In honor of the anniversary of the King of Rock n’ Roll’s death (August 16), we’ve put together a list of must-dos in Memphis for every die-hard Elvis fan. Put on your blue suede shoes, perfect your hip swivel, and boogie woogie to these three iconic Elvis-focused places/events in Memphis.

Get Your Mojo Working at Graceland

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Of course, we had to include the spectacular home and final resting place of the King himself. Elvis bought the impressive estate in the spring of 1957, when he was just 22, for $100,000. The purchase came on the heels of his first network television appearances and chart-topping record sales. Throughout his lifetime, Graceland served as a place of rest and privacy for the King. Even though he maintained homes in Los Angeles, he always considered Graceland to be his primary residence. Today, millions of visitors flock to the shrine of this musical icon. The iPad tour, narrated by Elvis fan and actor John Stamos, takes visitors through the mansion and outer buildings. One of the highlights of the tour is the famous Jungle Room, featuring green shag carpeting, carved Polynesian wood décor, mid-century furniture, and vines creeping up the walls. Starting at 8:30pm on August 15, the annual candlelight vigil allows visitors to pay their respects at Elvis’s grave. If you can’t make it this week, consider booking a room this fall or winter at the brand new The Guest House at Graceland hotel.

Shake, Rattle and Roll at Sun Studio

Credit - Flávio Miranda/Flickr Creative Commons

Credit – Flávio Miranda/Flickr Creative Commons

Dubbed the “Birthplace of Rock n’ Roll,” Sun Studio was the place to record in the 50s and 60s. Visitors can tour the studio’s original location on Union Avenue to glean insight into the early days of Elvis’s music career. In 1953, an 18-year-old Elvis sang a demo for Sam Phillips (the owner of the Memphis Recording Service, which would eventually become Sun Studio). Phillips wasn’t impressed, but Elvis continued to hang around, until a year later he finally got another chance. It was during this session that Elvis recorded his rendition of the blues classic “That’s Alright, Mama,” thus launching his career. Elvis was in good company at Sun Studio (and the label Sun Records), alongside legends like Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins, Ike Turner, Roy Orbison, and Jerry Lee Lewis.

Get All Shook Up at Images of the King World Championship Elvis Tribute

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This year, the Images of the King World Championship celebrates its 29th anniversary. Elvis impersonators from around the world flock to Memphis during the week of the anniversary of Elvis’s death to pay homage to the King with their own performances. The Images of the King competition takes place at the historic New Daisy Theater and includes six concerts and four rounds of competition over a 6-day period. The event also includes a St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital Benefit Concert, during which top Elvis tribute artists perform to raise money for a wonderful cause.

Have you been to any places in Memphis that a true Elvis fan would enjoy? Let us know your recommendations in the comments section.

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About The Author

Jen Bouchard

An insatiable foodie, art collector, and international literature aficionado, I have traveled throughout Europe, Asia, the U.S. and Canada. For the past fifteen years, I have written about my adventures for various travel and literary publications. I am the owner of Lucidité Writing (www.luciditewriting.com) and Bouchard Design Co.