January was a good month to be born.
Two people, or Kings significantly changed not only Memphis and West Tennessee’s history, but the world’s.
January 15, 1929, Martin Luther King, Jr. was born in Atlanta, Georgia. A Baptist minister and civil rights activist, this man became the heart and soul of racial reform during the mid-1950s, by playing a pivotal role to end segregation throughout the US.
“I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.
On August 28, 1963, MLK and his supporters (more than 200,000 people) marched the Independence Mall in Washington, DC to the Lincoln Memorial, where he made his famous speech, “I Have a Dream.” For 5 more years, this Nobel Peach Price winner (1964) would continue fighting for civil rights through non-violence, in the end passing the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Voting Rights Act of 1965. On April 4, 1968 at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis (now the location of the National Civil Rights Museum) Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated. Though, King didn’t get to see this “promise land” he spoke of, his legacy lives on. He will never be forgotten. Every 3rd Monday in January is now a National Holiday in remembrance of Martin Luther King Jr. and what he stood and fought for.
January 8, 1935, Elvis Presley was born in Tupelo, Mississippi. Who knew that this normal boy would soon be the major heart-throb and sound of Rock ‘n’ Roll.
Well, that’s all right now mama
That’s all right with you
That’s all right now mam, just anyway you do
-Elvis’s first single “That’s All Right”
This high school graduate walked into Sun Studios in 1953 and recorded one song for him mom. From there it’s history. Elvis recorded his first single “That’s All Right” in 1954 and soon many more. His unique music style (influences from Memphis: Blues, Jazz, Pop, Country, Gospel) plus those gyrating hips and ultra good looks, would make him the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll. Not only was he a musical artist, but also pursued an acting career staring in 33 films. Elvis sold over 1 Billion records and still selling more. On August 16, 1977, Elvis died in his Memphis home, Graceland. The King lives on today, and still is one of the world’s most popular music icons.
Events for the Kings:
Jan. 9 – 10AM-12PM – Fan Club Event – Holiday Inn Memphis – Memphis, TN
Jan. 9 – 7PM – An Evening with Elvis – Orpheum Theater – Memphis, TN
Jan. 10 – 1PM – Hound Dog Tour – Backbeat Tours – Memphis, TN
Jan. 10 – 7:30pm – Birthday Celebration – Cannon Center – Memphis, TN
Jan 19 – 8AM-6PM – King Holiday Celebration – National Civil Rights Museum – Memphis, TN
Jan. 18 – 4PM-5PM – MLK Community Celebration – Ripley High Performing Arts Theater – Ripley, TN