What Elvis Presley did great

In addition to his millions of fans, there were many people who were important to Elvis Presley - family members, friends, employees, musicians and, last but not least, the famous "Memphis Mafia". We want to show as large a section of these people as possible to make it easier for us fans to keep track.


We introduce you, the "Memphis Mafia", the friends, the family and, and, and ...
Already the name suggests that very special people are hidden behind it!
Elvis recognized early on how important it is to be able to rely on one's surroundings and that not every new friend is actually one. So it wasn't long after Elvis became a world star that he always surrounded himself with people who didn't just see him as the great superstar. Trustworthy and loyal companions who could be relied on and who not only did the necessary work, but were also friends with him. That inner circle with Elvis in the middle formed a buffer, a barrier against the facts of real life and the pressures associated with fame.
They had jobs as bodyguards, tour managers, valets, financial administrators, chauffeurs, break clowns, protective shields and playmates: Elvis' boys were always there for a little football game, a night trip to the cinema or a roller-skating rink, a few pool games or a tour of the golf carts to have on the property. They were always available: whenever Elvis was ready to do something, they were too.
But they also had another side, because Elvis was a public figure and in need of sensitive protection. Because of this, they carried guns and practiced martial arts just in case the improbable happened. They certainly weren't doing it for the money - $ 250 a week in the 1960s and around $ 425 in the late 1970s weren't particularly attractive earning opportunities.
Elvis' manager Colonel Parker saw the "Memphis Mafia" with mixed feelings and Vernon Presley thought it was too expensive and made life difficult for them. They were hired and fired, fired and hired, but somehow they were always around and there for Elvis.
This lifestyle was very difficult for their families and friends.
The boys of the "Memphis Mafia" got a lot of extras from Elvis and apart from the extravagant lifestyle, which they too were allowed to partake in, the travel and the limelight, Elvis gave them money, jewelry, cars and clothes. The greatest gift, however, was probably his friendship and the feeling of being part of something very big.
Most of the members of the "Memphis Mafia", who got this name in Hollywood in the early 1960s because of their mafia appearance (black suits, black ties ...), were loyal to their boss and boyfriend for 25 years. Many of them even after his death.
Charlie Hodge, Billy Smith, Bitsy Mott, Alan Fortas, Cliff Gleaves, Gene Smith, George Klein, Jerry Schilling, Sonny and Red West, Jimmy Kingsley, Joe Esposito, Lamar Fike, Larry Geller, Louis Harris, Marty Lacker, Marvin (Gee Gee) Gambil, Ray Sitton, Richard Davis, Al Strada, Dick Grob, Dave Hebler and a few more lucky ones accompanied Elvis on a wild ride through time and most of the time was damn good for everyone involved.

Alden, Ginger

Alden was a Local Beauty Queen (Miss Traffic Safety, Miss Mid South and Vice - Miss Tennessee University) and she has the distinction of being Elvis' last friend. She was the last person Elvis saw alive the night before he died. Though she can't quite prove it, Alden claims that Elvis proposed to her in January 1977 to marry her on Christmas 1977. What we do know for sure is that he showered them with gifts, including cars and expensive jewelry.

She had a brief recording career in the early 1980s and she did many television commercials. She acted in a number of films about Elvis and sold stories about her life with him to various newspapers.




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Biggs, Delta Mae Presley

Delta was Elvis ‘favorite aunt and his father's sister. After she had no children herself, she adored and spoiled Elvis all the more. When Delta's husband, Pat Biggs, died in 1966, Elvis sent some of his friends over to help organize the funeral and to take her to Memphis. He put her on the payroll as housekeeper.

Her mother, Minnie Mae Presley, also lived in the house. Headstrong and overprotective of Elvis, she was known to mess with members of the "Memphis Mafia".

Black, Bill

Bill first played bass with the "Starlight Wranglers" with Doug Poindexter and Scotty Moore until he founded the "Blue Moon Boys" in 1955 with Scotty Moore and Elvis. (His bass from that time is now owned by Paul McCartney.) During her many appearances, “Blackie” was particularly known for riding his bass across the stage like a horse.
In 1957 he played "Eddy", the bass player, in Elvis' second film "Loving You" ("Gold from a hot throat") and also got a role as a musician in the following film "Jailhouse Rock" ("Rhythm behind bars"). Due to financial disagreements with the Colonel, Moore and Black stopped working for Elvis in September 1957. On October 21, 1965, Bill Black died of a brain tumor at the Baptist Memorial Hospital in Memphis.

Burk, Bill E.

Award-winning journalist for the local newspaper "Memphis Press Scimitar", whose job includes was to report on Elvis - as the son of the city. This activity resulted in many meetings and interviews with Elvis and the result was a close friendship between the two men.
Burk took Elvis on his first flight and helped him overcome his fear of flying. Burk was an intimate connoisseur of the Elvis scene, which he followed closely from the very beginning and has therefore been a highly respected guest at international Elvis meetings around the world.
His extraordinary expertise, which he has published in several books about Elvis - especially in his "Early Elvis" trilogy - is undisputed by Elvis experts. In addition, Burk was editor of the international Elvis trade magazine "Elvis World", directly from Memphis.
He died at the age of 76 on April 24, 2008 at the Baptist Memorial in Memphis.


Burton, James

James Burton is the lead guitarist for the TCB band. He began his career at the age of 14 playing in the house band of Shreveport's famous Louisiana Hayride Show. While playing in Dale Hawkins' band in 1955, he wrote the tune for the hit "Susie Q" and recorded it with Hawkins. In 1957 he began his nine years working as a guitarist for Ricky Nelson. In the mid-1960s, Burton was a sought-after studio guitarist and also made some recordings himself.
Elvis himself called James Burton in 1969 and asked if he could help him put a band together for his engagement in Las Vegas. Burton was Elvis ‘lead guitarist from 1969 to 1977: whether in Las Vegas, on tours or in many recording sessions. James was by Elvis' side.
Today he still works with a wide range of artists. James Burton became an icon among guitarists and his influence on generations of musicians is undisputed.

Homepage of the TCB Band: www.scheff.com/tcb

Unofficial fan page: www.jamesburton.cjb.net


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Davis, Richard

Davis was responsible for Elvis' wardrobe and was a member of the Memphis Mafia for many years. He was a close friend and confidante to Elvis. His work for Elvis began in the early 1960s and although he left the "Memphis Mafia" in the early 1970s, his connection with Elvis never broke off.
He was there when Elvis and the Beatles spent an evening together and also when Elvis celebrated his outstanding comeback in 1968.
He once said that he would never write a book about Elvis because there would be none that could do Elvis justice.
Richard Davis died of a heart attack on the night of August 23, 2004 in the city of Memphis, the city of his birth.

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Esposito, Joe / "Diamond Joe"

Joe was a senior member of the Memphis Mafia. He met Elvis while he was stationed in Germany. Their friendship lasted until Elvis' death.
Over the years he has performed various roles for Elvis, including serving as his tour manager and financial administrator. Esposito played minor roles in various Elvis films, including "Clambake" ("Just Don't Be A Millionaire"), "Stay Away Joe" ("Hard Fists, Hot Songs") and "This Is Elvis" ("That's Elvis") ."Diamond Joe," as Elvis called him because of his hometown Chicago and its relationship with the real Mafia, was the man Elvis relied on when it came to organizing. Joe took care of everything!
Seen as part of the family, he and Marty Lacker were groomsmen when Elvis married Priscilla, and Joe's then-wife, Joan, was Honorary Bridesmaid. Elvis ‘friendship with Esposito wasn't shaken when Joe and his partner Dr. Nick was sued in connection with the bankruptcy of her racquetball company, Presley Center Courts. For his part, Joe protected Elvis before and after his death, going so far as to say in a newspaper interview that Elvis had not taken any medication ("whatever").
In recent years he has lived in Las Vegas and was an internationally sought-after guest at fan club meetings.
Joe Esposito died on November 23, 2016 at the age of 78 with his family.

Homepage of Joe Esposito: http://tcbjoe.com/


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Fike, Lamar

Lamar was born and raised in Memphis. Already as a teenager he was very interested in the music scene and he often hung around the different recording studios in the city to listen to the music and also to meet the musicians.

One day in 1955 he was in the Sun Studio talking to Sam Phillips when Elvis Presley walked in wearing one of his crazy brightly colored outfits. "He wanted his clothes to stand out from everyone else," says Fike. “He needed her to get attention and to differentiate himself from all the other young guys who were hanging around back then. I would never have dressed myself like that, but I knew immediately what he was aiming for and I thought that was good. ”Fike saw something special in Elvis and the unequal duo became friends.

As early as 1957 he was a permanent member of the "Memphis Mafia" and was always there. Fike was Elvis ‘right-hand man: he took care of tours and supervised the technical aspects that were necessary to bring the shows to the stage. At over 130 kg, Fike - who has a "black belt in food" as David Stanley put it - was gifted with a great sense of humor and a willingness to stop for a meal as well as a joke.

Elvis enjoyed cracking jokes at his expense, calling him "Buddha" or "the great speckled bird", but Fike's loyalty was out of the question and he was always there when Elvis needed him.

When Elvis was called up, Fike wanted to sign up too. However, it was rejected because of its weight. Nevertheless, he came to Germany with Elvis and lived with him and his family when Elvis was doing his military service.

Fike discovered several hits for Elvis including "Kentucky Rain", "It's Midnight" and "T-R-O-U-B-L-E" and over the years he developed an enormous network of contacts in the music business. He was one of the pallbearers at Elvis ‘funeral and then continued his career in the music business.

Lamar Fike died on January 21, 2011 at the age of 75 in a hospital in Arlington, not far from Dallas / Texas.


Fortas, Alan

Fortas was a celebrated football player in Memphis, his hometown, and for a long time a member of the Memphis Mafia. From 1958 he was a bodyguard and assistant in the team. He was one of Elvis ‘closest friends and confidants, a reliable and loyal employee. Fortas was responsible for making sure that the journeys between the engagements Elvis had to go through were easy and smooth. At times he kept Elvis company on stage and accompanied him with the tambourine. He can also be seen in the "NBC Special" from 1968 on the edge of the stage. In 1987 he wrote the book "Elvis: Fraom Memphis to Hollywood"
Alan Fortas died on September 23, 1992 from his long illness and is buried at the Baron Hirsh Freidhof in Memphis.

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Geller, Larry

Larry quit his job at Jay Sebring's cult hairdressing salon in Beverly Hills and became Elvis ‘personal hairdresser after not only giving him a particularly good haircut in April 1964, but also taking time for Elvis and his spiritual desires. His enthusiasm for religion and the spiritual hit Elvis' spot on and soon Geller, nicknamed "Guru" by the "Memphis Mafiosi", was researching the Beverly Hills library for books on all aspects of the spiritual.
The two friends were able to talk for hours about religion, parapsychology, the supernatural and the world of the mystical. To show his appreciation, Elvis gave Geller the usual white Cadillac.
Colonel Parker felt threatened by the growing influence of Geller and he tried to get rid of it, but Geller's aura and Geller remained. Elvis continued his search for the spiritual until his death and read a lot about the supernatural aspects of religion. He was particularly drawn to the idea of ​​making contact with his brother Jesse, who had died in childbirth.
Larry was also there in 1977 to do one last hairstyle for the late Elvis - as Larry had done so many times before.
Geller contributed to numerous publications and wrote about his personal experiences with Elvis: in 1980 he wrote "The Truth About Elvis" with Jess Stearn, in 1983 he wrote "Elvis’s Spiritual Journey" and in 1989 "Elvis Speaks". His current work is entitled "Leaves Of Elvis' Garden".

Gleaves, Cliff

This rockabilly singer was an old friend from Memphis and met Elvis in 1956. He accompanied Elvis to Hollywood for the filming of "Love Me Tender" and he was in the studio at the jam session of the "Million Dollar Quartet" which happened in 1956 with Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis , Johnny Cash and Carl Perkins came about. He introduced Elvis to Anita Wood, his future girlfriend. He accompanied Elvis to his medical examination for military service in 1957 and also spent his time in the Army in Europe. Gleaves made his own career but kept coming back to Graceland to visit Elvis.
Cliff Gleaves passed away on June 4, 2002.


Grant, Currie

As a member of Air Force Intelligence and married to Tony Bennet's sister, Currie was stationed near Wiesbaden when Elvis was doing his military service. He made rock and roll history in November 1959 when he introduced Elvis to Priscilla Beaulieu. At the time, Elvis was 24 and Priscilla was 14. According to Currie's version of the story, Priscilla met him at a club, introduced herself to him, and said she wanted to meet Elvis. However, she claims that Currie approached her. No matter which story is true, Currie got some big stones rolling when he and his wife Carole accompanied Priscilla to the house rented by Elvis at Goethestrasse 14 in Bad Nauheim in Germany on that fateful day.


Rough, thick

With a degree from the "Air Force Academy" and as a fighter pilot, Grob joined the Memphis Mafia in 1969. He quickly became the head of security at Graceland and on tours across the United States. Rough met Elvis while working for the Palm Springs Police Department. The two men got on equally well and Elvis literally trusted him with his life. Grob was more than qualified for this job, because he had already worked for the FBI and the CIA and, because of them, had completed special training units that were very useful for his work for Elvis.
Dick was there on that tragic August 16 and stayed with the estate as security advisor after the funeral service. During this time he worked directly for Elvis' father Vernon.
Dick Grob wrote a book "The Elvis Conspiracy", which reports in great detail about the events surrounding Elvis 'death and which was received with great interest in Elvis' world.
Richard "Dick" Grob died on 22.April 2020 in Las Vegas / Nevada.

Guercio, Joe

Joe Guercio has had a very productive career, but is probably best known for his work with Elvis Presley. He was the conductor of the large orchestra at the Elvis concerts from the summer of 1970 to June 1977, when Elvis had his ultimate final appearance.
Elvis was known for his spontaneity and improvisation on stage and everyone else always had to be ready for anything. Guercio recalls: "There is a nice story about it. After one of the first shows someone asked me what it was like to be on stage with Elvis. I replied:" Try to catch a marble rolling down a stone staircase! " So it was: A marble rolling down the stairs. When I opened my locker the next day, there were marbles everywhere. Marbles on the floor, all the clothes pockets were full of them. The mirror was written: "Follow the marble - EP » Typical Elvis. "
Among the numerous contributions he made to the Elvis shows, it was Guercio who suggested that Elvis ‘shows should begin with the theme of" 2001 - A Space Odyssey "(" Also Spoke Zarathustra "). The idea arose when Guercio and his first wife saw the now classic scene from the film in the cinema. When the music started, Mrs. Guercio leaned over to her husband and whispered: "Now you could have thought Elvis would be coming in soon."

Hardin, Glenn D.

Hardin is the pianist for the TCB Band. He grew up in Texas and moved to Los Angeles in the fall of 1961 after joining the U.S. Navy had left. At the beginning of 1962 he played the piano in the "Palomino Club" and soon began touring with the "Crickets". He toured with Emmylou Harris for three years, with Crickets for eleven years and with John Denver for sixteen years. His work took him around the world. But from 1970 to 1976 he worked for Elvis u n d b r a c h t e i h m s i c h e r l i c h - w i e a l l e n a n d e r e n, d i e m i t E l v i s a u f d e r stages S t e h e n d u r f t e n - e i n s t ü c k U n s t e r b l i c h k e i t e i n: H a r d i n sat at the grand piano at most of the concerts and supported Elvis with his playing. Glenn also distinguished himself through his work as an arranger, because Hardin arranged many of Elvis' live songs in his inimitable way.


Homepage of the TCB Band: www.scheff.com/tcb

Hebler, David

Dave met Elvis in his karate studio in Santa Monica, California in 1972. He was one of Elvis' bodyguards from then until 1976, when he was fired along with Red and Sonny West.
Dave Hebler wrote together with Red and Sonny West the most controversial book about Elvis and his life "Elvis: What happened?".
Today Hebler is also on the road with "Elvis" and in 1999 even produced his own Elvis show "The Elvis Experience".


Hodge, Charlie

Charlie Hodge, a name that should be familiar to every Elvis fan.
Charlie was a guitarist and singer by nature. Hodge and Presley met while recording a television show in 1956 and instantly liked each other. They were drafted into the Army at the same time, went through basic training together at Fort Hood, came to Europe on the same troop steamer and were stationed together in Germany.
He lived at Graceland for more than 17 years and took care of Elvis' personal needs. On tour, he was always by his side, handing him the scarves that had become his trademark and that Elvis threw into the audience during his performances. He sang with Elvis and made sure that there was always a fresh glass of water or "Gatorade" within reach.
Charlie was the target of many jokes because of his height of only 1.60 m - Elvis especially enjoyed it.
Hodge had small roles in many Elvis films. B. in "Clambake" ("Just not be a millionaire"), "Speedway" ("Speedway") and "Charro!" ("Charro"). Together with Red West, Hodge wrote "You’ll Be Gone", which Elvis actually recorded in 1965.
Charlie Hodge was arguably one of the most loyal of Elvis' companions, and remained so after the day he escorted Elvis in the ambulance on his last trip to the Baptist Memorial Hospital in Memphis.
Charlie died of lung cancer on March 3, 2006 in Knoxville, Tennessee.

The Imperials / Elvis' Imperials

The "Imperials" first worked with Elvis in 1966 when they sang in the sessions for his "How Great Thou Art" album with the "Jordanaires" in the background. Elvis later got his first Grammy with this album. From 1969 to the second half of 1971 the "Imperials" worked regularly for Elvis on stage and in the recording studio. A special highlight of their collaboration in 1971 was the recording of "He Touched Me", the album with which Elvis won his second Grammy.
Jake Hess, the gospel legend and former member of the "Statesmen Quartet", founded the "Imperials" in 1964 and put together a top group for the gospel music industry. By the late 1960s they had a new look and sound, a bit more modern, which attracted criticism from the Conservatives, but the group kept the upper hand.
They sold many records and made regular appearances in the halls of Las Vegas, Reno, and Lake Tahoe. As with so many long-standing groups, the "Imperials" have made personnel changes over the years. Terry Blackwood, Jim Murray, Joe Moscheo and Roger Wiles were members of the Imperials when the group worked for Elvis.
Sherman Andrus joined the formation in 1971 shortly after they stopped working for Elvis. However, since Elvis still liked to sing after his show and mainly had gospels in his repertoire, Sherman still got to know Elvis because the Imperials often met him informally and sang together for hours. Even after J.D. Sumner & "The Stamps" took their place on the stage behind Elvis.
Joe Moscheo: "We didn't split up with Elvis, we broke up with the Colonel!"

Homepage of the Imperials: http://www.elvisimperials.com/


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Jarvis, Felton

Felton became an Elvis ‘producer at RCA in 1966 when he took the job from Chet Atkins, who began to neglect Elvis‘ career as he climbed the corporate ladder himself. Aggressive, talented, and somewhat eccentric - he loved snakes - Jarvis was exactly the man Elvis needed to revitalize his career.
In 1970 Jarvis left RCA to work full-time for Elvis. Jarvis produced the recordings and he supervised the concerts. He fought with Colonel Parker and the management at Hill and Range for fair royalties to win back some of Elvis' best composers, and he succeeded, giving Elvis access to material in the 1970s that gave him another hit of hits brought about.
After Elvis' death Jarvis returned to the studio and re-recorded some of Elvis ‘melodies by adding additional instrumental tracks and trying to give the songs a younger face.
Felton was already ill during Elvis' lifetime and he owes Elvis his life in the form of a kidney transplant. Ultimately, Jarvis died far too soon after a stroke in 1981 at the age of 46.

Jenkins, Mary

Jenkins worked as a cook at Graceland for 14 years and she was available every day to prepare meals for Elvis and everyone else in the room, at any time of the day or night.
She was a great Southern cook who provided Elvis with all of his favorite dishes - including peanut butter and banana sandwiches and his standard meal of mashed potatoes, sauerkraut, very crispy bacon and her homemade soup. Mary Jenkins became part of the family and so was Elvis' treatment. All those years Elvis took good care of Mary: he bought her a house and a few cars. She starred in "This Is Elvis" and wrote a book about her life with the King called "Elvis, The Way I Knew Him".
Mary Jenkins died of complications from two strokes in Memphis, Tennessee, in June 2000 at the age of 78.


The Jordanaires

Elvis had seen the "Jordanaires" perform when he was still in the infancy of his career and at the time Elvis got to know the group, its members were: Gordon Stoker (1st tenor and manager), Neal Matthews (2nd tenor), Hoyt Hawkins (baritone) and Hugh Jarrett (bass). When Elvis was ready to make successful recordings himself, he just wanted to sing with them.
During the first joint session in 1956, such world hits as "Hound Dog", "Don’t Be Cruel" and "Any Way You Want Me" emerged. Over the years the formation continued to work for Elvis and of course they also appeared in some of his films, including "King Creole" ("My Life Is Rhythm") and "G.I. Blues" ("Café Europa").
Elvis himself was convinced that he owed his early success to the "Jordanaires". Whether that's true or not, it was a guilt he never forgot.


Jordanaires homepage: www.jordanaires.net


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Keisker, Marion

Marion is the person Elvis actually discovered and who should be recognized for it. As the secretary of the "Memphis Recording Services" and a connoisseur of good music, she was in the office on July 18, 1953, when Elvis came in to record "My Happiness" and "That’s When Your Heartaches Begin". Because she mentioned something about this young man, she switched on the tape recorder and asked for his address and telephone number after the session.
She passed the tape on to Sam Phillips and the rest is history.
What follows is the most famous exchange that Marion and Elvis had on this fateful day:
"What kind of music do you sing?"
"I sound like nobody else."
"Yes, I sing hillbilly."
"What hillbilly singer do you sound like?"
"I sound like nobody else."
Marion Keisker joined the U.S. Air Force in 1957 and made it to the rank of "Captain". As a member of the Air Force, she met Elvis again in 1960 when he was on his way home from Germany to the USA.
Keisker died of cancer on December 29, 1989 at the age of 72.


Kingsley, Jim

Jimmy Kingsley, not to be confused with the reporter for the Memphis Commercial Appeal, was a Hollywood stuntman before he worked as a bodyguard for the "Memphis Mafia". He was also a film double for Elvis and thus had a place in the inner circle at Graceland.
Jim Kingsley died in Memphis on February 22, 1989.

Kirkham, Millie

Millie Kirkham's connection with Elvis Presley came about in 1957 through a recording session that spawned "Blue Christmas" among other classics, which recorded arguably the most outstanding background vocals she and the "Jordanaires" had ever done for the superstar.
Over the next 20 years, Kirkham's strong and clear soprano voice could be heard on many of Elvis' pop, rock, gospel and country recordings: "The Wonder Of You", "Surrender", "How Great Thou Art", " Polk Salad Annie "," Bridge Over Troubled Water "," Don't "," Just Pretend "," Devil In Disguise "," CC Rider "and many more.
She also sang for Elvis on film soundtracks and performed with him in Las Vegas until 1970. Family obligations prevented her from regularly accompanying Elvis ‘on the tours. Kirkham has worked with everything that is well-known in the music world and it is impossible to imagine Nashville without it.



Little George

Klein went to Humes High School with Elvis and that was where a lifelong relationship developed.
When George persuaded Elvis to appear on a local radio show early in his career, the audience reaction was enthusiastic and a new star sparkled in the entertainment sky.
As DJ and program director of WHBQ, he was a strong ally for Elvis and the "new rock & roll". Elvis never forgot this support.
George also belonged to the "Memphis Mafia" and accompanied Elvis and the boys to Hollywood or Las Vegas as often as possible.
Klein had small roles in Elvis ‘films like" Frankie And Johnny "and" Double Trouble ". In 1977 Elvis even turned to President Carter on his behalf when he was threatened with a trial for misappropriating mail. Klein introduced Elvis to Ginger Alden and ended up being one of the pallbearers at Elvis' funeral.
Until shortly before his death on February 5, 2019, George Klein had a radio broadcast in Memphis, which he hosted live from the "Graceland Plaza" for Sirius every Friday.


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Lacker, Marty

Although they weren't immediately friends with each other, Marty and Elvis had something in common that they couldn't get past each other during their time together in "Humes High School": their penchant for extravagant clothes!
It wasn't until around 1960 that he became a member of the Memphis Mafia and started working for Elvis.
Lacker was always reliable, but only played second fiddle behind Joe Esposito. Then, when Joe tried without Elvis for a period during the 1960s, Lacker replaced him perfectly. worked for Elvis until 1967. Just like other members of the crew, Lacker had many tasks that he did for Elvis, such as his personal assistant. Elvis gave him several cars and quite a few jewelry as gifts over the years, but his wife Patsy thinks Elvis seduced him into drug abuse too. Together with Joe Esposito, he was the best man at Elvis ‘wedding shortly before he was fired in 1967. In 1979 he worked on the book "Elvis, Portrait of a Friend"
Marty Lacker died on February 13, 2017 as a result of kidney failure.

Memphis Mafia homepage: www.blacksheep.com/portfolio/memphismafia


Locke, Dixie

Throughout her high school and beyond, Dixie dated Elvis on a regular basis and is widely considered to be his first girlfriend. They met at a roller skating rink in 1953 and were almost inseparable until 1955. They went to football games, had dates with other couples, and they went to Dixie's high school prom together. Elvis said he wanted to marry Dixie, but she rejected him because he was spending too much time on tour and with the band. The couple separated, but stayed in close contact and Dixie was even active in Elvis ‘first fan club.
After Elvis' death, Dixie Locke-Emmons did not give a single interview for years. She felt that this was a part of her life that she did not want to reveal to the public because she wanted to avoid her relationship becoming a rainbow press story.





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Mansfield, Donald (Rex)

Mansfield was one of twelve soldiers who came to Fort Chaffee, Arkansas with Elvis. He was also transferred to Germany with Elvis and a friendship developed that only ended when Rex and Elisabeth Stefaniak, who worked for Elvis as a secretary, fell in love.
Elvis probably also had a preference for Elisabeth, but of course also pursued other interests. Eventually he married Elisabeth and although the two talked to Elvis about it in a very friendly and sensitive manner, Elvis withdrew from Rex and Elisabeth.
In 1983 he and his wife wrote the Graceland book "Elvis in Germany" (and "Elvis The Soldier"). In 2002 the book "Sergeant Presley: Our Untold Story Of Elvis' Missing Years" was published in Canada and the USA.


Margret, Ann

Born in Sweden, Ann-Margret made the leap to Las Vegas and was discovered by George Burns while performing with a small band at the Dunes Hotel.
She went on to TV appearances and in 1961 she got a film role in "Pocket Full of Miracles" ("The Lower Ten Thousand"). She played her first leading role in 1963 in "Bye, Bye Birdie" ("Bye, Bye Birdie").
She met Elvis when she starred in "Viva Las Vegas" ("Great Nights in Las Vegas") and the two built a relationship that lasted the rest of their lives. In her autobiography, she carefully describes the obviously strong bond that had developed between her and Elvis; surely they were more than just friends.
Shortly after Elvis married Priscilla, she too dared to go to the altar.
 Together with her husband, actor Roger Smith, she accepted Elvis ‘attended the funeral and spent some time with the family at Graceland.
In all the years after Elvis' death, she was always very reluctant to talk about her relationship with Elvis. Certainly an expression of their still lasting love.


Ann Margret's homepage: www.ann-margret.com

Mississippi Slim (Carbel Lee entsorn)

Mississippi Slim was a country singer who was friends with young Elvis and who inspired his singing. The famous Mississippi Slim accompanied nine-year-old Elvis when he sang “Old Shep” for WELO's “Black and White Jamboree”.
Slim had his own radio show on WELO on Saturdays and Elvis often visited him there. His brother Jameshaben was Elvis ‘'school friend. Mississippi Slim gave Elvis a taste of the real world of music and looked up at Slim like a father figure.


Moore, Scotty

Scotty Moore did not get the public recognition for his involvement in creating the distinctive style of young Elvis Presley that he deserved, but the truth is that Elvis owed him a lot and he let Scotty know that too.
Moore was an innovative young guitarist with a stirring style who performed in Memphis in the early 1950s. He was playing with Doug Poindexter's "Starlight Wranglers" when Sam Phillips called him and asked if he wanted to play with a new guy who had some talent but had a lot of rough edges. Elvis met up with Scotty at his house, along with another musician named Bill Black, and they played some songs together. The following week they had a session at Sun Studios and during a break, they happened to find "That's All Right, Mama", the song that should turn the entire music world upside down.
Phillips was impressed and Elvis was on his way up. Elvis signed Scotty as his manager a short time later, but being agent and musician at the same time was more than Scotty could manage, and so the contract was canceled without a guilty conscience. For two more years Elvis, Scotty and Bill toured the south as the "Blue Moon Boys". When Colonel Parker took over Elvis' management, it wasn't long before they split up due to disagreements over fees.
Until Elvis was drafted into the army, both musicians continued to work for Elvis. Black then split completely in 1960, but Moore was still at Elvis' side until a disagreement finally forced him to stop working together in 1968. It was Moore's strong lead guitar and his brave and sweeping riffs that made up a large part of the early "Elvis Presley sound".

Scotty Moore's homepage: www.scottymoore.net/

More about Scotty Moore on the Rock ’n’ Roll Hall of Fame homepage:



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Neal, Bob

Shortly after Elvis ended his contract with Scotty Moore, Neal Elvis ‘became manager. Bob was originally a DJ in Memphis who had his own radio show "The Bob Neal Farm Show" until he became a full-time manager in 1952. He worked for Elvis for three years until Colonel Tom Parker stepped in and Elvis turned him off.
Neal also helped Elvis fund his first car (a four year old Lincoln Continental). Unlike Parker, who never helped a client fund anything, Neal was a helpful person, full of compassion, who played the ukulele and had a wonderful sense of humor.
Parker signed a contract with Elvis that gave him 25% of the young singer's earnings as a manager.
Elvis, feeling bad about leaving Neal, paid him 15% of his earnings out of his own pocket for a few years. Neal continued to manage a number of country and rock stars, including Johnny Cash and Jerry Lee Lewis.
But until he died in 1983 he never met another Elvis.


Nichopoulos, Dr. George Constantine / Dr. Nick

"Dr. Nick “was Elvis' close friend and personal doctor since the early 1970s. Over the years he has written prescriptions for highly addictive narcotics.
Many blame him at least partially for Elvis ‘drug abuse and ultimately also for his death.
In 1980 he was suspended over a period of several months by the "Tennessee Board of Medical Examiners" in ten cases because of excessive drug sales. His patients included also Jerry Lee Lewis and Marty Lacker, but at the trial he was cleared of allegations of unprofessional behavior. Even so, there has been at least one confirmed attack on his life.
"Dr. Nick" emphasized earlier like today that he always kept a close eye on Elvis and his drug abuse, but unfortunately he was not the only doctor whom Elvis went to and who could get the coveted pills from other doctors far more safely.
George Nichopoulos suffered from the effects of a severe stroke, but was able to write the book "The King and Dr. Nick: What really happened to Elvis and me" with the help of a co-author 2010 has been published.
George C. Nichopoulos died on February 24, 2016 at the age of 88.


Nixon, Richard Milhous

The story about the meeting between Elvis and the then President of the United States is now legendary:
Elvis spontaneously drove to Washington, D.C. just before Christmas 1970. to meet the President in the White House. MR. Haldeman agreed to the meeting and entered early afternoon on December 21, 1970 Elvis the Oval Office, with a Colt .45 wrapped as a gift that he'd brought past security for Richard Nixon.
During that meeting, perhaps one of the most notable in modern political history, Elvis convinced the President to make him an agent for the Federal Narcotics Bureau and waited patiently for Nixon to confirm the appointment and for got him ID and badge. Then he asked Nixon whether he would also receive two members of the "Memphis Mafia" who had accompanied him to Washington.
Nixon agreed, and Jerry Schilling and Sonny West were shown inside to meet the president. After generally shaking hands, Elvis asked if the boys might have some souvenirs from their visit. The President gave his visitors various souvenirs with the President's seal on them. Elvis was happy as a little boy because he left Washington as an official drug investigator and the badge has been the jewel in his collection of police badges ever since.

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Parker, Ed

Elvis met Hawaii-born Kenpo karate teacher Ed Parker in his studio in Pasadena, California. In 1972 Elvis came to Parker's studio and began seriously learning karate. It was Parker's style of hand-edge punches and kicks that Elvis used on stage when demonstrating his karate exercises to admiring fans. This type of karate is called "Kenpo" and was developed by Ed Parker, who harmonized a pragmatic possibility of self-defense on the basis of the Far Eastern philosophy of karate.
Parker once wanted to use Elvis ‘name to promote a karate championship, but the Colonel refused to let Elvis participate. This incident caused temporary disagreements between Ed Parker and the King, but these could be resolved.
a year after Elvis' death, in 1978, he wrote the book "Inside Elvis".
Ed Parker died on December 15, 1990.


Parker, Colonel Thomas

The life story of the most extravagant, shrewdest and at the same time most successful manager in show business has been illuminated intensively in recent years and with the publication of the book "The Colonel" by Alanna Nash at the latest, many hitherto unknown details from the life of Andreas van Kuijk, such as Parker's real name was, obviously.
After having immigrated to the USA illegally, he got by with jobs at fairs at first, but always had the big plan to gain a foothold in show business. He was a creative mind and was soon known for "His dancing chickens". Later he was a successful dog catcher in Florida, where he made his first contacts with Hollywood.
His promoter and manager career began in the early 1950s with Gene Austin, Eddy Arnold, Hank Snow, and Tommy Sands.
He recognized Elvis ‘potential as soon as he saw him on stage for the first time and took him over on March 15, 1956 as a client of Bob Neal.
Elvis and the Colonel signed a contract that gave the Colonel 25% of Elvis ‘revenue, and from that day on, the Colonel only managed Elvis. Parker signed tight and aggressive contracts, ensuring a good income for himself and his client.
It also gave him absolute control over all the facets of Elvis ‘career.
While there is no doubt that Parker's genius as a showman and promoter brought Elvis to the heights of a global superstar, he was also responsible for keeping Elvis on an artistically frustrating status quo - one that was financially very rewarding.
Since Parker always placed the material value of his client in the foreground, he completely neglected the artistic aspect and contributed to Elvis not getting the cultural recognition that was due to him.
Parker drove Elvis beyond the limits of his resilience for years and in this way certainly had a large part in Elvis dying far too early.
 In 1967 Parker renegotiated his contract with Elvis and increased his stake to an incredible 50%. Elvis tried to fire Parker several times, but the Colonel, who meticulously kept records, still presented Vernon with allegedly outstanding bills in the millions.
Since Parker had a morbid predilection for gambling, he always had to provide monetary replenishment. Even after Elvis' death, the only way to stop Parker from marketing his former client was through a lawsuit.
Colonel Tom Parker, aka Andreas van Kuijk, died on January 21, 1997 in Las Vegas.

Parry, Patti

Patti was one of Elvis ‘dearest friends. She met Elvis in 1960 when she and a friend were driving down Santa Monica Boulevard in Los Angeles. When they were standing next to Elvis at a red light, Patti simply rolled down her window and spoke to him.
Elvis was impressed. He invited her to his home in Bel Air. Later the two had a very good relationship and Patti went in and out of Elvis'.
She can also be seen at the edge of the stage in the "68 Comeback Special" and worked as Elvis' hairdresser in the 1970s. Elvis always had a choice between Larry Geller and Patti Parry.
Unfortunately, her health has been badly damaged by her alcohol addiction in recent years.
Patti Parry died on October 27, 2011.