Elvis Presley Super-Fan Discovered The King’s Beloved First Ride Rusting in Graceland Smokehouse

by Joe Rutland

Elvis Presley had a lot of cars and motorcycles throughout his life, yet what was the first mode of transportation for “The King?”

Much like any young teen, it was a bicycle. Now visitors have been flocking to Graceland, Presley’s home, for decades and actually have seen the bicycle.

They just didn’t know that it was a Presley heirloom that he held onto for years and years.

As a young 11-year-old boy growing up in Tupelo, Miss., Elvis’ father Vernon bought his son a bicycle. Elvis kept it for a long time, eventually finding its way into the Smokehouse at Graceland.

Research indicates that Vernon Presley probably bought the Shapleigh Special 1946 Columbia at Tupelo Hardware.

But the bicycle has gone through a restoration process and can be found in the Trophy Room at Graceland for visitors to see.

Elvis Presley Super-Fan Helps Dig Up Bicycle History

One person who helped discover Elvis’ bicycle is Presley super-fan Billy “The Spa Guy.”

“Who would have ever thought that it was Elvis’ bike right there?” Billy said. “My son Kick Ashley contacted me one day and said, ‘Dad, you think that bike in the smokehouse might be Elvis’ bike?’ and I said, ‘I don’t know, I don’t think it would be but let’s figure it out.'”

Billy said he’d had photos from the many times he has been through Graceland but they weren’t very clear.

“So I did a preliminary look and I said, ‘Hmm, this might be the bike,'” he said. “So I came here and went in there and got as close as I could and got as many photos as I could. I did comparative assessments like that and, in my opinion, that is the bicycle.”

Billy said it matches the color, the year. There are two actual photographs of Presley with the bicycle and, according to Billy, they match accordingly to the bike.

Take a look at this interview from “The Gates of Graceland” show starting around the 5:30 mark.

Elvis And The Famous ‘Elvis Has Left The Building’ Phrase

It’s a safe bet that if you live in the United States, then you’re probably familiar with the phrase “Elvis has left the building.”

Even if you’ve never listened to a single song from Elvis Presley, you know the saying. For decades, we have been using the phrase without considering its backstory.

Of course, we owe the phrase to the “King of Rock ‘n Roll” himself. However, Horace Lee Logan, the announcer at the Louisiana Hayride show, where Presley often performed, was the first to use it.

Before he was an icon, Presley was paid $18 per week when he appeared at the Louisiana Hayride show, according to The Vintage News. In the weeks that followed, 19-year-old Presley became so popular that he decided to end his time at the hayride and reportedly paid 10,000 dollars to buy out the rest of his contract. However, he agreed to perform one final show.

On Dec 16, 1956, Presley gave his final performance at the Louisiana Hayride at the Hirsch Youth Center in Shreveport. When Elvis finished performing and left the stage, many of his fans continued screaming for him; some even headed for the exits hoping to catch a glimpse of Presley outside. It was at this point when Logan announced:

“All right, all right, Elvis has left the building. I’ve told you absolutely straight up to this point. You know that. He has left the building. He left the stage and went out the back with the policemen and he is now gone from the building.” 

H/T: Graceland