Happy Birthday, Elvis. Presley's birth date is Jan. 8, and the King of Rock n' Roll would be 83 years old this year. Fans and guests from around the world gathered on the front lawn of Elvis Presley's iconic home Monday morning to celebrate, joining local officials and Graceland executives for the proclamation of "Elvis Presley Day" in Memphis and Shelby County. A special birthday cake was a tribute to Elvis' 1968 Comeback Special, as Graceland kicks off its year-long celebration of the 50th anniversary year of this milestone TV event. An auction of Elvis memorabilia over the weekend saw more than a half-million dollars in winning bids for unique Elvis memorabilia, and there was a concert featuring the Memphis Symphony Orchestra, panel discussions featuring Elvis' movie co-stars and those who knew Elvis in his early years, and evening tours of the mansion and the new Elvis Presley's Memphis exhibit and entertainment complex.
Graceland also marked the occasion by officially opening its newest exhibit. The "Hollywood Backlot" exhibit features production sets and artifacts from the acclaimed television series "Sun Records," filmed in Memphis and aired on CMT network in 2017. The eight-episode series chronicled the meteoric rise to fame of pioneering musicians Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins and Jerry Lee Lewis.
Presley lived in the mansion from 1957 until his death 20 years later at the age of 42. The estate has recently enhanced the trophy room and restored the racquetball building. Today, the mansion and the artifacts in the Graceland Archives are owned by his daughter, Lisa Marie Presley. The decor in the rooms spans all of the Elvis eras at Graceland, but the look is primarily the late 1960s to early 1970s.
But if you can't make it to Graceland, take a tour with us:
Graceland was once part of a 500-acre farm that was owned by the S.E. Toof family. In the spring of 1957, when Elvis Presley was 22, he purchased the home and grounds for just over $100,000. Visitors to Graceland will recognize the "sheet music" gates to the house, which were installed the same year Elvis bought the house.
According to the Graceland website, house guests at Graceland included family members and friends at various times, some in the mansion and some in houses elsewhere on the grounds. Although Elvis had various homes in the Los Angeles area and spent a great deal of time on the road with his concerts, Graceland was always home base.
The Graceland Mansion tour gives visitors a close-up look at the living room, his parents' bedroom, the kitchen, TV room, pool room, the famous Jungle Room, his father's office, the newly-enhanced trophy building, the racquetball building -- recently restored to how it looked in 1977, and the meditation garden.
Inside the front door is the foyer, and the bottom of the stairs leading to the second story, which includes the bedroom where Elvis died. The second floor is closed to visitors.
According to Graceland, special guests were received and shown to the living room, where they would wait for Elvis to greet them. The estate recently acquired Presley's baby grand piano in white with gold accents. The piano is on display in the music room.
Behind the living room is the bedroom used by Elvis' parents, and decorated by his mother in a much-loved shade of purple.
She also chose the poodle-themed wallpaper in the bathroom adjacent to the bedroom downstairs.
Elvis enjoyed entertaining friends, family and his entourage.
According to Graceland, the famous Jungle Room, with its green shag carpets, Polynesian feel and exotically carved wood, was once the exterior access to the basement. In the 1960s, during one of Elvis' home improvement projects, it was added to the back of the house -- first as a screened porch and then closed in as a room a few years later.
Graceland says this room became a family favorite and Elvis liked it in part because it was reminiscent of Hawaii, where he enjoyed vacationing, film-making and performing.
In 1974, Elvis redecorated with the current furnishings he stumbled upon at a Memphis furniture store.
This rocking chair was a favorite of Elvis' in an earlier rendition of the Jungle Room, and is being auctioned off at Graceland this weekend. It is expected to fetch between $10,000 and $15,000.
The house is filled with personal items and mementos, including this well-worn stuffed bear and a guitar.
According to numerous reports, including some from people who were in a position to know, like his cook... Elvis' favorite snack after a tour was fried peanut butter and banana sandwiches.
In the context of the time, the multiple televisions, stereo systems and speakers were state-of-the-art.
According to various reports, Elvis bought the pool table in 1960, but it wasn't until he had the basement rooms remodeled in the early '70s that he had the walls and ceiling covered with more than 350 yards of cotton fabric.
According to the Recording Industry Association of America, Elvis has been honored with 90 gold, 53 platinum and 25 multi-platinum album awards by the organization.
Some of Presley's costumes on display at Graceland.
Elvis' rhinestone performance costume.
The back of the house.
Graceland says the final stop on the tour of Graceland Mansion is Meditation Garden, where Elvis and members of his family have been laid to rest.
Millions of fans from around the world have come to Graceland to pay their respects to Elvis -- the humanitarian, singing sensation, movie star and King of Rock 'n' Roll, says Graceland.
The area surrounding the house comprises sweeping vistas and gently sloping meadows.
Another attraction at Graceland is Elvis' car collection, including this pink Jeep, used in the 1961 romantic comedy "Blue Hawaii."
The Memphis estate is on the National Register of Historic Places.
One of the outbuildings near the mansion was possibly a pump house, and a smokehouse, and, when Elvis wanted it to be, an impromptu firing range.
Later, they found these.
Never be far from Elvis. Graceland has a live webcam.
Check out GracelandCam.
Learn more about the estate and all things Elvis at Graceland.com.