All Hail the King: Photo Tour of Elvis Hangouts

  • The king's castle was the second home he bought in Memphis, and draws 600,000 visitors a year to Memphis.

    Graceland, Memphis

    The very name is synonymous with Memphis and rock 'n' roll music, but for the shy young man who bought this home for more privacy in the wake of his meteoric rise to stardom, Graceland was simply home. More than 600,000 people visit Graceland every year, and it is the second most-famous historic home in America, after the White House. Graceland opened its doors in 1982.

    Photo courtesy of Stephanie Jones

  • Elvis' birthplace sits in its almost original location, which adjoins a memorial chapel and museum at the complex.

    Birthplace, Tupelo

    The tiny two-room house has been restored to that day in January 1935 when Gladys gave birth to twin boys in the front room. The first twin, Jesse Garon, was stillborn. Vernon Presley borrowed $180 and with the help of this brother and father, built the house; the family lived here for 2 ½ years before moving in with Vernon’s parents, as Vernon lost his job. 

    Photo courtesy of Sally Walker Davies

  • Stax recording artists include Isaac Hayes, Booker T. Jones of Booker T. and the MGs, Aretha Franklin, and Memphis Slim.

    Stax Records, Memphis

    The tiny Stax Records had a huge impact on music made in Memphis and around the globe - and few realize that Elvis recorded here as well as at Sun Studio. Elvis' Stax sessions in July and December, 1973 produced three albums: Good Times, Raised on Rock and Promised Land; a number of singles resulted from the sessions as well.

    Photo courtesy of Stephanie Jones

  • According to historians at the CMHOF, Elvis Presley did more to bring country music into the mainstream than most traditional country artists.

    Country Music Hall of Fame, Nashville

    The roads Elvis traveled to his place as the original icon of rock were country roads, a fact that is often overlooked, according to the historians at the Country Music Hall of Fame. Elvis was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1998; many of his gold records are displayed here as is his gold-bedecked Cadillac.

    Photo courtesy of Sally Walker Davies

  • According to Jerry Coletta, Priscilla often called in to-go orders and dispatched one of the fellows to bring the goodies back to Graceland.

    Coletta's Restaurant, Memphis

    Coletta's bills itself as "Home of the BBQ pizza" and was a favorite haunt of the Memphis Mafia; Elvis and the gang held court at the large table in the center room (now, of course, the "Elvis room", decorated with photos and memorabilia) enjoying the homemade Italian food. Their order always included at least one of Coletta's signature BBQ pies.

    Photo courtesy of Stephanie Jones

  • Elvis bought his first guitar, with some help from his mom, at Tupelo Hardware.

    Tupelo Hardware, Tupelo

    In January 1945, Gladys Presley brought her son downtown to Tupelo Hardware to pick out a birthday gift. Elvis wanted a .22 caliber rifle. His mama wanted to buy him a guitar. Forrest L. Bobo, the clerk who helped the Presleys, recalled in a letter that "His mother told him that if he would buy the guitar instead of the rifle, she would pay the difference for him."

  • Elvis used to play the guitat in the basement of Lauderdale Courts, hiding out while he honed his craft.

    Lauderdale Courts, Memphis

    The humble brick apartment buildings which made up ‘the Courts’ was once home to the Presleys; one can now stay in  #328, the actual apartment where he and his parents lived. Refurbished with a vintage flair, the apartment includes a flat-screen TV and wireless Internet, reproduction photos of Elvis and other Elvis-related items.

    Photo courtesy of Stephanie Jones

  • Johnnie's Drive-In is still a Tupelo institution; a cheeseburger, fries and cola will set you back about $5 these days.

    Johnnie's Drive In, Tupelo

    Johnnie's was a hot spot for Elvis and his friends; a Johnnie's cheeseburger and R-C Cola were said to be his favorites. Its specialty is the dough burger, a frankly funky mix of ground beef, flour and water. It's dressed with pickles, mustard, ketchup and onions – none of which can quite mask the unique taste.  

    Photo courtesy of Sally Walker Davies

  • Elvis graduated from Humes High School on June 14, 1953

    Humes High School, Memphis

    While Elvis was said to have played guitar before school or in the school’s talent show, the boy known as polite and somewhat shy wasn’t considered a stand-out student – academically or socially. Tours of Hume High are available by appointment only, at the discretion of the school administration. Our advice: be persistent, and most of all, charming.

    Photo courtesy of Stephanie Jones

  • Lansky's outfitted every major star who came through Memphis or got their start here; B.B. King, Roy Orbison, Johnny Cash and others were among those dressed by the Lansky brothers.

    Lansky's at the Peabody, Memphis

    The modest Lansky Brothers store on Beale Street had always been known in Memphis as fashion forward, but when the world discovered that Elvis bought virtually all his clothing at Lansky's, the store became known as 'the store that permanently changed how America dresses.' The store moved to the Peabody Hotel in 1981 and among its many designer brands carries a line of exclusive Elvis-inspired fashions called Clothier to the King.

    Photo courtesy of Stephanie Jones

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