Deep South USA Blog

Elvis Presley's Graceland in Memphis announces lineup of events for Elvis Week 2016 and it's going to be busy!

Elvis Week 2016 Graceland, Memphis

Events include appearances by celebrities and musicians at the Elvis Week Main Stage, The Auction at Graceland, Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest Finals, fan club events, charity fundraisers and more.

Elvis Week 2016 at Elvis Presley’s Graceland® will feature more than 25 events including live music, the Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest® , the Auction at Graceland and panel discussions with the musicians, co-stars and friends of Elvis that knew him best.  On 10th-16th August, Elvis™ fans and music lovers will join guests such as legendary musicians DJ Fontana and Glen Hardin, vocalists Estelle Brown and Ray Walker, former Elvis girlfriend Marilyn Rhiel and movie co-stars Celeste Yarnall, Francine York and Christopher Riordan, to help celebrate the life and legacy of Elvis and the 60th anniversary of his break out year of 1956.

The cornerstone event, the Candlelight Vigil, will begin on Monday 15th August at 8:30 p.m. CDT at Graceland’s front gate. Elvis music sets the tone of the evening as fans walk up the driveway to the Meditation Garden. This free event lasts throughout the night as thousands of participants gather on Elvis Presley Boulevard listening to music, remembering Elvis and enjoying the memorials that are created by fans along the street. This event is also shown live online from 8pm CDT (1am GMT) and can be viewed here

The highly‐anticipated Auction at Graceland on Saturday 13th August will be the most extensive and comprehensive auction at Graceland yet, featuring rare Elvis artifacts authenticated by Graceland Authenticated. Highlights in this 3rd Annual Elvis Week auction include the 8th January 1935 Elvis Presley Birth Record document from the delivering physician, Dr. Robert Hunt, estimated to sell between $80,000 - $100,000; the 1973-74 Elvis Presley-signed American Express Card known to be the finest Elvis credit card in existence, estimated at $40,000 - $60,000; and a pair of trousers Elvis wore in his second film, “Loving You,” in 1957, estimated at $15,000 - $20,000. The auction is open to registered bidders and all the items included are from third-party collectors, not from the treasured Graceland Archives. 

The Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest returns for the tenth year and features competitors from around the world including Elvis tribute artists (ETAs) from the United States, Canada, Europe, Japan, Australia and Brazil as they compete in the Semifinal Round of the 2016 Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest on Thursday 11th August at the Orpheum Theatre in downtown Memphis. The top 10 Elvis tribute artists selected that evening will  move on to the Final Round of the competition on Saturday 13th August, also at the Orpheum, as the finalists compete for the title of “Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist of 2016.” 

The Official Graceland Insiders Conference on Sunday 14th August will feature DJ Fontana, Elvis' drummer for 14 years, who started performing with him in 1954; Marilyn Riehl (Evans), Elvis' girlfriend who was there for the famous Million Dollar Quartet session at Sun Studio; Barbara Sims, who worked at Sun Studio as a publicist from 1957-1960; Estelle Brown, member of The Sweet Inspirations who recorded and performed with Elvis; and Ray Walker, member of The Jordanaires, who also recorded and performed with Elvis. There will also be a Sony Music panel talking in-depth on the new RCA/Legacy  Recordings release "Way Down In The Jungle Room." The Insiders Conference also features special segments that highlight various parts of Elvis' life and career with sneak peeks, behind-the-scenes looks, and rarely-seen videos.

Designing for the King on Thursday 11th August explores what it was like to design, dress and decorate for Elvis Presley, with Hal Lansky, son of Bernard Lansky and owner of Lansky Bros., a clothing store that helped dress the king as early as 1952; Lowell Hays, the jeweller who made 200+ pieces of jewellery for Elvis; and acclaimed interior designer Bill Eubanks, who designed several rooms at Graceland.

Elvis 101 on Friday 12th August will explore Elvis' influence on music and pop culture.  Hear from acclaimed author Peter Guralnick, talking about his most recent release, "Sam Phillips: The Man Who Invented Rock 'n' Roll"; Dr. Charles Hughes, Director of the Memphis Center at Rhodes College and professor for the course there entitled Elvis Presley and America; and John Jackson, Ernst Jorgensen and Roger Semon, all of Sony Music, talking about Elvis' breakout year of 1956. 

Also on 12th August, the Elvis Presley Fan Club Presidents’ Event will feature special guests Charles Stone and Greg McDonald, both of whom worked closely with Colonel Tom Parker on Elvis' tours and career.

A special Sunday evening event on 14th August, The Gospel Music of Elvis Presley, will celebrate the music that not only influenced Elvis but earned him his three GRAMMY® Awards. 

And finally on Monday 15th August fans can attend Conversations on Elvis featuring Elvis’ movie co-stars Francine York (“Tickle Me”), Celeste Yarnall (“Live a Little, Love a Little”) and Christopher Riordan (eight Elvis movies, including “Viva Las Vegas” plus the 1968 Comeback TV Special ). Then, later that afternoon, hear stories from Glen Hardin, who played piano for Elvis on-stage and in the studio, at  An Afternoon with Elvis’ Piano Man, Glen Hardin.

Other Elvis Week events include the 34th annual Elvis Presley Livitup 5K run, the Sound and Soul of Memphis Music concert and much more.

As thousands of fans gather for Elvis Week, the much-anticipated, new, world-class resort hotel, The Guest House at Graceland, will be nearing completion just steps away from Graceland Mansion, with only 11 weeks of construction remaining prior to its 27th-30th October Grand Opening Weekend.  

The Elvis Week 2016 app will soon be available for download for free from Google Play for Android phones or iTunes for iPhones. The app is the perfect mobile guide to everything Elvis Week and includes the official schedule, details on guests, partner offers, FAQs, a map of the Graceland grounds, a virtual candle for the Candlelight Vigil and more. Visit for more information about the Elvis Week 2016 app and for a complete schedule of Elvis Week events visit

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