Select Elvis Presley Artifacts From Graceland Are On A Media Tour
Angie Marchese started working at Elvis Presley's Graceland over 23 years ago while still in high school, as a tour guide. Today, she is the archival director for the museum and Presley household. The Memphis native travels the country showing items off from the Presley estate, and Rocks Off was lucky enough to snag a visit.
Photos by Craig Hlavaty The King and his Princess
Tuesday, morning Marchese and Graceland public relations coordinator Alicia Dean arrived at the Houston Press offices to show us some of the King's personal effects, including his wallet, a pair of his trademark gold sunglasses, his Golden Globe award for the concert film Elvis On Tour, and his daughter Lisa Marie Presley's baby footprints from the day she was born.
Also included in the haul was a pair of Elvis-style shades worn onstage by Katy Perry herself .
All of these items are included in new exhibits at the Memphis homestead, "Icon: The Influence Of Elvis Presley", "Elvis On Tour", and "Elvis...Through His Daughter's Eyes." The exhibits opened just a weeks back. This year also marks the 35 years since Presley passed away, in August 1977, so Graceland will be extremely busy this summer.
I didn't get to touch the items, only Marchese did with a pair of white gloves, but I did get in plenty of gawking time. Believe me, folks, I tried to wear the King's shades. That would have been an epic Facebook moment for sure.
Presley's trademark shades
Marchese has seen the goals of Graceland change and vary since she joined the staff. The storyline has changed somewhat. In the beginning, the tour guides were preaching to the choir, fans and teary-eyed devotees who knew every facet of Presley's life were pouring into the house.
As time has gone by, though, Graceland is having to transition into educating younger people about Presley's pop-culture significance and explain his influence on modern music, which is mind-boggling. The groups of fans who grew up on Elvis from his beginnings in the pop world are dwindling year by year, and Graceland is having to keep up.