Al Dvorin Has Left The Building

Al Dvorin has left the building. He died in a car accident while he was on his way home in Las Vegas from an Elvis gig in Palm Springs with Ed Bonja. The accident happened near the Nevada / California border according to several reports. He and celebrated Elvis photographer Ed Bonja were traveling from Palm Springs to Las Vegas. Dvorin was thrown from the car and died at the scene. Bonja, who was driving, was treated at a hospital and released. Details of the accident are not completely clear, with conflicting information coming in from various sources. Generally, the reports say that Dvorin was adjusting his seat belt, or perhaps had dropped something, and that Bonja reached over to assist and lost control of the car. A freak accident. Al Dvorin, 81, was one of the kindest men from the Elvis circle. He always made time to talk to and with fans from around the world and spoke of Elvis and the years he spent with Elvis in a positive way. Al's wife Bernice passed away earlier this year after battling cancer for sometime. Our thoughts and prayers are with Al's family and friends. The recent picture of Al was taken August 14th 2004 by Paul Gansky. He first met Elvis Presley in 1955 and worked with him for 22 years, helping to organise his tours and personal appearances. It was in the early 1970s that the star’s manager Colonel Parker asked Dvorin to inform fans after a gig that Elvis would not be appearing for an encore. Dvorin took the stage and made his now legendary announcement: “Ladies and gentlemen, Elvis has left the building. Thank you and goodnight.” Dvorin told The Desert Sun of Palm Springs, Calif., in an interview published Saturday that he had not heard others use the phrase before he began saying it. "Everybody and his brother has claimed the line, and I'm sure Elvis' mother, when somebody called him, said, 'Elvis is not home. Elvis has left the building,'" Dvorin said. "As far as I know, I created it." The phrase became a staple at Elvis concerts and has lived on long past the star’s death. But Dvorin was never paid a penny for the words, which have been reproduced countless times over the years, and remained bitter towards Elvis Presley Enterprises, the multi-million pound empire now run by the star’s daughter Lisa Marie. At the time of the accident Dvorin was in a car driven by Ed Bonja, a long-time Elvis photographer. A former band leader and talent agent in Chicago, Dvorin first met Elvis through his work with Colonel Parker. He was among those on Elvis’s last tour in 1977. The singer died of heart problems and drug abuse that August. A spokesman for the Elvis Presley estate in Graceland said: “He was a fixture in Elvis world. He’ll be greatly missed. Close friend Sid Shaw, the owner of London memorabilia store Elvisly Yours, said: "Of all the people I have met associated with Elvis he was the nicest, funniest, smartest and most honest. "He had so many great memories of Elvis that I always told him he should write a book. "But after Elvis died he kept a low profile because of his friendship with Colonel Parker and because he did not want to be seen cashing in on Elvis's death like so many others had done. "It was only a few years ago, after the colonel died, that he decided to start attending Elvis events and conventions around the world to share some of his memories." Al Dvorin will be buried Tuesday at Shalom Memorial Park in Palastine, IL. on Rand Rd. The service will be at Congregation Ezras Israel at 7001 N. California Ave. in Chicago, IL 60645. Donations can be sent to that address in Al Dvorin's Name.
Source: Various / Updated: Aug 23, 2004 
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Reactions

Ricardo (profilecontact) wrote on Aug 25, 2004
Invisible because there was used a language other than English
Alvie s. (profilecontact) wrote on Aug 25, 2004report abuse
I would like to make one correction, the cemetery is Shalom Memorial Park, 1700 W. Rand Road, Arlington Heights, IL. The cemetery is in Arlington Heights, a northwest Chicago suburb. I met Al at a funeral service in late July of this year. I am a funeral director in the area and Elvis fan, so when he walked through the door I knew exactly who he was. We talked before and after the service and even out at Shalom Cemetery. Al was very kind and humorous. He signed his famous phrase for me on an Elvis CD I had in the car. He was very warm and his smile was big, so were his hands. He told me about his schedule for the next month and was looking forward to being busy, he said his wife told him before she died to keep busy. He was a Jewish man who kept kosher. He said when he first started working for Col. Parker he sent a Pork Sausage to the house, when Parker called to see if he enjoyed the sausage, Al told him to ask his neighbor. AL told me Col. always made sure he was able to get food on the road after that. May his memory be a blessing. I am so glad that I was able to meet him, he will be missed.
73alohagirl (profilecontact) wrote on Aug 24, 2004report abuse
Very sad for Al's family. He seemed to be a very kind hearted man, and had nothing, but good things to say about Elvis over the years. He was one of very few that knew Elvis who didn't use that fact to make their own fortune and exploit him. He will always be remembered by the fans for the saddest sentence spoken at an Elvis concert- "Ladies and Gentlemen, Elvis has left the building. Thank you and Goodnight." I am glad to hear Ed Bonja is doing OK, I own several of his prints, and have enjoyed his work for many years. I also know he has young children, so thank God he was spared. I'm sure he's dealing with a lot of emotions right now, being the driver of the car, and with the fact Al was killed. My thoughts and prayers are with him and his family also, and I wish him the best. Love, Paula Brunellie
Renan (profilecontact) wrote on Aug 24, 2004report abuse
Rest in peace Al. God Bless you. And let´s pray for our dear friend ED for his recovery. Very sad news.
Anthony Siokos (profilecontact) wrote on Aug 24, 2004
Invisible because there was a personal attack
Crawfish (profilecontact) wrote on Aug 24, 2004report abuse
What awful news. A terrible way to leave this world and the Elvis world which he loved and which loved him in return. May he rest in peace along with his Wife and our dear friend Elvis. We will never forget him ........ how could we? Everyone worldwide knows his "catchphrase"!

Also my very best and sincere wishes to Ed Bonja for a speedy recovery and my condolences on the tragic loss of a dear friend. A toughie for Ed at the moment. God bless you both.
Presleygirl (profilecontact) wrote on Aug 24, 2004report abuse
Very sad news for the Elvis world! I pray for Mr. Dovrin's family and hope he's been reunited with his wife and Elvis now. I hope the Mr. Bonja recovers well, physically and mentally. Just a tragedy!
Dan (profilecontact) wrote on Aug 24, 2004report abuse
I met Al in the early 80's In Skokie Illinois, where I grew up. He came into our Electronics store to purchase a VCR. Being and Elvis fan, I quickly reccognized his voice. He told me who he was and we talked a while. Later that week, I went to Al's home to connect the VCR and he gave me a chain with an Elvis coin on it. He said it was left over from the last tour. Al was a very nice man with a great voice. He will be missed. I still cherish the pendant to this day... Rest in peace, Dan Siciliano
jaap van der leij (profilecontact) wrote on Aug 23, 2004report abuse
What a sad news.i have met al in '99 when he was a quest at a meeting from the dutch fanclub efe. In the whole weekend he was our guest.he told us so many things. My toughts are with his family.
Eva (profilecontact) wrote on Aug 23, 2004report abuse
He was a good man! Rest in Peace!
Lovely Linda (profilecontact) wrote on Aug 23, 2004report abuse
Such a tradgedy!!!! I was just with him & Ed Bonja at the Cannery in Vegas when that picture was taken. The more I saw Al, the more I liked him..he had such great stories & I truly feel he loved Elvis. He will be missed by many. At least I know he did not suffer & he will re-unite with the Elvis clan that has left us. My heartfelt thoughts & prayers to the Dvorin family.
lighthouse (profilecontact) wrote on Aug 23, 2004report abuse
God! it shouldn't be that way! I am so sorry hearing this..just one thing,hope they are together now,talkin' about the good old days..thank you and good night All!
Kenneth Olsen (profilecontact) wrote on Aug 23, 2004report abuse
Rest in peace. Al. This is terrible news! He was a fantastic man. I had the pleasure to be around him several times, and he had some great stories to tell about all the years he had together with Elvis. This is a real loss for us Elvis Fans.Thank you, Al!
James69 (profilecontact) wrote on Aug 23, 2004report abuse
Rest in peace Al.Not many associates left now... Very sad.
Cathy  (profilecontact) wrote on Aug 23, 2004report abuse
Al was the closest person alive who was like my father, & they were business associates. Al provided me the access to treasured memories of the Elvis concerts and was a most special friend of integrity, as well a business man "who was there" throughout the span of Elvis' career, & always reached out to the fans. He and Bernice are together with Elvis now....and our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends.
gribz (profilecontact) wrote on Aug 23, 2004report abuse
I am very sad and upset to hear this news. I just saw him only a week ago, and he was his usual great self. He loved Elvis. Well, maybe it's just sad for us, because he is now with both his wife and Elvis.
TonyM (profilecontact) wrote on Aug 23, 2004report abuse
We'll always remember that familiar voice at the end of Elvis' concerts....Rest well, Al....
Jim Semple (profilecontact) wrote on Aug 23, 2004report abuse
Dreadful news, all my thoughts to his family etc. One of the very few guys who genuinely cared for Elvis.
jeff (profilecontact) wrote on Aug 23, 2004report abuse
This is very sad news. Fans worldwide send their deepest prayers, and compassion. Rest in peace Al, Elvis will give you a big hug in heaven..
Dan The Man (profilecontact) wrote on Aug 23, 2004report abuse
Shocking news. He was such a nice and funny man. Rest in peace
JC´ (profilecontact) wrote on Aug 23, 2004report abuse
Oh My God!!! Terrible and sad news. may he rest in peace. God bless you Al.
You Dont Know Me (profilecontact) wrote on Aug 23, 2004report abuse
YES Terrible sad news! I always liked the guy and he came across very well. I was very sad when a friend rang up to tell me about it. Rest in peace Al.
DarrenCavanagh (profilecontact) wrote on Aug 23, 2004report abuse
Very sorry to hear of your passing. May you rest in peace. I hope you meet up with Elvis and your wive and have the time of you lives again.
lulu (profilecontact) wrote on Aug 23, 2004report abuse
Very sad news, at least he will be reunited with his wife, and best friend Elvis. My thoughts are with his Family. God Bless. May he rest in peace.

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