Tupelo in Lee County, Mississippi — The American South (East South Central)
Elvis Presley and the Blues
Elvis Presley revolutionized popular music by blending the blues he first heard as a youth in Tupelo with country, pop, and gospel. Many of the first songs Elvis recorded for the Sun label in Memphis were covers of earlier blues recordings by African Americans, and he continued to incorporate blues into his records and live performances for the remainder of his career.
Elvis first encountered the blues here in Tupelo, and it remained central to his music throughout his career. The Presley family lived in several homes in Tupelo that were adjacent to African American neighborhoods, and as a youngster Elvis and his friends often heard the sounds of blues and gospel streaming out of churches, clubs, and other venues. According to Mississippi blues legend Big Joe Williams, Elvis listened in particular to Tupelo blues guitarist Lonnie Williams. During Elvisís teen years in Memphis he could hear blues on Beale Street, just a mile south of his familyís home. Producer Sam Phillips had captured many of the cityís new, electrified blues sounds at his Memphis Recording Service studio, where Elvis began his recording career with Phillips's Sun label. Elvis was initially interested in recording ballads, but Phillips was more excited by the sound created by Presley and studio musicians
Erected 2008 by the Mississippi Blues Commission. (Marker Number 28.)
Marker series. This marker is included in the Mississippi Blues Trail marker series.
Location. 34° 15.572′ N, 88° 40.792′ W. Marker is in Tupelo, Mississippi, in Lee County. Marker can be reached from Elvis Presley Drive near Berry Street. Touch for map. Marker is located on grounds of Elvis Presley's birth home, museum and Church. Marker is at or near this postal address: 306 Elvis Presley Drive, Tupelo MS 38804, 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 (here, next to this marker); Elvis Country (within shouting distance of this marker); The Outhouse (within shouting distance of this marker); Birthplace of Elvis Presley Native American Site (approx. 0.2 miles away); Town Creek Tupelo Encampment / Camp Life in Tupelo (approx. ľ 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 . . . Elvis and the Blues - Tupelo. (Submitted on December 25, 2012.)
Categories. • African Americans • Arts, Letters, Music • Entertainment •
Credits. This page was last revised on August 30, 2017. This page originally submitted on April 9, 2010, by Sandra Hughes of Killen, Usa. This page has been viewed 1,399 times since then and 81 times this year. Last updated on April 15, 2010, by Paul Jordan of Burlington, N. C., U. S. A.. Photos: 1. submitted on April 9, 2010, by Sandra Hughes of Killen, Usa. 2. submitted on April 9, 2017, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama. 3. submitted on April 9, 2010, by Sandra Hughes of Killen, Usa. 4, 5. submitted on December 13, 2012, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Maryland. 6. submitted on April 11, 2017, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. • Kevin W. was the editor who published this page.