One of the stories I’ve enjoyed covering most here on The Mystery Train is Elvis Presley Enterprise’s Super Bowl watch party, held February 6 on the front lawn of Graceland. At $500 a ticket, the catered event benefited St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. The day also featured Elvis-style football games on the lawn and a silent auction of sports and Elvis items. According to St. Jude, this ultimate Super Bowl party raised nearly $85,000.
As I mentioned Monday, Elvis’ rendition of “That’s All Right” could briefly be heard in the background during the Super Bowl TV broadcast while it played over stadium loudspeakers. I wondered at the time if those partying at Graceland picked up on this.
I decided to contact Elvis Presley Enterprises and find out. It turns out that the attendees did indeed hear Elvis during the game. “We also got emails from fans around the world who also heard the music clip being played,” said Alicia Dean, Media Assistant for EPE.
Dean also cleared up another one of my questions about the event. EPE’s original announcement stated that it was “only the second time an event has been held on the lawn, or anywhere on the property, since Elvis’ passing” (“Super Bowl Watch Party at Graceland to Benefit St. Jude” — Elvis.com). According to Dean, the first event was a party benefiting the TJ Martell Foundation on Ocotober 7, 1994, which was the day before the Elvis Aaron Presley: The Tribute concert at the Pyramid.
Elvis Aaron Presley: The Tribute was a live, pay-per-view television event featuring various music stars performing Elvis songs, including Faith Hill, Chris Isaak, Michael Hutchence, and Cher. It also resulted in the album It’s Now Or Never: The Tribute To Elvis, which contained a few of the songs from the show. Some footage of the concert also appeared in the December 1994 ABC TV special Elvis: The Tribute, hosted by John Stamos.
In life, Elvis always gave time and money to good causes, and EPE has done a terrific job of continuing that tradition over the years since his death. Many of Elvis’ fans have also continued in that spirit as well. As I’ve mentioned before, one organization worth checking out is the Elvis Presley Charitable Foundation, which is run by Lisa Marie Presley and the rest of the EPE management team and includes projects such as Presley Place.