If George McLean hadn’t moved to Tupelo and had such a passion for economic development it wouldn’t be the booming town that it is, it wouldn’t be the furniture capital of the south and it wouldn’t have the second highest per capita income in the state of MS. Probably its only “claim to fame” would be that Elvis Presley was born in Tupelo.
Elvis’ parents were both born in Tupelo and lived in the poor part of Tupelo next to the cotton gin. Their two room house was built for $165 in lumber and family labor. His dad drove a milk truck.
Elvis’ first guitar was bought when he was seven. He had saved up $18 and his dad was going to take him downtown to buy a 22 rifle. Destiny intervened and his dad had to drive the dairy truck that Saturday morning. Instead his mom took him to Tupelo Hardware, talking him into buying a guitar instead. The rest is history.
David Rumbarger told me, “Around here, everyone wonders if he would have become the best shot in the world.”