Elvis International Tribute Week

Elvis International Tribute Week

Week including August 16
This week-long event pays tribute to rock and roll singer Elvis Presley—"The King of Rock and Roll." The tribute takes place in Memphis, Tenn., largely at Graceland, the 15,000-square-foot mansion that Elvis called home and that is now his gravesite, museum, and a rock and roll shrine.
Born in 1935 in a two-room house in Tupelo, Miss., Elvis moved to Memphis when he was 12, and came to fame in the 1950s with hits like "Hound Dog," "Don't Be Cruel," and "All Shook Up." As a white man singing a black sound, he swept the music world and helped create the Memphis Sound. He was charismatic and sexy and gyrated his hips while performing in a fashion that sent the females in his audiences into a screeching frenzy. This won him the nickname, "Elvis the Pelvis." When he first appeared on television on the "Ed Sullivan Show," the hip shaking was considered too risque, and he was photographed only from the waist up. He appeared in 33 motion pictures and made 45 recordings that sold over a million copies each. He died at Graceland of an overdose of prescription drugs on Aug. 16, 1977.
A candlelight vigil is held on the evening of Aug. 15 at Graceland. Thousands of Elvis's fans, each carrying a candle, pour through the gates and walk to the gravesite. Other events of the week include a Nostalgia Concert by singers and musicians who worked with Presley; a Sock Hop Ball for "flat-top cats and dungaree dolls," in which Elvis songs and other classics of the 1950s and 1960s are played; and an art exhibit and contest, with art depicting Elvis or his home. The Elvis Presley Memorial Karate Tournament draws about 500 competitors from all over the world and reflects Presley's interest in karate—he studied the martial arts for years and was the first movie star to use karate in films.
For those who cannot attend in person, the official Elvis web site provides a live webcast of the vigil.
CONTACTS:
Graceland/Elvis Presley Enterprises Inc.
3734 Elvis Presley Blvd.
P.O. Box 16508
Memphis, TN 38186
800-238-2000 or 901-332-3322; fax: 901-332-1636
www.elvis.com
SOURCES:
AnnivHol-2000, p. 137
References in periodicals archive ?
During Elvis International Tribute Week, a Memphis phenomenon that occurs each August on the anniversary of his death, the city swells as thousands of fans gather in grief and celebration around Elvis' grave at Graceland's Meditation Gardens, displaying a kind of emotional intensity and reverence that clearly intimates Elvis' popular culture canonization.