightings and all this. So I thought, ‘Well y’know people are holding on to that.’ So I made this story up, me and Marty Lacker [another Memphis Mafia member].”

On the story, he said: “It was supposed to be that Elvis swapped places with this guy who had cancer and was dying and Elvis hid him out in the attic until it was time for him to die.

“And he’d had a facelift to look like Elvis. Now naturally Elvis wasn’t going to change his looks, so the guy had to look like him.”

Billy added: “This story came out, like I said it was supposed to be kind of a joke, but the English papers picked it up and they wrote it as a factual story.

“And, of course, I’ve heard this over the years now and I decided this is time to get this all cleared up because this is just not right. I never meant for this story to mislead anybody or hurt anybody in any kind of way.”

Setting the record straight, Billy added: “So, here’s the truth: Elvis died, August 16, 1977 – one of the hardest days of my life.

“And I can truthfully say, he’s gone. And he can’t bring him back. It hurts. It still hurts that he’s gone. But I’ll always love him. He was my hero.”

Elvis Graceland: The incredible first and last thing The King did at his Memphis home

When Elvis was a boy he used to promise his parents that he would buy them a big fancy house when he grew up. The family had started in poverty, living in a prefabricated two-room “shotgun shack” in Tupelo, Mississippi, before moving to live in rented community tenement housing in Memphis. As soon as the star’s career took off in early 1956, he bought his family a smart detached house at 1034 Audubon Drive, with the royalties from his debut million-seller hit, Heartbreak Hotel.
However, the star’s unprecedented rise to fame meant that just twelve months later he was already looking for a far grander home fit for a superstar.

In March 1957, not even two years into his career, Elvis was finishing his second film, Loving You, and had already released a staggering 48 singles and two studio albums.

He asked his parents to look for a suitable new house. He wanted something substantial and impressive with considerable land around it. The singer and budding movie star was already aware of the need for privacy as his fame and fanbase exploded. 

READ MORE: Elvis’ family banned girlfriend Ginger from Graceland after his death

The estate agent, Virginia Grant, showed Vernon and Gladys two properties, saving Graceland for last.

It was a family home at 3764 Highway 51 South. Styled as a “ranch”, it sat in a semi-rural area roughly ten miles outside downtown Memphis. The city would eventually expand out to the house, but at that time it stood alone, surrounded by its own grounds and countryside.

The King’s parents made a $ 1000 down-payment that same day.

Elvis visited the property on the morning of March 19. At the time it was just two-story house with a barn, set in almost 14 acres. 

However, Graceland’s owners, The Moore family, had already had an architect remodel the house to showcase a musician in the family. 

The King sat down and played some rock and roll on the instrument to celebrate finding his future home.

Although the local YMCA had already put a bid in for the property, Elvis significantly upped the amount and signed papers on the same day.

According to the official Graceland website, Elvis’ parents signed the contract and paid the final sale price of $ 102,500 on March 25, 1957. That’s around $ 968,250 in today’s money.

In just two years, the Presley family had gone from relative poverty to a million-dollar mansion. Elvis’ promise to his parents had come true.

The house was 10,266 square feet when Elvis bought it and he immediately started remodelling. That process over the years has taken the property to 17,552 square feet.

One of the most important and instantly recognisable changes was made straight away.

On April 22, the famous ‘Music Gates’, designed by Abe Saucer and custom-built by John Dillars Jr of Memphis Doors Inc, were installed.

On May 16, Gladys, Vernon and his mother Minnie Mae moved in.

Elvis was away filming and wouldn’t take up residence himself until June 26, the same month he had the kidney-shaped swimming pool installed. A beautiful piano sat in the main living room.

Heartbreakingly, almost immediately he would have to leave.

Elvis had six months to enjoy his new home. According to future wife Priscilla, Christmas was his favourite time of year, but on December 20 he received his draft papers for military service.

A proud patriot, the star was eager to serve, but it made his first Christmas in his beloved home rather “bittersweet” according to his then-girlfriend Anita Wood.

For the next 20 years, Graceland would always be the star’s sanctuary, even as the world closed in around him and around the property itself. The main road outside was even renamed Elvis Presley Boulevard.

On August 16, 1977, the night he died, the star played piano one last time at home. In the early hours of the morning, he performed Blue Eyes Crying In The Rain and Unchained Melody for his fiancee Ginger Alden and cousin Billy Smith and his wife Jo.

Elvis played piano the first time he stepped foot in Graceland and the final night of his life. His grave lies just outside, in the Meditation Garden, to this day.