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January 10, 2013

More expansion at Presley birthplace

TUPELO —

TUPELO, Miss. (AP) — Two new statutes of Elvis Presley will be placed at his birthplace in Tupelo.

"We're putting an emphasis on Elvis the boy instead of Elvis the entertainer," said birthplace chairman Henry Dodge. "Elvis the boy is our story."

Dodge said the statues and a nine-table picnic area that can seat more than 50 people and will include a fireplace and more parking are in phase two of the expansion. The second phase is expected to cost from $750,000 to $1 million. Dodge said fundraising will begin soon.

The Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal reports (http://bit.ly/Zr3Izq ) that the plans were unveiled Tuesday during the local celebration for the late rock 'n' roll icon on the day he would have turned 78.

Presley was born in Tupelo, Miss., on Jan. 8, 1935, and moved to Memphis with his parents at age 13. He was 42 when he died Aug. 16, 1977.

Presley recorded his first song "That's All Right" at Sun Studio in Memphis in 1954 and made the West Tennessee city his primary home until his death.

A bronze statue of 11-year-old Elvis sitting on a milk crate will be placed at the overlook behind the birthplace. Behind him will be a bronze statue of Elvis the entertainer in full regalia, including a cape, with his arms outstretched and head tilted toward the sky. That's the pose Elvis took when he closed his concerts.

"It's not just the end of the concert, but the end of a life, looking up at the heavens," Dodge said.

It will be a large statue "because he's bigger than life," he said.

Both statues will be placed in bronze soil to signify both the boy and the entertainer came from the same roots.

There is already a statue of Elvis, called "Elvis at 13," at the Birthplace.

Phase one of work at the Presley birthplace included a 126-seat indoor theater, an amphitheater, extra parking and more. A face-lift for the gift shop will be completed in the coming weeks, Dodge said.

___

Information from: Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal, http://djournal.com

 

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