Knoxville in Knox County, Tennessee — The American South (East South Central)
— Cradle of Country Music Tour —
At a small store on Market Square, a Knoxville record merchant helped launch the most famous career in musical history. Sam Morrison of Bell Sales Company chose to promote Elvis Presley's That's All Right, Mama by playing it on loudspeakers to the public on the square. He was astonished to sell copies by the hundreds to people of all ages, including two copies to an RCA talent scout in the area searching for local country music talent. The scout sent a copy of the record to his boss in New York. Several months later, RCA bought Elvis' contract with Sun Studios in Memphis. (Marker Number 19.)
By Joel Seewald, May 30, 2018
1. Elvis Presley Marker
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Arts, Letters, Music • Industry & Commerce.
Location. 35° 57.95′ N, 83° 55.192′ W. Marker is in Knoxville, Tennessee, in Knox County. Marker is on Wall Avenue, on the right when traveling east. Marker is at the north end of Market Square. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Knoxville TN 37902, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Cormac McCarthy (a few steps from this marker); David Madden (within
shouting distance of this marker); St. James Hotel (within shouting distance of this marker); James Agee (within shouting distance of this marker); Robert Birdwell (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Market House Bell (about 500 feet away); Knoxville's Market House (about 500 feet away); Krutch Park (about 500 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Knoxville.
By Joel Seewald, May 30, 2018
2. Elvis Presley Marker
By Allen C. Browne, July 22, 2017
3. Elvis Presley
This 1976-88 portrait of Elvis Presley (1935-1977) by Ralph W. Cowan hangs in the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC.
“Elvis Presley grew up in the musical melting pot of Memphis, where his emerging talent was heavily influenced by local strains of pop, country, rhythm and blues, and gospel. As a young truck driver in 1953, he paid four dollars to record a song for his mother's birthday. Sun Records then the label of such other young talents as Johnny Cash and Jerry Lee Lewis soon signed him, and his first record, ‘That’s All Right, Mama,' was an instant hit. By 1956, thanks in part to a series of sensational television appearances, he was crowned the 'king of rock and roll,' with a string of recordings that included ‘Heartbreak Hotel,’ ‘Don't Be Cruel,’ and ‘Hound Dog.’ Since his death, Presley has emerged as an iconic entertainment figure, and his Graceland mansion has become one of the nation's most-visited popular culture shrines.” -- National Portrait Gallery
Credits. This page was last revised on June 14, 2018. It was originally submitted on June 10, 2018, by Joel Seewald of Madison Heights, Michigan. This page has been viewed 190 times since then and 40 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on June 10, 2018, by Joel Seewald of Madison Heights, Michigan. 3. submitted on June 10, 2018, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland.