Yep. It's an official homecoming for Elvis at 21, Photographs by Alfred Wertheimer this week. The national traveling exhibition is now open for business at the Pink Palace Museum in Elvis' hometown. What can you say about Memphis? It's food, it's music, it's an iconic American city to be sure. Here's a bit of background about the destination from our Elvis at 21 co-curator Warren Perry, a writer and researcher at the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery who also happens to be a Memphis native:
"Before Elvis came along, Memphis was a cotton town and built on river commerce. Alongside and after Elvis, artists like Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins, and Roy Orbison gravitated toward Sun Studio. In the 1960s and '70s, Memphis’ response to Motown was Stax Studio, but even in the face of such powerhouse combinations like Isaac Hayes and David Porter, Otis Redding and Carla Thomas, and Sam Moore and Dave Prater (Sam and Dave), Elvis was [IS] still the most identifiable face in Memphis music.
The city reflects, in many places, the same culture of Southern food and slow living as it did in Elvis’ day. Restaurants like Barksdale’s on Cooper, Interstate BBQ on South Third Street, and Broadway Pizza on Broad Street represent the spirit of Memphis cooking at its finest and most fun. Elvis would be proud to see that Sun Studio on Union Avenue is alive and well; it's a small stop on the Memphis tour, but a necessary one. Also, Memphis’ downtown would be a surprise to Elvis; Beale Street doesn’t really begin to act up until ten or so at night—of course, that would jive well with Elvis’ waking and sleeping habits."