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THE DAY THE MUSIC DIED
by Lea Frydman

We all remember the day John F Kennedy was
shot! But where were you the day Elvis died?

August 16, 1977 was a day that, much like the day that
President Kennedy was assassinated, everyone remembers
where they were and what they were doing when they
first heard the news - Elvis was dead. President,
Jimmy Carter's message to the nation was; "With
Elvis Presley a part of our country died as
well." Others said that the American Dream died with
Elvis. There is no doubt that when the King of
Rock n Roll died; music and the world would never
be the same again.

Just after 2p.m. Tuesday, August 16, 1977, Ginger
Alden found Elvis, face down, unconscious, on the
floor in the bathroom at Graceland. Clad only
in blue top and yellow pyjamas bottoms. Elvis was
crouched over his face and tongue dark and bloated.

By 3:30pm Elvis had been pronounced dead after
frantic ambulance ride to Baptist Memorial
Hospital where an unprecedented number of specialists
had battled to save his life. The official
verdict was death by heart failure.
Dr. Nichopoulous rode in the ambulance back to
Graceland to tell Vernon that Elvis was dead. Joe
Esposito was going to announce the death, but was to
overcome with grief. Half an hour later, on the steps
of Graceland a grief stricken Vernon announced
to the world; "My son, Elvis is dead..."



Within minutes of Vernon's Presley's announcement
the news rocketed around the world. The Memphis
Press Scimitar announced,
LONELY LIFE ENDS ON ELVIS PRESLEY BOULEVARD.

The French headlines read: L'ADIEU A ELVIS!

The British front-page said:
KING ELVIS DEAD AT 42 AND ALONE.

The Soviet newspaper PRAVDA ran a full-page message:
ELVIS IS DEAD. THE USA HAS GIVEN US THREE
CULTURAL PHENOMENONS, MICKEY MOUSE, COKE A COLA
AND ELVIS PRESLEY.

In Australia, the front page of The Herald ran
ONE HOUR BATTLE FAILS. KING ELVIS DIES.

Ex-president, Richard Nixon asked Americans fly their
flags at half-mast. In Tupelo Elvis' birthplace the
mayor declared, August 16 an official day
of mourning for all time. RCA claimed that they sold
400 million Elvis Presley records to distraught fans.


Outside Graceland pandemonium reigned with 300 women
and children requiring medical attention, and from
around the world over 80,000 fans began the pilgrimage
to Graceland forcing a near hysterical Vernon Presley
to consent to a public viewing of the body
the next day. Dressed in a cream colored suit,
white tie and pale blue shirt, wearing a diamond
and gold TBC ring, Elvis lay in state in his heavy
copper coffin.

Thousands of devoted Elvis fans were allowed the
privilege to offer their last farewell to their idol.
For hours they made their way up to the Graceland
Mansion to file one by one passed the Elvis lying
in state. Many fans collapsed at the sight of
their hero.



Thursday, August 18, the funeral procession was 18 cars Long.

Celebrities, such as, Ann-Margaret with husband Roger
Smith and George Hamilton attending the funeral
service, as did Colonel Tom Parker. Jackie Kahane
gave the eulogy.

















Elvis' final resting place. The wording can be found below.




Two years later, on June 26, 1979,
Vernon Presley died of a broken heart.




Six hundred thousand people make the
pilgrimage to Graceland each year to pay tribute to the
king of rock n roll.


The last picture of Elvis
taken on August 15, 1977.



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"Elvis", "Elvis Presley" and
"Graceland"................. are Registered Trademarks of Elvis Presley
Enterprises,Inc. 1996 E.P.E., Inc.



The wav file is "Statute of a King" by Roger
McDowell and is for your listening pleasure. Copyrights
belong to the artist.