Elvis Aaron Presley is an American music icon. He changed the music industry forever. Although he died in 1977 – over 40 years ago – thousands of people travel to his home in Memphis every day. Graceland, named after the home’s first owner, is a showcase of Elvis’s lifestyle.

Graceland Visit

The famous jungle room, filled with Hawaiian-style decor and carpeted ceiling.

The game room with yards and yards of pleated fabric on the walls.

The full-sized racketball court and lounge.

Horse stables and acres of pasture.

The basement media room with a full bar and a drop-down movie screen.

Graceland Media Room Picture
Photo of Graceland's Jungle Room

It seems like Graceland is a perfect example of opulence, but I saw a place where a man wanted to create an environment for his friends and family to come, hang out, and enjoy life. Whenever he was home, Elvis was surrounded by friends. Throughout the tour, I heard Priscilla Presley talk about the fun they had in their home at Graceland. Elvis honored his parents by giving them the biggest bedroom suite. His love for family and friends is evident in everything – the golf carts, horses, music, and food.

The Museum

I was never a huge Elvis fan, but I am now after visiting Graceland and the HUGE museum across the street. He poured his soul into performing. It’s a tragedy and a loss for music fans everywhere that he died so young.

After watching the new Elvis movie with Tom Hanks (boy did he play a despicable character), I am saddened by the way Elvis was used by those who were supposed to be his friends. To his manager, The Colonel, Elvis was the goose that laid the golden egg. He was a commodity. The Colonel used him up and when Elvis died, afterward he had nothing.

In addition to so many of our music icons who died too young, Elvis will live on in our memories as one of the music industry’s greatest of all time.

Jane S. Daly is the author of two nonfiction books and five novels.

Jane is addicted to coffee, purple pens, and her husband, not necessarily in that order. A self-proclaimed introvert, she enjoys the solitude of riding shotgun in Rigsby, her 37-foot motor home. But when they pull into a new campground, her favorite thing is to make new friends and find hangouts featuring local musicians. Her fantasy involves writing lyrics for country music songs and hearing them played on the radio. In the meantime, she’ll stick to writing novels. And seeing as much of the country as possible.