By Ron Matz

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Wednesday marks the 40 year anniversary of Elvis Presley’s death, and many of his fans went to his final resting place to remember one of the most influential musical stars of the 20th century.

Presley’s daughter, Lisa Marie, was there, helping thousands of Elvis fans on their candlelit pilgrimage through the Graceland estate and to his grave site.

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“You grow up listening to all his albums as a teenager,” said one fan. “And it’s just a great loss.”

But this year, visitors got an unpleasant surprise. Participating in the procession is no longer free, and many longtime attendees protested outside the gates.

“The vigil should be free,” said visitor. “Because we’re all here because we love Elvis.”

Elvis remains the best selling solo artist of all time. Even The Beatles idolized him.

At a memorabilia showcase in Memphis, fans picked through hard to find CD’s.

One of Elvis’ bodyguards remembers how “The King” made every show unique.

“Because there were only two songs set,” he said. “The first one to get him on stage, and the last one when he was telling me he was ready to go home. He would do anything in between. All for his fans.”

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“Jailhouse Rock” was a crowd favorite, and a number one hit.

Mike Stoller, who wrote the music, remember Elvis.

“He was gonna be a big star,” Stoller said. “We all knew it. Everybody knew it”

His fans certainly did, and four decades after his death, they still come.

Stoller’s songwriting partner was Jerry Lieber, who was from Baltimore.

Besides “Jailhouse Rock,” they wrote “Hound Dog”, “Stand By Me,” and many other big hits.

Both are in the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame, as is Elvis.

Elvis died on August 16, 1977, at the age of 42. He suffered a heart attack at his Graceland estate.

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