More than a thousand Elvis Presley fans turned out in London on Thursday (18 August) to mourn the death of their hero.
More than a thousand Elvis Presley fans turned out in London on Thursday (18 August) to mourn the death of their hero. A memorial service was held in a small church in north London. Many had to listen to the sermon outside and eventually the church authorities agreed to hold a second service.
SYNOPSIS: An Elvis Presley revival has been underway in Britain for the past two years and its success was evident in the number of people who arrived for the hastily arranged service.
Presley's influence was also clearly illustrated in the revival of the "Teddy Boy" cult which has sprung up in London recently. Rock and Roll music and Presley played an integral part in that. With his death comes the inevitable commercialism. Mourners at the service were given several pamphlets advertising Presley souvenirs and London record dealers report a rush on sales of his records.
Presley had never actually performed in Britain -- in fact, the only time he stopped. There was at an airport near London on his way to military service in Germany. But that made little difference to the fans. He still remained the one man who revolutionised the music industry and, to a large extent their lives.
Presley still has a strong fan club operating in Britain. Currently it has about 12,000 members with an estimated 100 people joining up each week. It's acknowledged that, Presley led the way for such famous British groups as the Beatles and the Rolling Stones.
The services was simple. Several of Presley s songs were played in the church before and after the service with Ministers affirming Presley's faith in Jesus Christ. One of his favourite songs, 'Amazing Grace' was sung at the end.