Thousands of visitors gathered recently on August 16 at Graceland in Memphis, Tennessee, USA to commemorate the anniversary of the death of Elvis Presley. It was on this date 31 years ago that Elvis passed away at the age of 42. Elvis Presley will always be remembered as one of the greatest singers/entertainers of the 20th century and his popularity has remained largely undiminished till today. Graceland is a mecca and a shrine to the multitude of his fans from all over the world who come every year to pay homage to Elvis at his grave , tour Graceland and visit the museum where his memorabilia including his famous collection of jumpsuits are on display.
During his younger days Elvis would wear tight-fitting pants or jeans when performing on stage. His dance moves especially his controversial leg shakes and hip gyrations would send the audience wild with frenzy. The "King of Rock and Roll" was not given the sobriquet "Elvis The Pelvis" for nothing! When Elvis appeared in the Ed Sullivan television variety show in 1956 he was televised mainly from the waist up as his dance moves were considered risque and a negative influence on the youth of America!
Elvis wore his trademark jumpsuits during the 1970s when he toured the United States. It is often said that Elvis made the jumpsuit fashionable. His outfits were elegantly tailored and were often embellished with sequins and precious stones. Elvis would often wear scarves with his jumpsuits and give away or throw the scarves to his delirious fans during his performances. Elvis must have given away a lot of his scarves during his concert tours. Looking back with hindsight, if Elvis had autographed the scarves that he gave away, they would be collectibles today, worth a small fortune and maybe even traded on eBay!
On August 7 2008, it was reported that one of Elvis's favorite jumpsuits known as the peacock jumpsuit was sold for US$300,000 (RM1 million) at an online auction in New York, making it the most expensive piece of Elvis memorabilia ever sold at an auction. The white outfit with a plunging V-neck and high collar, features a rhinestone bejeweled blue-and-gold peacock design on the front and back with tail feathers tapering off as they cascade down the entire length of the legs that flare at the bottom. The jumpsuit is also cinched at the waist by a wide belt decorated with gold medallions in a design resembling the eye of a peacock. More of The King next week.