Elvis Presley Homecoming Statue
Dedicated in 2012, this statue commemorates the 1956 "Homecoming Concert" of music legend Elvis Presley, Tupelo's most famous native son. The statue faces east towards the place where Elvis was born and is located near the former fairground where the concert took place. The statue is positioned so that the Tupelo City Hall is visible over Elvis' right shoulder and Tupelo Hardware is visible over his left. Based on a famous photo of Elvis taken by Roger Marshutz at the concert in 1956, the statue was created by a sculptor from Mississippi named Bill Beckwith.
Backstory and Context
Elvis returned to Tupelo on September 26, 1956 to perform at the Mississippi-Alabama Fair and Dairy Show. He was greeted by the governor, and a parade was thrown the same day in his honor. Different news reports claim that anywhere between 5000 and 50,000 fans attended Elvis' two shows that day. It was at this concert that Roger Marshutz, a Hollywood photographer, captured a photo of Elvis reaching his hand out to touch several fans in the audience. This photo became the inspiration for the Homecoming Statue.
Located on the land where the fair was held in 1956, the Elvis Presley Homecoming Statue honors the memory of Elvis today. The statue was placed in August of 2012, commemorating the 35th anniversary of Elvis' death. Both the Tupelo Elvis Fan Club and the Tupelo Convention and Visitors Bureau are responsible for the statue's placement. The statue was sculpted by Bill Beckwith. The position of the statue allows visitors to view the Tupelo City Hall over Elvis' right shoulder and Tupelo Hardware, the store where Elvis and his mother purchased his first guitar, over his left.
2. Touch the Hand of Elvis. Roadside America. Accessed July 17, 2019. https://www.roadsideamerica.com/story/35113.
3. Elvis Presley's Homecoming Concert. Graceland. September 23, 2016. Accessed July 17, 2019. https://www.graceland.com/blog/posts/elvis-presleys-homecoming-concert.
4. Roger Marshutz. MPTV Images. Accessed July 17, 2019. https://www.mptvimages.com/photographers/roger-marshutz.
5. Elvis Homecoming Statue. Scenic Trace. Accessed July 17, 2019. https://www.scenictrace.com/elvis-homecoming-statue/.