In August 2012, a bronze statue of Elvis Presley was unveiled in his hometown of Tupelo, Mississippi. The statue of Elvis circa 1956 singing and reaching out his hand was based on an actual photo of Presley performing onstage at his historic 1956 homecoming concert in Tupelo. The photo taken by Roger Marshutz is referred to as "the hands."
The 1956 Tupelo concert allowed such close access to Elvis with fans able to reach up and shake his hand. Elvis fans who weren't around in 1956 can now take a picture with the sculpture of Elvis' and grab his hand. You can see just how close the fans were in a video of Elvis Presley singing at the Tupelo concert below.
Elvis was born in Tupelo in 1935 and lived there with his parents until 1948 when his family moved to Memphis. After Elvis achieved worldwide fame, he returned to Tupelo in September 1956 to perform two concerts for fans at the Mississippi-Alabama Fair and Dairy Show held in the Tupelo Fairpark District. The new statue of Elvis sits at the former site of the Tupelo Fairgrounds where the concert was held. The statue was created by Mississippian sculptor William Beckwith.
This new Elvis sculpture is just one of many tributes to Presley in Tupelo. The largest memorial is the Elvis Presley Birthplace complex at 306 Elvis Presley Drive in Tupelo, Mississippi. The original house was designated a state historical site back in 1978, and since then the Elvis Presley Memorial Chapel was built on the grounds in 1979, and an Elvis Presley Museum was added in 1992. See photos of Elvis Presley's birthplace here.
Note: Thanks to Memphis tour guide, Mike Freeman, for the use of his Elvis Presley statue photos. Mike does extensive tours of Elvis sights in Memphis and Tupelo. For more information, visit his website at www.mikesmemphistours.com
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