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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Tupelo in Lee County, Mississippi — The American South (East South Central)
 

Elvis Country

 
 
Elvis Country Marker (front) image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, April 7, 2017
1. Elvis Country Marker (front)
Inscription.
Front
Raised on country here in Tupelo, first introduced as “The Hillbilly Cat,” then by RCA Victor as “the hottest new name in country music,” Elvis Presley’s revolutionary musical mix always had country as a key ingredient. Appearing on the country charts over 50 times, Presley’s music pushed traditional country towards the modernizing Nashville Sound, which followed the pop, if not the rock ‘n roll path he’d fashioned. Elvis would record the country songs he loved throughout his career.

Rear
Elvis Presley Born in Tupelo on January 8, 1935, Elvis Aron Presley grew up in a household that knew and valued country music, playing records by Jimmie Rodgers and Bob Wills, listening to Ernest Tubb, Bill Monroe and Roy Acuff on the radio. By age ten Elvis was singing Red Foley’s “Old Shep” at the Mississippi-Alabama Fair at the Fairgrounds here; he received his first guitar the following year. While rhythm and blues, Southern gospel, and pop would all be part of the Elvis Presley repertoire, country songs and his country music legacy, which began here, would have their own important place in it.

He took a secondary role in a local band during his high school years in Memphis, as they played songs by his future label mates Eddy Arnold and Hank
Elvis Country Marker (Rear) image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, April 7, 2017
2. Elvis Country Marker (Rear)
Snow. His first records, produced at Sun Records in Memphis in the mid-1950s, included tunes in roughly equal measure from country and R&B sources. The rock ’n roll style he developed there, along with band members Scotty Moore and Bill Black and producer Sam Phillips, demonstrated enough twang that it came to be known as rockabilly, and Elvis himself was promoted as “The Hillbilly Cat.” His Southern regional fame grew with regular appearances on the Louisiana Hayride, the adventurous live country broadcast out of Shreveport. It seemed completely appropriate to audiences that Presley was soon on tour with Hank Snow, Slim Whitman and Faron Young, making connections that led to his signing by RCA Victor records and, before long, global fame.

Elvis would consistently place hit songs on the country charts as well as the pop charts for years to come. Ten Presley records were Number One country, and such classics as “A Fool Such as I,” “Always On My Mind,” “There Goes My Everything” and “Green, Green Grass of Home” would be as much Presley signature tunes as they were for the strictly country artists who also recorded them.

In the late 1950s, the massively successful Presley pop style and rock ’n roll’s appeal to younger audiences were seen as threats to country’s future, but the modern “Nashville
Closeup of rear marker photos. image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, April 7, 2017
3. Closeup of rear marker photos.
Sound” created as an answer took lush arrangements, rhythmic backing singers, and more from the Presley playbook, which was created in Nashville studios, often with the same musicians. Elvis Presley never stopped performing country music throughout his career. He was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1998, twenty-one years after his death.
 
Erected 2011 by the Mississippi Country Music Trail. (Marker Number 12.)
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Mississippi Country Music Trail marker series.
 
Location. 34° 15.581′ N, 88° 40.804′ W. Marker is in Tupelo, Mississippi, in Lee County. Marker is at the intersection of Elvis Presley Drive and Reese Street, on the right when traveling north on Elvis Presley Drive. Touch for map. Located within the Elvis Presley Birthplace and Park. Marker is at or near this postal address: 306 Elvis Presley Drive, Tupelo MS 38801, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within one mile of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Elvis Presley's Childhood Church (within shouting distance of this marker); Elvis Presley and the Blues (within shouting distance of this marker); Birthplace of Elvis Presley (within shouting distance
Statue of Elvis at age 13, in front of marker. image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, April 7, 2017
4. Statue of Elvis at age 13, in front of marker.
of this marker); The Outhouse (within shouting distance of this marker); Native American Site (approx. 0.2 miles away); Town Creek Tupelo Encampment / Camp Life in Tupelo (approx. ¼ mile away); The Tupelo Swamp / Plank Road (approx. one mile away); Shake Rag (approx. 1.1 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Tupelo.
 
Also see . . .  Graceland story about Elvis and Country Music. (Submitted on April 13, 2017, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.)
 
Categories. Arts, Letters, MusicEntertainmentNotable Persons
 
Elvis Aaron Presley publicity photo for the CBS program <i>Stage Show.</i> image. Click for full size.
By Public Domain, January 18, 1956
5. Elvis Aaron Presley publicity photo for the CBS program Stage Show.
His first national television appearance.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on April 13, 2017. This page originally submitted on April 13, 2017, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama. This page has been viewed 198 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on April 13, 2017, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.
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