August 25, 2004

Al Dvorin, 81, Announcer for Presley

New York Times

Al Dvorin, the concert announcer who made the phrase "Elvis has left the building" famous, was killed in an auto accident in California on Sunday. He was 81.

Mr. Dvorin was thrown from the car he was riding in after it swerved off a desert road near Ivanpah, the California Highway Patrol said.

The night before, Mr. Dvorin performed his signature closing line at a Presley impersonator concert in California.

A former bandleader and talent agent in Chicago, Mr. Dvorin was with Presley from his early days as a performer and was on his last tour in 1977, the year he died.

The phrase that Mr. Dvorin made his signature was first uttered by other announcers early in Presley's career. It was intended to disperse audiences who lingered in hopes of an Elvis encore.

"Al made it his own with his particular style," said Todd Morgan, a spokesman with the Presley estate in Memphis. "He's the man when it comes to that saying."

His version was captured on many recordings of Presley's performances and has become a pop-culture catchphrase and punch line.