If you drew a line straight from Nashville to the Mississippi Delta it would fly right over Tupelo, MS and the neighborhood that produced Elvis Presley. Rock and roll is just one part country, one part blues, and one part southern gospel. It’s no accident that The King was born halfway between the geographic focal points of country and blues, in a hotbed of North Mississippi church music. It’s almost as if he is simply a product of his environment. As if he emerged from the earth. Of course he came from Mississippi.
We gave our photo contributor, Ben McAlilly, a couple rolls of film and sent him back to his hometown to document young Elvis’ haunts while they’re still around. From a drive-in to a hardware store, to an elementry school, much of Elvis’s day-to-day life is still in tact. Things in Tupelo haven’t really changed all that much.
Here’s the place that produced one of rock’s most influential artists.
Tupelo became the first TVA city the year that Elvis was born, 1935. Coincidence that the year the town got electricity the person who would do the most for rock and roll was born? Rock and roll is very much a by-product of new musical possibilities available to guitar players with electric guitars plugging into amplifiers."
Even baby Elvis was handsome. Here he is in 1937 with his mother Gladys and his father Vernon. Vernon spent a little time in prison when Elvis was a baby. This is a pretty famous shot that was not taken by us. We just wanted to show y'all what baby Elvis looked like. "