MEMPHIS, Tenn. – June 11, 2013, – Elvis Presley Enterprises, Inc. (EPE) has announced an exciting lineup of events for Elvis Week 2013 to be held at Graceland in Memphis, Tenn. Taking place August 10-17, Elvis Week is an annual, multi-day gathering of friends and fans from around the world celebrating Elvis’ life and legacy. It has become a pop-culture phenomenon and an annual pilgrimage for music lovers from around the world.
The cornerstone event, the Candlelight Vigil, will begin with the traditional opening ceremony on Thursday, August 15, at 8:30 p.m. at Graceland’s front gate. Elvis music sets the tone of the evening as fans walk up the driveway to Meditation Garden. The event lasts throughout the night as thousands of participants gather on Elvis Presley Blvd. listening to music, remembering Elvis and enjoying the memorials that are created by fans along the street.
The Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest returns for the seventh year with the largest number of competitors ever. The contest will feature 29 competitors from around the world, including winners from preliminary contests in the U.S., Japan, Brazil, the U.K., Canada and Australia. Elvis Tribute Artists (ETAs) will compete during the semifinal round of the contest on Wednesday, August 14, at The Cannon Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Memphis. The top 10 semifinalists will then move on to compete for the title of Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist of 2013 at 7:00 p.m. on Saturday, August 17.
On Tuesday, August 13, an Elvis at Stax Listening Party will be held from 4:00 – 6:00 p.m. at Stax Museum of American Soul Music to celebrate the much-anticipated August 6th release of “Elvis At Stax,” the 3-CD box set chronicling the music Elvis recorded at Stax Studios in July and December 1973. RCA/Legacy Recordings is hosting the event where fans will have an opportunity to stand in the very same spot where Elvis recorded the music they are hearing, in addition to witnessing stories and details behind the music and recording sessions from representatives of Sony and Norbert Putnam.
Conversations on Elvis, one of the most popular Elvis Week events, returns this year on Wednesday, August 14, at 1:00 p.m. at the Elvis Week Main Stage. Hosted by Tom Brown, Vice President of Original Productions for Turner Classic Movies (TCM), this event features Elvis’ friends, colleagues, co-stars, musicians and more sharing some of their favorite stories and memories of Elvis. Confirmed guests include:
Rev. Mother Dolores Hart who starred with Elvis in two films – “Loving You” and “King Creole.” Six years later and after 10 successful feature films, she left Hollywood and joined the Abbey of Regina Laudis. Today, she is the Prioress of the Abbey and remains a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, having in recent years become the only nun to be an Oscar-voting member. Following Conversations, Mother Dolores will be signing copies of her new book, “The Ear of the Heart.”
T.G. Sheppard, who formed a close personal and professional relationship with Elvis while promoting records for RCA. Elvis later bought T.G. his first tour bus as a token of their friendship.
Norbert Putnam, known as "Putt" by Elvis, recorded as a session bassist with Elvis on over 100 tracks. Norbert was also one of the studio musicians during Elvis’ December 1973 recording session at Stax in Memphis. He will be joined by representatives from Sony who will be talking about the new “Elvis at Stax” release.
On Thursday, August 15, a special Elvis Gospel Celebration will be held at
9:00 a.m. on the Elvis Week Main Stage featuring Terry Mike Jeffrey, Andy Childs and former members of J.D. Sumner and the Stamps Quartet – Bill Baize, Donnie Sumner, Ed Hill and Larry Strickland, as they sing some of their favorite Elvis gospel songs on stage.
Entertainment history will be celebrated on Friday, August 16, at the Orpheum Theater in downtown Memphis with a special enhanced 40th anniversary screening of Elvis’ landmark 1973 television event. During this special screening, experience “Aloha from Hawaii” as you never have before with re-mastered video in high-definition and edited to create a special 40th anniversary experience. Included will be rarely-seen footage and audio combined with the stage footage. As a special enhancement to the evening, former members of J.D. Sumner and the Stamps Quartet will perform.
At 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, August 17 at the Elvis Week Main Stage, the Official Elvis Insiders Event will be a celebration of all that is Elvis with special segments that highlight various parts of Elvis’ life and career. Attendees will enjoy sneak peeks, behind-the-scenes looks, rarely-seen videos, feature segments filmed just for the event, special guests and more. Special guests appearances to include country music legend Ronnie Milsap, who did session work with Elvis, including playing piano and singing on “Kentucky Rain”; Elvis’ original drummer DJ Fontana, who will be sharing memories about the filming of the “’68 Special,” which celebrates its 45th anniversary this year; and former members of J.D. Sumner and the Stamps Quartet – Bill Baize and Donnie Sumner who will talk about Elvis’ “Aloha from Hawaii” concert.
To help close out the week, an Elvis Celebration Concert will also be held on the 17th at the Elvis Week Main Stage featuring Terry Mike Jeffrey and Band along with DJ Fontana and Elvis’ background vocalist Millie Kirkham.
Other events scheduled during the week include additional special entertainment on the Elvis Week Main Stage, a Graceland Trivia Tour, the Annual Elvis Presley International 5K Run benefiting Livitup, Inc., Elvis Bingo, Graceland Stable tours and more.
Fans unable to join the celebration in Memphis will be able to participate online at ElvisWeek.com and via the Elvis Week 2013 mobile app with live streaming video, Google+ Hangouts and more.