I was thinking that night about Elvis….

“I was thinking that night about Elvis
Day that he died, day that he died”

In years past it was called Elvis Tribute Week.  In 2009, it’s simply Elvis Week.  Many folks who live here in Memphis call it Elvis Death Week.  The week leading up to the anniversary of Elvis Presley’s death, August 16, 1977, has been an interesting tourism and sociological phenomenon for over 30 years now.

Stoked by Elvis Presley Enterprises marketing, fan clubs from all over the world, and the Memphis tourism industry, the week draws thousands of Elvis disciples from all over the world.  Many of the pilgrims were not even born when the King passed on to Rock ‘n Roll Heaven.  Many have Elvis hair, Elvis tattoos, or at least Elvis sunglasses.   They come for the Elvis tribute artists, and to hear Elvis friends tell their stories about the E! and those touch football games on the lawn.  And they come for the grand finale – the candlelight vigil to the graveside.

Here are some of the highlights of this year’s Elvis Week:

Saturday, August 8
Club Elvis
8:00 p.m. – 12:00 Midnight. Elvis Presley Car Museum, Graceland Plaza. Come hang out and enjoy a private party with your fellow Elvis fans…..

Sunday, August 9
Gospel Breakfast
8:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. Elvis Presley Car Museum, Graceland Plaza.

Tuesday, August 11
Malco Theatre’s Elvis Film Fest 6
Studio on the Square, 2105 Court Avenue, Memphis.

Elvis Fans Reception and Tours at The MED
10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. The MED, 877 Jefferson Ave., Memphis. [fyi: The MED is Memphis’ public hospital and trauma center]

Thursday, August 13
Graceland Scavenger Hunt – Bears on Tour
5:00 p.m. Starting at the Graceland Ticket Office. Guests are invited to tour Graceland Mansion (no audio tour) and the Elvis Presley Automobile Museum while simultaneously participating in a trivia scavenger hunt.

Elvis 1969 – A Celebration Concert
8:00 p.m. Cannon Center for the Performing Arts, 255 North Main Street, downtown Memphis.

Saturday, August 15
27th Annual Elvis Presley Run, Walk, Rock & Roll benefiting United Cerebral Palsy of the Mid-South
8:00 a.m. Starts at the Graceland gates.

Candlelight Vigil
8:30 p.m. Gates of Graceland Mansion. After an opening ceremony at the gates of the Graceland Mansion property, fans are invited to walk up the driveway to Elvis’s gravesite and back down carrying a candle in quiet remembrance.

And that’s just SOME of the events, in this week chock full of Elvis related activities all over the Memphis Area.  For the full schedule go here.  I am going to be photographing and videoing what I can, but most of the events are ticketed, and I am a little reluctant to make a financial investment in documenting this event.

Now go back and watch the video again.

TCB, y’all.  Thankya, thankya very much….

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About 

Joe Spake is a Memphis-based Real Estate Broker and Consultant. He blogs at Joe Spake's Weblog and Memphis Real Estate Buzz. Joe's Social Network.

  • Joe,
    I think Elvis did for the world of music a great service. Having grown up in middle TN with my parents both from west TN, I was a true Elvis fan. I remember crying when he died in August of 1977 for some odd reason. Anyway, a dear man, Ernest Martin, owned the local small town movie theater. He was a wonderful gentleman and a true small town icon. I remember his saying to my dad that he credited Elvis Presley with saving his movie theater business. When my dad questioned him, he went on to say that television had come into people’s home and people were beginning to back away from going to movies. BUT Elvis and his hip gyrations came on the big screen and brought the crowds back! Truly the real KING! Too bad his life ended so tragically sad.
    Carol Knott
    now in Texas

  • Joe,
    I think Elvis did for the world of music a great service. Having grown up in middle TN with my parents both from west TN, I was a true Elvis fan. I remember crying when he died in August of 1977 for some odd reason. Anyway, a dear man, Ernest Martin, owned the local small town movie theater. He was a wonderful gentleman and a true small town icon. I remember his saying to my dad that he credited Elvis Presley with saving his movie theater business. When my dad questioned him, he went on to say that television had come into people’s home and people were beginning to back away from going to movies. BUT Elvis and his hip gyrations came on the big screen and brought the crowds back! Truly the real KING! Too bad his life ended so tragically sad.
    Carol Knott
    now in Texas

  • I love this song, and the video. SO wonderful. I remember the day he died also. I was watching Brady Bunch that afternoon, they broke in with the news. Years later, my friend Shelley and I were talking about it, and I said, “I was watching Brady Bunch” and she said she was too! We didn’t know each other at that time. That was the first time something like that had ever happened to me, I guess the first time I understood a little bit about when people say you will always remember where you were when…You know what I mean? That someone else could have been experiencing it and you didn’t know them, somehow that made me feel less scared or sad. I thought about that a LOT on Sept. 11th also. That a lot of people were probably doing what I was doing, etc. and somehow that made me feel just the tiniest bit better, I guess.
    I also remember on the day of the funeral, how they showed the cars and the processions, and all the people on the side of the sidewalks. I didn’t really understand the tears, I guess I was too young or something. But I do recall thinking that a LOT of people were really, really sad.
    I loved that song, I’m so glad you sent it to me, now I have to post it too!

  • I love this song, and the video. SO wonderful. I remember the day he died also. I was watching Brady Bunch that afternoon, they broke in with the news. Years later, my friend Shelley and I were talking about it, and I said, “I was watching Brady Bunch” and she said she was too! We didn’t know each other at that time. That was the first time something like that had ever happened to me, I guess the first time I understood a little bit about when people say you will always remember where you were when…You know what I mean? That someone else could have been experiencing it and you didn’t know them, somehow that made me feel less scared or sad. I thought about that a LOT on Sept. 11th also. That a lot of people were probably doing what I was doing, etc. and somehow that made me feel just the tiniest bit better, I guess.
    I also remember on the day of the funeral, how they showed the cars and the processions, and all the people on the side of the sidewalks. I didn’t really understand the tears, I guess I was too young or something. But I do recall thinking that a LOT of people were really, really sad.
    I loved that song, I’m so glad you sent it to me, now I have to post it too!

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