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Last Updated: Tuesday, 24 August, 2004, 08:54 GMT 09:54 UK
Elvis announcer dies in car crash
Elvis Presley
Dvorin organised Elvis's tours and personal appearances for 22 years
The announcer who popularised the phrase "Elvis has left the building" has died in a crash, on his way home from an Elvis convention in California.

Al Dvorin, 81, was in a car driven by long-time Elvis photographer Ed Bonja.

The former Chicago band leader and talent agent met Elvis in 1955, after working for his manager Colonel Parker.

But he was never paid for recordings of his words, and was bitter towards the multi-million pound Elvis Presley Enterprises run by daughter Lisa Marie.

In the early 1970s, Colonel Parker asked Dvorin to inform fans at a gig that Presley would not be appearing for an encore.

He took the stage and announced: "Ladies and gentlemen, Elvis has left the building. Thank you and goodnight."

After Elvis died, Dvorin kept a low profile because of his friendship with Colonel Parker and because he did not want to be seen cashing in on Elvis's death like so many others had done
Sid Shaw

The phrase - first used by announcers early in Presley's career - became a staple at Elvis concerts thanks to Dvorin's idiosyncratic delivery.

His voice was captured on many recordings of Elvis' performances and the phrase has been subsumed into popular culture.

"Al made it his own with his particular style," said Todd Morgan, a spokesman with the Presley estate in Memphis.

"He's the man when it comes to that saying."

Memories

Dvorin organised Elvis' tours and personal appearances for 22 years, and was on the final tour before the singer's fatal heart attack on 16 August 1977.

Close friend Sid Shaw, the owner of London memorabilia store Elvisly Yours, said: "Of all the people I have met associated with Elvis he was the nicest, funniest, smartest and most honest.

"He had so many great memories of Elvis that I always told him he should write a book.

"But after Elvis died he kept a low profile because of his friendship with Colonel Parker and because he did not want to be seen cashing in on Elvis's death like so many others had done.

"It was only a few years ago, after the colonel died, that he decided to start attending Elvis events and conventions around the world to share some of his memories."




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