On This Day: Elvis Presley Died in His Graceland Home in 1977 at Age 42

by Joe Rutland

Radio and television stations interrupted their programming. A king had died, and the world mourned. On this day in 1977, Elvis Presley died.

Presley, the “King of Rock ‘n’ Roll,” was found unconscious in a bathroom at Graceland, his home in Memphis, Tennessee. He was taken to Baptist Memorial Hospital, according to Town & Country Magazine, and was pronounced dead at 3:30 p.m. Central Time. Presley was just 42 years old.

Yes, prescription drugs and heart disease all played a role in his death. Elvis Presley, on Aug. 16, 1977, was remembered in ways only those who were alive then will never forget. The young boy from Tupelo, Mississippi, would go from being a son of two proud parents to a roaring, bluesy, rock icon.

Elvis Presley Started His Hit-Record Career With ‘That’s All Right’

A lot of his life was sheltered from the public and Elvis Presley lived with people who would simply do as he asked. Instead of focusing on the bad parts of Elvis’ life, there is plenty of good to share as well. His recordings of songs like “That’s All Right,” “Love Me Tender,” “Heartbreak Hotel,” and “Hound Dog” would put him at the top of the Billboard charts.

Speaking of Billboard, Elvis Presley had 108 Billboard Hot 100 hits, 129 albums on the charts, and 67 combined weeks of having the No. 1 song in America. Obviously, he had a movie career, too, with “Love Me Tender” in 1956 starting it off.

Presley did have a desire to be a serious actor, but his movies are fairly standard fare. Movies like “Speedway,” “Girls! Girls! Girls!,” “It Happened at the World’s Fair,” and “Viva Las Vegas” followed a similar thread or pattern.

Presley Married Priscilla Beaulieu, Had One Daughter

Presley also did love plenty of women. He married Priscilla Beaulieu in 1967 and stayed married to her until 1973. They had a daughter, Lisa Marie, from their marriage.

On that fateful August afternoon in Memphis, people started pouring onto Elvis Presley Boulevard just outside the gates of Graceland. AM and FM radio stations stopped playing their formats and simply spun Elvis records deep into the night. Outsiders could have spun the radio dial and picked up stations from Miami to New York City to Houston to Los Angeles and all you would hear is Elvis Presley.

His death shocked many. Thousands would gather days later and stand along that same Elvis Presley Boulevard, watching the body of a king be led to his resting place. Presley’s body was moved, though, to Graceland where he lies next to his mother and father.

On this day, fans will pass through Graceland and pay homage to him. Outsider also pays its respects today to Elvis.