Elvis Presley Died 34 Years Ago
Fans Remember The King’s Life, Mourn His Death
This photo, which was scanned to digital by the Los Angeles Times, was taken on the set of the 1957 film “Loving You,” the second film to star music legend Elvis Presley. The film is a loose retelling of Elvis’s own rise to the rock ‘n roll throne. Last week marked the 34th anniversary of Elvis’s death, yet the King’s fame and fan-base continue to grow. A new generation of Elvis fans were born when “American Idol,” the popular singing competition TV show on Fox, used computer generated imaging to bring Elvis back to life for a duet with Celine Dion.
Last week more than 20,000 visitors paid their respects at a massive candlelight vigil at the Graceland mansion in Memphis, where Elvis is buried. Many who attended are hardcore Elvis fans who remember seeing the King perform live, and who continue to celebrate him not just as a performer or celebrity, but as a cultural icon whose importance has no limits. One such fan was 60-year-old Joe Makowski, who told a Los Angeles Times reporter that he saw Elvis perform in concert 81 times before the King’s tragic death on August 16, 1977. Makowski, who says he tries to attend the memorial vigil every year, says the most rewarding part of the experience is “seeing the young fans that weren’t even born until years after he passed away.” In Southern California, thousands paid tribute at Elvis’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Elvis’s enduring popularity places him alongside the Beatles as one of the biggest and most influential artists of all time. Forbes recently ranked Elvis as number 2 in a list of top-earning deceased celebrities, as his estate made upwards of $60 million last year. Only Michael Jackson’s estate raked in more. 2011 promises to be a big year for Elvis, as it marks the 55th anniversary of his first album release. On September 27th, a five-CD boxed set called “Young Man With the Big Beat” will be released, containing Elvis’s first two albums, various interviews and live recordings, and an 80-page booklet.
To see more classic Elvis photos that have been scanned to digital, visit Los Angeles Times.