Montgomery remembers the king of rock n roll

Today marks 40th anniversary of Presley’s passing

Youtube Channel: Danilo Martins


Megan Brown, Staff writer

There’s a little-known marker that is absent from downtown Indianapolis right now that has special meaning.

That marker commemorates the last live performance of rock-n-roll legend Elvis Presley, who played his last concert at what was known as Market Square Arena in June of 1977.

Less than seven weeks later Presley died of heart problems. Today is the 40th anniversary of his death. Theatre director Mark Montgomery remembers that time well.

You planned your Sunday nights around watching the Ed Sullivan show and when a big star like Elvis was going to be on you planned for the entire week,” Montgomery said. “That is how big of a deal Presley was to children, teens, and adults. All ages know Elvis and his music.”

Presley was born January 8, 1935, in Tupelo, Mississippi, and passed away August 16, 1977, in Memphis, Tennessee.  Presley was known worldwide as the king of rock and roll and his music and stage presence definitely showed why.

Sam Phillips, who founded a small Memphis record label was the first to discover the presley and was the one who put Presley on the maps. Presley changed people’s lives all over the world with his music, appearance, and dance. From songs like “Can’t Help Falling In Love,” to “Hound Dog” these are just some great hits Presley has written.

Presley’s first single ‘That’s All Right’/’Blue Moon Of Kentucky’ was beginning to take off and by the middle of August 1954, both sides would be on the Billboard Chart for the Memphis area.

The 40 anniversary marks a time in history when music changed the world. It also marks a time in history of great music, amazing dancing, and a name that will go down in history for the rest of our lives, our children’s lives and many more generations to come. 

That downtown marker was placed at the original site of Market Square Arena, about four blocks east of the circle. The marker is in storage now as construction on a new residential unit is taking place. Plans are to restore the marker once construction is complete.

Watch a Youtube video of Presley’s live performance at