It was in the summer of 1977, and this old pal of Elvis’ got together with a group of friends for an outing that all of them had been looking forward to – but one that none of them knew would be the last time they saw Elvis alive.
A billion record sold.
Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award at 36.
On this day in 1977, Elvis Presley died of heart failure.
Long live The King. pic.twitter.com/C9cYLgHyJi
— Eric Alper 🎧 (@ThatEricAlper) August 16, 2018
Former Shelby County Sheriff Bill Morris recently opened up about his final meeting with Elvis in his memoir titled Bill Morris: A Legendary Life.
Morris, who also held the Mayoral position for the county, explains how far back his connection to Elvis really went – and told of how their paths crossed many times over the years.
Just two months before Elvis Presley would pass away at his Memphis estate, Graceland, Morris and his wife Ann – along with a group of mutual friends, all decided to take in a movie at the theater together. Elvis was supposed to come along that evening as well.
“I get a call from the house,” Morris told Fox News, revisiting that unshakable memory. “The guys that were close to [Elvis] said, ‘Let’s go to the movies tonight.’ I said ‘OK.’ I caught up with him about 11 p.m., my wife and I, and the movie had already started. And I couldn’t believe it when I saw him walk back to see us.”
red, hamburger, Elvis, Bill Morris, Sonny, Joe, Jerry pic.twitter.com/dqCj21GVDy
— Kevin Woolnough (@Kevintcb) September 14, 2017
Morris and Elvis went back a long time. Their parents were friends when each of them was just a child and Morris’ wife was in the same high school class as Elvis – in fact, that’s when Morris and Elvis first actually met. Morris entered the Army shortly after that, and when he returned he became the Shelby County Sheriff – and watched over Memphis which is the county seat.
“And then I got to know him from then on. By then I became sheriff. He stayed here in Memphis as often as he could. We gave him the Sheriff’s Department protection, our service, and we got to become close friends. We then found out we both came from the same place. And so it was a natural thing for us to become good friends.”
While their relationship lasted for years and they became very close friends during that time, nothing could have prepared Morris for what he witnessed when Elvis arrived at that movie theater in what would be their last-ever meeting.
“And my wife [Ann] always bugged him, sort of like mothering him all the time, because they’ve known each other for so many years. And she hugged him. We all hugged each other,” he recalled.
“…And I couldn’t believe it when I saw him walk back to see us. He had gotten so huge. Put on so much weight.”
“And everybody had tears in their eyes because he looked so bad and felt so bad. Any my wife scolded him at that time. He said, ‘I’m gonna be better.’ And with that, we sat down. The next time I saw him he [had] passed away.”
After he passed away just 60 days after they took in a movie together, Morris said that he still couldn’t believe that Elvis was gone – even when looking at him laying in the casket.
“I just couldn’t accept the totality of it all,” said Morris. “He was in this casket, but I couldn’t believe he was dead. He was just 42 years old. I didn’t really want to accept it even then.”
Watch Morris’ full interview with Fox News below.