Recession-Proof Elvis


TCB, Taking Care of Business

TCB, Taking Care of Business



Life is tough right now.  People are losing jobs, losing homes and losing confidence.  But on Elvis Pressley Boulevard in Memphis, they are also losing their composure and cool over Elvis as they pour into Graceland from all over the world.

How do I know?  Because I was one of those folks last week.  And it was my second visit.  And the place isn’t cheap — $28 I think, for the most simple tour which of course does not include a walk-through of the Lisa Marie airplane.

The women who handed out the audio tours can certainly be considered experts, right?  And they told us that Graceland has 600,000 visitors a year, which is more than the White House.  They told us that it’s the most visited site in America.  It’s actually neck and neck with the White House for most-visited HOUSE in America.

More people saw one of Elvis’ shows on TV than watched the moon walk. And year after year (32 years after his death) people pour in to honor Elvis, celebrate kitschy-ness, or simply say “Thank you, thank you very much” and laugh self-consciously about it.

There was a quote on the wall that said, “Before anyone did anything, Elvis did everything.”  And the tour gives evidence of all that he did.  31 films, the number-one hits and, most impressive of all, extensive philanthropy to individuals and to groups in need.

I liked Elvis enormously after my visit. I was pretty apathetic ahead of time.  But you’ve got to appreciate anyone who draws a huge crowd during a recession.  People need The King to remind them of … what?  Better times perhaps.  Or an era when swiveling hips were shocking.


The Main Stairway

The Main Stairway

~ by Cary on April 2, 2009.

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