March 2007 Archives

Graceland

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Graceland was interesting. It's not as big or majestic of a house as I would have expected. Additionally one must remember the 70's styling. Some places had shag carpet on the walls and floor. Shortly after entering my camera, of course, ran out of battery juice so I didn't get that many pictures.

Oh he did add on to the house and there were like 13 acres of property. There was a room that they converted and added all of his gold and platinum records and his jump suits. I was struck by how hard of a worker he was throughout his life and how he had so many awards from not only Rock but Country and Gospel too.

I guess another thing about the house that was a little disappointing was that it wasn't really in an area that would might consider majestic. All around the house was just regular and poorer neighborhoods.

I also say his auto collection and took a tour of his two airplanes. There were also interesting. One must bear in mind however that these were the 70's - not the 21st century! His jet, the Lisa Marie had two phones, both chorded. One rang up the pilot and the other allowed him to call anybody on the ground. Also they had the then state of the art quadraphonic system and, of course, eight tracks!

I hear stories that one day Lisa Marie said that she never saw snow, so Elvis fired up the jet and they fly to Colorado just to play in the snow then flew back.

I also bought a CD, The 68 Comeback Special. I liked that one because of the "unplugged" section. I was struck, as a musician of just how much of just a plain singer Elvis was. He was first and foremost a singer. I also learned that he didn't write many, if any of his hits or other songs, opting instead for other, professional, song writers to write for him. Regardless he always added his touch, had a very good vocal range and dexterity singing anywhere from gritty to ballad like. I wondered if he didn't die then how would he have adapted. It would have been interesting.

There was a memorial garden where Elvis, his mom, Gladys, dad, Vernon, his grandmother, Minnie and his stillborn twin brother. I didn't know he was 1/2 of a set of twins.

It was also interesting to know that Elvis, worldwide known, didn't do tours around the world. According to All About Elvis:

International Acclaim

Elvis Presley's trophy room at Graceland is filled with gold and platinum records and awards of all kinds from around the world. Some of the countries represented are: Norway, Yugoslavia, Japan, Australia, South Africa, England, Sweden, Germany, France, Canada, Belgium, and the Netherlands.

It is interesting to note that, except for a handful of movie soundtrack songs, Elvis did not record in other languages, and, except for five shows in three Canadian cities in 1957, he did not perform in concert outside the United States. Still, his recordings and films enjoyed, and continue to enjoy, popularity all over the globe, and he is known throughout the world by his first name.

I also learned that he was a very charitable man.

The 70's were known as the Concert Years where Elvis toured extensively until his death in '77. At the time of his death they say he weighed in at 350 lbs! I've looked at some youtube.com footage from his '77 tour and he didn't look that fat.

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