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Long Live the King

Remembering the life of a musical legend



 



It was an overcast August day in Oklahoma City, warm and humid, as occasional light rain fell from the low-hanging clouds. Patricia Goodpasture was waiting on customers at her store when she heard the news.
 

“Someone walked in and said ‘Elvis Presley just died,’” she says. “It was one of those things you will always remember, like where you were when President Kennedy was shot.”

Presley died at his home in Memphis 40 years ago this summer, on August 16, 1977. His death stunned fans around the world, including Oklahoma. Goodpasture was 27 years old at the time and had come of age listening to Presley’s music.

“Of course, his early hits in the ’50s were influential in the development of rock and roll,” Goodpasture says, “and I loved those songs as a kid. But as I entered my teenage years in the ’60s, that’s when I really became a fan. He was still making records, but he was also making movies like Blue Hawaii and Viva Las Vegas, and I saw them all!”

Those were good years, she said, and while Presley may be gone, the memories and his music are very much alive.

“I remember walking home after school with my best friend Judy,” Goodpasture says. “We would get her little portable record player out and dance to the Mamas and the Papas, Nancy Sinatra, the Supremes – all the great groups that were popular then. But our favorite was Elvis. Judy’s mom was an Elvis fan in the ’50s, and sometimes she would even dance with us. She did a great jitterbug, and it was a hoot! Today I still love his music, and I listen to the Elvis channel on Sirius a lot. After all these years, his music never gets old.”

When word got out that Elvis had died, radio stations everywhere began playing Presley’s music non-stop. Longtime Oklahoma City air personality Jack Elliott remembers the day well.

“It was a couple of years before I moved to Oklahoma City,” Elliott recalls, “and I was working the afternoon drive shift at KRIZ radio in Phoenix. The station was a very ‘Top-40’ format.

Needless to say, when he died, we brought out all the Elvis we could find and did a tribute broadcast.”

Presley was instrumental in breaking new ground, Elliott said, bringing to light a style of music previously unknown to many people.

“There were numerous black artists who created similar sounds, but due to white radio programmers keeping things white in the 1950s, those black artists weren’t heard on mainstream radio,” Elliott says. “Elvis had a very soulful sound. He wasn’t a songwriter, as the Beatles were, but he could take most songs and make them his own.”

One of the first times Presley performed in Oklahoma City was in 1955, at the Municipal Auditorium, now the Civic Center. Through the years, he always came back to perform for sell-out crowds, with fans camping out and standing in line for hours, sometimes overnight.

Four decades after his death, Elliott said it will take a continued historical review of Elvis’ life to allow new generations to learn of his rise to fame.

“After 40 years, the music of Elvis Presley is still well received,” Elliott says. “Movies, television ads and other productions feature his music. Radio stations with oldies and classic country formats still fire up the Elvis from time to time. As long as there are fans who were alive during his reign, the legacy will remain strong. No telling how his legacy will carry on a hundred years from now … I have a hunch he will still be known as ‘The King.’”

 

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Calendar

May 2019

"Sandy Magrath: Dogs of the Southwest" art exhibit will be open May 1 - June 30, 2019, at the Chisholm Trail Heritage Center in Duncan, OK. A meet the artist reception will be 3:30 -...

Cost: $6 adults

Where:
Chisholm Trail Heritage Center
1000 Chisholm Trail Parkway
Duncan, OK  73533
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Sponsor: Chisholm Trail Heritage Center
Telephone: 580.252.6692
Contact Name: Stacy Moore
Website »

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Cost: Free

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Wheeler Ferris Wheel
1701 S. Western Ave.
Oklahoma City, OK  73109
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James Bailey from Missoula, Montana, is ARTSPACE at Untitled's visiting Artist in Residence; his exhibition, Map-ify, is on view May 9th through July 6th.  "My work examines...

Cost: Free

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ARTSPACE at Untitled
1 NE 3rd st
Oklahoma City, OK  73104
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Telephone: 405.815.9995
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Cost: $10 - $30

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Miller Neighborhood
NW 10th to NW 16th, N Villa to N May
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Sponsor: Miller Neighborhood Association
Telephone: 405.642.5982
Contact Name: Elizabeth Beard

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Cost: Adult: $20 Seniors and Children: $15

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Regatta Park Landing
701 S. Lincoln Blvd
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Sponsor: Oklahoma River Cruises
Telephone: 405-702-7755
Contact Name: Che Loessberg
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Cost: Free

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21C Hotel
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Cost: $15-$20

Where:
The Blue Door
2805 N. McKinley Ave.
Oklahoma City, OK  73106
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Telephone: (405) 524-0738
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"Sandy Magrath: Dogs of the Southwest" art exhibit will be open May 1 - June 30, 2019, at the Chisholm Trail Heritage Center in Duncan, OK. A meet the artist reception will be 3:30 -...

Cost: $6 adults

Where:
Chisholm Trail Heritage Center
1000 Chisholm Trail Parkway
Duncan, OK  73533
View map »


Sponsor: Chisholm Trail Heritage Center
Telephone: 580.252.6692
Contact Name: Stacy Moore
Website »

More information

James Bailey from Missoula, Montana, is ARTSPACE at Untitled's visiting Artist in Residence; his exhibition, Map-ify, is on view May 9th through July 6th.  "My work examines...

Cost: Free

Where:
ARTSPACE at Untitled
1 NE 3rd st
Oklahoma City, OK  73104
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Telephone: 405.815.9995
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Cost: Free

Where:
Embassy Suites
1815 South Meridian Ave.
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Sponsor: Piedmont Airlines
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James Bailey from Missoula, Montana, is ARTSPACE at Untitled's visiting Artist in Residence; his exhibition, Map-ify, is on view May 9th through July 6th.  "My work examines...

Cost: Free

Where:
ARTSPACE at Untitled
1 NE 3rd st
Oklahoma City, OK  73104
View map »


Telephone: 405.815.9995
Website »

More information

"Sandy Magrath: Dogs of the Southwest" art exhibit will be open May 1 - June 30, 2019, at the Chisholm Trail Heritage Center in Duncan, OK. A meet the artist reception will be 3:30 -...

Cost: $6 adults

Where:
Chisholm Trail Heritage Center
1000 Chisholm Trail Parkway
Duncan, OK  73533
View map »


Sponsor: Chisholm Trail Heritage Center
Telephone: 580.252.6692
Contact Name: Stacy Moore
Website »

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Cost: Free

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Chisholm Creek
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"Sandy Magrath: Dogs of the Southwest" art exhibit will be open May 1 - June 30, 2019, at the Chisholm Trail Heritage Center in Duncan, OK. A meet the artist reception will be 3:30 -...

Cost: $6 adults

Where:
Chisholm Trail Heritage Center
1000 Chisholm Trail Parkway
Duncan, OK  73533
View map »


Sponsor: Chisholm Trail Heritage Center
Telephone: 580.252.6692
Contact Name: Stacy Moore
Website »

More information

James Bailey from Missoula, Montana, is ARTSPACE at Untitled's visiting Artist in Residence; his exhibition, Map-ify, is on view May 9th through July 6th.  "My work examines...

Cost: Free

Where:
ARTSPACE at Untitled
1 NE 3rd st
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Telephone: 405.815.9995
Website »

More information

Show More...
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"Sandy Magrath: Dogs of the Southwest" art exhibit will be open May 1 - June 30, 2019, at the Chisholm Trail Heritage Center in Duncan, OK. A meet the artist reception will be 3:30 -...

Cost: $6 adults

Where:
Chisholm Trail Heritage Center
1000 Chisholm Trail Parkway
Duncan, OK  73533
View map »


Sponsor: Chisholm Trail Heritage Center
Telephone: 580.252.6692
Contact Name: Stacy Moore
Website »

More information

James Bailey from Missoula, Montana, is ARTSPACE at Untitled's visiting Artist in Residence; his exhibition, Map-ify, is on view May 9th through July 6th.  "My work examines...

Cost: Free

Where:
ARTSPACE at Untitled
1 NE 3rd st
Oklahoma City, OK  73104
View map »


Telephone: 405.815.9995
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

James Bailey from Missoula, Montana, is ARTSPACE at Untitled's visiting Artist in Residence; his exhibition, Map-ify, is on view May 9th through July 6th.  "My work examines...

Cost: Free

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ARTSPACE at Untitled
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Telephone: 405.815.9995
Website »

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Cost: $4 - $6

Where:
Chisholm Trail Heritage Center
1000 Chisholm Trail Parkway
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Sponsor: Chisholm Trail Heritage Center
Telephone: 580.252.6692
Contact Name: Toni Hopper
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More information

"Sandy Magrath: Dogs of the Southwest" art exhibit will be open May 1 - June 30, 2019, at the Chisholm Trail Heritage Center in Duncan, OK. A meet the artist reception will be 3:30 -...

Cost: $6 adults

Where:
Chisholm Trail Heritage Center
1000 Chisholm Trail Parkway
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View map »


Sponsor: Chisholm Trail Heritage Center
Telephone: 580.252.6692
Contact Name: Stacy Moore
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Cost: Free

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Sponsor: Paseo Arts Association
Telephone: 405-525-2688
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Telephone: 405.509.9312
Contact Name: Lauren Daughety

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"Sandy Magrath: Dogs of the Southwest" art exhibit will be open May 1 - June 30, 2019, at the Chisholm Trail Heritage Center in Duncan, OK. A meet the artist reception will be 3:30 -...

Cost: $6 adults

Where:
Chisholm Trail Heritage Center
1000 Chisholm Trail Parkway
Duncan, OK  73533
View map »


Sponsor: Chisholm Trail Heritage Center
Telephone: 580.252.6692
Contact Name: Stacy Moore
Website »

More information

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Cost: $4 - $6

Where:
Chisholm Trail Heritage Center
1000 Chisholm Trail Parkway
Duncan, OK  73533
View map »


Sponsor: Chisholm Trail Heritage Center
Telephone: 580.252.6692
Contact Name: Toni Hopper
Website »

More information

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Cost: Free

Where:
ARTSPACE at Untitled
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Telephone: 405.815.9995
Website »

More information

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Telephone: 866.496.0535
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