When Elvis Presley and Vance Lauderdale Appeared Together on the Same Memphis Bus
photo by Melissa Brazell Geralds
It's not too often that the King of Rock-and-Roll and Vance Lauderdale share the same billing — it certainly doesn't happen enough, that's for sure — but just look at the interesting line-up on this old bus route sign that showed up recently on eBay. Not just one, but three lines that say "LAUDERDALE / ELVIS PRESLEY." My, I feel special. Plus, I got first billing.
Modern-day MATA buses have a digital read0ut above the windshield, telling riders waiting at the stops which bus is going where (well, in theory, anyway). But in Ye Olden Days — and in this particular case, I'm talking all the way back to 1982 — the various route numbers and designations were printed in white letters on a long roll of rubberized fabric. The driver had to manually operate the roll with a hand crank, making sure that the correct route appeared in the slot above his window.
This is just one image of the sign that sold on eBay last week. It lists routes all over town — this bus really got a workout — and even includes places like the Mid-South Coliseum and Fairgrounds. Towards the end of the roll, it also has a special area marked OUT OF SERVICE — just like so many of the destinations where it once carried passengers.
Thanks to Melissa Brazell Geralds for providing the photo.