Jonathan Thompson, senior manager of media relations
ELVIS! HIS GROUNDBREAKING, HIP-SHAKING, NEWSMAKING STORY
New Exhibit Opens March 19, 2010, at the Newseum
WASHINGTON — Experience the power of Elvis Presley and the explosive impact he had on music and popular culture in a new Newseum exhibit featuring stage costumes and other professional and personal mementos from the Graceland Archives collection in Memphis, Tenn.
"Elvis! His Groundbreaking, Hip-Shaking, Newsmaking Story" tells the story of Presley as he was portrayed in the news media and explores how his music and physicality pushed the boundaries of mainstream taste and free expression during a time when America was experiencing deep generational shifts. "Elvis!" will open on March 19, 2010, in what would have been the King of Rock 'n' Roll's 75th birthday year.
"Elvis startled America and the news media in 1956, and press coverage was often scathing and alarmist," said Ken Paulson, president of the Newseum. "By painting Elvis as a threat to the morals of young America, Elvis's critics quickly propelled him from regional fame to household name."
Produced in collaboration with Elvis Presley Enterprises, Inc., the Newseum exhibit includes a number of rare objects from the Graceland vaults that have never before been publicly displayed. See private telegrams, letters and documents that chronicle Presley's rise as a music and media sensation, as well as his death and his enduring legacy.
The exhibit also includes an original Newseum-produced video featuring vintage footage of the entertainer, from performances to press conferences, shown on a dazzling 90-foot-long video wall in the Newseum's Big Screen Theater.
Relive some of the top headline-making moments from Presley's career through rarely seen items that illustrate the milestones of his life:
- The breakthrough recordings that made music history, including Elvis's personal copies of his first and last singles for Sun Records.
- A 1956 telegram from Elvis's manager, Col. Tom Parker, to a talent agent urging him to finalize the deal for Elvis to appear on "The Ed Sullivan Show," one of the early television appearances that generated controversy and news coverage.
- His 1957 Harley Davidson motorcycle and leather jacket, evoking the '50s rebel style that made Elvis a symbol of youth rebellion and a target of censorship.
- The dress uniform Elvis wore during his service in the U.S. Army.
- The gold-plated belt and velvet jacket he wore during his 1970 White House meeting with President Richard M. Nixon.
- The official guest book from the 1977 memorial service following Elvis's shocking death, signed by former first daughter Caroline Kennedy.
The Newseum exhibit features rare photographs and original newspapers and magazines covering Presley's career. Artifacts on loan from Graceland include Presley's "American Eagle" jumpsuit and cape worn during the rehearsal for his 1973 "Aloha From Hawaii" concert, seen by more than 1 billion viewers worldwide; a champagne bottle from Elvis and Priscilla Presley's wedding at the Aladdin Hotel in Las Vegas, signed "Mr. and Mrs. Elvis Presley" by the newlyweds as a memento for Priscilla's parents; a rare news scrapbook compiled by his manager, Col. Tom Parker; and memorable costumes from his stage and screen appearances.
The exhibit was made possible through the generous cooperation of Elvis Presley Enterprises, Inc., and by support from the band Moonalice. Additional support was provided by The Commercial Appeal of Memphis, Tenn., and Hard Rock International.
"Elvis!" will be on display at the Newseum through Feb. 14, 2011.
About the Newseum
The Newseum — a 250,000-square-foot museum of news — offers visitors an experience that blends five centuries of news history with up-to-the-second technology and hands-on exhibits. Within its seven levels of galleries and theaters, the Newseum offers a unique environment that takes museum-goers behind the scenes to experience how and why news is made.
The Newseum is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily and is closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day. Admission is $19.95 for adults, $17.95 for seniors (65 and older) and $12.95 for youth (7 to 18). Annual memberships also are available. For additional information, call 888/NEWSEUM (888/639-7386) or visit newseum.org.
About Elvis Presley Enterprises
Elvis Presley Enterprises, Inc. based in Memphis, with additional offices in Los Angeles. In addition to Graceland and its related attractions in Memphis, including the Heartbreak Hotel, EPE is aggressively involved in a worldwide licensing program, merchandising, music publishing and television, film, video and Internet projects. For more information on EPE and Graceland, visit elvis.com. EPE is a subsidiary of CKX, Inc. (ckx.com), a publicly traded company listed on the NASDAQ Global Market® under the ticker symbol CKXE.
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IMAGES: Hi-res,downloadable images from "Elvis!" are available at newseum.org. Click on "Press Info," then "Press Materials" and "Image Downloads" for the files.