Al Dvorin always loved music and entertainment, forming his own bands while in school. Following his military service in 1946, Al became a booking agent in Chicago, booking and promoting local talent. Through his college buddy, Tommy Diskin, Al connected with Colonel Tom Parker and began booking the young Elvis Presley in variety shows and county fairs. By 1955, the Colonel asked Al to take a more active role in the tours. After Al arranged Elvis’s 1957 appearance in Chicago, he started traveling with the tour. Known as “Big Al” by Colonel Parker and Elvis, Al said he was “treated like royalty.” When the announcer was fired, the Colonel told Al to take his place, and “from then on, that was it over the years.”
Al held many jobs on the Elvis Presley tours, often at the same time. But he was the only person who did every job, from advance man to musical director to security chief to producer to concessions manager to stage announcer. Al’s voice was heard in concerts, records and movies, making his voice and the well known phrase “Elvis has left the building” part of American culture.
In 1977, Al was in Portland, Maine as part of the advance team preparing for the next concert, when he learned that Elvis had died. Al retired, but later came out of retirement in 1994, touring with and on behalf of different Elvis events.
Tragically, Al was killed in a car accident in August 2004, at the age of 81, while on tour with many of the original members of the Elvis entourage. “You have dreams, and when these dreams come true, there’s nothing like it,” he once said. “I loved what I did, I did what I loved, I worked with the best.”