MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Cameras from WMC Action News 5 crews captured coverage of the "swift and unexpected" death of Elvis Presley this week 40 years ago.
"He had been found in his bathroom unconscious not breathing, was brought to the hospital by ambulance," WMC5's Mason Granger reported live from Baptist Memorial Hospital on August 16, 1977. "Efforts to revive him here at the hospital were unsuccessful, and Elvis was declared dead."
The next day, a small group turned to a "huge number of people" as a hearse carrying Elvis' body arrived at Graceland. He was later moved inside the mansion for viewing.
By the time of his death, fans and music critics regarded Elvis as one of the most important figures in the twentieth century popular culture. Weeks following Elvis' passing, thousands converged on Memphis to remember him.
When his grave was opened to the public, Granger reported from Graceland in a special report on a rainy day, which came two months after Elvis' body was moved there.
Decades later, as all Memphians know, thousands still travel to Memphis every week marking Elvis' death to honor his legacy. The annual candlelight vigil at Graceland remains emotional to many, just as it did the day Elvis' Meditation Gardens opened.
Original article written by Ashli Blow.