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Sunday, January 8, 2017

Graceland Celebrates Elvis’ Birthday With Special Events and Auction

Above, inside the former racquetball court building today. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

There's a number of articles on the festivities commemorating  Elvis Presley's 82nd birthday at Graceland this weekend.

One of which was a press release posted at Business Wire, which begins with:
MEMPHIS, Tenn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Graceland® celebrated Elvis’™ birthday as construction continues on schedule for the new, state-of-the-art “Elvis Presley’s Memphis” entertainment complex across the street from the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll’s™ Memphis mansion. Graceland guests, fans from around the world, Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland and Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell officially celebrated with a proclamation of “Elvis Presley Day” on the front lawn of Graceland and by cutting the largest birthday cake in Graceland history. Other birthday events included concerts and panel discussions, with special guests including “Follow That Dream” movie co-stars Robin and Gavin Koon and award-winning filmmaker Andrew Solt, who made a number of acclaimed films and television specials about Elvis Presley. For the first time ever, birthday celebration events were hosted at Graceland’s new AAA Four Diamond-rated resort hotel, The Guest House at Graceland™. The birthday celebrations kick off the 40th anniversary of Elvis’ passing. 
A highlight of the celebration was The Auction at Graceland held in The Guest House Theater on January 7. Elvis fans and pop culture enthusiasts gathered to bid on memorabilia from Elvis’ personal life, all consigned by third-party collectors and expertly authenticated by Graceland Authenticated. Highlights included a Gold and Diamond Lion Head Ring Elvis owned and gave to Charlie Hodge, one of the Memphis Mafia. It was estimated to sell for $10,000 - $15,000 and went for $37,500.00. Elvis’ Colt “Police Positive Special” .32 Caliber Pistol which he gave to bodyguard Richard Grob sold for $10,625.00 on an estimate of $4,000 - $6,000. Over 160 items were sold in the auction.
Above, concert jumpsuits on display in the former racquetball court building. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

What caught my eye about the article, besides the now-under-construction entertainment complex, was the news that Presley's racquetball court will be restored to its original appearance.

According to the article:
The acclaimed Graceland Mansion tour will continue to present the personal and family side of Elvis’ life, and will soon include a full restoration of Elvis’ racquetball court, so that it once again looks exactly as it did when Elvis was last in the Racquetball Building. “Elvis Presley’s Memphis” will tell the rest of the story, exploring the beginning of the incredible music and pop culture explosion that all started here in Memphis, with the greatest entertainer of all time.
Above, the walkway to the racquetball building. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Currently, the former racquetball building houses displays of gold & platinum records, awards, jumpsuits and other memorabilia. Three of the accompanying photos show the inside of the building as it is currently configured.

Above, the wall of gold and platinum records. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

To read more, go here.

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