Elvis Presley stands at the gates of Graceland in this circa 1957 photo. Had he lived, Elvis would be 79 on Wednesday. Photo by: elvisfansofnashville.com
January 4, 2014 10:09:05 PM
MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Elvis fans from around the world will travel to Graceland this week to celebrate the King of Rock 'n' Roll's birthday.
Elvis Presley's Graceland will also kick-off a year-long celebration of the 60th Anniversary of Rock 'n' Roll during the annual birthday festivities. On July 5, 1954, Elvis walked into Sun Studios in Memphis and recorded "That's All Right" with guitarist Scotty Moore and bassist Bill Black. Memphis DJ Dewey Phillips played the song on July 8 on WHBQ radio and the switchboard lit up. Rock 'n' Roll was born and the music world changed forever.
Radio and television personality Wink Martindale witnessed the historic night at WHBQ in July of 1954, when Sam Phillips brought DJ Dewey Phillips the acetate copy of Elvis' first Sun Record "That's All Right" to be played on the "Red, Hot, and Blue" radio show. After meeting that evening, Wink and Elvis remained friends throughout the course of Elvis' life. Wink will be a special guest for the birthday celebration, along with his wife, Sandra Ferra Martindale, who also dated Elvis off and on for several years early in Elvis' career. Together they will share stories about spending time with the King of Rock 'n Roll.
Also joining the birthday events will be the 16-year-old YouTube singing sensation from Quebec, Canada, who will lead Elvis fans from around the world in a rendition of "Happy Birthday" at Graceland on Jan. 8. David Thibault gained worldwide attention on YouTube in early December. Singing "Blue Christmas" on a Canadian radio station, the version of the song went viral with over seven million views in less than a week. The result caught the attention of Ellen DeGeneres and Thibault was invited to perform on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" just before Christmas, where Ellen surprised David with a trip to Graceland. In addition to the ceremony on Wednesday, he will also perform at the Elvis Insiders Event on Thursday.
Wednesday, Jan. 8
Thursday, Jan. 9
Friday, Jan. 10
Saturday, Jan. 11
For a complete listing of all events, visit elvis.com. Get tickets for Graceland-sponsored events by calling Graceland Reservations, 800-238-2000 or 901-332-3322, or get them online.