Time flies, but the King of Rock ’n’ Roll never ages. 

Old films from the ‘50s show young girls screaming as Elvis Presley gyrates his hips. It’s amazing to think that most of those girls are now almost 80 years old. It’s harder still to believe that next year, he will have been gone as long as he was alive — 42 years.

His fortune has dissolved in the hands of his daughter and her financial advisers. You rarely hear ‘50s music on the radio anymore. And yet he seems to be as popular as ever.

Maine fans got one last chance to see Elvis on May 24, 1977. Hundreds of people stood in line for tickets to the Augusta Civic Center show, but the Elvis they saw that night was not the young, thin Elvis in tight leather pants. It was the older Elvis; thicker in the waist, with shaggy hair and sideburns.  

Footage from the concert shows him in one of the sequined white jumpsuits that he made famous but gone is the hip shaking that once mesmerized millions. In fact, his legs barely moved. He stands in one spot and sings or walks slowly around the stage. But the voice is the same, and the cheering seems as enthusiastic as ever.

Elvis must have enjoyed Maine. Two more concerts were scheduled for August 1977 — at the then-brand-new Cumberland County Civic Center in Portland. Fans who had just seen him in Augusta spent two days and nights in line to buy tickets. But it was not meant to be.  

Elvis’s first show in Portland was scheduled for Aug. 17, but he died the day before of heart failure. Fans could not believe the news.

Some people asked for a refund, but others kept their concert tickets as souvenirs. People showed up at the Civic Center and left flowers, letters and pictures. 

In place of a concert, the arena held a memorial service for the singer, with a large picture of him on stage and his music playing in the background. Fans came to sit and mourn the entertainer who had changed music forever.

I wonder how long Elvis will live on in our culture. How long will people collect his dolls, stamps and other memorabilia? How long will people listen to his music and watch his movies? How long will Elvis Impersonators walk the earth? Probably long after I am gone.

Source:  pressherald.com

Zac McDorr is a Coastal Journal contributing writer. He can be reached at:

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