Thirty-eighth Anniversary of Elvis Presley’s Death

Photo of author

( — September 1, 2015) Carlsbad, CA — This past month (on August 16th) has celebrated the thirty-eighth anniversary of Elvis Presley’s death. However, instead of dwelling on the fateful day in 1977, many fans prefer to remember Presley for the music and words that ultimately made him a legend and gave him the name “the King of Rock and Roll.” This unique legacy has lasted with Elvis ever since he first began as an artist, and is one of the main reasons that fans celebrate his death more so than his birth.

According to, Elvis never failed to express his love for rock and roll, saying “Rock and roll music, if you like it, if you feel it, you can’t help but move to it. That’s what happens to me. I can’t help it.” It was this dedication to his craft that kept Elvis’ connection to his fans. In 1970, Presley included among the Ten Outstanding Young Men and Heroes of the Nation Awards. In his acceptance speech, he talked of dreams and heroes, ending with an inspiring: “I learned very early in life that ‘Without a song, the day would never end; without a song, a man ain’t got a friend; without a song, the road would never bend – without a song’. So I keep singing a song.”

“Elvis was a patriot. I was with Elvis for seventeen years. And it was Elvis who kept me in touch with my father,” says David Stanley, Elvis’ stepbrother and author of the book Restoring My Father’s Honor a book that details how Stanley’s father, Bill, lost his honor after losing his wife to Elvis’ father, Vernon. Elvis went over and served his country, he was a veteran. He should be honored. And we do honor him. And respect him. I have a lot of respect for Elvis.

“In 1958, my dad was stationed in Germany along with my mother and my two older brothers. Elvis Presley had been drafted in 1958 and sent over to Germany, bringing his recently widowed father and his grandmother with him. Elvis had been drafted to the 3rd Armor Division, the same division that Bill, my father was in,” explains Stanley. “When Elvis first entered the army, everyone was talking about this young rock n’ roller coming around. So, my mom and dad were in an NCO club talking about this new recruit, Elvis Presley. My dad had been asking: ‘Who is the guy? Who’s the kid? Who’s this rock n’ roller coming over to play soldier?’ And Vernon, Elvis’ father, just so happened to be in the same NCO club and walked over and said, ‘Hey, you’re talking about my son.’ It wasn’t long before Vernon, my dad, and my mom, Dee, became friends. However, Dee and Vernon became better friends than Vernon and my dad. Vernon saw something that he wanted and Dee was in a situation where she was married to an alcoholic she couldn’t control. And so the love affair took place and my dad was pushed out of the picture.”

Over the course of 1958 to 1960, Bill Stanley went from a proud military warrior and dedicated family man to a broken individual left with a broken heart and the memory of the only battle he ever lost. Bill Stanley’s funeral was only attended by a few people in a small suburb in Jacksonville, Florida, unlike Elvis Presley’s funeral which was attended by thousands. His contributions towards securing America’s freedom seemingly forgotten. Through the book, Restoring My Father’s Honor, Bill Stanley is able to tell the truth about his father’s personal and professional life.

Bill Stanley’s life was completely turned upside down before his very eyes. But does this mean that his contributions to the United States Army were completely forgotten?

“Elvis always used to say to me, ‘Always communicate with your dad, he was a hero.’ My mom always said he was an alcoholic and a combat veteran. She never said anything more, any less. Elvis had nothing to do with what his father did to move in on my family to take my mother away from her boys and my father Bill Stanley.” recalls Stanley.


About David E. Stanley

David is the best selling author of Elvis, We Love You Tender, Raised on Rock and Conversations With the King. A gifted speaker, he travels the globe inspiring others through his journey with music’s most prolific artist; his step-brother, Elvis Presley.

David E. Stanley

1941 Cassia Road Unit 203
Carlsbad, CA 92011
United States