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The Most Famous Partnership in Showbiz History—The Real Story of Colonel Parker and Elvis Presley

Our American Stories / Lee Habeeb
The Truth Network Radio
December 4, 2023 3:00 am

The Most Famous Partnership in Showbiz History—The Real Story of Colonel Parker and Elvis Presley

Our American Stories / Lee Habeeb

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December 4, 2023 3:00 am

On this episode of Our American Stories, get the real story of the most exciting time in 20th-century music - the loyal, riotously successful, often heartbreaking agency of a stalwart Dutchman for an American king.

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See T-Mobile dot com. This is Lee Habib and this is our American stories, the show where America is the star and the American people. Up next, we have an insider's look at the most legendary partnership in show business history. I'm talking about the relationship between Colonel Tom Parker and Elvis Presley. If you've seen the movie or read about this at all, Colonel Tom Parker is always the bad guy. Here to tell the true story is an insider who knew both men.

My name is Greg McDonald. I was a long time friend and associate and employee of Colonel Tom Parker. And after Elvis passed away, I was coming home to Palm Springs where the colonel and I live. And I'd been out on the road with Ricky Nelson for a tour. Well, after Elvis died, people would come into the dress Ricky's dressing room and really give us a hard time about the colonel because they knew that we were close to him. And it caused many, many fights and a lot of trouble. So I got home and I'd say to the colonel, Colonel, you've got to write a book, man. You've got to get this out as the truth because this story is becoming a folklore.

And we really got to stop it because we're actually getting in shout outs and almost this fights on the road. All of us, not just Rick and I, but all the other guys. And Colonel wouldn't do it.

And I was backstage at Leon Russell shows in Nashville and Minnie Pearl, who was a dear friend of the colonel's. And she came and said, you've got to write a book. You'll have to do it because he'll never do it. It's just not his way.

For the time I was died to today, I've turned on rule books for big money. Because my story, they were not print. He said, no, we want the dirt.

All I know is I sleep very good at night. And Elvis and I were friends. The colonel's born in Breda, Holland, and from a very, very, very poor working family living in an apartment. And his apartment was over a horse stall.

And the horses were to pull the big boats along the canals in Holland. And the colonel used to say from time to time, he didn't like his father. They didn't get along at all. He said he was a bad, bad man. Told me several times he was a bad guy. And I never really knew exactly why.

It was years before I was born. But he loved his mother, and he supported his mother till the end of her life. Right before the Depression, things were very tough, and he got out of town. He really went to work on a boat. He wasn't coming to America.

It wasn't his plan. It just happened that the boat turned out to be running illegal liquor on the boat. The captain did. So when they pulled up near America, the Coast Guard brought him into Mobile.

And they arrested the captain when they got him inside the limits. And they put the colonel and the rest of the crew out on a pier, and they didn't speak English. And that's how the colonel got to America.

The colonel got his name. He was up in Virginia, and he met a family called the Parkers, and they had a pony circus. So that's where the colonel started in the carnival world, with the Parker Pony Circus. It was a family of nice people that fed him and took him in. And after a while, they adopted him. The colonel was actually adopted by the Parkers. And he changed his name to Tom Parker. He took the name Tom from his uncle in Holland, who was a famous circus clown in Holland. His name was Tom, and he loved him. So he named himself Tom and Parker from the Parker Pony Circus. Well, the colonel went out and joined the army, because it was that time.

He didn't have much choice. He joined the army twice, and he was twice honorably discharged. I have his honorable discharge. So he didn't become a colonel until he became a music promoter. And two different governors in two states made him an honorary colonel.

Jimmy Davis, the singing governor of You Are My Sunshine, wrote that song and sang it. He made the colonel a colonel in the state militia. So we're working at MGM Studios, and all of us work over this partition. You know, the colonel had one whole half of this small studio that gave him Elvis as an office. And then we worked on the other side. It was a series of desks for me and Tom Diskin and Eddie Bonja and Jim O'Brien, all of the colonel's guys. So one day Eddie Bonja picks up the phone.

He was Tom Diskin's nephew. And somebody was very angry on the phone that Elvis hadn't showed up for a recording session. So they were just raising hell with us on the phone. The colonel could hear the problem. So the colonel told Eddie and I to tell those guys that we forgot to tell Elvis about the session. We're sorry.

We'll get him there immediately. We hang up. So one of the only times that I ever popped up and said anything, I said, Colonel, we told Joe Esposito yesterday what time this session was.

Why do we have to take good life? So the colonel walks out to our part of the office and looks at me and he says, Mr. McDonald, how many records did you sell last year? And I said, well, none, sir. And he said, the artist always wears the white hat.

Our job is to wear the black hat and take the blame. Don't ever forget it. He must have said that to me 10 times. The artist always wears the white hat, no matter what. So the rest of his career and after Elvis passed, the colonel kept his word on that. Maybe Elvis had done some things that weren't the right thing to do. The colonel would never, ever give him up, ever. Till the day the colonel died, he never stood up and said what he maybe could have said. And that's why the artist wears the white hat. And you've been listening to Greg McDonald tell the story of Colonel Tom Parker and Elvis Presley.

And it's quite a different story from the mythology. When we come back, more of this remarkable partnership and the real story of Colonel Tom Parker here on Our American Stories. Lee Habib here, the host of Our American Stories. Every day on this show, we're bringing inspiring stories from across this great country.

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View PVI's disclosures at slash legal slash disclosures. And we return to our American stories and with Greg McDonald, an insider who has written a remarkable book called Elvis and the Colonel. And insiders look at the most legendary partnership in show business. And his co-author on that book was Marshall Terrell.

Let's pick up where Greg last left off. You got to remember that in those days, there hadn't been a hundred books written about Elvis with a lot of bad things in the books. They all wanted to say something bad about Colonel Parker because it must be the colonel's fault, whatever the issue was. It couldn't be Elvis, even through those years where they started to straighten the story out a little bit, which it has over the years. They straighten out the story about the colonel being the bad guy.

They straightened it out a little until the Baz Luhrmann movie. I always knew I was destined for greatness. As an orphan, I ran away to the carnival where I learned the art of the snow job, of emptying a Rubes wallet while leaving them with nothing but a smile on their face. But the carnival act that would get you the most money, the most snow, had great costumes and a unique trick that gave the audience feelings they weren't sure they should enjoy.

But they do. And I knew if I could find such an act, I could create the greatest show on earth. He used to say, what are we going to do? We're with Elvis Presley for 22 years and we promoted him every day of those 22 years and he was our friend and he was our employer. We're going to go out and beat him up now that he's dead and he's not here to protect himself. He said that a lot. He says, he's not here to protect himself. Why should I stand up and say something that might reflect bad on Elvis? That he was our friend. And he wouldn't do it.

You could promote all you want to, but if the people don't want to buy a ticket, it doesn't help. So I did my part. Elvis did his show and we were lucky.

If the colonel told you he was going to do something, you could absolutely count on it. He just needed to shake your hand. He was a rare guy. People have the opposite feeling about him and they're so dead wrong.

They don't get it. Everybody knew. When people say hard things about the colonel, they think they're defending Elvis. But the truth is, if you were up in Elvis's house here in Palm Springs, and Elvis might have been mad and cursing the colonel, but if you did, you'd get thrown out of the house. It's fine for him to do it, but he didn't let other people say anything about the colonel.

That was his colonel, even if he was mad at him. In these recent movies, they have the colonel being a carny when he meets Elvis. Of course, he had been out of the carnival business for years and years and years before he ever met Elvis Presley. He was already a superstar manager, one of the few that existed. He had already managed big stars and had many hit records in movies before he ever met Elvis.

I always kind of look at it, if you look at the Sun Records, and I really like Sam. Sam Phillips was a friend of mine, and I like the Sun Records. But the reality of it is, Elvis got started in the rockabilly world down there at Sun in Memphis. Made some great records. But if you really analyze the colonel's input to Elvis's career in those early days was, he got Elvis off of Sun Records, he used to say. And he got Elvis off the Louisiana hayride.

People say, well, why do you say that? He said, well, look at the next album. The colonel bought the contract off of Sam Phillips at Sun, and then he got reimbursed by RCA. Then the colonel took Elvis Presley to New York.

And what did he find in New York? Elvis had been singing Blue Moon of Kentucky by Bill Monroe, and singing all of those really cool rockabilly songs. But they were just regional, and they were probably never going to be more than regional hits. Even though they were great, they were great.

And Scotty and Bill were great, and all of that stuff is legendary now. But the truth is, the colonel took Elvis to New York City and introduced him to the Braille building. Look at those recordings, and the quality, and the level worldwide of hits those were.

It's what made Elvis. And of course, the colonel took him, of course, to Ed Sullivan, and the Dorsey Brothers, and to those TV shows. None of those country people had any way to get on those shows, no way. Eddie Arnold had got on those shows because he was with the colonel. Elvis going on as a sort of a rockabilly country kid, that was unheard of. And it made him a huge star. It made him a worldwide star. What the colonel really brought was the music business to Elvis. Elvis had an incredible talent, incredible talent. But that music had to come from somebody, and it came from the colonel. One of the first things he did is formed a publishing company with the Beanstocks.

Freddie Beanstock and Julian Averbach. Those are the biggest publishers in the world. People in Nashville, I doubt that Elvis knew what the word publishing meant when he first started. I'm not sure on day one did he know what a publisher was.

I'm not sure. So the colonel started his publishing company, put the biggest publishers in New York City in the company, and they went from there, the reason that number of hits, they weren't rockabilly hits. Elvis brought his rockabilly style to them, but you just look at the songs from Jailhouse Rock, you know, just one right after another. The great writers at that time were introduced to Elvis, and Elvis met the publishing world.

They're meeting Elvis in coffee shops with hit songs in New York City. Immediately, the colonel signs Elvis Presley to the William Morris Agency. Well, William Morris was the biggest agent in the world, one of the biggest today. And the owner of the company, Abe Lasvogel, was Elvis' agent from the day he signed until Elvis passed. Abe Lasvogel, the biggest agent in the world, was Elvis' agent.

No one ever talks about Abe Lasvogel. They talk about Colonel Parker, but he also had the biggest agent in history. They had Marilyn Monroe and Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and Morris Office had everybody. Elvis was the biggest. They made Elvis the biggest in that stable. Abe Lasvogel brought Elvis to Hollywood and introduced him to Hal Wallace and to all the big producers. So Elvis was in the top rung from day one, from day one in the music business in New York and in the film business in Hollywood.

Couldn't get any bigger. So the colonel brought a lot to the party because Abe Lasvogel and William Morris handled Eddie Arnold. The colonel had already been to Hollywood and made movies with William Morris before he met Elvis.

So he was already in the game. And what people don't know is he brought Elvis to that. He brought that talent, that incredible talent. He brought it to all the right places. And it meant a lot.

If you're not in that business, you don't understand how important it is to get in the door at William Morris Agency and also be represented by the owner. That's what the colonel brought. He brought a partnership. The biggest mistake the colonel ever made was calling himself a manager of Elvis because he ended up putting up the original money and he ended up doing more jobs than a manager does. And you're listening to one heck of a story if you've ever watched the movie with Tom Hanks. Movies can get it so wrong and great actors can get it so wrong. The idea that Colonel Tom Parker had no experience, that he'd just fallen off a turnip truck and gone on to manage the greatest star in the world.

Well, we're learning a very different story. My goodness, the experience Colonel Tom Parker had, the knowledge he brought to the table, how he set up Elvis with the greatest writers in America, how he got him out of his record contract and brought him to RCA, how he pulled him out of Nashville and doing regional music to New York City and doing music of the world and of the time. Introducing him to the greatest writers and the writers being introduced to Elvis, The Ed Sullivan Show, Hollywood. You can go on and on. Colonel Tom Parker's story continues here on Our American Stories.

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Let's pick up where we last left off. He really shouldn't have called himself a manager because he was the publicist. He was the promoter. In many, many, many shows, the Colonel promoted himself and they needed work.

They were partners at the end of his life. But in the beginning, they should have had a production company as partners. And one of the issues of that is Elvis wouldn't let the Colonel manage anybody else. And the Colonel and Elvis had a deal that the Colonel wouldn't manage anyone else and Elvis wouldn't work for anyone else. So they weren't just, I mean, managers don't necessarily do that. A lot of managers will have 10 artists.

Elvis wouldn't have it. So they were really partners. But the Colonel gets called a manager that charged too much commission. Just not true because the Colonel's partnership deal is the infamous 50-50 deal. That was on the net proceeds.

That wasn't on the gross, like most managers work on 15 percent of the gross. The Colonel never had a deal for 50 percent, but he never got it. He never got it. He's been blamed for that deal for the last 45 years. It never happened.

He got to 25 percent. And in the last few, it couldn't. There wasn't any money left. Elvis spent all the money. It was not the Colonel gambling. It had nothing to do. Elvis' money was separate from the Colonel's gambling. So they should have been partners.

But it didn't happen. So the Colonel gets to be the bad guy. I talked to Marion Hilton once about the Colonel's gambling because there's so much said about it. He says, two kinds of gamblers. He says there's guys that will gamble until they have to go over to the casino office and pledge their car.

And then there's guys like the Colonel who get up and walk away when they're done, only because they're done. It's not like he ever ran out of money. And he died a very wealthy man. People don't get it. He wasn't a broke gambler.

Not at all. Also, Elvis and Vernon Presley needed money generally so bad. There would have been no way to do anything funny with Elvis' money because the checking account was probably overdrawn.

And they knew what the money that was coming in was going to be and when they were going to get it and when it was going to get deposited. The whole thing is silly when they talk about the Colonel doing anything with Elvis' money. Colonel didn't handle Elvis' money at all. Vernon Presley did.

And then later an accounting firm there in Memphis, they handled all of his money. Colonel wouldn't handle it. Barbara Streisand came to the Las Vegas Hilton and pitched Elvis to be her co-star in A Star is Born, which Kris Kristofferson ultimately did. And Elvis got excited about it for the evening. And it turned into a big beef because finally the Colonel said, you know, she's going to be your boss and her boyfriend is going to be the director and you may not get top billing. As soon as Elvis heard all of that, then the Colonel had to wear the black hat. He told the Colonel to get rid of it, but he didn't want to offend everybody like Barbara Streisand. And so the Colonel went in there and made the price too high for Elvis, made them mad.

And Colonel's got blamed for that movie ever since. When Elvis was drafted and went into the service, RCA and Colonel Parker recorded a lot of singles so that they could be released intermittently while he was in Germany. Elvis was really worried about his career going away while he was in the Army. But the truth is he had consistent hot hit singles through the whole time. He was hot as a pistol till the day he got out. And as soon as he got out, he had Elvis appearing on the Frank Sinatra special down in Miami and had movies coming up. And of course, his biggest single of his career was It's Now or Never. And that was released just as he was brought out of the Army. That was his biggest single of his career.

So they handled it very well being that he was gone for two years. The Colonel and Morris office and RCA, they handled it very well. In 1971, RCA had set up and the Colonel had set up a session in Nashville at RCA Studio B. And they wanted a Christmas album. Well, Elvis wanted to record, but he wanted to do other songs.

He wanted to go in and do some Bob Dylan covers and some Peter, Paul and Mary stuff, which was hotter at that time. And Elvis, of course, his Christmas album in 1958 was the biggest Christmas album ever. And a lot of people don't realize that Elvis recorded his version of White Christmas and they sent the dub up to New York. And they played that dub for Irving Berlin, who wrote that song White Christmas. And at that time, it was the biggest Christmas song ever and had been sung by Bing Crosby.

And it was huge. Irving Berlin hates it. He tells them, don't put it out.

It's my song. You can't put it out. Well, of course they could. And they did. So Irving Berlin hires a room full of people to call radio stations and tell them not to play the record.

It's sacrilegious. So, well, obviously the album comes out, you know, Blue Christmas is on it, White Christmas is on it. Huge record. At the end of Irving Berlin's career, Dish Jockey asked him, Mr. Berlin, what was the biggest royalty check and on what song was it during your life? What was your most profitable hit? And he said, Elvis Presley's version of White Christmas. So, you know, that particular album is the biggest selling Christmas album, including Mariah Carey and all of those.

It's the biggest selling still. You can't get in an elevator. Christmas is not here.

Blue Christmas. The Colonel, it was his idea 100 percent. Elvis didn't want to do it.

He was doing blowing in the wind. He did some great songs, but they weren't what was planned for the session. And the Colonel was in almost never went to recording sessions. So we were in Nashville in that Chet Atkins office, actually at RCA, and we could hear what Elvis, there was a speaker in the conference room.

We could hear what they were recording in the studio. Well, Chet Atkins was calling New York and giving us up. And he'd say, you know, Elvis is in there singing, but he ain't doing Christmas. And they'd call the Colonel and go, you've got to have him record.

We've got it scheduled for release at Christmas. Colonel would send his right-hand man, Tom Diskin, into the studio to get Elvis because Colonel would never walk in there. That was their separate turfs. So he'd bring Elvis out into the parking lot where I was recently. And you could see them friendly talking and the Colonel saying, you've got to sing Christmas, Elvis.

And Elvis saying, yeah, but I want it. He wanted to do gospel songs. And we're listening to Greg McDonald, author of Elvis and the Colonel, an insider's look at the most legendary partnership in show business. And his co-author was Marshall Terrell.

And you can get it at Amazon or wherever you buy your books. And what a story he's telling, debunking the mythology that somehow Colonel Tom Parker not only stole from Elvis, not only ruined his career and his life, but may indeed have killed him. And that's the impression you got when you watched that biopic about Elvis with Tom Hanks playing Colonel Tom Parker.

But, oh, what a different story we're hearing here. I mean, the idea that while he was away in the Army, Colonel Tom Parker made sure the pipeline was filled with song after song, hit song after hit song. So when Elvis returned to the States, his career was not only intact, there was more demand for Presley. And then that story about the Christmas album, Be Still My Heart. If only more talent had more managers and partners like Colonel Tom Parker.

When we come back, more of the story of Elvis and the Colonel here on Our American Stories. World-class noise cancellation straps you in for a not-so-typical silent night. And custom-tuned technology analyzes your ears' shape, adapting the audio performance so each whistle note hits higher and each sleigh bell rings even brighter than the last. It's everything music should make you feel taken to new holiday highs. It's more than just a present, and it gifts like a party. So turn your ordinary moments into epic memories with the gift of sound.

Visit forward slash iHeart to say big on holiday cheer and shop sound that's more than just a present. Crypto is like finance, but different. It doesn't care when you invest, trade, or save. Do it on weekends, or at 5 a.m., or on Christmas Day at 5 a.m. Crypto is financed for everyone, everywhere, all the time. Kraken, see what crypto can be. Not investment advice, crypto trading involves risk of loss. Cryptocurrency services are provided to U.S. and U.S. territory customers by Payword Ventures, Inc., PVI, DBA, Kraken.

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Let's return to Greg. So this was going on for a week. It called it the marathon. And it cut some of the greatest songs Elvis ever cut. So he'd sing three Christmas songs, and then he went back in the studio because he knew we were listening, and he recorded a song called He Touched Me, which was one of his biggest records, and became one of his gospel albums that he got the only Grammy for, and How Great Thou Art. Anyway, the Colonel didn't mind the gospel stuff, but he wasn't ready for the Bob Dylan songs. He wanted the Christmas songs. So the battle between the two superegoes was going on, and it was friendly.

That was in the real friendly days, those two. But they were nose to nose over what he was going to record, and they ended up recording 30, 40 songs, and I think they all became chart records. The Colonel and I used to eat at a restaurant called the Jolly Roger in Hollywood, and we were one day eating in there with all of the RCA executives. So they're telling the Colonel at lunch about this new satellite and Telstone, and they're telling the Colonel they'd just done that Nixon. We heard the Nixon promo, but they were talking about how many people he reached from the satellite, and the Colonel was really interested.

So on the way home, I'm driving, we're going to Palm Springs. He's got his cigar, and he said, you know, if RCA would let us, he called it, borrow that thing. He didn't realize I was more involved in that. He wanted to borrow that thing. He says, you know, I think Elvis would like that. He could sing to his fans all around the world all at once.

So this goes on. He's chewing his cigar and talking about the angles and where we would have to, for time zones, where we'd have to broadcast from. He was in it. It was his idea 100%. When we got back to Palm Springs, he went right in his office.

There were no cell phones yet. So he went right in his office, and I could hear him clear down the hall. He's obviously got Elvis really excited about this, which ultimately became Elvis' and the biggest show at that time of any sort of music performer. You know, Nixon had been a big deal, but no music artist had ever done it. And the Colonel did that from scratch.

So that was a huge success. The Colonel, who was a consummate concert showman, always traveled ahead on the road. He usually had a Learjet, maybe a Lear 23. He worked on security. He met with the building managers. He was in charge of tickets. As soon as Elvis came into that town and walked on the stage, the Colonel would leave and go to the next town. And he would arrange hotels. He would do a concert. And he would arrange hotels. He would do so many things that a modern-day manager wouldn't even talk about. The Colonel sort of supervised everything, and Elvis knew it.

He also wrote and placed all the advertising, always bought all the advertising. There was no real promoter. Even though Concerts West was officially the promoter of the tour, the Colonel was the promoter. Modern-day managers from Hollywood, no more go out into the middle of this country and promote a show for an Indian. They wouldn't do that.

They'd sell the show to the local promoter or the big nationwide promoter. In those latter years, Elvis was having a lot of problems with various, usually prescription medicine, but he was in some real trouble. There was no Betty Ford Center at that time.

Even though we lived here in Palm Springs, Coachella Valley, where Betty Ford was, it wasn't here yet. And people didn't understand a celebrity would never do that. It appeared that when Elvis would get away from Graceland and get out of his bedroom, he would clean up. And when he went on the road, he was so busy that he would straighten out. And so the Colonel and everyone around thought... And Elvis wanted to work. So spending money, every time he'd get to Memphis, he'd start buying Cadillacs. And they all thought if he got out on the road from time to time, he'd get on the road and that would straighten him out. And then other times it wouldn't. So that was the only answer the Colonel had was just to keep him busy so that he wouldn't have that problem.

But it obviously didn't work. The Colonel loved Elvis like his son. And Elvis would avoid the Colonel because I believe that Elvis didn't want the Colonel to see him in bad shape. And I think that's what caused most of their beefs. When they'd get in a fuss, it was Elvis missed some shows and Elvis did some shows that weren't worthy of Elvis Presley. And the Colonel was all business.

And that's what would cause the issues. And Elvis was going to do what Elvis was going to do. People think that people had control over him.

The Colonel had control over Vernon. Everybody around him would know that that wasn't true. Elvis told people from time to time that if they didn't get him drugs, he'd buy a drug store. And he wasn't kidding. And he could do it. I'm surprised that he didn't. So the Colonel just didn't live inside of Elvis' personal life like that. He just didn't.

People think he did. But the Colonel lived in Palm Springs, California. And Elvis lived in Memphis, Tennessee, most of the time. And the problems in the last years, the Colonel was a consummate showman. And he was a serious businessman. And when Elvis would miss a show, or do a show that really shouldn't have happened, they'd have trouble. And that's what caused it. And they still loved each other. But the Colonel was determined to get him straightened out.

It was hard. People think you could control Elvis Presley. And that's just a joke. He knew he was the king. He was Elvis Presley.

And no one was going to tell him what to do. He was a good guy, too. He was a great guy, actually. But he knew who he was. I didn't know what he knew, all of it. But he knew that he could do whatever he wanted to. And nobody told Elvis Presley what to do, because he was a very strong person. And we had a great relationship. But I took care of mine. He'd take care of his.

And he didn't let anybody tell him what to do. The day Elvis died, I was at Ricky Nelson's house in Hollywood. And Rick Nelson's maid came into the music room and said, Mr. McDonald, Elvis Presley died.

And Ricky and I didn't believe her. Then the phone rang immediately, and it was the colonel. So the colonel wanted me to go to Palm Springs immediately. He told me Elvis died.

So Ricky and I went together to Palm Springs. And we pulled up to Elvis's house first. And there's a few hundred people in the street. And they've pushed the gate open. And they've pushed the door open. And they're taking everything out of the house that they could carry. So I run up into the house and chase the people out. We're calling, trying to get the cops there.

And it's really funny. I'm chasing these people out the gate. And Ricky Nelson's holding the gate so they can't come back in. And they're all looking for autographs. And Rick won't do it because Elvis just died.

So Rick's holding the gate. And every time I'd bring the group down and throw them out, this went on forever. And then the police showed up. And then we went down to the colonel's house down the street. There was an incredible number of press trucks and press people out in front of the house.

So it took several days for them to pull away from the house. But we had to look out for Marie, Colonel Parker's wife Marie. Bad day.

Very bad day. You know, as I now get older, there's nobody from All-Star Shows was the name of Colonel Parker's company in Madison, Tennessee. And unfortunately, everybody from All-Star Shows has passed away. I'm the last guy left from All-Star Shows, and I'm no kid. So you hear often about the Memphis Mafia guys constantly.

So I kind of think it's my obligation. Let them know that the colonel really didn't wear the black hat. He wore a white hat. It's unexplainable. They say anybody else could have done it.

Perhaps so. But I happened to be the one that was with him. He did his part.

I did mine. And we were lucky. Great talent.

We had a great show and a lot of fun. And a terrific job on the production, editing, and storytelling by our own Greg Hengler. And a special thanks to Greg McDonald. He's the author of Elvis and the Colonel, an insider's look at the most legendary partnership in show business. And his co-author on that book was Marshall Turrell. And what a story we heard. Elvis was going to do what Elvis was going to do.

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Whisper: medium.en / 2023-12-04 04:16:19 / 2023-12-04 04:34:13 / 18

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