High Desert Astronomy Larry Pearson / YouTube
Elvis Presley is the undeniable King of Rock and Roll. He is and was loved by most, and is missed by many. His iconic sound changed music forever, and the industry will never be the same since his passing on August 16, 1977 at the young age of 42.
Presley was on tour before he passed, and the song “How Great Thou Art” was a staple at every show. He released a recording of this song on his gospel album of the same name in early 1967, and won a Grammy for Best Sacred Performance that year.
The Christian hymn “How Great Thou Art” was written in 1885 by Swedish poet Carl Gustav Boberg. The song has gained a lot of popularity over the years, and in 2001, Today’s Christian voted “How Great Thou Art” as the #2 Favorite Hymn of All Time.
This video, filmed just a few months before his untimely death, shows clips of fans speaking about their love for Presley and his gospel music, in particular. One fan really enjoyed all the “stuff” Presley bought, like his cars, rings, and clothes.
Another fan said, “I just love the guy. I know that sounds kind of weird, but I just love the guy. I wish him many years of success.” When talking about his favorite Elvis Presley gospel song, it was “How Great Thou Art” with no question. “It makes you feel good when he sings it. It brings tears to your eyes,” he says.
If you don’t have chills when he begins singing the hymn, you definitely will when he hits his highest, most passionate note. The performance has gone down in history, because it was the last time The King took the stage.
After the performance, Presley’s father, Vernon, is shown in an office filled with letters from fans. He thanks his son’s fans for everything, and gets emotional during his speech:
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for all the cards and letters that you have sent since the passing away of my son, Elvis. We have all the flowers and the letters, and the cards, which we will eventually get around to answering. The majority of them. I just wanted you to know that we appreciate them very much. We appreciate your concern. And you have been a great help to me and the family during this time of grief. And ladies and gentlemen, this picture that you have just seen, is the last live performance that Elvis ever done on stage. Thank you. God bless you.”
Watch his’ incredible performance of “How Great Thou Art” below. You’ll be blown away!