MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Forty years ago today, the man known to many as “The King of Rock and Roll” died. Elvis Presley’s untimely death was a tragedy for his millions of fans and every year, thousands descend on the singer’s home to light candles and mourn.
Elvis Presley’s daughter Lisa Marie was a torch bearer …helping thousands of Elvis fans on their candle-lit pilgrimage through the Graceland estate and to his gravesite.
“You grow up listening to all his albums as a teenager, great loss,” one fan said.
But this year – an unpleasant surprise. Participating in the procession is no longer free – and many long-time attendees protested outside the gates.
“The vigil should be free cause we’re all here because we love Elvis,” said Denise Meyer of Dallas.
“Graceland says the nearly $30 wristband also provides access to the new entertainment complex that immerses visitors in 42 years of the King’s life – and music..”
Elvis remains the bestselling solo artist of all time. Even the Beatles idolized him.
At a memorabilia showcase in Memphis, fans picked through hard-to-find CD’s.
We caught up with Dick Grob, one of the King’s bodyguards, who remembers how the King made every show unique.
“There were only two songs set, first one on stage, and last one to tell me he was ready to go home, he would do anything in the middle…all for his fans.”
Jailhouse Rock was a crowd favorite – and a number one hit. Mike Stoller wrote the music. “He was gonna be a big star. We all knew it. Everybody knew it.”
His fans certainly did. And four decades after his death – they still come.
(Mola Lenghi, CBS News)