Elvis' Birthplace Unveils New Statue
The statue was sculpted by Mississippian William Beckwith based on the Roger Marshutz's 1956 photograph of Elvis reaching into the crowd in Tupelo. It is known by fans as 'the hands'.The unveiling was held as part of Tupelo’s free summer music concert series titled 'Down on Main' and was part of a celebration of Mississippi artists. Mississippians Eden Brent and Marty Stuart headlined the show for the night. The Tupelo Unity Choir opened the night with the gospel music Elvis loved and joined Eden Brent on the stage for a couple of songs.
The statue was met with thunderous applause with many fans breaking into tears. The remainder of the night was spent in line waiting to get their picture made holding the hand of Elvis. Traffic at the statue has been steady since the unveiling and is anticipated to remain that way through the Elvis Week activities.
Of the statue, Neal McCoy, executive director of the Tupelo CVB commented, 'The statue is more than just a piece of bronze erected in Elvis’ honor. It’s a constant reminder of how important Tupelo’s cultural influence was to him and how important he still is to Tupelo'.
Elvis Presley was born in Tupelo, Miss. on Jan. 8, 1935, where he grew up around his extended family. In the thirteen years that Elvis spent in Tupelo, he was exposed to many different kinds of music that played an important role throughout his career. He was exposed to gospel music in his childhood church, discovered the blues in the Shake Rag community and on 'the Hill' where his family lived for a while and he listened to country shows on the radio with his family during this time.
Tupelo's Own Elvis Presley DVD + 16 page booklet.
Never before have we seen an Elvis Presley concert from the 1950's with sound. Until Now! The DVD Contains recently discovered unreleased film of Elvis performing 6 songs, including Heartbreak Hotel and Don't Be Cruel, live in Tupelo Mississippi 1956. Included we see a live performance of the elusive Long Tall Sally seen here for the first time ever.
This is an excellent release no fan should be without it.
The 'parade' footage is good to see as it puts you in the right context with color and b&w footage. The interviews of Elvis' Parents are well worth hearing too. The afternoon show footage is wonderful and electrifying : Here is Elvis in his prime rocking and rolling in front of 11.000 people. Highly recommended.