Father and Daughter Together Again
Elvis Presley died 30 years ago today when his only child, Lisa Marie Presley, was 9 years old, leaving her with memories of a loving, but troubled father.
This week, as tens of thousands of people make a pilgrimage to Graceland, Lisa Marie is making new musical memories with the help of her father in a virtual video duet of his 1969 song In the Ghetto.
Lisa Marie remembers a dad who used to sing her lullabies, even in the wee hours of the morning.
'Oh yeah, he'd always wake me up to sing in the middle of the night, get on the table and sing', she told Diane Sawyer, in an exclusive interview on 'Good Morning America'. 'I remember him as my dad, but he was a very exciting dad'.
Were Elvis alive today, he would be 72 years old - something that might be difficult for his fans to contemplate, but not his daughter.
'I can imagine it, yeah', she said.
Memories Suspended in Time
But returning to Graceland, the family's famous Memphis, Tenn., home, is filled with mixed emotions for Lisa Marie.
While millions of tourists have tramped through parts of Graceland over the years, the upstairs part of the house has always remained private - and almost exactly as it was when Elvis died.
'It's hard. It's also really comforting', she said. 'I don't know if anyone has, you know, the place that they were raised, you know, held in a capsule like this. It's not often that you have that'.
In a building off the main house is an archive of Elvis and his family's life - his wallet with pictures of Lisa Marie, a child's snowy-white fake fur coat (he gave her a real one, which her mother made him take back) and a blue scarf with a handwritten message to Lisa Marie that she had never even seen before.
'My God, I've never seen that', she said when she saw the scarf. 'I want it. Can I take it? I'm going to get it framed'.
Even as a toddler, Lisa Marie knew something was wrong with her father.
'And I think that he was in trouble. He was not happy. He was, you know, obviously crying out for help', she told Sawyer.
Everyone now knows about Elvis' painful decline - the prescription pills, the sleepless nights, the feeling of being haunted. But as a little girl, Lisa Marie said her father's behavior could be confusing and frightening.
'If I was watching TV in my room, he'd come to my room and sort of stumble to my doorway and start to fall, and I had to go catch him. You know, things like that. And he'd try to pull himself out of it if he saw me, things like that', Lisa Marie recalled.
And she would say to him, 'Don't die. Are you going to die?'
Then he did die. Elvis collapsed of a heart attack at Graceland on Aug. 16, 1977, and Lisa Marie saw the paramedics rush his body away.
She said she 'couldn't really process what was happening'.
She remembered the day of the public viewing of Elvis' body.
'I did a lot of strange things that day, because it didn't really settle in', she said. 'I rode my golf cart. I ran around and smoked cigarettes at 9, in the guard shack somewhere. I was crazy. I don't know, I did, like, wacky things'.
New Take on a Radical Old Song
Now Lisa Marie wants her own tribute to her dad.
To memorialize his songs and his passion, a new video of Lisa Marie singing In the Ghetto, accompanied by her father, has been posted Friday on the Elvis Australia website, and on iTunes. The video also include's images of Elvis.
'My father lived in a family housing project, transitional housing project, when he was young', Lisa Marie said.
Never forgetting his roots, Elvis would eventually build Presley Place, a shelter for Memphis-area families in crisis, where they can get job and life skills training.
In the Ghetto was a pioneering song at that time - the very word 'ghetto' was a new one for America.
Lisa Marie said she thought about using many other songs for the duet, but this is the one that spoke to her the most.
'It's got a pretty strong message', she said. 'There may be a little bit of a reaction to the content'.
Lisa Marie had a strong reaction while recording the song, at one point breaking out in tears.
'I got more emotional during that recording than I've ever gotten', she said.
When her mother, Priscilla Presley, heard the song, 'she lost it', Lisa Marie said.
'She was shocked', Lisa Marie said. 'I guess she saw there was something special about it'.
Lights On at Graceland
Elvis' daughter would grow up into a walking reminder of her father's smile, his eyes and his daring.
Lisa Marie has worked hard to build her own music career. She released her debut album, To Whom It May Concern, in 2003, which included a song called Lights Out about death and loss at Graceland.
Today she sees her father emerging in her own two children, Ben 14, and Riley, 18.
'They both have traits. My son has got this very regal thing about him. He's just got this dynamic energy that is familiar. - And then my daughter just, the humor, you know. She's got the intelligence, and she's smart, although I find her more like my mother than I do him'.
Wednesday night, the eve of Elvis' death, Lisa Marie paid another tribute to her late father. She went upstairs to his room at Graceland and turned on the light in his window.
'That was something that hasn't been done before but I thought it would be cool to do this anniversary', she said.
It was a salute across 30 years from a woman who lived through the darkness of her father's death. A woman who, as a little girl, wrote down three wishes she had:
'If I had three wishes, I would wish I could drive a Volkswagen. I wish I had 100 astropops. I wish my mother and father don't die'.
Lisa Marie Presley
You Are Not Alone : Michael Jackson with Lisa Marie Presley : 1995
Lisa Marie's singing, writing pretty good : February 8, 2003
Nicolas Cage talks about Lisa Marie Presley : 2003
Lisa Presley : The Rolling Stone Interview : April 20, 2003
Complete Lisa Marie Presley Playboy Interview : July 30, 2003
Interview with Lisa Presley : Enough Rope : March 15, 2004
Lisa Marie Presley Photos (2004)
Lisa Marie and Elvis Presley duet of In The Ghetto : 2007
Interview with Lisa Marie Presley : August 17, 2007
Lisa Marie Presley and Riley Keough on Oprah : September 12, 2007
Interview with Lisa Marie Presley (And Michael Lockwood) : January 27, 2009
The Presley Women : Priscilla & Lisa Marie Presley's First Mother/Daughter Interview : May 17, 2009
Interview with Lisa Marie Presley (And Michael Lockwood) : 2009
Aerial photo, Lisa Marie's Country Mansion in England : January 2011
Elvis Through His Daughter's Eyes : By Lisa Marie Presley : 2012
ABC TV Interview with Lisa Marie Presley : Feb 2012
Rolling Stone Interview with Lisa Marie Presley : March 2012
Interview with Lisa Marie Presley : Storm & Grace : Her Twins, Rily Keough, England : May 2012
Listen to New Track Released from Lisa Marie's Album : Over Me
Lisa Marie Presley : Performs 'You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet' on American Idol : May 17, 2012
Lisa Marie Presley Performs 'Over Me' on Jimmy Kimmel Live : May 22, 2012
Lisa Marie Presley Interview : The Morning Show Australia : August 15, 2012
Lisa Marie and Priscilla Share Memories of Elvis on TODAY Show : August 16, 2012
I Love You Because : Lisa Marie and Elvis Presley Duet at the 35th Anniversary Concert
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Elvis Presleys Grandchildren
Danielle Riley Keough : (born May 29, 1989) and is known as Riley Keough for her modeling work.
Riley is the daughter of Lisa Marie Presley and musician Danny Keough.
Celebs : The Next Generation : November 10, 2004
Elvis lives on ... in the form of his grandaughter : Riley Keough : June 23, 2008
Beautiful Photos of Riley Keough, Elvis' Granddaughter in Elle Italia : May 17, 2011
Lisa Marie Presley gave birth to twin girls on Tuesday, Oct. 7, 2009. The baby girls were named Harper Vivienne Ann Lockwood & Finley Aaron Love Lockwood and were delivered by Caesarean section 2:46 p.m. They weighed in at 5 lbs., 15 oz. and 5 lbs., 2 oz. The girls are the first children together for Lisa Marie and husband Michael Lockwood, a musician (Married in Japan January 2006). Lisa Marie, who proudly displayed her baby bump in the September issue of Marie Claire, has a daughter Riley Keough, 19, a model, and Benjamin, 15, with ex-husband Danny Keough. The names acknowledge Elvis (Aaron), Gladys (Love) and Priscilla (Ann).
Photos of Lisa Marie's Twin Girls : Finley & Harper : January 23, 2009
Lisa Marie Presley takes her little princess for a spin around Hawaii : February 22, 2011
Benjamin Keough : Lisa's Son : Elvis Presleys Grandson
Navarone Garibaldi : Priscilla Presley's Son
More about Priscilla Presley
My Life With and Without Elvis Presley : For the First Time ... Priscilla Tells All : August 1973
Elvis looked even better in person, Priscilla says : January 20, 2004
President Bush and Japanese Prime Minister Koizumi Visit Graceland : July 1, 2006
Video Interviews with Priscilla Presley
Interview with Priscilla Presley : 1978 (05:54)
Priscilla Presley on Good Morning America : 1979 (07:57)
Interview with Priscilla Presley : 1980
Priscilla Presley on 'First Person' : 1991 (09:25)
Priscilla Presley talks to Larry King on CNN : Priscilla looks back : August 16, 2007 (10:25)
Priscilla Presley gives Larry King a tour of Graceland : August 16, 200 (04:32)
Interview with Priscilla Presley : December 15, 2009 (04:31)
Vernon & Gladys Presley
Presley Family History
Elvis Presleys Grandfather
Elvis Presley : Interviews and Press Conferences with Elvis Presley
Interview With Elvis Presley : August 28, 1956
Interview with Elvis Presley : October 28, 1957, Los Angeles
Interview with Elvis Presley : Press Conference Canada 1957
Interview with Elvis Presley : July 31, 1969 By Ray Connelly
Interview with Elvis Presley : The 1969 Press Conference : August 1, 1969
Interview with Elvis Presley : The February 1970 Houston Astrodome Press Conference
Interview with Elvis Presley : The 1972 Madison Square Press Conference : June 9, 1972
Rare Elvis Presley : 1973 Aloha Interview
The Memphis Mafia
Colonel Tom Parker
For more information on Elvis and Priscilla buy the Elvis By The Presleys DVD -- at over 4 hours this double DVD set will tell you everything you want to know and more plus includes lots of home movies of Elvis, Priscilla and Lisa Marie. A must for every fan! -- Also there is Priscilla's book -- Elvis & Me.
Tupelo's Own Elvis Presley DVD + 16 page booklet.
Never before have we seen an Elvis Presley concert from the 1950's with sound. Until Now! The DVD Contains recently discovered unreleased film of Elvis performing 6 songs, including Heartbreak Hotel and Don't Be Cruel, live in Tupelo Mississippi 1956. Included we see a live performance of the elusive Long Tall Sally seen here for the first time ever.
This is an excellent release no fan should be without it.
The 'parade' footage is good to see as it puts you in the right context with color and b&w footage. The interviews of Elvis' Parents are well worth hearing too. The afternoon show footage is wonderful and electrifying : Here is Elvis in his prime rocking and rolling in front of 11.000 people. Highly recommended.