Following is adapted from a press release from Memphis Heritage:
Memphis Heritage is proud to announce that this year’s calendar is sponsored in its entirety by Elvis Presley Enterprises. This unique 18-month edition will focus on vintage Don Newman photographs of Memphis as they relate to Elvis Presley and the Memphis he knew. The calendar offers a glimpse of Elvis’s Memphis, the footsteps of the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll, as so eloquently photographed by Don Newman. The content is supplemented by anecdotes and images of artifacts and documents from the Graceland Archive.
Peter Guralnick, noted music historian and author of critically acclaimed Elvis Presley biographies including Last Train to Memphis, Careless Love and Elvis Day by Day wrote a special introduction to this year’s calendar. (Reprinted at the end of this article.)
All paid MHI members will receive one free calendar and can purchase ten (10) or more at a discount. This 18-month calendar sells for $10.00 (slightly more on the web to cover handling and mailing charges.) The calendars will be available for purchase through the Memphis Heritage gift shop at 509 S. Main or on line at www.memphisheritage.org. These Memphis retailers also will be selling the calendars: Davis Kidd Booksellers, Otherlands and Burke’s Bookstore. All profit from the sale of these calendars goes to aid Memphis Heritage in their ongoing historic preservation efforts.
Following this same theme, in March 2005 Graceland will unveil an extraordinary yearlong exhibit using several mural-size Don Newman photographs in conjunction with Elvis artifacts and archival materials from the vaults of their repository. This new exhibit in the Sincerely Elvis Museum in Graceland Plaza will explore Elvis Presley’s ties to the city he loved and called home. Further details will be posted here in News on Elvis.com closer to the date of the installation of the new exhibit.
Peter Guralnick Text in the Calendar:
Elvis Presley loved Memphis. His music is informed with its attitudes and its rhythms. But, even more, it is infused with the sense of democratic possibilities that Memphis nurtured in him. From slums to public housing to private ownership in a single generation was the motto of Lauderdale Courts, the Memphis public housing development in which he grew up -- and Elvis clearly achieved that goal beyond even its most hopeful construction. But he achieved something much more. With his music he broke down barriers, he refused to acknowledge categories -- social, racial, or musical -- he consciously sought to bring together all the worlds that he had experienced, from Main Street to Beale Street, from Overton Park to East Trigg Baptist Church.
More than anything else, Elvis Presley celebrated freedom, individuality, and the triumph of the human spirit. That was the heart of rock n roll as he defined it, an amalgamation of the rich musical traditions of ordinary people, black and white, who lived side by side and imbued their music with their hopes, their dreams, their unarticulated ambitions.
What had he missed most about Memphis? Elvis was asked after two years in the army. "Everything, he said. I mean that -- everything." His music sprang from Memphis, and with that music he helped redefine the American mainstream.
- Peter Guralnick