1. Headline
  1. Headline
updated 8/23/2004 6:11:15 PM ET 2004-08-23T22:11:15

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

  1. More from TODAY.com
    1. Soldier killed in Canada shootings

      Authorities said security forces shot and killed one gunman after a soldier was killed while guarding the National War Mem...

    2. Exclusive: Ebola survivor Ashoka Mukpo speaks to NBC News
    3. Here's a treat: See why these costume-changing skeletons win Halloween
    4. The real Great Pumpkin: Preschoolers' gourd weighs in at 500 pounds
    5. New Tolkien-themed in-flight video is one worth watching

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

The night before, Dvorin performed his signature closing line at an Elvis impersonator concert in California.

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

The phrase that 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.”

Dvorin’s version was captured on many recordings of Elvis’ performances and has become a pop-culture catchphrase and punchline.

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.”

© 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Discuss:

Discussion comments

,

More on TODAY.com

  1. Chris Wattie / Reuters

    Chaos in Canada’s capital: Soldier killed in shooting

    10/22/2014 9:26:49 PM +00:00 2014-10-22T21:26:49
  1. Courtesy of Linda Dahlstrom Ande

    After 8 years, she took her husband's name: The beautiful reason why

    10/22/2014 3:19:56 PM +00:00 2014-10-22T15:19:56
  1. Getty Images

    It took an ultimatum to get Matthew McConaughey to say 'I do'

    10/22/2014 3:51:19 PM +00:00 2014-10-22T15:51:19
  1. Air New Zealand via YouTube

    New Tolkien-themed in-flight video is one worth watching

    10/22/2014 11:14:10 PM +00:00 2014-10-22T23:14:10