Orion: The Reason Beyond the “Elvis Is Alive” Myth?

Sorry, folks, but Elvis Presley is definitely dead. He died on the john at Graceland in Memphis on August 16, 1977. Full stop. End of story. Yet people refused to believe this–and it’s very possible that this was because of Orion.

Who? The Daily Beast disinfects the situation with a little light.

In 1978, as the world mourned the loss of Elvis Aaron Presley, a velvet-voiced doppelganger arrived on the scene to claim his place in the hearts and minds of America. Shortly after charting a meteoric rise to fame in the ghostly shadows of Elvis’s legacy, however, one of rock history’s most curious oddities disappeared into obscurity—the victim of a ruthless recording industry, his own ambitions, and the very voice that briefly brought his life uncannily close to the King of Rock and Roll.

Orion Eckley Darnell was a tall drink of water who hailed from Ribbonsville, Tennessee, and sounded, eerily, exactly like the recently departed Presley. He burst out of nowhere into the music world the year after the icon’s death first by lending his gentle Southern drawl to a Jerry Lee Lewis album of duets, crooning “Save The Last Dance For Me” with an unmistakably Elvis-like timbre.

To Elvis fans the music had an ethereal quality, as if they were hearing an Elvis song they never knew existed. So soon after losing Presley to a drug-fueled heart attack at the age of 42, it seemed the impossible had happened: Elvis was alive and well, singing to his adoring public from beyond the grave.

Read the entire story here.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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