The pilgrims will still weep at Elvis Presley's grave, and the souvenir shops will still swarm with credit-card-waving fans, an occasional black pompadour hardly drawing a glance.

But change is in the air: Strangers are in control of Graceland.

Lisa Marie Presley has sold the business side of her father's estate and turned over his famous white-columned house to CKX Inc., a company run by Robert F.X. Sillerman, a multimillionaire dealmaker who specializes in media and entertainment.

Now, some of the fans who flock to Memphis each year to commemorate Presley's death on Aug. 16, 1977, worry their annual homecoming won't be quite so homey.

"They call themselves a company now," said Jean Donovan, a fan from Derry, N.H.

Of course, Elvis Presley Enterprises was already a company. Forbes listed Presley as the world's top-earning dead entertainer last year.

Graceland managers say the Elvis business, which brings in $40 million a year, is poised to grow even more. CKX says it's looking into "Elvis-related attractions" in places such as Las Vegas, Asia, the Middle East and Europe.

"Elvis sells all over the world, and that's where the real opportunity for growth lies for us, to take more of Elvis and Graceland out to the world," said Jack Soden, chief executive of Elvis Presley Enterprises, now a subsidiary of New York-based CKX.

Soden oversaw Graceland's opening in 1982, and he's staying on the job. But the Elvis faithful are ever-watchful for hints of change at Graceland, where Presley is buried in a small garden.

"I know a lot of the older fans are in an uproar," said Kathie Bryson, a devotee from St. Louis. "But then, anything that changes down there puts them in an uproar."

Elvis won't be the only American idol in the CKX stable.

A month after the Elvis deal, CKX acquired 19 Entertainment, the British company that produces the "American Idol" TV show and its British predecessor, "Pop Idol." The founder of 19 Entertainment, Simon Fuller, once most famous as manager of the Spice Girls, will continue to work for CKX.

CKX also has an agreement to buy MBST, a Hollywood talent-management company, and expects to make other acquisitions.

Sillerman was a leading founder of SFX Entertainment, a group of sports promotion and live-concert properties that was sold to Clear Channel Communications for more than $4 billion five years ago.

Bishop Cheen, an entertainment analyst for Wachovia Securities, said Sillerman will likely focus on his control of the rights to Presley's name and leave the day-to-day operations of Graceland alone.

"He's not known for sacking and burning and pillaging," Cheen said. "He is known for adding value and taking profits."

Sillerman's group, with money from loans and investors, bought the Presley business in February for about $100 million in cash and stock. They took an existing but inactive company, Sports Entertainment Enterprises, and turned it into CKX.

"I can certainly understand how serious the 'Kingdom' takes all this," Cheen said. "He's a New Yorker and an outsider, so he's got to be under suspicion. But he's a businessman, you know, not General Sherman."

The company held its first public stock offering as CKX in June, selling 23 million shares at $11 each and raising about $235 million. All but about $50 million went to pay off debts, including the cost of buying the Elvis business. The largest debtor was Bear Stearns & Co., the underwriter for the stock issue. CKX has a total of about 90 million shares outstanding.

Lisa Marie Presley got $50 million at the sale, plus stock in CKX, and kept a 15 percent interest in Elvis Presley Enterprises. CKX also took on $25 million in Presley debts.

She also retained title to Graceland and her father's personal possessions, but CKX holds a 90-year lease on the house and has ultimate control over the tourist operations, according to a prospectus for the stock issue.

Soden said he doesn't expect CKX to make major adjustments in how Graceland and its complex of souvenir shops and museums are run.

"They said when we were getting to know them: 'You know, we're not out trying to buy problems. We don't want to buy companies that we have to fix,' " Soden said.

Priscilla Presley, Lisa Marie's mother and Presley's ex-wife, got $6.5 million from the Elvis sale and has a 10-year consulting contract with CKX at $560,000 a year. She is also on the company's board of directors.

Though Lisa Marie was her father's only surviving heir, her mother played a major role in turning Graceland into a tourist attraction that draws more than half a million visitors a year.

When Presley died at age 42 of prescription drug abuse and heart disease, his finances were in sad shape. He had spent money as fast as he made it, gave 50 percent of his income to manager Tom Parker and took no steps to limit tax liabilities.

In promotional materials, Graceland managers kindly describe Presley's financial acumen this way:

"Elvis Presley could have left one of the greatest fortunes of entertainment history, had he been one to worry about financial planning, rather than freely enjoying and sharing his wealth as he did."

After Presley's death, the estate even considered selling Graceland because there was too little money for upkeep.

But led by Priscilla Presley, who was acting on behalf of her then-minor daughter, the estate formed Elvis Presley Enterprises, opened Graceland to the public and began a campaign to solidify the legal rights to make money on Elvis's name and image.

Graceland and the worldwide sale of Elvis souvenirs soon became the major moneymakers for the estate, which draws no royalties from some of Presley's most famous hits. He sold the rights to them to RCA for $5 million in 1973, and Parker got half of that.

In its early days, Elvis Presley Enterprises had no way of knowing if Graceland would be a long-running success. But the business, which includes licensing the use of Presley's name or image in movies, TV ads and the like, is still flourishing 28 years after his death.

Now its CKX's job to keep that going.

"We rely on the continued popularity of Elvis Presley and the market for products that exploit his name, image and likeness," the company said in its stock prospectus. "As the life, times and artistic works of Elvis grow more distant in our past, his popularity may decline."

For the most ardent fans, there's little concern that Elvis's light will dim. They worry instead about access to Graceland and whether an expanding marketplace will show Presley the reverence they believe he deserves.

"We're all just waiting to see what changes, if any, will be made," said Jeanne Kalweit of the Elvis Presley TCB Fan Club of Chicago.

A fan checks out an attraction near Graceland, which has been sold to CKX Inc.Gloria and Dawn Joly Galante view an Elvis piano in a Memphis gift shop.