MIAMI (CBSMiami) — Thousands of Elvis Presley fans were at Graceland Wednesday to mark the 40th anniversary of the rock legend’s death.
Fans arrived throughout the day at Graceland for a tour of Elvis Presley’s home on this solemn anniversary.
“I started coming in 1994 just a special feeling about Graceland, there’s no place like it in the world,” said fan Jay Kadner.
Forty 40 years after the death of the king of rock n roll, tens of thousands of fans still make the pilgrimage to Memphis, Tennessee.
“If you’re an Elvis fan, you’re family,” said fan Wanda Sprung.
Sprung has been an Elvis collector for 60 years. She met Elvis when she was a teen.
“I said, ‘Can I get your autograph?’ He said, ‘Why don’t you come to the dining room and have breakfast with me?’ So I did, and I have the napkin that he ate with. Elvis’s napkin. The napkin he ate with,” said Sprung.
Touring Graceland is just one of the many things fans can do in Memphis during Elvis Week.
“The unique thing about Elvis is he never forgot where he came from,” said Angie Marchese, Director of Archives at Elvis Presley’s Graceland – a 45 million dollar Elvis entertainment complex that opened in March.
“The exhibits here are not just about Elvis, they’re about people who were influences of his,” said Marchese.
Songwriter Mark James wrote “Suspicious Minds” and several other Elvis hits.
“I gave him five songs and have five singles. You can’t get any more – than that,” said James.
He says he was told Elvis was planning to record several more of James’s songs at the time of his death.
Elvis remains the bestselling solo artist of all time. According to Graceland, Elvis has sold over one billion records worldwide.