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Tupelo in Lee County, Mississippi — The American South (East South Central)
 

Elvis Presley and Tupelo

 
 
Elvis Presley and Tupelo Marker image. Click for full size.
By Brandon Fletcher, November 27, 2015
1. Elvis Presley and Tupelo Marker
Click photo to read text
Inscription.
On October 3, 1945, a ten-year old Elvis played to his first crowd on these grounds and took 5th place in a talent show.

Eleven years later he returned as the King of Rock and Roll!

Elvis in Tupelo

Elvis Aron Presley was born in Tupelo, Mississippi on January 8, 1935 to Vernon and Gladys Presley. Born in a two room house built by his father, grandfather, and uncle, Elvis was one of identical twin brothers born to the Presleys. His brother, Jesse Garon, was stillborn. Elvis spent his formative years in Tupelo surrounded by his extended family. Times were financially difficult for the Presleys who moved out of the home where Elvis was born when he was three, moving many times within the city throughout the next ten years. It was at the Assembly of God church that Elvis first become enthralled with music and, more specifically, the music of gospel quartets. Elvis grew up in a household that valued country music and was often exposed to Jimmie Rodgers and Bob Willis' music. He was further influenced by the rhythm and blues and gospel music that he heard on "the Hill" and in the Shake Rag district, historically African-American communities in Tupelo. It was this unique blend of these genres that created Rock and Roll. In 1948, Elvis' family moved to Memphis to pursue a better life. Eight years
Elvis Presley and Tupelo Marker image. Click for full size.
By Brandon Fletcher, November 27, 2015
2. Elvis Presley and Tupelo Marker
later, they wold take on these fairgrounds... but this time in triumph, to play a sold-out concert at the Mississippi-Alabama Fair. Elvis' life had certainly changed by this time, and it was about to change tremendously. Tupelo will always be the place where it all began.

"Everybody is tickled to death to have you home!"

The following are words for Elvis from Governor JP Coleman in 1956…
"Elvis, as the chief executive of this great magnolia state of Mississippi, your home state, I'm delighted that I was selected by the people of Lee County to present you with a document here which we hope that you will keep and treasure which I shall read to you as it will take all of a half a minute…

The State of Mississippi takes pride in welcoming home on the occasion of the Mississippi-Alabama Fair, America's number one entertainer in the field of popular music, its own native son, Elvis Presley, on this, the 26th of September, 1956."
-J.P. Coleman, Governor


The Homecoming Concert - September 26, 1956

In 1948, Elvis Presley left Tupelo with his parents at the tender age of 13. He was a poor, East Tupelo boy whose family struggled to make ends meet while dealing with the stigma of a father who had been imprisoned. In September of 1956, poised to become a mega superstar of historic proportions, Elvis
Elvis Presley and Tupelo Marker image. Click for full size.
By Brandon Fletcher, November 27, 2015
3. Elvis Presley and Tupelo Marker
and his family were welcomed home by a parade, thousands of screaming fans, and the Governor of Mississippi. He performed two shows and received the "key to the city" of this little town where he was so humbly born.

What he played...
Afternoon Show

•Heartbreak Hotel
•Long Tall Sally
•I Was The One
•I Want You, I Need You, I Love You
•I Got a Woman
•Don't Be Cruel
•Ready Teddy
•Love Me Tender
•Hound Dog

Evening Show
•Love Me Tender
•I Was The One
•I Got a Woman
•Don't Be Cruel
•Blue Suede Shoes
•Baby, Let's Play House
•Hound Dog

About the Statue

Dedicated in August of 2012, this larger-than-life statue depicts the famous photograph known all over the world as "The Hands", shot by Roger Marshutz in 1956 in Tupelo. Mississippi artist Bill Beckwith was commissioned to sculpt the statue and is know for his artistry on statues of Mississippi's well-known native sons including William Faulkner and B.B. King. The statue is placed so the famous photograph can be re-created by fans today.
 
Location. 34° 15.427′ N, 88° 42.071′ W. Marker is in Tupelo, Mississippi, in Lee County. Marker is at the intersection of Fairpark Drive and East Main Street (Mississippi Highway
Elvis Presley and Tupelo Marker image. Click for full size.
By Brandon Fletcher, November 27, 2015
4. Elvis Presley and Tupelo Marker
6), on the right when traveling south on Fairpark Drive. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Tupelo MS 38804, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Shake Rag Community (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Iron Furnace / Front Street (about 600 feet away); Tupelo Hardware (about 800 feet away); Shake Rag (approx. 0.2 miles away); Sit-Ins Led to Civil Rights Act of 1964 / F.W. Woolworth (approx. 0.2 miles away); Tupelo Confederate Soldiers Monument (approx. ¼ mile away); The Tupelo Swamp / Plank Road (approx. ¼ mile away); The Younger Cabin / Confederate Headquarters (approx. 0.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Tupelo.
 
Categories. Arts, Letters, MusicEntertainment
 
Elvis Presley and Tupelo Marker image. Click for full size.
By Brandon Fletcher, November 27, 2015
5. Elvis Presley and Tupelo Marker
Elvis Presley and Tupelo Marker image. Click for full size.
By Brandon Fletcher, November 27, 2015
6. Elvis Presley and Tupelo Marker
Elvis Presley and Tupelo Marker image. Click for full size.
By Brandon Fletcher, November 27, 2015
7. Elvis Presley and Tupelo Marker
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on December 2, 2015, by Brandon Fletcher of Chattanooga, Tennessee. This page has been viewed 158 times since then and 37 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. submitted on December 2, 2015, by Brandon Fletcher of Chattanooga, Tennessee. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.
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