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Last Updated: Wednesday, 15 August 2007, 16:18 GMT 17:18 UK
Keeping the King alive
Elvis Presley
Elvis Presley pictured in 1957

To mark the 30th anniversary of his death, hundreds of thousands of Elvis fans from around the world will make the pilgrimage to Graceland to pay their respects to the King of rock and roll.

Here some fans talk about how important The King has been to them.

Sam Sellers and Jim Lewis followed Elvis up the aisle

Sam Sellers and Jim Lewis
Elvis impersonator Jesse Garon marries Jim and Sam

My father's birthday is on the 8th of January the same day as the King.

My husband Jim was born on August the 16th, the day that Elvis died.

So it seemed fitting that we got married on the same day that Elvis married Priscilla.

We thought it would be fun to go to Las Vegas to get married, it's a fun place to be and there was no better person to marry us than an Elvis impersonator.

My husband and I got married in the Aladdin Hotel - where Elvis and Priscilla were married - on 1 May 2005 - the same day Elvis married Priscilla, by an Elvis impersonator who sang 'Viva Las Vegas'.

Julie Yeardye was given access to his wardrobe

Julie and Trevor Yeardye at Graceland
Julie and husband Trevor at Graceland

I grew up watching Elvis movies in the summer holiday before I even knew he was a singer. I thought he was just a really good looking actor.

It wasn't until the 1980's that I began listening to his music. Hearing him sing was like being hit by a meteroite.

I went to Graceland for the first time in 1992 and met lots of Elvis fans. When I got back home I set up a local fan club and an Elvis magazine launched.

I was personally asked to document Elvis Presley's wardrobe for the book 'Elvis Fashion: From Memphis to Las Vegas'. I was given access to all the Elvis archives in Memphis and viewed over 5000 items in his wardrobe. I got to see all sorts of items from his sequined suits to his socks!

The gates to Julie Yeardye's house
Graceland style gates adorn the entrance to Julie and Trevor's home

He had an incredible physique and was very slender even in the 1970s. His clothes were so vibrant that really only the King of rock and roll could have worn them.

I met my husband Trevor at an Elvis convention and we both travel to Elvis events around the world.

We've also tried to make our home a little bit like Graceland.

Russell Conneely flew to Memphis to mark Elvis' death

Russell and Cate Conneely
Russell and Cate following Elvis's footsteps in Las Vegas

I borrowed 'In the Ghetto' from my brother when I was a kid and since then I've been a huge fan. It still remains one of my favourite Elvis tracks.

My wife and I are both huge fans and have a large collection of Elvis memorabilia.

We went to Graceland last September, and then went on to Las Vegas to stay in the Hilton Hotel where Elvis performed.

We're going to spend a week in Memphis to take part in the candlelight vigil to mark 30 years since Elvis died.

We are also helping to organise an Elvis cruise next year. Elvis tribute acts from all over Europe will be on board competing for the title King of the Waves.

We hope it won't be the last Elvis cruise. We're planning a bigger and better one for 2009.

Maurice Colgan helped Elvis birthplace remember the King

Maurice and Maureen outside Graceland
Maurice and wife Maureen pose in front of the gates of Graceland

I first heard an Elvis song when I was on my way to school. I popped into a cafe and went to the juke box, I saw 'Playing for Keeps' listed and decided to give it a go.

His voice was just astonishing and from that moment I was hooked.

I bought 'Hound Dog' on vinyl when it first came out and have bought all his singles and albums ever since. I played some of them so often they wore out!

Elvis was also responsible for me meeting my wife Maureen. I was on the way to the pub to see some friends and heard 'Don't be Cruel' playing from a dance hall. I went into the dance hall and it was there that I met Maureen.

Maurice and Maureen Colgan
Maurice and Maureen outside Elvis's Graceland home

I was never lucky enough to meet Elvis, but I was fortunate to go to Graceland in 1997 for the 20th anniversary of his death.

We won a competition and arrived in Graceland a day before the anniversary.

There were thousands and thousands of people there, many creating their own tributes with photos and paintings of Elvis. Watching the candlelight vigil was truly magical.

In 1999 we went to Tupelo, where Elvis was born. There was a small museum in the town and the house where he was born.

Maurice and Maureen Colgan with the statue of Elvis
Tupelo's statue of Elvis at 13, with Maurice and Maureen Colgan

I decided to write to the Mayor to suggest they create a statue of a young Elvis. There are many statues of him all over the world but none in his birthplace.

Mayor, Larry K Otis received my suggestion on Elvis' birthday the 8th January 2001.

On 8 January 2002, the life-sized bronze statue of 'Elvis at 13' was unveiled close to the little wooden house where Elvis was born.

Sal tours the country performing as a Pakistani Elvis

Sal in his Elvis gear. Copyright Sal.
Sal gets ready for his Elvis act in his leathers

I was only four when I first heard an Elvis track, but it was a big thing for me as we used to listen to Pakistani music in our house. But as soon as I heard 'Your time hasn't come yet baby', I was completely won over by his voice.

I started to collect his posters, videos, magazines, picture - the whole lot!

When I was 14 I decided to see if I could sing an Elvis song, I sounded awful. But I practised and studied the way he sang, how he breathed, everything.

I quit my job in the city and now perform as Elvis all over the country.

In 1997 I was singing Pretty Woman at a local karaoke night, I also sang a few Elvis songs and blew the crowd away.

I was approached by a promoter asking if I wanted to become an Elvis tribute act. I said no, I had no experience, I hadn't even appeared in a school play.

But a few months later I changed my mind and decided to go for it.

Since then I have been living the dream. I quit my job in the city and now perform as Elvis all over the country.

I even went to Graceland and visited Elvis' grave, it was an amazing experience.

His death was the first time I'd ever felt a 'loss'. On the 16th I will be at home, listening to his songs and celebrating his life. Elvis is truly bigger now than ever before.


Do you have any pictures or video footage of you in your Elvis gear, or visiting Graceland? If so, you can send them to yourpics@bbc.co.uk




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