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|ELVIS DIED WEEKS AFTER SIOUX FALLS SHOW
April 08, 2016 - By Eric Renshaw, For the Argus Leader / Elvis Express Radio
Few performers are as iconic and long-lasting in popularity as Elvis.
I can’t think of a single musician who is as enduring, beloved or as rumored to be still alive years after his death - ahem - alleged death. They called him "The King" for a reason. He’
s been immortalized in film, recordings, commemorative plates and even Precious Moments figurines.
Elvis played two concerts in Sioux Falls in less than a year: the first on Oct. 19, 1976, and the second on June 22, 1977.
He flew into town for the 1976 show on his private jet, the Lisa Marie, and hustled to the Holiday Inn City Centre downtown. He and his crew took up the top three floors of the hotel,
and try as they might, fans could not gain access to these floors. The King would hold no court until the night of the show at the Arena. Elvis was reclusive and felt he would be
mobbed if he tried to leave his hotel room, so he went from town to town seeing only the inside of a hotel room and the inside of arenas.
The tabloids at the time were keen to remark on his increasing weight and increasingly paranoid and bizarre behavior. Earlier that year while on vacation to Colorado, he enjoyed
snowmobiling - but only at night, much to the chagrin of other vacationers trying to sleep.
The 1977 performance followed shows in Omaha and Rapid City on the 19th and 21st. Both shows were filmed and shown on CBS as "Elvis in Concert" on Oct. 3, 1977, about two
months after Presley’s death. The Rapid City show marked the grand opening of the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center.
Local reviews focused on Elvis’ weight and stiff performances and less on the magic and majesty of the man who would become legendary. It was a different time. Elvis was charting
lower than "Disco Duck" and "Convoy," so he was not at the top of his game.
In 1977, a local department store, which wished to remain anonymous, provided The King with a king-sized bed to use in the complimentary suite provided by the Holiday Inn. After
The King left, the bed was put back into the store’s stock. So at some point, someone went home with a bed on which Elvis himself had lain his sweet head.
Elvis Presley died Aug. 16, 1977, if reports are to be believed. This was just a couple of months after his last performance at the Sioux Falls Arena. After some time, the stories of
his reclusiveness and Howard Hughes-like behavior began to fade, and memories of The King took on a glowing beatific quality.
The King lives on in our memories and hearts and, occasionally, in miraculously formed patches of bread mold.
|Elvis Presley performed June 20, 1977, at the Sioux Falls Arena.