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German Town Of Friedberg Unveils Elvis Presley Traffic Lights To Commemorate Singer

Just unveiled earlier in December are a series of traffic lights featuring images of Presley at intersections in the town of Friedberg.

Save for three shows in Canada back in 1957, Elvis Presley never toured outside the U.S. even though he played more than a thousand shows in his lifetime, including 351 stints in Las Vegas. Which makes a special series of installations in Germany showcasing the King of Rock and Roll's likeness all the more significant.

Via: commercialappeal.com

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Each light features a silhouette of the pelvic wonder in a series of onstage poses. A stationary Elvis at the microphone is in red, obviously signifying STOP, while a more wiggly, freestyling Presley is shaded green for GO.

Presley's attachment to the town, however, was anything but musical. The guy who cracked the cultural racial barrier back in the 1950s with hits like "Heartbreak Hotel" and "Hound Dog" had to trade his blue suede shoes for more government-issued footwear when he was drafted in the army in 1958. Shipped overseas, he served with the army for two years in Friedberg.

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America's loss was Germany's gain as fans mourned March 24, 1958, the day Presley began his service, designed as Black Monday. While the Army was more than willing to cut the singer some slack and have him perform shows for free to heighten the military cause, Presley preferred to do his two-year duty as a regular soldier.

Much of his army duties were in the armored division as a truck driver, ironically the same job he had before becoming a groundbreaking rocker. Joining the army as a private, he finished his tenure after being promoted to sergeant.

Via: culturebox.francetvinfo.fr

There isn't much of an archive indicating how much he enjoyed being in Germany, although once he got back into music, he found the landscape had changed drastically when the British (musical) invasion reinvented the genre he helped start a decade earlier.

But there's no doubt that Germany has fond memories of Elvis Presley, so much that even a town is willing to make a few tourist bucks from that chapter of his life. It helps that the traffic light initiative wasn't very costly, roughly a thousand bucks to create and install, meaning they'll get a return on that attraction investment in no time.

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