Elvis Presley Originally Called the ‘Jungle Room’ By a Different Name

by Emily Morgan
(Photo by Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images)

Throughout time, Graceland and Elvis Presley have become synonymous with one another. Yet perhaps, the crowning jewel of the former home-turned-museum is Elvis’ Jungle Room. 

When Elvis called Graceland home, he added his tropical paradise of a cave to the mansion in the mid-’60s. Known for loving the island life, Elvis transformed it into a vacation getaway. It came complete with a built-in rock waterfall and green shag carpet. He furnished it with ferns and wood furniture and, of course, his at-home tiki bar. 

However, it wasn’t known as the Jungle Room until after his death. Elvis called the Jungle Room “The Den.” Once Graceland transitioned into a museum in 1982, that’s when it became the Jungle Room. 

The unique space also became the King’s final recording studio, where he recorded a good portion of his last two albums.

Graceland could be considered the hallmark of American mid-century design, but the Jungle Room is possibly its most remarkable feature. It was reportedly Elvis’s favorite place in the home, which makes sense seeing how Hawaii was his favorite vacation spot.

Elvis Presley’s Own Slice of Paradise

Elvis built the Jungle Room in 1965 as an add-on to the mansion. The Jungle Room was where The King spent a good amount of time when he was home. He ate breakfast there, entertained, and enjoyed time in his own type of paradise. 

Additionally, the room’s focal point was a large color television, one of Elvis’ most prized possessions. There are numerous tales about how Elvis bought the jungle-themed furniture, but one version rings the truest. 

According to Rolling Stone, Elvis’ friends once recalled a conversation between “The King” and his father, Vernon: “Vernon returned home one day in 1974 exclaiming, ‘I just went by Donald’s Furniture Store and they’ve got the ugliest furniture I’ve ever seen in my life.’ After describing it, [Elvis] replied, ‘Good, sounds like me.’ By afternoon Vernon found the same furniture sitting in the den, along with his laughing son.”

After purchasing the tiki-esque items, Elvis later turned the jungle toom into a home recording studio. In 1976, he recorded for the last time in the studio before he passed away in August of 1977.

Today, Elvis’ recordings from those sessions have been released in a disc set called Elvis: Way Down in the Jungle Room. The discs include outtakes and versions of already released songs, giving fans a more intimate look into his life.