Elvis Presley traffic lights appear in German town of Friedberg

"The King" is back and telling people when they can cross the road. The German town of Friedberg is the latest German city to transform its traffic lights with famous characters.

Elvis Presley is ready to help pedestrians rock 'n' roll across the street in the western German town of Friedberg near Frankfurt.

Three traffic lights featuring the "King's" image have been placed around the town's Elvis Presley Square to commemorate the singer. 

While people are waiting to cross, the singer appears in the red light striking a pose at a microphone.

When the lights go green Elvis is shown swinging his hips in a famous dance move. 

Deutschland Verkehr l Elvis-Ampel

Elvis swinging his hips in one of the traffic lights in Friedberg

Local politician Marion Götz (SPD) told the Wetterauer Zeitung newspaper that the town had paid about €900 ($1,000) for the lights as an extra attraction for tourists.

Why is he there?

Presley had a strong connection with Friedberg, a town of around 28,000 inhabitants, located 26 kilometers (16 miles) north of Frankfurt in the state of Hesse.

Read more: Without Africans in North America, we would never have had Elvis Presley

He was stationed there from October 1958 until March 1960 while serving as a soldier in the US Army. He lived in nearby Bad Nauheim.

Bildergalerie Elvis Presley in Deutschland

Elvis Presley in his US Army uniform while stationed in Friedberg

It was there he met his future wife, Priscilla Beaulieu, whom he married after a seven-year relationship.

Both towns are keen to make sure no one forgets "the King," who died in 1977, or their connections to him.

Related Subjects

While Friedberg first switched on the new traffic lights on Wednesday, Bad Nauheim holds the 'European Elvis Festival' and is planning a bronze statue of him.

Deutschland - Elvis Presley - Villa Grunewald in Bad Nauheim

Flowers and pictures of Elvis left at his memorial in Bad Nauheim

Bad Nauheim has long been a site of pilgrimage for Elvis' fans, and people lay candles, flowers and gifts for him.

A little more action

According to Götz, it took three months for the police to give the go-ahead and then a local graphic designer to send his ideas to the manufacturer.

However, the work appears to have paid off, with the Wetterauer Zeitung reporting positive reviews.

"Good idea," "witty," "something a little different," were some of the reactions. One person added, "I did wonder about it, but as always I crossed on green."

Following a trend

Transforming traffic lights has become something of a trend in Germany.

The most famous are the Ampelmännchen in Berlin. Created in 1961 in what was then East Berlin, they now appear all over the united capital.

The city of Augsburg now has the Kasperl puppet character in a pointed hat, Mainz has its own Mainzelmännchen, Bonn has Beethoven traffic lights and in Trier a small, chubby Karl Marx lets pedestrians know when to cross. The eastern town of Erfurt has had up to 14 different kinds of lights since the 1980s.

Culture

From small town boy to household name

Born in the town of Tupelo, Mississippi, Presley began his career in Memphis, Tennessee. He is pictured here in 1954 while recording at the famous Sun Studio in Memphis, which also helped launch B.B. King's career. Quickly rising to fame, his first hit, "Heartbreak Hotel," propelled him into stardom in 1956.

Culture

A GI in Germany

Presley put his career on hold while serving in the US military in Germany from 1958 to 1960. Stationed in the small town of Friedberg, Presley stayed in a hotel in nearby Bad Nauheim instead of living in the barracks. There, he lived with an entourage: his grandmother, father and two body guards. Today, hotel guests can sleep in the Elvis Room, which was preserved to commemorate the King's stay.

Culture

Made in Germany

Although he was prohibited from performing during service, the King still found time to make music. Germany was the birthplace of two chart-toppers: "One Night" and "A Fool Such as I." He also gave global fame to the popular German folk song, "Muss I denn zum Städtele hinaus," or in English, "Wooden Heart."

Culture

A look into the past

Elvis's time in Germany is well-documented. In 2011, three collectors, including Andreas Schröer, pictured here, opened the Elvis Museum in Dusseldorf - the largest Elvis collection outside of the US. Over 600 items are display, many from his GI years. Visitors can get an idea of what it must have been like to see him up close and personal.

Culture

Happily ever after?

While Elvis was stationed in Germany, he also met Priscilla Beaulieu, the daughter of a US military officer. She was just 14 years old at the time. The couple married years later at the Aladdin Hotel in Las Vegas in 1967, although the King reportedly continued to enjoy the company of other women.

Culture

A licence to suit up

Legend has it, Elvis adopted the jumpsuit after he split his pants on stage. Whatever the reason, the garment was an instant hit. B&K, a company in Charlestown, Indiana creates Elvis jumpsuits based on the originals and is the only company licensed to do so by the former designers of Presley's costumes. Fans and impersonators must wait 14-16 weeks for delivery.

Culture

Doppelgangers around the globe

Elvis's legacy stretches far and wide. The European Elvis Festivals takes place each year in Bad Nauheim and attracts plenty of die-hard impersonators. The King also has official fan clubs in 38 different countries, as well as plenty of memorabilia. Granada, Spain was the first city to put the King's face on a commemorative stamp in 1978. Germany followed suit in 1988.

Culture

Inspiration from Hollywood

Elvis has inspired an entire industry of impersonators, as well as films like "Bye Bye, Birdie" (1967), based on his career. But who inspired the King? Elvis was known to enjoy the music of gospel singer Sister Rosetta Tharpe and once called actor James Dean (pictured) a "genius."

Culture

Profiting after death

Elvis passed away at his residence, Graceland, on August 16, 1977. Now open to the public, Graceland is the second-most visited home historical residence in the US after the White House. It's run by a multi-million dollar company called Elvis Presley Enterprises, making it unsurprising that Elvis regularly hits the top of Forbes' annual "Top-Earning Dead Celebrities" list.

Culture

A candle for the King

Each year, Elvis fans commemorate his death on August 16, 1977 by lighting candles in front of Graceland. In 2007, the 30th anniversary of his death, a record 75,000 people attended the candlelight vigil at the residence - a tribute fit for the King of rock & roll.

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