Elvis Day

Rockers in the US are looking forward to a day of celebrations with the annual Rock and Roll Day falling on what would have been Elvis Presley's 75th birthday.

The king of rock'n'roll was born in Tupelo, Mississippi, to Vernon and Gladys Presley in 1935; he had a twin brother, Jessie Gaaron, who was stillborn.

Elvis went on to become the best-selling solo artist of all time, with worldwide sales of around one billion records.

His premature death in 1977 at the age of just 42 left fans distraught, with so many thousands flocking to pay their respects outside his Gracelands home in Memphis that President Carter took the decision to call in the National Guard.

Graceland is to play host to today's anniversary party, with Elvis' daughter Lisa Marie and her mother, Priscilla - Elvis' former wife - attending a birthday cake-cutting ceremony at which Memphis officials are due to announce Elvis Presley Day.

More than 300 fans from the UK are in Memphis for the celebrations but, says Todd Slaughter of the Elvis Presley Fan Club of Great Britain, they are facing one or two problems.

"They've got the same weather out there as we have here," he told Sky News Online.

"So we're not sure what's going on.

"The plan was to go to Gracelands and from there to Tupelo but that's been cancelled because of the bad weather.

"What'll they do if all else fails? Have a drink I expect - they're British after all!"

Todd, who runs the fan club, has been taking fans to see Elvis since 1972.

"I thought all that would finish when he died but it's still going strong. We take anything up to 1,000 people out. They're ordinary fans - mums, dads, children and they're just straightforward people who love Elvis."

Todd himself met Elvis on three times, the first when he was with fellow Elvis fan, Radio Luxembourg DJ Tony Prince.

"Nothing prepared me for meeting him.

"The amazing thing was you didn't realise he was there. You'd be in the room and he wasn't there and then suddenly he was, but there was no fanfare, no build up...he was just there, he just appeared.

"He wasn't a public speaker - some stars get their kicks from all the attention wherever they are, but he wasn't like that. He was very shy.

"I would think the stage was where he got his release, when he was performing."