L.C Humes High School was constructed in 1924, and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2004. After years of envisioning, a Historic Marker was authorized by the state of Tennessee, sponsored by Dell Morgan, and established on the grounds of Humes during Elvis Week 2013 on the morning of August 13th. The marker officially recognizes Humes as the alma mater of Elvis Presley. Radio DJ Mr. George Klein and Actor Mr. Red West are also recognized on the marker. A public dedication ceremony was held! Elvis Presley Fans of Nashville, President Caroline Pratt was in attendance.
Elvis was commonly thought of as abnormal by his classmates due to his pompadour styled hair, his choice of flamboyant clothing, and he sometimes brought his guitar to music class. Elvis was obviously not the most popular guy at Humes but he did graduate with friends! Two friends were 1953 Class President Mr. George Klein, and Football star Mr. Red West. George Klein, the Class President has had an accomplished career as a distinguished Memphis Radio DJ. George currently hosts the "Elvis Hour" on Memphis' WKQK FM Radio station, and he can be heard live every Friday afternoon from Graceland via Sirius XM's Elvis Radio. George is a published Author of "Elvis The Family Album" and "Elvis: My Best Man" which chronicles his years with Elvis! Red West who played Football at Humes, has appeared in numerous films and is a songwriter. Red had tiny acting parts in several of Elvis' films, he starred in the 1989 film "Roadhouse" with the late Actor Patrick Swayze. Red is the songwriter of two of Elvis' songs': "Separate Ways" and "If Everyday Was Like Christmas."
Tuesday, August 13th at 10:00a.m. was a very monumental morning at Humes! Former Humes High School graduates, Shelby County officials, Memphis residents, fans of Elvis Presley, and the news media were all in attendance at the Humes historic marker dedication ceremony. Robert Dye, the Graceland photographer was also in attendance at the ceremony to capture the historical event. The Humes Historic marker documents the historical significance of Humes as the alma mater of Elvis Presley. Radio DJ Mr. George Klein and Actor Mr. Red West are also recognized on the historic Humes marker. The dedication ceremony was hosted by native Memphian Historian, Mr. Jimmy Ogle - the Chairman of the Shelby County Historical Commission. Author and Memphis Historian, Mr. Mike Freeman participated in the ceremony by speaking to the audience chronicling the hard work perfected for the marker. Freeman also made reference about possible other historic markers which would need philanthropic donations to become a reality! Mr. Freeman also helped in the outdoor positioning process of the marker with Mr. Jimmy Ogle.
The public gathered inside the original and thankfully unchanged Humes Auditorium! The large crowd of plausibly 300+ people were enthusiastic, loud and proud to attend the ceremony with their camera's ready to capture every occurrence! During certain parts of the ceremony, people would hurry to the stage for photos and some sat on the floor directly in front of the stage!! Elvis Presley Fans of Nashville, President Caroline Pratt was seated in the center fourth row and captured photos which you can view below this post.
Mr. George Klein and Mr. Red West both attend the ceremony with their families, and each man was given the opportunity to speak to the audience. Mr. Klein and Mr. West both expressed their "thanks" and told the audience how they were very honored and proud of the marker. Both, Klein and West told a story or two regarding their time with Elvis at Humes.
Ronnie McDowell, Country Music Entertainer and Elvis fan favorite with his 1978 hit "The King is Gone" attended the ceremony. Ronnie spoke about Elvis for a minute, and he performed "Old Shep" which Elvis originally sang as a boy. After Ronnie performed, the audience was in for a real surprising treat, as songwriter Mark James, with Klein and West joined McDowell on stage to sing "Old Shep" together. The performance by Ronnie McDowell, Mark James, George Klein and Red West was absolutely entertaining, delightful, and truly rare!
When the ceremony ended inside the original Humes Auditorium it was time for everyone to head outside to observe the installation of the Historic Humes High School marker. The marker was moved outside and installed upon its post by dedication ceremony host, Mr. Jimmy Ogle and Historian, Mr. Mike Freeman. Mr. George Klein and Mr. Red West who were bombarded for autographs and photographs from fans of Elvis', joined us outside after the marker was established! Both, Mr. Klein and Mr. West posed beside the marker for a while, kindly chatting and graciously taking photos with anyone who asked. Klein and West were very pleasant, and you could sense their inside excitement as well! Everyone was optimistic to meet Mr. Klein and Mr. West, and many Elvis' fans were blessed with the opportunity after standing in line and considerately taking turns with one another. Everyone was definitely pleased and had a fantastic fun filled Elvis morning!
Elvis Presley Fans of Nashville, President Caroline Pratt found the opportunity to say "hello" to Mr. George Klein and took a photo with him, but the photo did not capture well. Thankfully Caroline has other photos with Mr. Klein taken over the years. Thank you to, Mr. George Klein for always being kind and talkative with Elvis' fans! Caroline did have the honor of meeting Red West and the photo she took with Mr. West captured quite splendidly! Red had his wife, Pat with him and she made sure everyone had the opportunity to take a photo with Red. Catching a glimpse and meeting Red West at a Elvis related event is a rare occurrence, as Mr. West has not publicly attended Elvis events for several years. Thank you to, Mr. Red West for shaking hands and posing for photos, it was awesome to have met you!
Photos of the Humes High School historic marker can be viewed at the end of this article. The photos were captured by Elvis Presley Fans of Nashville, President Caroline Pratt. Enjoy the photos!
**Article and photos are COPYRIGHT (c) Caroline Pratt, all rights reserved. For online or professional use: permission is granted with proper credit given to "Caroline Pratt - Elvis Presley Fans of Nashville"