East-West Seasons

Cake for the King: 75 years of Elvis

On January 8th 1935, the cries of a baby boy born under a little roof in Tupelo, Mississippi, changed music history forever; on January 8th 2010, those who loved him showed up in front of his home in Memphis, Tennessee, to celebrate the 75th anniversary of his birth. In the presence of Priscilla Presley, Lisa Marie and her two children, the fans of Elvis Aaron Presley shivered and cheered in the early morning snow to wish the King happy birthday and to share his cake. Even Memphis Mayor A C Wharton, Jr. was there to announce to everyone that this special day had been declared Elvis Presley Day.

Fans from all over the world gathered to pay tribute to the King, traveling in groups, couples or even by themselves. From Norway, France and Germany to China and Australia – the international Elvis community found its way to the home of the blues and the birthplace of Rock & Roll to express its love for the greatest performer of all time. License plates from all over the continental U.S. (among them, Georgia without a doubt) flooded the parking lots at the events organized around the city and Elvis impersonators occupied the stages of Beale.

Despite the diversity of the journeyers, the quantity was not the largest Memphis has hosted during the month of January. It was almost haunting to see Graceland so still, as opposed to swarming with people, but it was also peaceful. Every August, Elvis Week is one of the most crowded times of year for the city in general and Elvis Presley Blvd. in particular; January 2010, on the contrary, was surprisingly empty. 75 is a majestic anniversary and more people were expected, but the unmerciful freeze that has chilled the United States during the past few weeks was surely a hindrance for many usual visitors coming from afar and even for locals to leave their house. 

However few the people were, in the end it did not matter. All those present understood the significance of the event, felt the warmth within their heart and knew that they would not want to be anywhere else in the world in the January cold.



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