On this date 37 years ago, August 16, 1977, I was the mid day disc
jockey and music director at WROV-AM in Roanoke, Virginia.
Around 12:30 a listener called in and asked me if Elvis was dead.
"Are you kiddin'??? No. Elvis is definitely NOT dead."
Late that afternoon I was in my apartment when I noticed that our
afternoon guy was playing Elvis' "Suspicious Minds". I found this odd
because in those days the guys on the air could choose their own
oldies to play. The current hits had to be played in a particular
order and rotation, but freedom of choice was the rule for the older songs.
I could easily figure out who was on the air simply by hearing the chosen
tunes. Our afternoon guy never played Elvis stuff. Never.
As the song ended, he announced that Elvis had been found dead
at Graceland at approximately 2:30 that afternoon.
Hmmmmmm.......How did that caller know that he was dead
two hours before he was found? I went on the air the next day
and asked her to call in again. I never heard from her, and it
still remains a mystery to me.
Years later in the late 80's, rumors started that Elvis had faked
his own death, and there were "sightings" of him at random
fast food joints around the country. By then I was doing mornings
in Durham, North Carolina, and we hatched an idea to broadcast
live from Graceland on the morning of his anticipated return.
I don't recall the date of our broadcast, but I remember the
mathmatical formula for it. The date....month, day and year....would
add up to the total of 2001. Reports were that Elvis believed most
strongly in numerology, and would return on the date that would
match the title of the music that became his "theme song" that played
just before he appeared onstage at his concerts....The theme from
"2001: A Space Odyssey".
As you know, Elvis did not return on that date, or any other for that matter.
That we know of.
And if you think we were totally nuts for imagining that he would
on such a specific date, consider this.
The date of his death was August 16, 1977.
Add up the numbers. 8+16+1977...
Long live the King.