The first woman elected lieutenant governor of Mississippi, a pioneering transplant surgeon, a civil rights leader and legislator, the “king of rock and roll,” and a successful journalist and women’s rights advocate have been elected to the Mississippi Hall of Fame. The board of trustees of the Mississippi Department of Archives and History chose Evelyn Gandy, James Hardy, Aaron Henry, Elvis Presley, and Ida B. Wells as the 2016 inductees at a special December board meeting.
“The contributions and accomplishments of these five Mississippians are astonishing, and a true testament to the character of the people of the state,” said MDAH director Katie Blount. “The Hall of Fame is enriched by the addition of these men and women.”
... Elvis Aaron Presley was one of the most celebrated and influential cultural icons of the twentieth century, becoming known as “the king of rock and roll.” Presley was born in 1935 in Tupelo, and his parents bought him a guitar for his eleventh birthday. Presley would develop a musical style that combined his influences of pop, country, gospel, and R&B in a way that blurred and challenged social and racial barriers. Presley would go on to release seventeen chart-topping albums during his lifetime, star in more than thirty Hollywood films, win multiple Grammys and the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, and be inducted into multiple music halls of fame—as well as serving honorably in the U.S. Army. Worldwide sales of Elvis Presley records exceed one billion units, more than any other artist.
“From country to gospel to rock and roll, whatever the musical genre, one name—Elvis—says it all,” said Donna Kaye Randle, a member of the board of trustees of the Elvis Presley Memorial Foundation. “Elvis Presley’s amazing talent took his music to the world, and it has brought the world to Mississippi. Each year thousands of fans come to Tupelo to visit the Elvis Presley Birthplace Park and experience the humble beginnings of a young man who would sing his way into the hearts of millions.”
Read more at the Mississippi Department of Archives and History.