Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Elvis Presley Still Has His Fans After 44 Years of Death

On August 16, 1977, Elvis Presley died at age 42 at his Graceland home.Mr. Presley was found unconscious in a room in the house in Memphis, and was declared dead in a Tennessee hospital one hour later. A subsequent autopsy determined that Presley was deceased of a drug overdose.

Even on the 34th anniversary of his death, there is something about the name 'Elvis Presley', that intense emotions Karen Deardorff triggers.

She is in her sixties now, but Deardorff vibrates with the giddiness of a teenager in the discussion of the King. No amount of years would be boring this level of fandom.

"I do not think there will ever be anyone who could do everything he did march on stabbing," said Deardorff.

She and her mother, Tippie Deardorff, live in Clyde, and have transformed a shed behind their house into an impromptu Elvis museum. From a life-size cardboard cutout for a copy of his license, it is a collection that the end of the icon from all angles covered. Deardorffs the loaded recording the name of fundraising at a time, but otherwise it is free for all to see.

Karen Deardorff saw the man in consultation four times ("he pulled down the house every time"), but that was not enough.

So when a show is an Elvis impersonator around the Big Country, is she. During a recent Elvis tribute at the Paramount Theatre, Tippie Deardorff said her daughter was "as big as an entertainment by the singer was" so powerful was Karen's reaction to the music.

Of course this is not a surprise. Elvis's magnetism as a performer still exudes from the grave. Every year in Memphis, the anniversary of Presley's Aug. 16, 1977, death is one week long ode to one of the greatest rock 'n' roll of the entertainers. There is a candlelight vigil at his Graceland home, film screenings, festive concerts, Elvis impersonator showdowns, and more.

Taking on a national level, radio stations across America on their own Elvis listening marathons during the week. At True Oldies 100.7 FM Abilene's, DJ Randy Jones said that the listeners should expect plenty of Elvis today.

As a youngster, Jones was witnessed Presley's last two visits to Abilene-career, one in 1974 and the other in 1977.

Both shows were at the Taylor County Coliseum Abilene groundbreaking concert events in the history of packing the hall with more than 8,000 hysterical admirers.

"Ever see a movie where the piranha fish devour a cow carcass in a few seconds? ... If you have, you can see the anger of an Elvis Presley concert draw, at least judging from the one he had in Abilene in October 1974, "wrote the Reporter-News' Jim Conley in 1977." It was "mob town" and even the police could be expected to fight it. "

For his part, Jones remembers the 1977 look very good. He was 15 and attended the concert with his mother, an Elvis fan from way back. She was the one who waited in line for the tickets, which ranged from $ 10 to $ 15 to buy.

They were 15 rows back, dead. If the sound system began to "Also Sprach Zarathustra", the bombastic theme moo "2001: A Space Odyssey" and open Presley's '70s show, Jones' mother visibly started to melt.

"The great pleasure of the evening was my mother looking at a schoolgirl," said Jones. "It was like a kid again."

For those hoping to relive the experience, the '77 show was actually recorded from the audience, resulting in the bootleg release "King Time In Abilene." It is available for download on various websites of questionable legality.

Jones said that the crowd got its money's worth that night, even if it took place only five months in the death of Presley's,

"It was too heavy, but he was absolutely stellar," said Jones.

Dating back even further, Presley toured the Big Country during his breakout year of 1955. Laboring under a relentless show schedule, Presley played Abilene Fair Park Auditorium in February, May and October of that year, according to the archive ElvisConcerts.com.

He also shows that years in Sweetwater, De Leon, Breckenridge, Stephenville, Brownwood and Stamford, where Jones' father-in-law saw him in high school auditorium rock to its foundations.

Presley would graduate to larger venues in 1956, meaning Abilene would not see him back in the 70s. Local lore, however, that Presley has vowed from Abilene after someone scratched his shiny new Cadillac, which was parked outside the Fair Park Auditorium.

Abilene never tired of him, though. Even today, we are still talking Elvis, still tapping his feet to music and bask in his legend.

"His music will survive for generations," said Jones.


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