The King of Rock and Roll was born under very unassuming conditions, being nothing more than a poor boy born to Gladys and Vernon Presley on January 8, 1935. Both parents worked multiple jobs while living in Tupelo but sometimes it was not enough and the family moved several times during the thirteen years they lived in the city. When Elvis turned thirteen, the Presley’s moved to Memphis.
Today, the birthplace serves as museum for fans of the King himself. Once inside the main building, visitors are ushered through a hall of memories and memorabilia from Elvis’ life. From suits he wore performing all over the world to letters and gifts he loved to flood his family and friends with, it is one of the most complete timeline of his life, from the moment he was born to the day he drew his last breath.
The house in which Elvis was born was a modest, small-framed house that cost $180 to build. Vernon borrowed the money in order to build the home but unfortunately, they were only able to live there three years until the house was repossessed. Also on site is the actual church that the Presley Family attended services in. The Assembly of God Church is where Elvis first fell in love with gospel music and learned to play guitar. Today, guests have a tremendous experience while visiting the church and get to experience what a church service would have been like. This unique experience comes with a preacher speaking the word, a choir singing, and even a young Elvis singing his heart out. Even though the church is humble and small by today’s standards, visitors to the church get a soul-stirring experience that is sure to last them a lifetime!
Additionally, there are also a couple of symbolic statues on the property that tell the story of Elvis from the time he was just 13 to “Becoming” statue that represents Elvis as a young child embracing the idea of being a musician all the way to his transition of becoming the King of Rock and Roll and a household name. The really cool thing about the statues is that they were created with real life estimates of his size both as a child and adult. For instance, the Elvis at 13 statue was created by the sculptor working photographs from his childhood and his sixth grade class picture to make sure it was as accurate as possible. The “Becoming” statue shows young Elvis sitting on a milk carton, playing the guitar he received from Tupelo Hardware after a day of playing with his friends in the hills around Tupelo or in the creek near his home. At this point in his young life, he had to be dreaming of becoming a musician but was probably only hoping to become part of a gospel quartet. The transition of the King, when he literally became larger than life, is shown in the second part of this statue.
Visiting the Elvis Birthplace should be on everyone’s bucket list regardless if you are an Elvis fan or not. What his man overcame as a child and became in his adult years, is a story everyone in Mississippi should know. Truth is more than 100,000 visitors have explore this location every year. The address of the homeplace is 306 Elvis Presley Drive, Tupelo. To see all three attractions at the site, the ticket price for an adult is $19 but they slowly drop from here. They are open Monday through Thursday 11am to 4pm, Friday and Saturday 9am to 5pm and Sundays 1pm to 5pm. Tickets are sold every day until an hour before closing.
Tupelo and the birthplace are simply amazing places that have to be visited. Make plans now to spend the weekend in North Mississippi. It will be a trip you will not soon forget.