Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Elvis Presley's Fiancée Documents The King's Final Days In New Memoir

Elvis Presley was excited about life when he died, eagerly making plans for new albums, new films and an expanded family with Ginger Alden, his young bride-to-be of seven months. 

Alden shares those memories and more in the revealing new book Elvis & Ginger, which charts her relationship with the King in his final year of life.

In an interview with NBC, Alden shared some surprising recollections from that period, including:

  • Presley wasn't as overweight as some thought he was. "He would oversalt his food, and at times, he would appear more puffy — or bloated, if you want to call it that — on camera. But he was never fat," Alden said. "I thought he was a handsome man; he just wasn't 20 anymore."
  • Elvis proposed to Alden on Jan. 26, 1977, in his favorite room at Graceland: the palatial master bathroom. It "was his sanctuary," Alden recalled. "(He) seated me in a chair and said many beautiful words to me and asked me to marry him."
  • On the night Elvis died in August 1977, he had taken two "sleep packets" — medications his doctors prescribed for his chronic insomnia. Alden is unsure what those packets contained or whether the drugs played a role in the singer's death (officially ruled to have been caused by a heart attack). "Sometimes (the doctors) had given Elvis placebos, because he had a dependency on sleep medication," Alden said.

Presley proposed to Ginger Alden with this ring a few months after the two began dating. Thirty-seven years after that sad day, Presley remains a force in popular culture: An auction of personal effects at Graceland last month drew scores of big-ticket bids. His signature is among the most-forged autographs of all time, and fellow music icons such as Paul McCartney still pay homage at his grave site.