Fans all over the world were shocked when the King of Rock and Roll Elvis Presley passed away unexpectedly on August 16, 1977. Two days after his demise, on August 17, his funeral was held. Tens of thousands of people arrived in Memphis as family members and close friends were grieving the loss of a loved one.
His funeral was shown live on television to millions of people around the country. Elvis’ funeral procession was one of the most well-attended in the United States, excluding politicians. Around 80,000 people came to Memphis, Tennessee’s tiny city, to show their support for Elvis.
What occurred at Elvis Presley’s funeral ceremony?
In the days after Elvis Presley’s passing, thousands of admirers descended on Memphis; in order to keep the peace, President Carter dispatched 300 National Guard men. The flags on all city structures in Memphis were immediately lowered to half-staff. On August 17, 1977, after having his body embalmed at the Memphis Funeral Home, Elvis was transported back to Graceland, where his father Vernon had set up a viewing area for the general public. More than 30,000 fans were authorized.
Date and location
Elvis Presley’s burial, which took place on April 18, was a simple ceremony, despite celebrities like Ann-Margret, James Brown, and actor George Hamilton being there. It took place in the living room of Graceland and ran from 2:00 to 4:00. The lecture was delivered by Wooddale Church of Christ pastor C.W. Bradley and included a reference from comedian Jackie Kahane, who frequently opened for Elvis. Some of Elvis Presley’s favorite hymns, including “Heavenly Father,” was played by other Elvis tour veterans J.D. Sumner and the Stamps, the Statesmen, and Kathy Westmoreland.
Music Played at Presley’s Funeral
Here is a list of the music played at Elvis Presley’s funeral. Also given the singer’s name and some background details.
- Bill Blaize sang the opening song of the service, “When It’s My Time,” at the church. Blaize is a gospel singer from the United States who sang tenor while performing with JD Sumner and The Stamps. Background vocals were provided by Elvis when the band was on the road. Additionally, they sang the background vocals on Elvis Presley’s “Promise Land” record.
- Jake Hess sang the song “Known Only to Him”. He was one of Elvis’s favorite vocalists and had a big influence on him,” according to Elvis Australia. Elvis was merely a distant admirer. He attended his concerts back when he lived in Mississippi and would stick around afterward to ask Hess all sorts of questions about his start and style. The Imperials, Hess’ band, contributed songs to Elvis Presley’s “How Great Thou Art” album.
- They both sang “How Great Thou Art” here and on the record. This poignant song was played by The Stamps in the middle of the funeral service.
- When Kathy Westmoreland performed “My Heavenly Father” on a televised program, Elvis Presley was captivated. She ultimately spent seven years backing him up on tour.
- The Stamps also played the song “His Hand in Mine.” It was added to the schedule after the event.
- The Stamps also sang “Sweet, Sweet Spirit,” which was the final song of the ceremony. Elvis placed a high value on his religious convictions, and he was deeply moved by this song. Therefore, it was only appropriate that it was performed during his burial.
Limelight for Public
Vernon, Elvis’ father, made the decision to hold a public viewing for their “King” because he saw the effect his son had on his followers. But the fans would have come even if he hadn’t been so kind. With more on the road, they had already arrived. Numerous thousands of admirers came to Memphis from all over the United States and even from other nations to show their affection for the guy and to bid him farewell.
About 30,000 fans were allowed through Graceland’s gates on August 17. Elvis’ open casket was put in the foyer for public viewing so that the admirers might pass by and pay their respects.
Cause of Demise
Although heart failure first appeared to be the reason for Elvis Presley’s death, it is now believed that the rock star’s long-term severe drug consumption was the real cause of death
Elvis was a strong user of several prescription drugs, including opiates, barbiturates, and sedatives, like many other entertainers at the time. Several weeks after the performer’s passing, the results of the toxicology examination of his blood reportedly revealed high concentrations of the opiates Dilaudid, Percodan, and Demerol, as well as other drugs including Quaaludes and codeine.
The King of Rock and Roll continues to this day
Elvis Presley has been dead for 43 years, which is longer than he was alive. Elvis Presley, who passed away at the age of 42, is still a well-known figure to people of all ages. “The King” is still alive.