“More than anything else, I want the folks back at home to think right of me.” (Elvis Presley)
On a previous road trip, Ruth and I experienced the legendary aura of “The King”, Elvis Presley at Graceland Estate in Memphis Tennessee. At that time, we learned of Elvis’ humble beginnings at his birthplace of nearby Tupelo, Mississippi. Seeking to learn more about the roots of his musical greatness, Ruth and I thus decided to pay a follow-up Elvis visit to Tupelo on the 5th day of our American road trip. During our two hour tour there, we observed a very realistic depiction of his thirteen year childhood life in Tupelo as revealed in the following pictures.
Elvis was born in this two room shack as an only child of Vernon and Gladys Presley on the outskirts of Tupelo during the impoverished times of the “Great Depression. This shack was lit only by a single lightbulb in each room. Notice the family portrait, which exists as one of the few surviving relics of the family together at that time.
Elvis attended church services regularly in the “Assembly Of God” facility below. His musical roots began here as he learned to enjoy the uplifting spirit of gospel music during lively sermons while Reverend Frank Smith taught Elvis to play the guitar here as well.
As Elvis grew up in Tupelo, a family radio and 78 rpm record player provided additional music enjoyment. Undoubtedly, emerging country, blues, and big band artists that Elvis listened to then broadened his musical outlook during this time.
Although Elvis moved on to Memphis and the world stage to solidify his musical fame, he never forgot his time in Mississippi. Accordingly, he continued to perform in Tupelo and other nearby towns, thereby expressing gratitude to his adoring fans.
This godlike statue at the rear of the birthplace site attests to Elvis’ immortal status as a musical legend in the eyes of the Tupelo community.