Why Elvis Left the Building 



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About the Author

Heart Lanier Shapre’ (author) was born in Dayton, Ohio and grew up in South Whitley, Indiana, graduating with an AA degree in Business Administration from Indiana University.  Studies were continued at West Los Angeles College, UCLA, and Cal-State.

She is retired from 30 years of service with American Airlines, having held several positions of which three were:  Stewardess, International Vacation Consultant, and Political Liaison. She is also a retired substitute teacher for Clark County School District-Las Vegas, NV.

She has had the privilege of writing tributes to Bob Hope, Liberace, Liberace’s manager Seymour Heller, and Assistants Betty and Robin.

The author is an actress in film and theatre, a published lyricist, and a screenplay writer.

Membership organizations include:  SAG-AFTRA (including Book Pals, a children’s reading program), Las Vegas Songwriters Association, BMI, National Thespian Society, and Delta Zeta Sorority at Indiana University.

She has served charitable organizations such as Jerry's Kids/ Muscular Dystrophy, Opportunity Village, Veterans State Home (Boulder City, NV) as well as being a member of the IU Alumni, American Airlines Kiwi's and Vangaurds plus Who's Who in California.

Her one daughter, Teresa Kirsten Katz, lives in San Antonio, Texas and is a Clinical Science Research Manager in the field of cancer research.

In addition to where she was born and raised, the author has lived in Dallas, New York City, Los Angeles, then called to Las Vegas. Soon after, she was invited to write the youth and life story of Elvis Aaron Presley.




My fortune cookie in 1980 read:  “You have a deep appreciation for the arts and music.” 
It was in 1980 that lyrics by the score began coming to me.

“God Is In”  album released from Nashville, songs  “Kaleidoscope” and “Blazin’ A Trail”

“An Honest Heart” album on cdbaby.com/heartshapre’. Sales as far as Vietnam


Radio 970.0 AM – “Starstruck”, hosted by Gary Campbell.  Interviewed on tributes created for Liberace.  Liberace’s manager, Seymour Heller said of these tributes that nothing like them had ever been done and he wanted them in his museum.  Due to limited space, they have not been posted.

Authored and published books:  “Elvis Through My Eyes” & “Why Elvis Left the Building”. Available at amazon.com and bn.com.

First film of over 50 worked was “Heart Condition” with Denzel Washington and Bob Hoskins; among the last were “Pay It Forward” with Helen Hunt and Kevin Spacey, also “Ms. Congeniality 2” with Sandra Bullock, and Lay the Favorite with Bruce Willis and TV's “CSI”. In addition, she has appeared in over 40 films.

Three plays in total, last being “Gwen Gwen”, played at Empress Theatre in Las Vegas, NV

”Bye, Bye Birdie” by Michael Steward. Plus my creations, “Bittersweet” and “Who Was Shot.”

Performances in karaoke lounges to own background tracks, Greek Isles and Stardust Casino in Las Vegas, NV.  - Performing Broadway, ballads, country, and standards.

Service clubs

SAG-AFTRA, BMI, formerly Las Vegas Songwriters Assn, National Thespian Society, American Airlines ‘Kiwis and Vanguards’,  volunteer at Opportunity Village.

Life magazine, Who’s Who in California, Vanity Fair.

Nothing the heart gives away is lost. It lives in the hearts of others.
(The Heart Has Its Reasons)


Strictly for Elvis People

You’ve been an ‘ELVIS’ person for a long, long time.  You’ve maybe seen him perform, listened to his cassettes and CD’s, seen him in movies and read a ton about him.

Maybe you see him so fantastic that he seems to be unreal?  Little by little, he has nestled into your life so that when you hear his voice of velvet, you hesitate and your soul falls into the music, becoming one with the sound.

You’d like to know more about him, how he arrived at Stardom, where he came from, and what was going on as he grew up, plus what was his life like when he was not on screen or stage?

This you can know by reading WHY ELVIS LEFT THE BUILDING, narrated by a man who helped raise Elvis at his Mother’s request.  His Mother said Elvis was not normal.


House Guest

It is 1972 and you’re face to face with ELVIS PRESLEY  in your living room.  You open your mouth to speak and no sound comes out as your thoughts trail back to the book you’ve just finished, WHY ELVIS LEFT THE BUILDING, and you marvel at the moment and the thought of him speaking in a Mississippi-mud drawl.  He’s dressed in an interesting style: a hunter’s shirt that ties at the neck, but his is open and he’s wearing a gabardine pant.

Finally, you manage a ‘hello’ and he smiles, lifting his left upper lip while his orchid eyes reflect love from a humble person.

It’s a moment you never expected and it’s awesome as his childhood words echo through your mind, “We ain’t never gonna make it, you will, but we won’t ‘cause we’re too poor.”  Then you look him in the eye and say, “What a miracle you are,” as his star shines so bright, it nearly blinds you.

When you read WHY ELVIS LEFT THE BUILDING, you will find yourself learning to know him on a one-to-one basis.


Rockin’ My Soul


What I am about to relate will not be recognized or accepted by some.  However, on the other hand, the inspired ones may very well accept this and be amazed that it could be.  Somewhere between those beliefs, it will be said that the following is “Ripley’s Believe it or Not” material. Maybe it could be so.


The inside information is that I am rather sure I am not alone in this special blessing, as I know of two others who felt they had a glimpse.


To understand this writing, I wish to share that the events in the following were not sought.  They came freely to me.  I’m told by a wise person that it is because of my interest and concern of ELVIS for what he experienced and took with him.  Who knew during his life what he honestly felt inside?  I think no one but him.


The day he died, I had just landed in Fayetteville, NC; my sister announced the news.  Something unusual took place within me.  Silently I realized no one knew what he felt inside and that bothered and upset me.  That was as far as it went at the time, 1977.


It took me a long time to recall a specific Bible passage I had underlined in my high school graduation Bible.  Why, I didn’t know then, but knew it was the thing to do.  I closed the Bible that day, not to consider or look for a long time at what I had automatically underlined without a question.  It was Revelation 1:11 saying, “… I am the Alpha and Omega, the first and the last; and what thou seest write in a book.”


I was very aware of ELVIS PRESLEY as while at a college dance in 1956, when attending IU, the music all of a sudden broke out into “Don’t Be Cruel.”  It was instant rock ‘n’ roll dancing for me and I haven’t quit.


Although the opportunity to see ELVIS never presented itself, his songs were keen in my mind.  There were a number of new stars in those days and while being interested in them, ELVIS was more of a brother through that time.  It was like, “One day I will see one of his terrific performances.” I had it in mind that he was forever, so there was no rush to see the dynamic singer.  Maybe the ‘forever’ was because ELVIS came from the same belief that I come from, that of being Christian.  And the ‘forever’ is from John 3:16 in the King James version of the Bible:  “Whoever cometh unto me shall not perish, but have everlasting life.”  That made for a comfortable brotherhood.  It was never questioned by me.


ELVIS’S memory is now idolized by some to the extent of making him a god.  It is a known fact that ELVIS claimed that there is only one KING and by that he meant JESUS CHRIST.


A professional makes a hard job look easy, and one would have never known it to be any different with ELVIS, although he once said that it was hard to live up to an image.


ELVIS won the world and ELVIS is eternal to us.  His name spells out:









Prescription drugs were readily available to him up to the end of his life.   


ELVIS was afraid to abandon the prescriptions   But in his last minutes, he spoke with the LORD and expressed his weariness of all the fanfare.  What was that he sang,  “Return to Sender?”


ELVIS will always live in the hearts of millions of folks worldwide.  He left us his best, although his mother, Gladys Love Presley, begged him to become a “singin’ – piano playin’ – guitar playin’ Preacher man.  He started life with the LORD and walked on with the LORD.    He was a man who was taught from the Bible and to turn the other cheek.  He was taught Christian beliefs, and as a young man, brought up with the belief and to return to it when old.  His obedience to the LORD was never failing, “Love ye one another as I have loved you.”  This is the last commandment the LORD left us.  ELVIS had love for everyone.


It is told ELVIS was heard to say in his last moments - "The LORD knows I could not have been so successful without him."