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August 22: Elvis Has Left the Building

August 22, 2014
aldvorin2-242x207Al Dvorin, the trumpeter, music bandleader and promoter who popularized the phrase, “Elvis has left the building” while promoting Elvis Presley’s concert tours for twenty-two years, died in a car accident while headed home from an Elvis impersonator concert on this date in 2004, at age 81. In the 1940s, the Al Dvorin Orchestra and played all over the country. In 1955, Dvorin met Elvis through his manager, “Colonel” Tom Parker, and within two years was playing back-up for Elvis when a trumpet was needed. He was an indispensable member of the entourage, arranging dates, arranging security, running concessions, serving as announcer, and taking the heat: “For some unknown reason,” writes Spencer Leigh at The Independent, “Parker liked to place his rock ‘n’ roll star alongside lacklustre vaudeville acts — comedians, jugglers and acrobats — rather than among his contemporaries. At one concert early in 1956, Presley could be heard saying ‘Fuck you very much’ to Dvorin as he realized how appalling the side acts were.” To see a brief interview with Dvorin, look below. “As you exit, don’t forget those Elvis souvenirs in living, loving color. A wonderful memento of this evening’s concert you’ll long cherish when the sounds of music long cast into the night.” —Al Dvorin