Tupelo bought the house and 15 acres with the money provided from a 1957 Tupelo concert performed by Elvis, who wanted to raise money for a park for neighbourhood children. As an official Mississippi landmark, the two-room dwelling where Elvis was born on January 8, 1935, is the centrepiece of the 15-acre Elvis Presley Park.
We got to sit on the swing on the porch of Elvis' house.
before going inside. We were amazed at just how small the house was.
The bedroom come
How a family managed to live in such a small place is amazing. The Assembly of God Church that Elvis attended as a child was converted from its original and sacred purpose and moved half a block from its prior location to the park.
We were welcomed in to attend a virtual service which was really interesting.
There is a bronze statue of 'Elvis at 13' in the park
and a beautiful Chapel which was built with donations from his fans and friends
There is also the Elvis Presley Memorial Museum, the 'Story Wall', the 'Fountain of life' and of course the inevitable gift shop.
From the Park we made the short journey into Tupelo centre to visit the hardware store where Elvis obtained his first guitar.
Not sure if you can make out what it says on the sign above but the story goes that Elvis' mother took him to the store to buy a bicycle for his birthday but he spotted a rifle and decided he wanted that instead. His mother refused to buy it for him and they compromised on a guitar and the rest is history!
Whilst we were in the store the man who was telling us the story introduced us to a lady standing next to him as Marlyn Mason, who was in Tupelo for the film festival that was taking place at the time.
You may remember her looking more like this
when she appeared in The Trouble With Girls as Elvis' leading lady. She had taken the opportunity to see where Elvis bought his first guitar too!
We had a quick lunch in a cafe before walking round Tupelo until it was time to meet up and board the coach again to take us back to the hotel.
As we had a little time before we had to get showered and changed before our next excursion, we walked down Elvis Presley Blvd to Graceland where we did what millions of other tourists have done and wrote our names on the wall at the entrance to Graceland.
See us there in blue - Pearl and Peter?
Of course I couldn't resist a photo opportunity at the famous gates could I?
Our last excursion for the day was the Memphis Mojo Tour, a coach tour with a difference in that two musicians boarded our coach to entertain us whilst showing us the sights of Memphis. We had great fun singing along and being the percussion section shaking our shakers and tambourines in between having various places of interest pointed out to us, like the old Hotel Chisca, where radio station WHBQ first broadcast Elvis' music to the world. We saw Lauderdale Courts, the Presley family's first home in Memphis, Stax Museum of American Soul Music
We also saw the Lorraine Motel, where Dr Martin Luther King was assassinated.
The hotel is now a Civil Rights Museum. Our guide pointed out that, before the assassination, the hotel had been a favourite place to stay of many artists going to Stax Records, such as Otis Redding, Aretha Franklin, Wilson Pickett and others and many hit songs had been penned at the hotel.
We also saw Sun Studio, where Elvis recorded his very first song but we had to wait until the following day to tour the studio and learn all about that historic event. Part of the tour should have taken us down Riverside Drive, the main road running by the Mississippi, but unfortunately it was flooded, this was the only diversion throughout the holiday because of flooding.
After the tour had finished we toyed with getting a ride in one of the amazing horse drawn carriages before going for something to eat
but as our stomachs were grumbling we headed straight down Beale Street
where MWM enjoyed a huge plate of ribs and I tried the fried oysters before heading back up Beale Street to the Blues City Cafe Band Box
where we enjoyed a few drinks and good music
before meeting our coach for a ride back to the hotel where we retired for the night. Of course we put the TV on once we got into bed and guess what film was showing - 'The Trouble With Girls'!
If you've always wondered what it's like inside Graceland join me for Dixieland Part 7 to see the photos and also see inside Sun Studio.
Read Dixieland Part 1 here
Read Dixieland Part 2 here
Read Dixieland Part 3 here
Read Dixieland Part 4 here
Read Dixieland Part 5 here