Today marks the 75th anniversary of Elvis’s birth, and fans of the King are celebrating accordingly. The National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C., unveils their newest exhibit, “Echoes of Elvis” today, which explores how the iconography of the legendary crooner continues to be relevant in contemporary culture. The exhibit features everything from portraits and golden busts of Presley to notebooks, lunch boxes, and other ephemera that was created to satiate the appetite of his adoring fans.
Across the country, the Grammy Museum in Los Angeles is the first to showcase the Smithsonian’s traveling exhibit, “Elvis at 21: Photographs by Alfred Wertheimer.” Wertheimer, a photojournalist, was hired by RCA-Victor to shoot the young singer right after he was signed, and the images provide a intimate look at the artist’s last few months of relative anonymity before he became a international superstar.
And at Graceland, the celebration started last night with an sold-out reception and tour for the elite squadron of uber-fans: the Elvis Insiders. Today, Priscilla and Lisa-Marie will gather with the throngs to kick off a weekend filled with gospel concerts, charity events, a Grizzlies’ tribute basketball game, and a birthday bash on Beale Street in downtown Memphis. Be sure to remember your blue suede shoes.
Photo: Mark Stutzman designed this image for the commemorative Elvis postage stamp. It sold over 500 million copies, and to this day is the most popular stamp ever sold. U.S. Postal Service-Stamp Services, Rossyln, VA © U.S. Postal Service, via the National Portrait Gallery
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