July 5, 1954 is a momentous time in music history. On that fateful day, Elvis Presley was having a jam session at Sun Studio with backup help from musicians, Scotty Moore and Bill Black. Elvis was trying to prove to studio owner, Sam Phillips, that he was worthy of a major recording contract, and Phillips was not impressed. During a break, Elvis began experimenting with Arthur Crudup’s song, “That’s All Right,” but he played it at almost double the original tempo. Moore and Black joined in, and Phillips’ ears perked up. He came out of the recording booth, and Elvis started to apologize. Phillips told them to start over so he could record it. Sam Phillips heard something that night that would change history of music forever, and that was the day that rock ‘n’ roll was born.
In 2014, Elvis Presley’s Graceland is celebrating 60 years of rock 'n' roll through a special exhibit. “60 Years of Elvis” traces rock ‘n’ roll through the eyes of “The King,” from his start as a delivery truck driver to the height of his success as the ultimate performer. The exhibit includes rare artifacts like Elvis’ personal 45 rpm copy of “That’s All Right,” his 1955 recording contract with RCA and even a nod to Memphis with the rhinestone jumpsuit he wore during his 1974 concert at the Mid-South Coliseum right here in the Bluff City. Visitors will find telegrams that Elvis sent to his mom and dad during his early touring days and Western Union transfers where he sent his parents money to pay the bills. It was really important to Elvis to be successful enough so his mother wouldn’t have to work. This is the perfect addition to any Elvis enthusiast’s itinerary.
“60 Years of Elvis” is available for VIP tour ticket holders and will be open through February 2015.
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