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12 Days of MSU History for Christmas, Day 5: revisiting the Jack Cristil-Elvis picture

As we countdown the final days leading up to Christmas, we thought it would be fun to give our readers a gift each day, much along the lines of the "12 days of Christmas". Each day from now until Christmas morning, we'll have a little present wrapped in Mississippi State history, tucked under the tree for you to open. Hope you enjoy!

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It's probably a bit of cheating to repost material we first shared at the site this past July, but with five months passing since we unveiled one of the cooler pictures relating to state of Mississippi pop-culture history, I figured it was acceptable to share the photograph again as a part of this series. Here's the post we shared this past summer on a rare and fascinating meeting between two Mississippi legends: one in his prime, and one just starting out.


Whether you are a Mississippi State fan or not, this may be one of the coolest glimpses of two Mississippi titans crossing paths in our state's rich history. Although I've done some exhaustive internet searching over the past several days, I cannot find the origin of the story behind the picture you see below. Nevertheless, I felt it interesting enough to share even without the back story, because: 1) Elvis 2) young Jack Cristil

Jack Cristil interviews Elvis

The photo above was taken at Elvis' appareance at the 1956 Mississippi-Alabama Fair, held in Tupelo. Elvis had just appeared on the Ed Sullivan show for the first time just a few weeks before the Fair, and was making a return trip to his hometown to perform. Jack Cristil was working for Tupelo AM station WELO at the time, and recorded the interview while covering the event for the station. Even cooler: you can apparently download the interview on Amazon.

Here's some footage and audio from Elvis' appearance at the fair:

Thanks to Allen Coleman, Braden Bishop, and Neal McCoy -- who is with the Tupelo Convention and Visitors Bureau -- for help in identifying when and where the photo was taken.

photo used with permission, courtesy of the Mississippi State University Libraries, University Archives

For more great MSU history like this, make sure to check out the MSU Library Website, or follow them on Twitter