Elvis Presley was born in Tupelo, Mississippi. He grew-up there in a shotgun shack that his father, Vernon, built. Elvis was thirteen when his parents moved to Memphis. Throughout his teens, the family moved around, living in small apartments and low-cost public housing.
Things started to improve for the family when Elvis began recording at Sun Studios in 1954. In 1956, after Elvis had just turned 21, the Presley's lives really turned around. Elvis had just signed with RCA, and his first record for the label was “Heartbreak Hotel.” Released in January 1956, the song shot to number one on the charts.
Elvis used his first royalty checks from RCA to buy his family a ranch-style house at 1034 Audubon, in a quiet East Memphis neighborhood. In the spring, when his parents moved-in, Elvis was on a tour that would make him a household name.
Photographer Alfred Wertheimer captured intimate photographs of the young star on-tour and relaxing at his home on Audubon. These images, as well as the deed to the house signed by Elvis and his parents, are now on display at the Pink Palace Museum exhibit “Elvis at 21: Photographs by Alfred Wertheimer.”