Elvis Presley: Why the King Recorded ‘From Elvis Presley Boulevard, Memphis, Tennessee’ in His Jungle Room at Graceland

by Matthew Wilson
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Elvis Presley‘s career came quietly to a close at his Graceland Mansion. The King recorded his final albums in the mansion’s Jungle Room.

By the mid-1970s, Presley had hit an all-time low. His personal life was in shambles. And frequent drug use caused his weight to balloon. Additionally career-wise, his best days seemed to be behind him. The King continued to impress with sold-out shows. But they lacked the magic and energy of his youthful performances.

Presley also stopped coming to the recording studio. RCA was interested in producing a new album. But an entire year passed by where Presley stayed away from the booths that made his career. Hoping to cater to the King and perhaps snap him out of his funk, RCA offered to move recording equipment to Presley’s Graceland Mansion instead.

The ploy seemed to work. And Presley ended up recording one of the final albums of his career “From Elvis Presley Boulevard, Memphis, Tennessee” in the Jungle Room of his mansion.

Elvis Presley Sang In the Jungle Room

Elvis Presley designed the Jungle Room to look like his own little slice of Hawaii. With thick green shag carpeting, Presley covered the floor and parts of the ceiling. He also had a waterfall, which sometimes flooded the room. It was a place that brought comfort to the singer in his isolation, a place he could find peace.

The green carpet ended up being a perfect sound absorber for a makeshift studio. So soon, Presley had the room turned into his own personal recording area. He removed the furniture and turned off the aforementioned waterfall.

During the recordings, more than a dozen people crammed into the room. The band usually began at 9 p.m. but Presley didn’t make an appearance until after midnight. Recordings lasted late into the evening and usually brought out some of the King’s most mournful work. The singer was in a bad way and expressed his demons with haunting vocals. He recorded songs such as “Hurt,” “Blue Eyes Crying In the Rain,” and “Last Farewell.”

But after six nights of recording, Presley didn’t show up for the seventh. The band left Graceland with the material they managed to record. RCA put together “From Elvis Presley Boulevard, Memphis, Tennessee” from the recordings. It ended up becoming one of the final albums of Presley’s career.

The King did a more abbreviated recording session at his home in 1976, recording four tracks. Less than a year later, Presley passed away at his Graceland Mansion. His death shocked the music world and changed pop culture forever.

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