Graceland to send Elvis artifacts on tour

Sunday, August 11th 2002, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) _ Graceland is hitting the road.

Officials from Elvis Presley's home planned to announce Monday the Mobile Graceland tour, bringing to 30 cities Presley's Army jacket, some of his stage clothing and a letter from President Nixon, among other things.

The 53-foot truck will be in Memphis this week as part of events marking the 25th anniversary of Presley's death, which is Friday. Then it will go to cities including New Orleans, Atlantic City, N.J., Philadelphia, Cleveland, Chicago, St. Louis, Reno, Nev., and Las Vegas.

The tour is co-sponsored by the Harrah's Entertainment Inc. casino company and FYE record stores, and will mostly be displayed in mall parking lots where there are FYE stores and in casinos owned by Harrah's. Admission is free.

It will be at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland on Sept. 28, at a San Diego Chargers game on Nov. 17, and at Times Square in New York on Sept. 24.

``We have more artifacts than we have the space or time to display at Graceland,'' said Jennifer Burgess, director of marketing for Elvis Presley Enterprises. ``It grew out of the desire to share the Elvis experience with all those people who can't make it to Memphis for one reason or another.''

Presley, who died in 1977 at age 42, ushered in the rock 'n' roll cultural revolution in the 1950s with hits like ``Heartbreak Hotel'' and ``Hound Dog.'' He pursued a film career before returning to live performances, maintaining a large following until his death.

It has never ended. Graceland, Presley's home in Memphis, attracts more than 650,000 people a year for tours.

Also included in the traveling exhibit are orange coveralls that Presley wore in the film ``Viva Las Vegas'' and a comb he used to shape his famed ducktail style in the 1950s.