In 2007, Darwin Lamm, editor of Elvis the Magazine, asked me to compile a timeline of the main events in Elvis world since his death. It took a lot of work to put it together, so I am happy to get a second use of it here on ElvisBlog. There are no photos, just a lot of text, which is generally considered a bad thing for keeping the reader’s attention. But, I think you will find it interesting enough to read it to the end.
Elvis left the building for good thirty years ago, but he has continued to be a part of our collective consciousness. Never does a year go by without something happening that is Elvis-related: something to remind us once again of this incredible icon. Here is a timeline of these events:
The beginnings of Elvis Week. Hundreds of fans found themselves drawn to Memphis and the gates of Graceland. They spent the evening of August 16 talking and reminiscing with each other and burning candles.
-Elvis was inducted into the Playboy magazine Musical Hall of Fame.
The movie Elvis starring Kurt Russel was broadcast on February 11. Produced by Dick Clark, Elvis beat Gone With The Wind in the ratings.
-Vernon Presley died on June 23 at age 63. He was buried at Graceland next to Elvis and Gladys.
A brass statue of Elvis was unveiled on Beale St. in Memphis.
-Minnie Mae Presley, Vernon’s mother, died at age 86.
The book Elvis by Albert Goodman was published. Various reviews labeled it gossip, pure crap, and the worst hatchet job known to man.
-Nine states proclaim January 8 as “Elvis Presley Day.”
-The TV movie Elvis and the Beauty Queen starring Don Johnson aired on NBC on March 1.
-The movie This Is Elvis premiered in theaters on April 3. Later, 43 extra minutes were added for the video release.
Graceland opened to the public.
-Col. Parker signs a deal with EPE to relinquish all future income connected with his long-time client.
Priscilla Presley debuts on the TV series Dallas.
The airplane Lisa Marie made its last flight, going to Memphis to become an attraction at Graceland.
-The album Elvis: A Golden Celebration was released by RCA. This fabulous six-record set contained Sun sessions outtakes; Dorsey Brothers, Milton Berle, Steve Allen, and Ed Sullivan appearances; and nine newly discovered home recordings.
The TV special Elvis: One Night With You aired on HBO on January 8.
-The best-selling hard-cover book Elvis and Me by Priscilla Presley was published.
Elvis was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, part of the inaugural class of ten.
The TV special Elvis ’56 premiered on Cinemax on August 16. It contained vintage clips, stills by Al Wertheimer, and home movies of Elvis.
Elvis International Forum magazine published its first issue. Over the years, the name would change to Elvis International…The Magazine and finally to Elvis…The Magazine.
-The TV miniseries Elvis and Me, based on Priscilla Presley’s book, aired on ABC on February 7 and 8.
-Lisa Marie Presley married Danny Keough on October 3.
-The stage production Elvis, An American Original opened on July 1 at the Las Vegas Hilton.
-“Hound Dog” was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.
Darwin Lamm hosted the first “Good Rockin’ Tonight” concert during Elvis Week.
-Elvis’ granddaughter Danielle Riley Keough was born on May 29.
-The Elvis Car Museum opened at Graceland.
-Marion Keisker died on December 29. As Sam Philips’ studio manager at Sun Records, she had the foresight to note Elvis’ potential on his first visit to the studio.
-The TCB Band reunites in Lausanne, Switzerland for its first performance since 1977. The concert included Charlie Hodge, Kathy Westmoreland, and The Stamps.
The TV series Elvis starring Michael St Gerard began on February 6.
Graceland was placed on he National Register of Historic Places.
-The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals finds in favor of EPE in suit against Elvisly Yours, a retailer of many items (like edible Elvis underwear) considered demeaning of the image of Elvis.
Voting was conducted on the Elvis postage stamp. 1.2 million ballots were cast and 75% favored the “young Elvis.”
-Elvis’ grandson Benjamin Storm Keough was born on October 21.
Elvis postage stamp was issued on January 8. Over 124 million were purchased making it the most popular stamp of all time.
-The TV movie Elvis and the Colonel aired on NBC on January 10. Beau Bridges played Col. Parker. A Dick Clark production.
-Lisa Marie turned 25 but did not take over running Graceland. She wisely decided to let management of EPE continue under Jack Soden.
The Elvis Tribute Concert was performed at the Memphis Pyramid Arena. It featured 30 artists and was broadcast on Pay-Per-View for $25.
-The book Last Train To Memphis: The Rise of Elvis Presley by Peter Guralnick was published in October.
-Lisa Marie married Michael Jackson in July.
The Elvis Presley Mastercard was issued by Leader Federal Bank in October. It featured three different poses of Elvis from 1968 and 1969.
-“Heartbreak Hotel” was inducted into the Grammy Hall of fame.
Lisa Marie signed a deal for exclusive representation by the William Morris Agency.
–The Cleveland Ballet presented “Blue Suede Shoes,” a pop-rock dance work set to the music of 37 Elvis songs.
-The Elvis statue on Beale St in Memphis was moved to the Tennessee Welcome Center on the Mississippi riverfront.
EPE opened Elvis Presley’s Memphis, a restaurant, in the old Lansky’s clothing store building.
-Col. Tom Parker died on January 21 after a stroke. He was 87.
–Elvis Platinum: A Life In Music was released. The 4 CD set contained 100 songs, including 77 never previously released tracks.
-The first performance of Elvis the Concert was presented during Elvis Week in Memphis.
“That’s All Right (Mama)” was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.
-J.D. Sumner died on November 16. His vocal group, J.D. Sumner and The Stamps, toured and recorded with Elvis from 1971 to 1977.
-Elvis was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.
Peter Guralnick’s second Elvis book, Careless Love: The Unmaking of Elvis Presley, was published.
-“Suspicious Minds” was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.
Elvis was selected by TV Guide magazine as the “Entertainer of the Year.”
-Elvis Presley Gospel Treasury, a special recording package from Time-Life went platinum (one million copies sold).
–Department 56, leading designer of holiday collectibles, honored Elvis with the introduction on “Elvis Presley’s Graceland.”
Elvis was inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame.
-In the wake of the 9-11 tragedy, RCA released an Elvis CD single of America The Beautiful,” with 100% of the proceeds going to the American Red Cross. The song entered the Billboard charts at #8.
-Elvis became the first recording artist to be honored on genuine U.S. coinage. A new process fused the face of the 2002 Tennessee statehood quarter with a brilliant color portrait of Elvis.
The remix of “A Little Less Conversation” reached #1 in the U.S.
-Lisa Marie married actor and big Elvis fan Nicholas Cage.
“Don’t Be Cruel” was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.
-The Disney animated film Lilo & Stitch contained six songs by Elvis.
-The CD Elvis 30 #1 Hits was released on September 24, and it debuted at #1 in seventeen countries. It was a Triple Platinum seller in the U.S.
Sam Phillips died on June 30 at age 80 of respiratory disease.
-The remix of Elvis’ 1969 song “Rubberneckin” debuted at #1, dropped to #3 the next week, and went back to #1 the following week.
-The CD Elvis Second To None débuted at #3 on the Billboard album Chart.
In December it was announced that media mogul Robert Sillerman and his company CKX Inc. would pay $50.1 million to acquire 85% of EPE.
-The Recording Industry Association of America certified that Elvis was now officially the best selling solo recording artist in U.S. history.
-The CD single “That’s All Right (Mama)” topped the Billboard Singles Chart 50 years after Elvis initially recorded the song.
Elvis’ granddaughter, now going by the name Riley Keough Presley,
became the embodiment of the new Christian Dior perfume “Miss
Dior Cherie” in a global print campaign that started in May.
-The four-hour mini-series “Elvis” was broadcast on CBS on May 8 and 11, pulling in a total of 27 million viewers.
-The two-hour special “Elvis By the Presleys” followed on May 13, and it was watched by 13 million viewers.
Charlie Hodge died of lung cancer on March 3 at the age of 71. Hodge had been one of Elvis’ closest friends from 1958 until 1977.
-Graceland was designated a National Historic Landmark on March 21.
-President Bush and Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi visited Graceland on June 30.
-Elvis was named #66 in Atlantic Monthly magazine’s !00 Most Influential Figures in American History.
-The three-disc DVD Elvis – The Ed Sullivan Shows was released on
Graceland opened the Elvis Jumpsuits: All Access exhibit of 57 Elvis jumpsuits.
-“Are You Lonesome Tonight” was inducted into the Grammy Hall of
-The annual swimsuit edition of Sports Illustrated included a photo of supermodel Tori Praver posing in Graceland’s jungle room.
-PBS aired “Elvis Lives: The 25th Anniversary Concert” featuring the Elvis The Concert performance at Elvis Week 2002.
I’ll bet there are a few items listed here that you have forgotten over the years. These events were compiled from a variety of sources, but it’s possible that something significant has been missed. If you can think of one, let us know on Comments.
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