Tag Archives: elvis

HIWAY AMERICA- TUPELO, MS.

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ELVIS PRESLEY GREATEST HITS

https://youtu.be/Jl8Bc_f4hzA

9 EXPERIENCES YOU CAN ONLY HAVE IN TUPELO, MS

THE GUIDEBOOKS ALWAYS introduce Tupelo as Elvis Presley’s birthplace, and you can — and should — make a beeline for the King’s home. But this buzzing Mississippi city also has incredible festivals, some of the best food in the country, and so much more. Here are the 9 Tupelo experiences you definitely shouldn’t miss.

1. See where the King got his first guitar at the Tupelo Hardware Company.

Few places in the world can say they’ve been family owned for almost 90 years. Only one place can say it’s “where Gladys Presley bought her son’s first guitar” in 1946. That’s right, without the Tupelo Hardware Company, Elvis Presley might not have learned to play the instrument that made him the King.

As the story goes, Gladys brought her son to the store to pick out a birthday present. The store employee, Forrest L. Bobo, recalls that Elvis wished for a rifle at first, but his mother wanted to get him a guitar — which she did, for $7.75 plus 2% sales tax.

The Tupelo Hardware Company was founded by George H. Booth in 1926 and has since seen four generations of the Booth family work there. The brick building on Main Street in historic downtown Tupelo fills its three stories with a mélange of items for sale. While on paper it specializes in mill and industrial supply, small engine parts, and general hardware retail, in truth the store carries anything from metal detectors to toys to lotion to — of course — guitars.

2. Eat the best burger in America.

This is no empty superlative — in 2015, the Neon Pig’s famous Smash Burger won Thrillist‘s “Best Burger in America” bracket. The menu describes the winning burger as “a combination of aged filet, sirloin, ribeye, New York & benton’s bacon ground together. It is a rough grind with a robust, smokey flavor. Served on a ciabatta bun with benton’s bacon bits, cheddar cheese, quick pickles, pickled onion, with hoisin and comeback sauces.”

What might give the Neon Pig the edge is the freshness of its ingredients. The restaurant breaks down whole, local, grass-fed animals (as well as ages and cures them), all in-house. It serves regional seafood with a promise that it’s never been frozen. Operating as a butcher shop in addition to a restaurant, the Neon Pig sells fresh cuts of pork, beef, chicken, lamb, and game, as well as its smash burger grind to cook at home, along with other assorted charcuterie.

Beyond burgers, the Neon Pig also offers salads, lettuce wraps, sandwiches, Asian-style buns, and dessert. During common mealtimes, diners can encounter lengthy wait times — up to an hour or more. But they’ll make the wait, all for a taste of the best.

3. Party at the Tupelo Elvis Festival.

You can’t talk about Tupelo without talking about Elvis (they call him “Tupelo’s native son,” after all), but we’ll try to limit our King-related activities to two. If you happen to be in Tupelo in the summer, the annual Elvis Festival is a unique experience. The festival honors Elvis’ roots with a Sunday Gospel Concert and celebrates the larger-than-life figure he became with a Tribute Artist Contest. Entrants do their best to emulate Presley, and the winner goes on to represent Tupelo in the Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Competition, held in Memphis. The Tupelo winner also acts as a featured performer in the following year’s Elvis Festival.

Although music is the festival’s main focus, with local, regional, and national artists sharing stage time, guests can also enjoy local food vendors, parades, a 5K run, movie poster exhibit, and other activities.

4. Check out the Gumtree Festival of Art.

This annual festival is the best way to experience the diverse visual talent of artists from both the northeast Mississippi region and across the country. The festival, which traces its history to 1972, has lived through many different eras, from humble beginnings the first few years to an avant garde period in the later ‘70s to the grand event it has grown into. These days it draws entrants from all over the US and features a singer/songwriter competition in addition to the artists, which include ceramicists, jewelry makers, painters, photographers, sculptors, printmakers, 3D artists, and more.

If you’re visiting when the festival isn’t on, you can still get a taste of the art in the area by checking out the Gumtree Museum of Art, which hosts exhibitions, workshops, and lectures promoting visual arts.

5. Eat, drink, and dance at Blue Canoe.

The sign outside Blue Canoe proclaims “Good Mood Food,” and the descriptor is apt. Featuring dishes that are just a bit offbeat, the menu matches the overall funky vibe of the place. Appetizers like Avocado Wedges (fried avocado topped with crawfish and a smoked gouda chili sauce) and Crack Dip Fries (fries covered in spicy sausage cheese dip) kick things off, with sliders, salads, and wings leading you into the heavy hitters — burgers and entrees that are as creative as they come. From the Surf & Turf Burger (which the menu describes as “our unique combo of crawfish, ground beef & love”) to the Dirty Grains with Greens & Things to the Southern Style Banh Mi, there’s something for every taste.

Blue Canoe is also one of Tupelo’s top places for live music, with a new performer or band on deck nearly every night. The bar offers more than 100 beers between tap, bottles, and cans, and carries several Mississippi and regional craft varieties. All in all, the “good” might start with your mood or your food, but it’s guaranteed to spread.

6. Uncover the area’s Civil War history at Mississippi’s Final Stands Interpretive Center.

Northeast Mississippi is littered with Civil War history, and aficionados of the subject wouldn’t want to miss Mississippi’s Final Stands, which tells the stories of the Battle of Brice’s Crossroads and the Battle of Tupelo/Harrisburg, both fought in 1864. History buffs can also visit both battlefields, which are near the interpretive center. The center itself is in Baldwyn, a smaller town north of Tupelo).

The interactive center offers Civil War artifacts, battle dioramas, video programming, and a memorial of flags honoring soldiers from both the North and South. On the anniversary weekend of the Battle of Brice’s Crossroads, a “living history” and reenactment is performed.

7. See hundreds of buffalo…and a giraffe.

Decades and decades ago, most of America was covered by roaming herds of buffalo. But nowadays most Americans have only seen the hulking creatures in natural history museums. One exception is the # where you can see more than 250 animals on 210 acres. Although he founded it as a cattle ranch, owner Dan Franklin began bringing buffalo into the park in the late 1990s. At one time, Franklin had the largest herd of buffalo east of the Mississippi River, clocking in at around 300. In 2001, the property was officially opened as a zoo.

The buffalo aren’t the only interesting creatures to see, though. There’s Patches, the resident giraffe, along with zebras, lemurs, capuchin monkeys, a camel, yak, lion, and more. Guests can feed some of the animals, and kids can go on pony rides, ride a zipline, and explore a fort.

8. Learn about Tupelo past and present at the Oren Dunn City Museum.

The Oren Dunn City Museum is unique in that it doesn’t focus on fine art or natural history, but rather chronicles the city life that many generations of residents have experienced over the years. The museum was built in a converted dairy barn, and contains permanent exhibits about a 1940s railroad model, the Tupelo tornado, Chickasaw cultural history, the Hospital on the Hill, and northeast Mississippi fossils. Visitors can also get out and enjoy the great outdoors; Oren Dunn is part of Ballard Park, which includes playgrounds, picnic spaces, and walking trails along a lake.

The museum also hosts annual events such as the Dudie Burger Festival and the Dogtrot Rockabilly Festival. But it truly shines in the everyday, continuing to present Tupelo as the “All America City.”

9. Explore one of America’s finest roads.

Rural Mississippi offers a visual splendor and peacefulness that’s rare in the rest of the country, and the Natchez Trace Parkway gives folks a way to experience that beauty. Traversing three states and spanning 444 miles of Mississippi, Tennessee, and Alabama, the two-lane parkway is a 10,000-year-old route that links Nashville to Natchez and was used by Native Americans, early settlers, and Kaintuck boatmen returning home after floating goods down the Mississippi River.

Tupelo is the best place to start your exploration of the parkway, as the headquarters and visitor center are located here (open every day). The rangers will help you plan your route, and there’s a great hiking trail leading from the visitor center to the Old Town Overlook and Chickasaw Village Site. When you’re ready, you can strike out along the parkway in either direction for an awesome day trip that shows off a different side of the region.

#tupola#ms#elvis#Oren Dunn City Museum#Tupelo Buffalo Park and Zoo#civil_war_history#ana_christy#blue-canoe#gumtree_festival_of_art

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ELVIS’ BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION 2016 and The Elvis Presley coverup: What America didn’t hear about the death of the king

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ELVIS’ BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION 2016

Memphis, Tennessee

Celebrate Elvis’ birthday at Graceland in Memphis this January!

The 2016 Elvis Birthday Celebration is January 7-10, 2016, at Graceland, and includes the Elvis Birthday Proclamation Ceremony, The Auction at Graceland, the Official Graceland Insiders Reception, Fan Club Presidents’ Event, Club Elvis and more.

Our special guests this year are June Juanico and Glenn Derringer.


June Juanico, a former beauty queen and an Elvis fan from Biloxi, Mississippi, dated Elvis in 1955 and 1956. Elvis took three weeks of vacation with June in 1956 after having recorded “Hound Dog” and “Don’t Be Cruel” at RCA Studios in New York. She met Elvis for the first time at one of his concerts in Biloxi in 1955, when he was on the verge of super stardom.


Pianist Glenn Derringer performed on the same Dorsey Brothers Stage Show in 1956 where Elvis made his TV debut. He’s a music industry icon with more than four decades of unprecedented experience in the business.

The Elvis Presley coverup: What America didn’t hear about the death of the king

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After Presley’s death, an effort was launched to protect the reputation of the hospital that had treated him
JOEL WILLIAMSONThe Elvis Presley coverup: What America didn’t hear about the death of the king
This cover image released by RCA/Legacy shows the box set for Elvis Presley, “Elvis: Prince From Another Planet.” (AP Photo/RCA/Legacy) (Credit: Uncredited)
Excerpted from “Elvis Presley: A Southern Life.”
The call came to Memphis Fire Station No. 29 at 2:33 p.m. on Tuesday, August 16, 1977. The dispatcher indicated that someone at 3754 Elvis Presley Boulevard was having difficulty breathing. “Go to the front gate and go to the front of the mansion,” the voice directed. Ambulance Unit No. 6 swung out of the station onto Elvis Presley Boulevard and headed south, siren wailing, advertising a speed that the ponderous machine had not yet achieved.

The two medics manning the ambulance recognized the address right away. The “mansion,” as the dispatcher called it, was Elvis Presley’s home, Graceland, three miles south of the fire station. They had been there often, to take care of fans fainting at the front gate and pedestrians injured by passing automobiles. Two years before, one of the medics, Charles Crosby, had come to assist Elvis’s father, Vernon Presley, after he suffered a heart attack. He thought it might be Vernon again.

On this run Crosby was driving the ambulance. He was thirty-eight, stoutly built, dark-haired, and heavily mustached. His partner, Ulysses Jones, twenty-six, sat in the passenger seat. Members of the Memphis Fire Department, they had received eighty-eight hours of special training to become emergency medical technicians and had years of experience. On each call, they alternated between driving and riding in the back with the ill or injured. This time, Ulysses Jones would ride with the patient.

Crosby expertly threaded the boxy white, blue, and orange vehicle through the thin midafternoon traffic with lights flashing. Heat waves shimmered up from the asphalt in front of him. During the day, the mercury had risen into the mid-90s and hovered there. In a city not yet fully air-conditioned, many working Memphians breathed the hot, damp air, mopped their brows, and thought fondly about getting home to an icy drink on their shady screened-in porches.

As the ambulance crested a low hill and swooped down the broad six-lane boulevard toward Graceland, the gates swung open and the crowd milling around the entrance parted. Making a wide sweeping turn to the left, the vehicle bounced heavily across the sidewalk and hurtled through the entranceway, striking one of the swinging metal gates a clanging blow. One of the several musical notes welded to the gate fell off. Crosby accelerated up the curving drive toward the mansion. He braked hard in front of the two-story, white-columned portico. Climbing down from the ambulance, Crosby and Jones were met by one of Elvis’s bodyguards.

“He’s upstairs,” the man exclaimed, “and I think it’s an OD.”

Grabbing their equipment, the two medics rushed into the house and up the stairs. They pushed through Elvis’s bedroom, noticing the deep-pile red rug and the huge unmade bed facing three television consoles, one for each of the three major networks. Passing through a wide doorway, they entered Elvis’s enormous bathroom, what had been two rooms combined into a sitting room, dressing room, and bathroom. Ulysses Jones told a reporter later that day that he saw “as many as a dozen people huddled over the body of a man clothed in pajamas—a yellow top and blue bottoms.”

At first sight Jones didn’t recognize Elvis. The man was stretched out on his back on the thick red rug with his pajama top open and his bottoms pulled down below his knees. Rolls of fat girded his belly. He was very dark, almost black. Jones thought that he might have been a black man. “From his shoulders up, his skin was dark blue,” he told a reporter for the Memphis Press-Scimitar. “Around his neck, which seemed fat and bloated, was a very large gold medallion. His sideburns were gray.” A young man was pressing Elvis’s chest rhythmically, while a middle-aged woman gave him mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. Jones knelt quickly to search for any sign of life in the prostrate form. He felt no pulse, and he saw no flicker of response when he flashed a penlight into his eyes. “Elvis was cold,” he said, “unusually cold.”

People in the room began frantically asking the medics what should be done. Suddenly, as if in response, one young man blurted out helpfully, “We think he OD’d.” It was the second time the medics had heard that opinion. The man seemed to speak for the whole group. No one dissented, but Jones thought the statement caused “a kind of funny stir in the room.” Elvis’s employees were rigorously trained never to mention Elvis and drugs in the same breath. Elvis did not take “drugs” of any kind. If they ever had to say anything at all, they were to say that he was on “medication” prescribed by his physicians. One of the medics asked for the container that held the drugs taken by the victim. None was ever produced.

Jones and Crosby quickly concluded that emergency treatment in a hospital offered the only hope. It took five men to lift the body onto the stretcher. “He must have weighed 250 pounds,” Crosby said.

With much difficulty, they negotiated the stretcher around the corners and down the stairs. Two men had to hold back Elvis’s father, Vernon, as he cried and called out, “Son, I’m coming . . . I’ll be there . . . I’ll meet you there.”

As they were about to leave, a Mercedes-Benz raced up the driveway and lurched to a stop. A stocky middle-aged man with a thatch of white hair dashed from the car and leaped into the back of the ambulance just as the doors closed. It was Elvis’s doctor, George Nichopoulos.

Dr. “Nick” Nichopoulos

Four years later it would be established in court that during the seven and a half months preceding Elvis’s death, from January 1, 1977, to August 16, 1977, Dr. Nichopoulos had written prescriptions for him for at least 8,805 pills, tablets, vials, and injectables. Going back to January 1975, the count was 19,012. The numbers defied belief, but they came from an experienced team of investigators who visited 153 pharmacies and spent 1,090 hours going through 6,570,175 prescriptions and then, with the aid of two secretaries, spent another 1,120 hours organizing the evidence. The drugs included uppers, downers, and powerful painkillers such as Dilaudid, Quaalude, Percodan, Demerol, and cocaine hydrochloride in quantities more appropriate for those terminally ill with cancer. In fact, at about 2:00 a.m. on the morning of his death, Dr. Nick was again ready to prescribe. He responded to a telephone call from Elvis by prescribing six doses of Dilaudid, an opiate that was Elvis’s favorite drug. One of Elvis’s bodyguards, Billy Stanley, drove over to Baptist Memorial Hospital, picked up the pills at the all-night pharmacy, and brought them to Graceland. The bodyguard said that he saw Elvis take the pills. The autopsy, however, showed no traces of Dilaudid in Elvis’s body.

In the fall of 1981 the state tried Dr. Nichopoulos in criminal court for overprescribing drugs to Elvis and a number of other patients. Dr. Nick testified that if he had not given Elvis a large proportion of the drugs he demanded, other doctors would have. By supplying Elvis, he had at least some control over his patient’s intake. His defense was weakened substantially by evidence that he had prescribed an excessive amount of drugs to at least ten other patients, including rock star Jerry Lee Lewis and his own teenage daughter, Chrissy.

On the other hand, it was clearly established that Elvis could, would, and did get any drug he wanted from show business doctors in Las Vegas and Los Angeles. One of his suppliers was a Las Vegas physician called “Flash” by Elvis’s staff, since he would appear on a moment’s notice, syringe in hand, ready to inject Elvis with whatever drug he wanted. The guys said that “Flash liked to attend Elvis’s parties to mix with the overflow of attractive young women present and perhaps find a companion for the evening.” At home in Memphis, Elvis would get packages containing drugs mailed from the West. Sometimes he sent his private plane, the four-engine Lisa Marie, to Las Vegas or Los Angeles to secure drugs from doctors in those cities and ferry them back to Memphis. Sometimes he flew out himself.

Dr. Nick, like Elvis’s other physicians, had been seduced by the frothy glitter of show business, and with his tanned and striking appearance he fit right in. His style diverged from the practice of medicine that was increasingly a matter of business and less a matter of personal service. He was born and reared in Anniston, Alabama, where his father was a highly respected restaurant owner and businessman. George Nichopoulos, however, had not at first been a high achiever. He had not progressed smoothly through college and medical school. He had first entered the University of Alabama on a football scholarship, but dropped out before the school year ended, and he served in the army for two years. He was a student at Birmingham Southern University for a year and then moved on to the University of the South at Sewanee, where he earned his Bachelor of Science degree in 1951. He worked in a research lab at Vanderbilt University before his admission to the medical school in 1952. He failed biochemistry and physiology, was put on probation, and tried to make up for his failures during summer school, but failed again. In the fall, he was not readmitted. He moved to Memphis and for three years worked in the University of Tennessee’s medical school. In 1956, he was readmitted to Vanderbilt Medical School, graduating in 1959. After finishing his training, in 1962 he entered practice in Memphis with several doctors who called themselves the Medical Group.

Other doctors looked askance at George Nichopoulos’s personal and sartorial style. Too much informality, they thought. He allowed his patients, friends, and acquaintances to call him “Dr. Nick.” He seemed unduly proud of the stylishly arranged thatch of white hair that crowned his head, and he was not averse to revealing his chest hair. He often wore his shirts open at the throat, showing off a very large, tasteless gold medallion suspended by a necklace and resting against his bare chest. The medallion was a special gift from Elvis Presley and marked him as a member of the star’s inner circle, some of whom were macho young men who proudly called themselves “the Memphis Mafia.” Dr. Nick usually sported a highly visible array of expensive rings, bracelets, and wristwatches, some of which were gifts from Elvis. Without his white smock and dangling stethoscope, one would have difficulty recognizing him as a doctor, even in a medical office or hospital. How could he command sufficient authority among his patients? his medical colleagues wondered. How could he justify his fees?

Dr. Nichopoulos was making his rounds at Doctors Hospital far out on the east side of Memphis when the call came that Elvis was in trouble. Dropping everything, he rushed to Graceland in the green Mercedes-Benz Elvis had given him. He was taken by surprise by the call. He had done everything he could think of to preserve Elvis’s life in the face of his drug addiction, and he thought he was succeeding. He was looking forward to flying off in the Lisa Marie with Elvis to Portland, Maine, for a ten-day tour. For years the doctor had often toured with Elvis, carrying all the necessary drugs with him. Elvis would sometimes introduce him to his adoring audiences, publicly expressing his fond appreciation for his physician as thousands of people looked on and Dr. Nichopoulos stood in the spotlight graciously accepting their applause. Now and again, when Elvis was mad at Dr. Nick, he would punish him by not letting him come along on a tour.

The day before Elvis died, Dr. Nick had loaded up his bag at the Prescription House, a pharmacy just across the street from his office. Later, investigators found that for this ten-day trip, Dr. Nick had picked up 682 pills and tablets, including Dilaudids, Percodans, Amytals, Quaaludes, Dexadrines, and Bephetamines, along with 20 cc’s of liquid Dilaudid.

Elvis paid the doctor $800 a day for his services on tours, which lasted from about ten to twenty days. He also paid the doctors with whom Nichopoulos practiced $1,000 a day to cover for him while he was gone. Between 1970 and 1977, Elvis paid Dr. Nick more than $76,000 for his services on the road and $147,000 to the medical group.

The material benefits that Dr. Nichopoulos enjoyed from his association with Elvis did not stop at gifts and fees. In 1975 he had persuaded Elvis to loan him $200,000 to build a house in a newly developing and affluent neighborhood well east of town. With a tennis court, a swimming pool, and an enclosed racquetball court, the banks found the home too costly even for its well-to-do neighborhood and refused to lend Dr. Nick the money he needed. Elvis did so, and before he passed away $55,000 more. They did draw up a paper shortly before Elvis’s death that would pool the loans and obligate Nichopoulos to repay the amount over a period of twenty-five years at 7 percent interest, but Elvis never got around to signing the document.

Only days after the funeral, Vernon summoned Nichopoulos to Graceland and with insulting haste compelled him to sign a document in which he mortgaged his home to Elvis’s estate for the total amount he owed. He also increased the interest rate to 8 percent and warned Nichopoulos that if he was late on even one month’s payment, foreclosure would summarily follow. Vernon had never trusted Dr. Nick. Court records indicate that as of June 27, 1979, Nichopoulos had not missed a single payment and still owed the estate $245,807.33.
As the ambulance raced down the driveway and up the boulevard on the afternoon of the death, Dr. Nichopoulos could not accept the reality that lay before him. Working desperately on the body, the doctor kept shouting to the dead man.

Later that day, Jones described the scene in the ambulance. “All the way to the hospital,” he said, “the doctor had this look of sheer disbelief that this could happen to Elvis.” He recalled that Dr. Nichopoulos kept shouting, “Breathe, Elvis . . . come on, breathe for me.”

Baptist Memorial Hospital

The ambulance left Graceland at 2:48, sixteen minutes after it arrived. At 2:56, it pulled up at the emergency room at Baptist Memorial Hospital. The hospital maintained a superbly well trained crew of eighteen doctors, nurses, and medical specialists to deal with life-or-death situations. Dubbed the Harvey Team, it could gather at a given point in the building within minutes after the alert was sounded. Already assembled and waiting when this patient arrived, the team rushed him into Emergency Room B and went to work. They had not been officially told that it was Elvis. “Why are we working on this guy?” asked one young medic, seeing that he was already dead. “Because he’s Elvis Presley,” answered one of her older teammates.

Ulysses Jones watched while the Harvey Team worked with professional steadiness. After some twenty minutes, they gave up. Dr. Nick turned to Joe Esposito, Elvis’s road manager. “There is nothing we can do,” he said. “We tried.” Jones saw Nichopoulos’s eyes begin to water as he shepherded people out of the room. “Then he left too,” Jones said, “shutting the door behind him.” Jones and Crosby drove Dr. Nick back to Graceland in the ambulance.

The corpse was wheeled to the hospital morgue, where a resourceful, if graceless, newspaper photographer was lying on a gurney under a white sheet, pretending he was a cadaver, waiting for an opportunity to snap a photograph of Elvis’s body. Such a photo would be worth thousands of dollars to the tabloids. The would-be photographer was quickly discovered and roughly expelled, and a guard was set until the autopsy began.

Sergeant John Peel of the Memphis Police Department arrived at Baptist Hospital about 3:45 p.m. and began to take notes for the official police report. He wrote that by 4:10 the body was already in the morgue. He had learned that the victim “appeared to have been sitting on commode & lunged forward.” He “had gone to the bathroom to read.” He noted that “Dr. Nick” had left the “hospital en route to get autopsy papers at Graceland.” His last entry indicated that Dr. Nichopoulos “wouldn’t give cause of death.”

At Graceland, Nichopoulos secured Vernon Presley’s signature to a document authorizing an autopsy of his son’s body by the staff of Baptist Hospital, to be paid for by the Presley estate. Thus, Vernon might share—or not share—the resulting report with anyone he chose. If the object was to keep the cause of Elvis’s death a secret, it was an excellent move both for the Presley family and for Dr. Nichopoulos. If Elvis died by his own hand from popping too many pills, only trusted people needed to know the truth, and the carefully constructed public image of Elvis would be secure. Also, if Dr. Nichopoulos had prescribed too many pills for Elvis, that fact might be kept from authorities who might otherwise take away his medical license or even bring him up on criminal charges.

The Cover-Up

Baptist Hospital administrators realized that in dealing with the death of Elvis Presley they were involved in a public relations matter that might damage the hospital’s sterling reputation. Over the years they had carefully concealed the nature and seriousness of his often embarrassing illnesses, including those resulting from drug abuse. Dr. Nichopoulos had always checked Elvis into Baptist Hospital because he knew they were discreet. That was surely one reason why he ordered Charles Crosby to drive the ambulance some seven miles to Baptist Hospital rather than to the nearest emergency room, at Methodist South Hospital, only blocks away from Graceland.

The autopsy was conducted by a specially selected and highly skilled team of nine pathologists headed by the hospital’s chief of pathology, Dr. E. Eric Muirhead. Dr. Jerry Francisco, the medical examiner for Shelby County, closely observed the proceedings. It would be his responsibility to declare to the world the official cause of Elvis Presley’s death.

Early on, a meticulous dissection of the body revealed what Elvis did not die from. It was not heart failure, stroke, cancer, or lung disease— the usual killers. It also confirmed what his doctors already knew: Elvis was chronically ill with diabetes, glaucoma, and constipation. As they proceeded, the doctors saw evidence that his body had been wracked over a span of years by a large and constant stream of drugs. They had also studied his hospital records, which included two admissions for drug detoxification and methadone treatments. Over time, Elvis had, in effect, been poisoned. The bloated body, the puffy eyelids, and the constipation reflected the slow death. They prepared multiple specimens from the corpse’s fluids and organs to be identified anonymously and sent to several well-respected laboratories across America for analysis. Chances seemed high that Elvis had, in fact, overdosed.

Dan Warlick, Dr. Francisco’s aide, had driven to Graceland after Elvis’s death was confirmed to investigate the scene. Several hours later, he summarized what he had found. Sadly, ignominiously, the crisis had come Tuesday morning while Elvis was sitting on the black leather padded seat on his black ceramic commode reading a book. There had been a trauma of some sort. Probably, Elvis stood up, dropped the book aside, took a halting short step or two, then sank to his knees and pitched forward. Perhaps he crawled a foot or two more before he collapsed, came to rest in the fetal position face down on the deep pile rug, and regurgitated slightly. Warlick told Dr. Francisco that the site had been cleaned up before he arrived, but even so, he had found two syringes and an empty medicine bag in Elvis’s quarters. He thought that drugs were involved in the death.

ana_christy#elvis#birthday#coverup#death#beatnikhiway.com

 

HIWAY AMERICA -BEALE STREET MEMPHIS TN.

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Beale Street’s Colorful History: Entertainment, Entrepreneurs, Murder & Blues

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“#BEALE_STREET#COLLAGE#ANA_CHRISTY

 

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Memphis Music History

https://youtu.be/nG_mISqSmCo

Fats Waller & Alberta Hunter Beale Street Blues (1927)

https://youtu.be/pF3VpXuwizw

Beale Street Mama (Bessie Smith, 1923) Jazz Legend

https://youtu.be/eQ2Ejm0PXfg

Memphis Tennessee – Beale Street, Rock’N’Roll, Blues & Soul Music – BIG USA DOKU # 13

https://youtu.be/5Z8N_6eExLk

January 30
07:072012

This week, tens of thousands of blues musicians and fans will descend upon Beale Street in Memphis, Tennessee for the Blues Foundation’s International Blues Challenge — a competition where representatives from blues associations across the world compete for the top spot in a four day battle of the bands.  The winner receives great accolades, as well as guaranteed headliner positions on numerous blues festivals across the country. The IBC’s host, Beale Street, is one of the most famous musical streets in the world, and boasts a long and storied history.

For over 150 years, Beale has hosted Blues music, entertainment, drinking, gambling, and even murder. Beale played a pivotal role in branding Memphis as one of the most musically rich cities in the world, and was prominent in hosting some of the first Black business owners in the south. In between, the sometimes-infamous street was host to the birth of Blues music,  the civil rights movement, Rock n’ Roll, and countless beers, racks of ribs, and bands.

The Beginning of Beale

Beale Street was first created as a part of South Memphis by city planner Robertson Topp. Though the origins of how Beale was given it’s name are murky, the official story is that it was named for a long-forgotten war hero. During the early days of Beale, the area became home to a great number of freed slaves and free African-Americans, many from the Mississippi Delta, as well as Irish and Italian immigrants, living peacefully among Memphis’ residents, with reportedly few racial tensions.

Much of the lack of violence that was so destructive in the Jim Crow south was attributed to the occupation of Memphis by Union troops. During Union occupation, many black men were recruited and commissioned as soldiers. Once the war was over, however, the troops left and racial tensions quickly came to a boil, resulting in the Memphis Riots in 1866, where a number of black churches and homes were burned, and over forty African Americans lost their lives.

The horrors committed against the black community during the riots led to the rapid ratification of the 14th Amendment, stating that every person should have equal protection under the law. This would be the backbone of civil rights cases that, 100 long years later, would break longstanding Jim Crow policies, stir peaceful protests in the same neighborhood — and on Beale Street, and tragically end the life of one of the greatest American heroes, and the most powerful civil rights champion, just blocks away.

Beale continued for decades to act as a relatively safe haven for racial minorities in the city — a place where people could enjoy themselves free from fear of malice, where African Americans could own businesses, largely without the concern of oppression or terrorism from the government or racist sects. Politicians in the area were well aware of the power in numbers within the community, especially in the strong voting power of the black minority, and as a result, continued to ensure a largely peaceful co-existence of the neighborhood around Beale.

Gambling, Murder, Blues, and the Birth of Rock on Beale

The Monarch - The infamous "Castle of Missing Men"

By the turn of the 20th century,  Beale Street had become something of a self-contained microcosm, with churches, a pharmacy, grocery, public housing, and entertainment. Beale had also become a place with a dark underbelly —  where murder in it’s rough-and-tumble gambling halls was a regular occurrence. Many men spoke about the infamous Monarch, on 340 Beale. In Paul Oliver’s Conversation with the Blues, a number of former Beale residents spoke with candor about the building that was known as “The Castle of Missing Men”, where many gamblers and drinkers went in but never came out. Behind the Monarch was a funeral home, and it was reported that men who were killed in the bar room for cheating, arguing, or some other perceived injustice, would be quickly and quietly carried to the crematorium through the alley.

The famous gangster Machine Gun Kelly sold bootleg liquor on Beale during the prohibition, as the area took on what has been described as a “carnival” atmosphere, where ambulances waited in rows for the next victim to stumble out of a gambling hall, bluesmen played on corners and in door frames, traveling shows pushed alcohol labeled as “medicines”, and iconic figures like Bessie Smith played the Old Daisy,  (which still stands and will be hosting a number of blues acts during IBC).

W.C. Handy was probably Beale’s most famous resident prior to Elvis Presley, and his presence continues to be felt through his giant statue, a museum on Beale dedicated to his life in his original house, and numerous other accolades showered upon the man known as the “Father of the Blues”. A mayoral candidate in the early 1900s, in an effort to win the black vote, hired Handy to create a theme song for his mayoral bid. The resulting tune was “Mr. Crump”, which Handy reworked and released as “memphis blues“, which quickly became one of his most famous numbers. W.C. went on to be a highly successful artist and band leader with numerous hits to his credit, earning his position as arguably the most celebrated of the decades-long list of musicians on Beale. Parks, bars, and streets bear the name of Handy, who’s music is celebrated as an irreplaceable part of Americana music.

In 1946, a young man named Riley B. King trekked to Beale to seek out his Cousin, musician Bukka White. While King had cut his teeth playing on Church Street in his adopted hometown of Indianola, Beale was a much larger platform, and King “got his licks” busking the famous street. He landed a job as a disc jockey for WDIA radio station in Memphis by making an on-the-spot jingle. It was there that he picked up the handle of the Beale Street Blues Boy, which was later shortened to Blues Boy, and finally, B.B. 45 years later, the celebrated blues club bearing his name was opened with great fanfare on the corner of Second and Beale. Just a single block away, Gibson Guitar’s famous factory produces B.B. King’s signature ES-355 Semi-Hollow body, and boasts a two-story likeness of King’s famous “Lucille” in the reception area.

At the same time as B.B. was earning what would become international widespread fame, another young man was daily found roaming the streets of Beale in search of the blues. A shy and wiry Elvis Presley couldn’t stay away from the blues music that moved him.  “When I was in Memphis with my band, he used to stand in the wings and watch us perform,” B.B King said to Sepia of the future fellow “King”. Not long after, the young man wandered into Sun studio to make a single record “for his mother’s birthday.” Owner Sam Phillips called him back some months later, and on the weekend of July 4th, Presley cut “That’s All Right Mama”, a blues number by Arthur Crudup. Elvis was an instant hit, becoming a driving force in the creation of what Jerry Wexler would soon call Rock n’ Roll. But through his international accolades and unprecedented worldwide fame, Presley always called Memphis home. Purchasing a tract of land and large house south of town, he called the estate Graceland.

Memphis fights for Civil Rights, and Beale Dies and is Revived

A peaceful protest march past Beale Street. The building on the left is now home to B.B. King's Blues Club.

by the mid-1960s, The Civil Rights movement was in full swing. Brown v. Board of Education, using the 14th Amendment (created in the wake of the 1866 Memphis Riots), had finally cracked the “Separate but Equal” laws which were masquerading as equality, but ultimately, were used to continue to enable widespread segregation. Peaceful protest marches and demonstrations began across the south as African Americans struggled for equality.

Memphis became a hotbed of activity in the movement, home to many key civil rights events such as the 1968 sanitation strike. On April 3rd, Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King, Jr. returned to Memphis, as he had a great number of times, to make a stirring, compelling, and ultimately prophetic speech, known by many as “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop”. On April 4th, 1968, only 6 blocks from Beale, an assassin gunned Dr. King down as he stood on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel, now known as the National Civil Rights Museum.

King’s murder changed Memphis. Racial tensions again boiled as riots broke into the streets, most starting on Beale. As Beale Black & Blue: Life and Music on Black America’s Main Street stated, “The riots and looting rampages left shops with broken windows and ransacked counters. Stores closed, buildings emptied.”  For decades, the street had been something of a safe haven; where African Americans could own businesses and enjoy themselves, largely without fear of racism and persecution, but  the area began to descend into ruin. The Memphis housing Authority bulldozed some of the landmarks that had fallen into disrepair as many businesses had closed up shop. By the 1970s, Beale had eroded into a virtual ghost town, despite an act of Congress officially declaring the iconic street the Home of the Blues in 1977. As one of the great epicenters of the Blues had all but died, a renaissance of blues music, the first of many, was brewing across the world. According to Beale Black & Blue,

Rubble of a demolished building, across from The Daisy Theater

There was yet another irony to add to the contradictions that figured so prominently into the mile-long maelstrom. As Beale lay dying, the blues that had helped bring it fame sprang to life again. Elvis Presley’s blue suede blues branched out into amplified hard rock, rock and soul, and progressive country rock; the Beatles acknowledged their debt to blues old timers like Lightnin Hopkins; the Rolling Stones took their name from a Muddy Waters song; and there was born a new interest of  what Beale Streeter Willie Blackwell called the “true blues — the old time, natural blues.”

Fueled by the interest in blues, rock & roll, B.B. King, and Elvis Presley, a strong investment was made into the street in the 1980s, fueling re-establishment of new businesses, and revitalization of old ones. Tourists made their way back to the Home of the Blues, slowly at first, then quickly, as the live music poured into the streets. By 2009, Beale Street alone was reporting nearly $32 Million in gross sales. With the revitalization and tourism that has come with the street in the past two decades, there has been some criticism that the street has become a sort of caricature of it’s former self. Regardless, the music has a nearly unprecedented opportunity to bring new exposure to the millions that walk the streets of Beale during their trips and vacations — undoubtedly the first time many new visitors are even willing to hear the blues.

International Blues Challenge

As thousands of bands, fans, major blues players, entertainers, and reporters (including American Blues Scene) descend on Beale, the street once again takes a party atmosphere as only the blues can provide, colliding a searing helping of original Memphis soul with dozens of different styles, takes, and interpretations of hundreds of artist’s blues music and dedication. Most of the buildings that exist on Beale are the same buildings that have been frequented by the great many music lovers and great musicians that came in the 100 years before, providing a proprietary sense of history to the legendary street.

In 1890, Beale Street underwent a classy renovation with the addition of the Grand Opera House, later known as the Orpheum. The Orpheum, originally built in the late 1800s and rebuilt in grand fashion in 1928 after a fire, was a place for vaudeville, nationally touring shows, and early movies. Sparing no expense, the theater was built to be larger than life — a Memphis jewel. During the International Blues Challenge, the best-of-the-best will adorn the stage at the Orpheum, and a 2012 winner will be crowned!

American Blues Scene will be covering the event, as we do every year, and will be bringing you up-to-the-minute happenings. Stay tuned to the American Blues Scene to be at the event without leaving your screen.

COOL PEOPLE ELVIS’ BMW TO BE RESTORED – AND TOP TEN SONGS

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BMW to restore Elvis’ rare 507

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This rare BMW was the King’s personal ride while serving in the Army between 1958 and 1960.

 Elvis Presley’s BMW is getting the rock star treatment all over again.

BMW Classic, the automaker’s official restoration arm, is bringing the King’s 507 roadster back to showroom quality. The red roadster, one of just 254 built between 1955 and 1959, was actually Presley’s second 507, or by some accounts, the same car painted red after adoring women wrote their names and numbers all over the  original white body in lipstick. In either case, Presley was stationed in Germany in the late 1950s as a private in the U.S. Army, but aside from operating a tank and standing guard (where he was again mobbed by hundreds of German fans), the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll was no ordinary GI. In between his many overseas girlfriends and ability to skirt Army rules as a celebrity, Presley bought one of the most expensive cars at that time. He spotted the 507 in a local dealer after the Porsche 550 Spyder, the other great sports car in which heartthrob actor James Dean famously died, wasn’t available. For a $3,750 lease — for a used model raced by Hans Stuck — Elvis cruised around Germany in one of the most beautiful and rarest BMWs ever made until his Army tour was up in 1960. From there, the story gets murkier. The 507 was shipped to the U.S., except its original 150-horsepower V8 engine was swapped for a small-block Chevy somewhere in Alabama and was drag-raced. Later in 1968, an engineer named Jack Castor bought the car in Arizona and then let it sit in a warehouse for decades. Only recently has Castor shipped the car to BMW to let the experts restore Presley’s car. Currently, the car is on display in its original condition at the factory BMW Museum through Aug. 10. Presley also bought a BMW Isetta — the funny microcar that had its single door up front — even before leaving for Germany. Discounting every other car Elvis bought in his lifetime, it was sure good to be the King with keys to a 507. [Source: Road & Track via BMW Classic; Photos by BMW, Elvis Australia]

ELVIS’ TOP TEN SONGS

http://youtu.be/qzIMHk6Z2l8

HIWAY AMERICA -THE ELVIS HOME GRACELAND, MEMPHIS,TENNESSEE

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TAKE THE 360• TOUR BELOW
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Graceland

Museum in Memphis, Tennessee

  • Graceland is a large white-columned mansion and 13.8-acre estate in Memphis, Tennessee that was home to Elvis Presley. Wikipedia
    Address: 3734 Elvis Presley Blvd, Memphis, TN 38116

  • Area: 14 acres (6 ha)

  • Architectural styles: Colonial Revival architecture, Classical Revival

    Graceland Virtual Tours

    Graceland takes you on a panoramic 360° view of Elvis Presley’s home. See where Elvis lived, relaxed and spent time with his friends and family. Take a look at the mansion from the entrance and step inside the foyer, the famous jungle room, and the racquetball trophy room to walk the same footsteps of the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll. Turn your virtual experience into a live one by visiting Elvis Presley’s Graceland in Memphis. For a free Graceland online travel planner, visit Elvis.com/Graceland.

    Exterior of Graceland Mansion Elvis fans can often be seen posing for photographs at the front entrance of the mansion. As the front door swings open, guests are able to enter the private world of a rock legend. Elvis loved Graceland and always enjoyed showing it off and entertaining friends and family there.             The home welcomes over 600,000 visitors a year and holds countless memories for the many friends, fans and family whose lives he touched.
    Take the 360° tour!
    Mansion Foyer The foyer is where special guests were greeted and shown to the living room where they would wait for Elvis to come down the stairs from his private area upstairs. Elvis would often entertain his guests on his 15-foot white sofa inside the living room. At the far end of the living room is the entrance into the music room where Elvis enjoyed singing and playing piano to his favorite gospel and R&B songs. Across the foyer from the living room – is the dining room where Elvis and his family would enjoy down-home Southern cooking for their evening meals. These rooms hosted many large gatherings and is where Elvis enjoyed the company of his friends and family.
    Take the 360° tour!
    Mansion Jungle Room             One of Elvis’ favorite hangouts was the “Jungle Room.” The room is known for its Polynesian feel and exotically carved wood. In the early 1960s, during one of Elvis’ home improvements, it was added to the back of the house. Elvis referred to the room as the den and later added the eccentric furniture and shag carpet reminiscent of Hawaii- one of Elvis’ favorite places to vacation. In 1976, the room was transformed into a recording studio for a series of all-night sessions that later became the album called “From Elvis Presley Boulevard, Memphis, Tennessee.” The faux fur upholstery and green shag carpet on the floor and the ceiling completes the wild look and ’70s feel – making this room an Elvis fan favorite.
    Take the 360° tour!
    Racquetball Building             The racquetball building was built in 1975 and houses a large display of Elvis’ awards and accomplishments. The court is currently used to display all of his posthumous awards and honors. Several of his stage costumes are featured including his Aztec and American Eagle jumpsuit. It is estimated that Elvis has sold over one billion records worldwide.
    I dedicate this song to my late mum who loved Elvis’s love songs I bought her this single when I was a teenager in London
    “I  CAN’T HELP FALLING IN LOVE WITH YOU” FROM THE MOVIE BLUE HAWAII

http://youtu.be/cqhMopq5r6I

imagesDT3P38J9 images (13)

Elvis Presley Biography
Elvis PresleyThe incredible Elvis life story began when Elvis Aaron Presley was born to Vernon and Gladys Presley in a two-room house in Tupelo, Mississippi, on January 8, 1935. His twin brother, Jessie Garon, was stillborn, leaving Elvis to grow up as an only child. He and his parents moved to Memphis, Tennessee, in 1948, and Elvis graduated from Humes High School there in 1953.

Elvis’ musical influences were the pop and country music of the time, the gospel music he heard in church and at the all-night gospel sings he frequently attended, and the black R&B he absorbed on historic Beale Street as a Memphis teenager.

In 1954, Elvis began his singing career with the legendary Sun Records label in Memphis. In late 1955, his recording contract was sold to RCA Victor. By 1956, he was an international sensation. With a sound and style that uniquely combined his diverse musical influences and blurred and challenged the social and racial barriers of the time, he ushered in a whole new era of American music and popular culture.

He starred in 33 successful films, made history with his television appearances and specials, and knew great acclaim through his many, often record-breaking, live concert performances on tour and in Las Vegas. Globally, he has sold over one billion records, more than any other artist. His American sales have earned him gold, platinum or multi-platinum awards. Among his many awards and accolades were 14 Grammy nominations (3 wins) from the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences, the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award which he received at age 36, and his being named One of the Ten Outstanding Young Men of the Nation for 1970 by the United States Jaycees. Without any of the special privileges, his celebrity status might have afforded him, he honorably served his country in the U.S. Army.

His talent, good looks, sensuality, charisma, and good humor endeared him to millions, as did the humility and human kindness he demonstrated throughout his life. Known the world over by his first name, he is regarded as one of the most important figures of twentieth century popular culture. Elvis died at his Memphis home, Graceland, on August 16, 1977.

If you enjoyed this Elvis biography, check out our fun, interactive walk through Elvis’ life story with the 75 years of Elvis Timeline, developed for Elvis’ 75th Birthday Celebration.

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