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South Dakota in the Spotlight on the Anniversary of Elvis’ Death

When it comes to tragedies in music few are more paralleled that the early death of Elvis Presley. It was one of those moments that you’ll remember exactly where you were with time standing still while trying to process the news that the King of Rock n’ Roll was dead.

On this day, August 16, 1977, Elvis Presley was found dead in his mansion in Memphis, TN. The breaking news shocked the world and shattered a hot summer afternoon in my home state of Iowa. I’ll always remember my mother coming outside to tell my brothers and I that Elvis had died. We were heartbroken. Months earlier, Elvis performed at the Sioux Falls Arena and I had begged my parents to take me. We “couldn’t afford the tickets and it was sold out” were the words of my father.

That concert, on June 22nd, 1977 was one that went down in history as one of his last concert performances.

The night before, on the 21st, Elvis performed in Rapid City, SD.. The two following videos are powerful – one backstage, the other singing “My Way” in the Rushmore Civic Center.

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Only 4 nights later, on June 26th, 1977 Elvis performed what would be his final concert in Indianapolis, IN.

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