Pressrelease from EPE on the plans for 2007. With younger and younger audiences discovering Elvis and the number of projects planned for 2007, the King of Rock & Roll continues to entertain with a career reaching new generations. The anniversary year begins with the January 8 celebration of his birthday at Graceland and continues through Elvis Week 2007 in August, which promises to be the largest ever.
Nearly thirty years ago on August 16, 1977, legendary entertainer Elvis Presley died at age 42. In his 23-year career, he become the top-selling recording artist of the music industry, spent time on Hollywood's lists of highest paid actors and top box office draws, broke viewer ratings records with his television specials and television guest appearances, and broke concert box office records in Las Vegas and on national tour. At the start of his career, his unique, instinctive, natural blending of pop, country, gospel and R&B music, presented with his charismatic and then-provocative style, touched off a revolution in music and popular culture. Today, his influence still reverberates and his presence seems more ubiquitous than ever.
There are at least 400 active independent Elvis fan clubs around the globe and on the Internet there are hundreds of Web sites devoted to interest in the superstar in addition to the official site, Elvis.com. In recent years, Elvis CD and DVD releases have topped the sales charts in territories around the world. Today, licensing activity for official Elvis products and ventures is at an all-time high. Recently Atlantic Monthly magazine published the results of its poll of ten eminent historians to name the 100 most influential figures of American history. Elvis Presley is one of only a handful of entertainment artists to make the list.
Graceland Mansion, his beloved home in Memphis, Tennessee, which has been open for public tours since 1982, welcomes over 600,000 visitors per year - half of them today are age 35 and under. In 2006, the Graceland staff played host to President George Bush and avowed Elvis fan, Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi of Japan, an event that generated extensive media coverage everywhere. Also in 2006, Graceland Mansion, the most famous home in America after The White House, was designated a National Historic Landmark in recognition of the fact that Elvis Presley lived there. Presently, Elvis Presley Enterprises, Inc. (EPE), the company that manages the Presley assets, and its parent company CKX, Inc. are engaged in developing a master plan for an extensive revamping of the property surrounding the original Graceland grounds. It’s currently scheduled to be realized within the next few years and will include new visitor amenities, exhibition and entertainment facilities, and hotels.
Now, Elvis Presley Enterprises, Inc. and CKX, Inc., along with their collaborators, licensees and venture partners, are preparing for a full and exciting year of activity in 2007, the 30th Anniversary of Elvis' passing, which is expected to help carry the Elvis phenomenon to even greater heights. It begins with the Elvis Presley Birthday Celebration at Graceland in January, follows through with special DVD and CD releases and special official products from licensees, and crescendos in August with what is expected to be the biggest of all the annual Elvis Week celebrations to date.
Among the key happenings in 2007 are:
The Elvis Presley Birthday Celebration
The 30th Anniversary year of 2007 will have its official kick-off with The Elvis Presley Birthday Celebration, a roster of special events at Graceland and elsewhere in Memphis, January 5 through January 8. Among the events are The Elvis Presley Birthday Pops presented by the Memphis Symphony Orchestra at the Cannon Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Memphis on January 6 and the annual Elvis Presley Day proclamation ceremony at Graceland Mansion on the morning of January 8.
DVD and CD Releases
Currently on the global market as the 30th Anniversary year is about to dawn are the Summer 2006 single-disc concert releases Elvis: '68 Comeback – Special Edition DVD and Elvis: Aloha from Hawaii – Special Edition DVD, which are follow-ups to the 2004 smash hit release of deluxe box sets of material shot for these programs, and the November 2005 release Elvis – The Ed Sullivan Shows, a three-disc DVD set containing in their entirety the three Ed Sullivan Show episodes in which Elvis appeared.
Completed and in limited release in 2006 are the single-disc DVD Elvis Lives – The 25th Anniversary Concert and the DVD box set Elvis: The Ultimate Movie Collection – Graceland Edition, both of which will see their full retail rollout in early 2007. Anticipated for 2007 are upgraded DVD re-releases and first-time DVD releases of a roster of Elvis Presley movies.
In the summer of 2007, EPE is set to release an all-new and expanded edition of its popular DVD, Elvis Presley's Graceland – The Official Tour DVD.
Information on the aforementioned DVDs can be found on Elvis.com and ElvisDVDs.com.
Details are forthcoming regarding plans by Sony BMG, owner of Elvis Presley's RCA Records label catalog, to commemorate the 30th Anniversary year.
Throughout August 2007, the TV Land network will pay tribute to Elvis Presley featuring his movies, televisions specials and other programming, including material from Elvis: '68 Comeback – Special Edition DVD and Elvis: Aloha from Hawaii – Special Edition DVD. "Elvis Month" on TV Land will be complemented by an off-air promotional campaign.
Graceland's Silver & Gold Anniversary and More
The year 2007 marks not only the 30th anniversary of the death of Elvis Presley, but also the 25th anniversary of the opening of Graceland Mansion for public tours and the 50th anniversary of Presley's purchase of his famed home. Elvis bought Graceland in March of 1957 and it opened to the public in June of 1982. In addition to the aforementioned new Graceland Tour DVD release, commemorating this dual anniversary will be the enormously popular artist Thomas Kinkade, who will unveil his special painting of Graceland Mansion and release limited edition prints, which will be available in both canvas and paper. The painting will be unveiled in a special event at Graceland in March 2007, approximately one year after Graceland was designated a National Historic Landmark.
Also in March 2007, a special exhibit of Elvis Presley's stage costumes from the major concert era of his career, 1969-1977, will open in the Graceland visitor center at the Sincerely Elvis Museum, an exhibition space that features a new themed exhibit each year or so. The permanent exhibits at Graceland relating the story of Elvis' career feature a significant display of costumes, which hold a certain fascination for the general public and have great meaning to devoted Elvis fans. The special exhibit will feature more than 50 additional Presley stage outfits, such as the famed "jumpsuits," with metal and rhinestone studding and matching capes, and others with elaborate embroidery. In addition, there will be related photographs, archival documents and performance footage. The special exhibit will be on display for two years.