Elvis Presley was interred in the mausoleum of Forest Hills Cemetery here this afternoon amid public grief and hoopla - vendors sold food, drink, T-shirts, pennants and newspapers packed with stories about the singer.
Sammy Davis Jr., John Wayne, Ann-Margaret, Chet Atkins, Burt Reynolds and Tennessee Gov. Ray Blanton were among the 200 mourners, including 50 members of Presley's family, admitted to Graceland, the singer's house for brief private servces.
The press and public were not admitted, and one newscaster said disarmingly that most of his information seemed to be coming from the police and the Chamber of Commerce.
There were cries of "He's gone, he's gone" and "We love you, Elvis," from spectators in the crowd of about 6,000 across the street when a white hearse carrying Presley's body and a motorcade of white Cadillacs pulled out of the driveway and headed for the cemetery. Police motorcycles with flashing lights led the procession and patrolmen on duty saluted as it passed.
Behind the motorcycles came a Cadillac bearing Presley's father, Vernon, then the hearse and then a car with Presley's divorced wife, Priscilla, and their 9-year-old daughter, Lisa Marie.
Crowds lining the four-mile route surged forward, slowing the hearse's progress at times. Thousands more waited at the cemetery and some swarmed over a gate at one point.
When the mourners arrived, 14 pallbearers carried the singer's seamless copper coffin into the mausoleum, which was decked out with more than 2,000 floral arrangements including one in the shape of a hound dog.
C. W. Bradley, pastor at Memphis' Wooddale Church of Christ, officiated at the service at Graceland. Rev. Rex Humbard, head of the Cathedral of Tomorrow at Akron, Ohio, also was present.
Speculation on the singer's eccentric behavior, as reported in a book by some of his longtime guards, had spread through the crowds who viewed his hearse enter the cemetery today.
The common reaction was that muckrakers might have waited until after the funeral, and maybe is wasn't true anyway - all the stuff about pills, shooting guns at TV sets and so on.
But the thousands had clearly sensed that Presley was unhappy the past few years - his cancelled appearances, his frequent hospital visits and his increasing isolation behind the walls protecting his house.
THe intensity with which they identified with the guitar-plucking singer often had the fervor of a religious seizure.
Two hundred women fainted the first day and dozens more the second. Many who did not faint required support to walk, making no effort to hide the tears running down their faces.
Two 19-year-old girls from Monroe, La., were killed and a 17-year-old girl from Missouri severely injured when a Memphis teen-ager's car ran into the crowd keeping vigil shortly before dawn this morning. The driver was booked on numerous charges, including second-degree murder.
The crowds had come chiefly from Memphis but one also ran into Texans, Georgians, New Yorkers, along with journalists from England, Sweden, Australia and so one. The entire cemetery, one of the city's largest, was closed to the public all day. At the last minute the press was allowed inside behind ropes, but not in the mausoleum.
One local columnist wrote that it was a pity Elvis never grew up, but contended himself with nominal gifts to charity and somewhat absurd gifts of Cadillacs to his friends.
It was not possible, however, to find Presley fans who agreed with this. It was notable that instead of simply saying they liked this music, virtually everyone insisted on Elvis' personal sweetness and generosity.
Some people, perhaps noticing the flags at half-mast throughout the city, compared the singer's death with that of Martin Luther King Jr. In short, the emotions and tributes of many were unstinting.
In recent years, shielded from the press and surrounded by a small coterie dependent on him. Elvis lived a private life in spite of his show business fame. Hardly anybody knew what he was really like or how he felt or why life seemed to be less than joyful for him.
He had, after all, risen from rural poverty in Mississippi and the back streets of Memphis he once said he thought he'd never get through Humes High School here - to sell records measured by the 100 million. He must have had the satisfaction of seeing that he stamped pop culture in a way few individuals ever did.
Col. Tom Parker, Elvis' manager for almost all the singer's career, was secreted at the Hilton, deeply affected by the sadness of the day and unwilling to talk.
Sam Phillips, who founded Sun Records and who was Presley's first important sponsor, was "all right" but virtually knocked out with sorrow, and turned things over for the day to his 30-year-old son, Knox, a vice president of the company.
His family did not know if the elder Phillips would feel able to attend the services, though it is often said that Phillips was as close to Presley as anyone ever was except the singer's mother.
The massive public identity with Elvis is no mystery to Knox Phillips, nor are the roots of the singer's evident unhappiness lately.
"First, as to the drugs, I do not know the truth if there is any, but I suspect the drug thing was up and down. And I think it is irrelevant.
"He was human. Whatever negative things there may have been are irrelevant to this fact: No other man in our time did so much to unite people, or had such an effect on music. Not many people seem to know the first American record played behind the iron Curtain was an Elvis record.
"Black and white - Elvis was sensitive to blacks, and he grew up with their music. In the South, never mind all the other factors, there was an unsaid camaraderie between poor whites and poor blacks. They had the same problems and at least they could understand each other. And, of course, Elvis grew up hearing them both."
Knox Phillips thought a minute and continued: "Elvis and the same kind of background as Sam so when he walked into Sun Records, Sam understood him. Hell, Elvis had a great frustrated rough talent. The music business was then controlled by the big companies, and Elvis flat never would have even had a chance to get heard by them.
"But the truth is that Sam had been recording blacks and was hinting all over for a white singer who sang black music - Elvis was that synthesis.
"And Sam sent him down to Lanclothes to get. Sam told him to wear sky's and told him what kind of wild his belt buckle at the side, not in front . . .
"Memphis was a magnetic place. Where else did the three great developments of music in our century come from (blues, rock 'n' roll and soul)? Believe me. Memphis is a strange place where all these things come together.
"But then Col. Parker took over and managed Elvis. He succeeded in pacing him for public consumption, packaging him as a myth.
"But whether it was good for Elvis' happiness - whether the Colonel took enough concern for that - I can't say.
"Elvis was a good old country boy. They took him away from what he was.
"When people start believing their own publicity, they are on the way down. In these later years Elvis was a very unhappy person."
(Critics sometimes complain Presley did not develop and grow musically but sang a lot of other singer's songs.)
"Furry Lewis (a venerable blues singer) once said to me, if you're doing nothing different, you're doing nothing."