Fans Remember Elvis Presley 40 Years After 'The King's' Death
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- It's been 40 years since Elvis Presley's untimely death but love for "The King of Rock and Roll" remains strong.
In New York City, the NYC Elvis Fan Club is throwing a free concert at the Selena Rosa restaurant on the Upper East Side where they are serving the King's favorite fried peanut butter and banana sandwiches.
Meanwhile, tens of thousands of fans flocked to his Memphis home to light candles and mourn the rock legend.
"There's just a special feeling about Graceland that there's no other place in the world," one fan said.
"If you're an Elvis fan, you're family," said fan Wanda Sprung, who has been an Elvis collector for 60 years and met the star when she was a teen. "I said, 'Can I get your autograph?' He said, 'Why don't you just come in the dining room and have breakfast with me.' So I did and I have the napkin that he ate with."
During a vigil at his gravesite Tuesday night, Priscilla Presley, the performers' former wife, and Lisa Marie Presley, their daughter, thanked the crowd for their love and dedication.
The Presley family told fans this year's vigil is the largest one yet, but for the first time the processional was not free, angering some fans.
"I don't think Elvis would like it if he knew the fans were charged to go up and see," Cheryl Skogen of Los Angeles said.
Fans who didn't pay the nearly $30 admission to get access to Graceland could watch parts of the ceremony from about 50 feet away, right up Elvis Presley Boulevard.
Graceland says the fee also provides access to a new $45-million entertainment complex highlighting the many facets of The King's life.
"The unique thing about Elvis is he never forgot where he came from," Director of Archives Angie Marchese said. "The exhibits here are not just about Elvis. They're about people who were influences of his, as well as people he's influenced."
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," he said, adding that he was told Elvis planned to record several more of his songs when he died.
Elvis remains the best selling solo artist of all time. According to Graceland, Elvis has sold over 1 billion records worldwide. He has been inducted into five halls of fame.
He died at Graceland on Aug. 16, 1977 after suffering a heart attack. He was just 42 years old.
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