On March 8, 1961 Elvis drove his Rolls Royce to Nashville, Tennessee. He was accompanied by personal entourage members Joe Esposito, Sonny West, and Alan Fortas. That day, Elvis was the special guest of a joint session of both houses of the Tennessee State Legislature. They had invited him to come in late February, but due to his schedule he was unable to come until March. The purpose of the visit was so they could honor Tennessee's favorite son.
Governor Buford Ellington introduced the Jordanaires and then in his introduction of Elvis said, "Elvis Presley, the greatest honor.. that the governor of Tennessee can bestow upon a man is to ask you and present to you this certificate of Colonelship on the governor's staff. I do it with pride and with pleasure and tell you that not only the governor of the state, but every citizen of Tennessee is very, very proud of you."
Elvis thanked the governor and addressed those present in the senate chamber (including the young people who had skipped school for the occasion) saying, "...this is one of the nicest things that has ever happened to me in my entire career... and I'd like to say that I'm very proud to be from the state of Tennessee and I'll always... I will always call this my home...."
Governor Ellington went on to say that, even though Elvis' manager Colonel Tom Parker could not be there, he wanted to announce that "...Colonel Parker is no longer the number one Colonel - it's Colonel Presley."
Shelby County Senator J. Lewis Taliaferro was recognized by the senate chairman and he introduced Alan Fortas, Joe Esposito and Sonny West. He then presented Elvis with a framed copy of the Senate Joint Resolution Number
Fifty-Two, which recognized Elvis for his having brought fame to Memphis and Tennessee as a successful entertainer, for having served his country in the armed forces and for his humanitarian efforts.
After the Sergeant of Arms made way for Elvis to leave the chamber, Elvis then toured the governor's mansion with Governor Ellington's daughter Ann.