» Subscribe Today!
More of what you want to know.
The Daily News
X

Forgot your password?
Skip Navigation LinksHome >
VOL. 129 | NO. 6 | Thursday, January 09, 2014

Fans Gather at Graceland for Presley's Birthday

ADRIAN SAINZ | Associated Press

Print | Front Page | Email this story | Comments ()

MEMPHIS (AP) – Television and radio personality Wink Martindale remembers the day nearly 60 years ago when Elvis Presley's first single, "That's All Right," played for the first time on the radio.

It was July 8, 1954, and a fresh-faced Martindale was working as a disc jockey at WHBQ in Memphis. He was at the studio when legendary producer Sam Phillips brought by an acetate copy of the song Presley cut at Phillips' Sun Records.

DJ Dewey Phillips - no relation to Sam - played the song on his influential "Red, Hot and Blue" radio show, and rock n' roll history was made.

"It was almost like an out-of-body experience," Martindale told Presley fans who came to Graceland on Wednesday to celebrate the late icon's 79th birthday. "That was the beginning of Presley-mania."

Martindale and Jenna Bush Hager, daughter of former President George W. Bush, attended the annual birthday party at Presley's longtime Memphis home. The event featured a cake cutting and the singing of "Happy Birthday" by 16-year-old Canadian David Thibault (TEE'-bo).

Bush Hager, a correspondent for the "Today" show, was at Graceland to tour the home and tape a segment with Thibault. The teen from Quebec has gained fame after his singing of "Blue Christmas" garnered millions of views on YouTube.

Bush Hager, Thibault, and Martindale participated in the cake-cutting along with producer Knox Phillips, who is Sam Phillips' son and a member of the Memphis Music Hall of Fame.

Martindale was a longtime friend of Presley, who dated Martindale's wife Sandy before they married.

After his days in Memphis, Martindale went on to TV fame as host of Teenage Dance Party and the game shows Gambit and Tic Tac Dough.

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.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Sign-Up For Our Free Email Edition
Get the news first with our daily email


 
Blog Get more from The Daily News
Blog News, Training & Events
RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 43 43 12,074
MORTGAGES 78 78 15,834
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 0 0 3,130
BUILDING PERMITS 0 0 28,832
BANKRUPTCIES 97 97 11,768
BUSINESS LICENSES 18 18 4,292
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 190 190 17,922
MARRIAGE LICENSES 43 43 3,711

Weekly Edition

Issues | About

The Memphis News: Business, politics, and the public interest.