Today marks the 35th anniversary of Elvis Presley’s death. Here at Zoomer Radio, the spirit of The King lives on through his iconic music. Across the world, his dedicated fans have been moved by the man and the legend to pay tribute to the King of Rock and Roll. Here are five tributes to Elvis that we found noteworthy:
5. Private Collections
Many fans of Elvis have collected memorabilia for decades, creating personal shrines for their idol. Nancy Born of Omaha is one such fan. But this year, on the 35th anniversary of his death, Born has decided to auction off hundreds of pieces of memorabilia.
The collection, which includes dinner plates, teddy bears, portraits, paintings, dolls and more, started with a decanter that her husband purchased for her. Born is selling her collection so that other fans can enjoy the items as much she she did.
“This will make me feel good if I see these things going to people who love Elvis and appreciate his music,” she said. “The only time I’ve ever cried over Elvis was the day he died, but I will probably shed a few tears when (the auction) is all over.”
4. Works of Art – The World’s Largest Velvet Elvis – AKA “Velvis”
Many have paid tribute to Elvis through works of art. Pop artist Andy Warhol used an image of Elvis for a 22 part series of silkscreen paintings back in 1963. Earlier this year a ‘Double Elvis’ was sold for $37 million US.
Beth Cisco, a tattoo artist in Illinois is the artist behind the World’s Largest velvet Elvis painting. The painting is 12 square feet.
3. Graceland Too
Located an hour South of Graceland in Mississippi, Graceland Too is the home of Paul MacLeod and his extensive Elvis tribute. The outside of Graceland Too looks like a manically bright version of Graceland with painted trees and bushes. The exterior is currently a bright blue but has also been bright pink.
Paul MacLeod is the owner and tour guide at Graceland Too. Tours are available 24 hours a day and are fuelled by 24 cans of cola (drank by MacLeod all day long). MacLeod’s home is a “…manic floor-to-ceiling (including the ceiling) tribute to The King, all hand done, with non of the burrs sanded off.”
photos | timetravelturtle.com
2. The Collingwood Elvis Festival
Collingwood Ontario is home to the world’s largest Elvis festival, featuring some of the greatest Elvis tribute artists in the world.
The three day long festival includes performances by impersonators, a 50s Dance, a Gospel Worship Service and a Tribute Artist Classic Car Parade. The Collingwood Elvis Festival is also a qualifying location for the Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest (held in Memphis TN). The Early Years and the Concert Years are the two categories that impersonators compete in. Impersonators of all skill levels are welcomed including youth and non professionals.
Located in Memphis, Tennessee, Graceland has become a beacon for Elvis fans. Elvis purchased this white-columned mansion in the mid-50s. It was the home that Elvis had lived in when not in the road, the first home of his daughter, Lisa Marie, and, sadly, the home that he died in.
Thirty years ago the home was opened up for the public. Visitors can tour much of the house as well as visit other displays dedicated to the King on Graceland’s grounds. One area that is not open to the public is the second floor of Graceland. This part of the house includes Elvis’s bedroom and office as well as the bathroom that his body was found in.
On the anniversary of his death, a candlelight vigil is held and fans take part in a procession throughout the estate and past his grave. This year Elvis’s ex-wife Priscilla and their daughter Lisa Marie surprised fans by appearing on Wednesday night at the candlelight vigil. This was the fist time that they had both appeared at the vigil.