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Gold records galore

MEMPHIS, Tenn.--If you tell people you're visiting this city of 655,000 in the southwest corner of Tennessee, you'll almost always get asked, "Are you going to Graceland?"

As part of CNET Road Trip 2014, I did stop in on Elvis Presley's former home. It's by no means a hotbed of technology, but it does offer quite a bit of history and context about the American music industry given Elvis' outsized impact on entertainment from the mid-1950s through the mid-'70s.

His impact wasn't just cultural. He also won nearly every award the music industry offers, including countless gold and platinum records, many of which are seen here on the wall in what was once Elvis' racquetball court.

Elvis, Elvis Presley, and Graceland are registered trademarks of Elvis Presley Enterprises Inc. All rights reserved.

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Graceland

If you've never been to Graceland, you might think that Elvis' famous mansion is huge.

But while it's by no means a small house, it's also manageable and stately. Seen here is the front of the mansion.

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Living room

A look into Elvis' living room, near the front entrance of Graceland. Elvis would hold court in the room and play music on the piano in the far room in the rear of the picture.

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Kitchen

Nothing special by today's standards, the Graceland kitchen was surely luxurious when Elvis moved into the 1939 house in 1957.

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Other side of the kitchen

A look at the other side of the Graceland kitchen.

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E250 at Graceland

The Mercedes-Benz E250 Bluetec that CNET reporter Daniel Terdiman has been road-testing on Road Trip 2014, seen parked just outside the main gates to Graceland.

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TV lounge

Elvis' TV lounge, where the rock and roll star liked to watch TV with friends.

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TV lounge bar

What TV lounge would be complete without a matching bar?

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Billiards room

Graceland features many different design motifs, with no consistent style from room to room. This is the billiards room, which has a style unlike anything else in the famous mansion. Elvis decorated the room himself in 1974, according to Threads, and he used more than 300 yards of fabric to do so.

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Jungle room

Elvis' famous jungle room. According to Elvis.com, "the Jungle Room has become famous over the years due to the eccentric design with a Polynesian influence, reminiscent of Elvis' favorite vacation spot -- Hawaii. The detailed wooden carvings in the furniture and the green shag carpet of the 1970s makes this an Elvis fan favorite."

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Lisa Marie's swing set

Behind the main house on the 13.8-acre Graceland estate is this small cottage, where Elvis' father, Vernon Presley, managed the star's business affairs. Placed in front of the cottage is this swing set, which Elvis bought for his daughter, Lisa Marie, in the 1970s.

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Hall of gold

Elvis had more than 150 hit records during his career, many of which earned him gold and platinum records from RCA, his label, and the Recording Industry Association of America.

Many of those gold and platinum records, along with plenty of other memorabilia from his career, is housed in this room, known as the Hall of Gold.

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Don't be cruel

This is a commemoration of Elvis' song "Don't Be Cruel" having sold five million copies.

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So many gold records

A walk down through the Hall of Gold makes you realize just how successful an entertainer Elvis was, at least as measured by awards and sales.

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Hall of gold records wall

Another look at the nearly endless collection of gold and platinum records Elvis earned in his short career. He died at Graceland when he was only 42.

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Elvis suits

In addition to housing many of his gold and platinum records and other awards and commemorations, the former racquetball court also houses a number of the outlandish suits Elvis wore when he performed in Las Vegas.

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Meditation Garden

Graceland visitors' last tour stop is the Meditation Garden, which is a place to pause and quietly contemplate the life of one of the biggest stars in American history. Elvis, along with his parents, his grandmother, and his twin brother -- who died at birth -- are all buried here.

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Rolls-Royces

Many Graceland visitors also check out the associated museum housing many of Elvis' cars and other vehicles.

These are two Rolls-Royce Silver Clouds. The white one is a 1966 model, which he eventually traded in.

The black one is a 1960 Silver Cloud, which was Elvis' first Rolls, though he owned several during his life.

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Ferrari

This is a 1975 Ferrari Dino, which Elvis bought used in 1976 for $20,583.

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Lincoln

This is Elvis' 1956 Lincoln Continental Mark II. It was a rare car that cost $10,000 when new, far more than the $4,000 average price of a Cadillac. According to Graceland, Elvis bought this Lincoln after his first one was covered in lipstick graffiti left by fans.

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Stutz Blackhawk

Elvis was driving this 1973 Stutz Blackhawk, one of his favorite cars, when he drove through the gates of Graceland for the final time, on August 16, 1977.

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Pink Cadillac

According to Graceland, this may be the most famous of Elvis' cars, a pink 1955 Cadillac Fleetwood. He first used it to tour, but then gave it to his mother, who loved it. It became known as "Gladys' car."

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Limo

This midnight blue Mercedes-Benz Gross Pullman six-door limousine ferried Elvis around Hollywood after he bought it in 1970.

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Lisa Marie airplane

Originally flown by Delta Airlines, this was a 96-seater Convair 880 built in 1956. Elvis purchased it in 1975 for $250,000, and he spent an additional $800,000 customizing it.

Elvis flew on the plane 221 times and named it Lisa Marie, after his daughter.

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On the plane

The interior of the Lisa Marie was outfitted with comfortable couches and all the luxuries that Elvis and his many friends could want as they flew around the country.

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Dining table

The plane even had a luxurious dining table for six.

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Elvis' bed

In the rear of the airplane was Elvis' private bedroom suite, complete with queen-size bed.

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JetStar

Elvis' other airplane was this 10-seater Lockheed JetStar, built in 1960. He purchased it in 1975 for just under $900,000 and nicknamed it the "Hound Dog II."

Elvis' support staff used the plane to fly ahead when he was on tour, to make sure all the arrangements were in order for his arrival.

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