Elvis left the building for good on August 16, 1977. I remember it like it was yesterday. When news broke, we were celebrating my mother’s birthday (Happy Birthday Mom!). It was as if the air went out of the room. Nobody was particularly surprised that he died given how he was looking. It was more of the realization that the guy they grew up listening to, who was such an exciting part of their youth, was gone.

I’ve always loved his voice and had a soft spot for Vegas Elvis, especially in the early years when he was looking good, sounding good and backed by great musicians and singers.

Here he is, at the top of his game,

1970: In the Ghetto

1972: Bridge Over Troubled Water

And this is just plain sad, Elvis wasted, on stage, at the end of the line. No matter what he did to himself physically, he never lost that voice.

1977: Are You Lonesome Tonight