For many Memphians of a certain age, August 16, 1977 was really “The Day the Music Died.” Elvis Aaron Presley died at his mansion, Graceland.
A native of Tupelo, Elvis moved to Memphis as a teenager. After high school, he walked into Sun Studios to make a record for his mother, Gladys.
Sam Phillips heard him and realized that he had found a white singer with a black feel. Hits like “That's All Right Mama” and “Hound Dog” left the music world all shook up. And it's still shaking.
Although Elvis died in 1977, his recordings still sell in the millions, even in the 21st century. His movies are still shown on television, and new books about Elvis continue to be published.
Graceland is the second-most visited home in the country, after the White House. Thousands of people from around the world are in town this week to remember Elvis, his life, and his music.
To learn more about Elvis, visit the Pink Palace exhibit Elivs at 21: Photographs by Alfred Wertheimer.