Elvis’ kitschy masterpiece mansion wasn’t his first home in Memphis. He grew up here, going to Beale St clubs to listen to blues music. Rich at 22, Elvis bought this mansion in 1957 for $100,000. It was fully redecorated in 1974, three years before his death, and shows off that era’s extremes in all the right/wrong ways. Elvis’ grave is here too. It’s nine miles south of downtown on US 51, best reached by the Sun Studio free shuttle.
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Elvis Aaron Presley was born to Vernon and Gladys Presley in a two-room house in Tupelo, Mississippi, on January 8, 1935. His twin brother, Jessie Garon, was stillborn, leaving Elvis to grow up as an only child. He and his parents moved to Memphis, Tennessee, in 1948, and Elvis graduated from Humes High School there in 1953.
Elvis’ musical influences were the pop and country music of the time, the gospel music he heard in church and at the all-night gospel sings he frequently attended, and the black R&B he absorbed on historic Beale Street as a Memphis teenager.
In 1954, Elvis began his singing career with the legendary Sun Records label in Memphis. In late 1955, his recording contract was sold to RCA Victor. By 1956, he was an international sensation. With a sound and style that uniquely combined his diverse musical influences and blurred and challenged the social and racial barriers of the time, he ushered in a whole new era of American music and popular culture.
He starred in 33 successful films, made history with his television appearances and specials, and knew great acclaim through his many, often record-breaking, live concert performances on tour and in Las Vegas. Globally, he has sold over one billion records, more than any other artist. His American sales have earned him gold, platinum or multi-platinum awards. Among his many awards and accolades were 14 Grammy nominations (3 wins) from the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences, the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award which he received at age 36, and his being named One of the Ten Outstanding Young Men of the Nation for 1970 by the United States Jaycees. Without any of the special privileges, his celebrity status might have afforded him, he honorably served his country in the U.S. Army.
His talent, good looks, sensuality, charisma, and good humor endeared him to millions, as did the humility and human kindness he demonstrated throughout his life. Known the world over by his first name, he is regarded as one of the most important figures of twentieth century popular culture. Elvis died at his Memphis home, Graceland, on August 16, 1977.
Visit their website: http://www.elvis.com/graceland/
So many wonder why Cleveland, of all places, is host to the holiest rock ‘n’ roll site. Easy. The hall – overwhelmingly the most fun any rock fan can ever have in a museum – resides in an IM Pei pyramid in a Rust Belt survivor because it was Cleveland that named rock ‘n’ roll (by DJ Alan Freed in 1952) – and because it was the first city to put up $70 million to build it. Doesn’t hurt that the city really does rock, with more live venues than famously music-filled Austin. A visit to the hall starts with a moving 14-minute film tracing rock’s origins, then moves on to Elvis cars, Beatles suits, Beastie Boys’ handwritten lyrics written on a Tide detergent notepad and Jimi Hendrix’s drawings of football players. If you look closely there’s oodles of fun finds, like a 1966 piece of hate mail to the Rolling Stones from a cursive-writing Fijian who swears, ‘I’m writing on behalf of 640 kids who all HATE you.’
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Visit their website: http://www.rockhall.com/
Beatles-Platz, opened in 2008, commemorates the Beatles' lengthy residences in Hamburg Germany in the two years before they became famous. "I was born in Liverpool," John Lennon once said, "but I grew up in Hamburg." Two blocks north of the Beatles-Platz is the Indra, where the Beatles made their Hamburg debut in 1960. The Club is still there and a plaque next to the door signifies its place in history.
The Beatles played at the legendary Star Club on opening night in April 1962, and played there three times in the following months. They returned to the Star Club in late November and December for a few gigs, but by then they had released their debut single “Love Me Do, and their determination to make it big in the Hamburg area was replaced by global recognition.
The titles of Beatles songs are written on the white lines on the record- shaped Beatles-Platz square. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Beatles famous gigs in the clubs along the city’s Reeperbahn red-light district.