Elvis Presley‘s death on August 16, 1977, was one of the darkest days in the music world. On that date, Presley died in his Graceland home, alone in the bathroom, with fiance Ginger Alden sleeping in the next room. Was the last week of his life happy? How did he spend it? Here are the details.
Elvis Presley played his last live show in June 1977
Presley’s last live show was on June 26, 1977, at the Market Square Arena in Indianapolis. A crowd of 18,000 fans attended the event, according to LiveAbout.
The site reported that during the concert, Presley appeared “pale, weak, and overweight.” However, he ran through a setlist that contained some of his most famous songs, including “See See Rider,” “Jailhouse Rock,” “Little Sister,” “Hound Dog,” and “Can’t Help Falling in Love.”
At this particular concert, Presley deviated from his regular remarks. Usually, he would share the names of his band members and backup singers. However, this night he “introduced practically everyone from his life on stage,” wrote the site, a departure from his usual audience banter.
How did Elvis Presley spend the last week of his life?
Elvis’ last week alive was a happy one, reported Rolling Stone in an editorial about Presley’s funeral. His daughter with Priscilla Presley, Lisa Marie, was visiting Graceland two weeks before the start of the new school year.
Therefore, Presley wanted to do something special for his nine-year-old daughter. On August 7, 1977, Elvis rented Libertyland, a local amusement park, overnight. During that time, Lisa Marie, Alden, Presley, and his friends had the park to themselves. During the week, Presley, Alden, and Lisa Marie attended a screening of the James Bond film, “The Spy Who Loved Me,” at a local theater, as reported by Elvis Presley Music.
Presley reportedly swam in Graceland’s pool the week before his death and played a favorite game, racquetball, daily. He prepared for his upcoming tour dates and was reportedly unbothered by the publication of a new book, “Elvis, What Happened?” by Steve Dunleavy. The account, which hit bookshelves two weeks before Presley’s death, was based on the personal accounts of three of Elvis’ former bodyguards, Sonny and Red West and David Hebler.
The documentary Elvis Presley: The Last 24 Hours, revealed Presley spent his final 24 hours at the dentist and playing racquetball and the piano on the day of his passing. Alden said she last saw the entertainer as he headed into the bathroom to read. She found his lifeless body in the same room around 2 p.m. on August 16, 1977. Presley was pronounced dead at 3:30 p.m at Baptist Memorial Hospital.
Scheduled stops for the tour that didn’t happen
This year, we’re celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Elvis’ documentary, “Elvis on Tour.” The documentary covers Elvis’ 15-city tour in the United States in April 1972. #ElvisPresley #ElvisonTour #Tour #Icon #Documentary pic.twitter.com/tian4qPxDc— Elvis Presley (@ElvisPresley) October 2, 2022
Presley’s tour was scheduled to start on August 17 and was, to begin with, shows at the Cumberland County Civic Centre in Portland, Maine. Stops followed this in both Utica and Syracuse, New York.
A date in Hartford, CT, was followed by Uniondale, NY. The tour headed to Lexington, KY, and Roanoke, VA. Finally, on August 25, Presley was scheduled to play Fayetteville, TN, Asheville, NC, and two homecoming shows at Mid-South Coliseum in Memphis.