Elvis Graceland upstairs: The last record King played and book he was reading when he died

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It was 40 years ago today when Graceland opened to the public, five years on from Elvis Presley’s sudden death. At the time the estate cost $500,000 a year, so his ex-wife Priscilla, the executor for their daughter Lisa Marie Presley, decided to open the mansion as a museum to the public to avoid having to sell it. This turned out to be incredibly profitable and a way of preserving the legacy of The King’s home life. However, to this day, the upstairs remains off-limits and not part of the tour.

There are a number of rooms on the first floor, but the most notable are Elvis’ bedroom and the bathroom where he died on August 16, 1977.

To this day, his daughter Lisa Marie requests that Graceland archivist Angie Marchese preserve the space as though her father “just got up and left”.

The King’s oversized bed is made, there are piles of spiritual books and bibles and even a styrofoam cup left on a shelf.

Meanwhile, the last record that the music icon played is still on the record player but it’s not been played.

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It’s a sample copy of JD Sumner and the Stamps. The gospel singer even ended up singing with his group at Elvis’ funeral just two days after he died.

As for the last book The King read, he’d taken it to the bathroom for reading on the toilet since he suffered from constipation.

Around lunchtime on August 16, Elvis tragically suffered a fatal heart attack and was found collapsed dead on the floor.

According to his last girlfriend Ginger who found his corpse: “Elvis looked as if his entire body had completely frozen in a seated position while using the toilet and then had fallen forward, in that fixed position, directly in front of it… It was clear that, from the time whatever hit him to the moment he had landed on the floor, Elvis hadn’t moved.”

The book he had been reading when he died was one of his spiritual ones, A Scientific Search for the Face of Jesus by Frank O Adams.

The King had become fascinated with religion and spirituality and would spend hours discussing writings on such topics with the likes of his cousin Billy and wife Jo on his bed.

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This one had been published in 1972 and was about the Shroud of Turin, which some people believe to be the burial fabric that Jesus Christ was wrapped in after his crucifixion, before he was buried in Joseph of Arimathea’s tomb

The alleged relic was first mentioned in 1354 and features the negative image of a man with stigmata on his wrists.

A Scientific Search for the Face of Jesus is by a retired US Army Colonel, who claimed to use science to prove that the Shroud of Turin was a genuine Christian relic.

However, the fabric was radiocarbon dated in 1988 and discovered to have actually originated in the Middle Ages between 1260 and 1390.

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