Thanks to a Detroit Deejay, Even Death Hasn't Stopped Elvis from Turning Out More Presleys

updated 07/27/1987 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 07/27/1987 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Not just anybody can be Queen of England. Only one person at a time can be President of the United States. As for being Pope, forget it, it's a closed shop. But there are still some good openings available. For instance, thanks to Detroit disc jockey Dick Purtan, anybody (at least anybody with two dollars and a stamped, self-addressed envelope) can become a member of an elite and revered sisterhood. Yes, you too, regardless of age, sex or musical inclination, can be Elvis Presley's daughter.

Purtan got his idea when he noticed the nation's apparent obsession with getting into Elvis' genes. The King, of course, left behind one official daughter, Lisa Marie Presley, 19. But two other contenders, Deborah Presley, 31, and Desirée Presley, 28, have come forward claiming to be the results of their mothers' King flings. "When I read about a third woman claiming to be Elvis' daughter, I got the idea," says Purtan, 48, the waggish morning man on WCZY-FM. The unsanctioned certificate entitles the bearer to "appear on any talk show in the country and the cover of any magazine sold in a supermarket checkout line."

Just another cheap exploitation of a legend, right? Not really. In fact, it's actually Purtan's way of raising funds for Children's Hospital in Detroit, where, in 1979, one of his six daughters spent 63 days with a life-threatening blood disease. Since first offering the certificates four weeks ago, Purtan has enlarged Presley's would-be family circle by over 3,000. "If this continues," he says, "we're going to have a half-price sale for people who want to be Elvis' grandchild."

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