Memphis, Tennessee: Part 1

During our trip to Memphis in September Greg made a few little side trips for some personal pilgrimages related to one of his Rockabilly heroes….the Tupelo Flash, the Hillbilly Cat, The King…Elvis Presley. Recording at Sun Studios was the highlight of the trip for The Wheelgrinders but visiting a few of the other landmarks around town was something Greg had always wanted to do.

Other than Sun Studios the biggest Elvis related attraction in Memphis is of course Graceland. Greg had toured Graceland a few years ago on a previous trip so this time he just wanted to stand by the famous gates with his guitar and think about the many times Elvis would come down to this same gate in 1957, just after buying Graceland, and sign autographs for his fans.

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Press photo: April 1957
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Press photo: 1957
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Standing in the same spot as Elvis in the previous photo

With Graceland taking the limelight as perhaps, along with the White House in Washington DC, the most famous house in America a lot of folks don’t realize that this was not the first house that Elvis bought after he skyrocketed to national and international fame in 1956.

The first house was at 1034 Audubon Drive in the upscale Audubon Park neighborhood of Memphis. Elvis bought this stylish rancher for his parents Vernon and Gladys in March of 1956 with royalties from the sales of his first major hit record “Heartbreak Hotel”.

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The house is still very much as it was when Elvis and his parents lived here in 1956
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Greg’s 1955 Gretsch DuoJet outside of the house built in 1954

It was a very moving experience for a Rockabilly/1950s fanatic like Greg to stand where Elvis stood so early in his career and to hold onto those same railings on the gates to both houses that Elvis himself hung onto all those years ago.

More to come in Part 2…..


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