"Elvis Presley is the greatest cultural force in the 20th century."

(Leonard Bernstein)


"If you're an Elvis fan, no explanation is necessary; If you're not an Elvis fan, no explanation is possible."

(George Klein)


"For a dead man, Elvis Presley is awfully noisy."

(Professor Gilbert B. Rodman)


"History has him as this good old country boy, Elvis is about as country as Bono!"

(Jerry Schilling)


"Absolute id crashed into absolute superego...as the uptightset man in America shook hands with just about the loosest."

(Mark Feeney on the 'Elvis meets Nixon' meeting)


"Elvis is everywhere"

(Mojo Nixon & Skid Roper)


"...especially in the South, they talk about Elvis and Jesus in the same breath"

(Michael Ventura, LA Weekly)


"The image is one thing and the human being is another...it's very hard to live up to an image"


(Elvis Presley, Madison Square Garden press conference, 1972)


"Elvis was a major hero of mine. I was actually stupid enough to believe that having the same birthday as him actually meant something"

(David Bowie)


"No-one, but no-one, is his equal, or ever will be. He was, and is supreme"

(Mick Jagger)


"I wasn't just a fan, I was his brother...there'll never be another like that soul brother"

(Soul legend, James Brown)


"Before Elvis there was nothing!"

(John Lennon)


"There were rock 'n' roll records before Heartbreak Hotel, but this was the one that didn't just open the door…it literally blasted the door off its rusted, rotten, anachronistic hinges…. producing....no propelling, an unstoppable, fundamental and primordial shift in not only musical, but social, political and cultural history"

(JNP, BBC website)


"Elvis, the musician, is largely a relic belonging to the baby boomer generation...Elvis, the icon, is arguably one of the most potent symbols of popular culture"

( Dr. John Walker)


"It [rock & roll] was always about Elvis; not just because he was Elvis, but because he was the big star"

(Bono from U2)


"If they had let me on white radio stations back then, there never would have been an Elvis"

(Little Richard)


"Elvis loved opera, and he especially liked Mario Lanza. He would watch The Student Prince which was set in Heidelberg, over and over again. He loved the power of the big voices. And he loved big orchestras. He liked real dramatic things"

(Marty Lacker in 'Elvis and the Memphis Mafia')


"If life was fair, Elvis would be alive and all the impersonators would be dead"

(Johnny Carson)




Elvis' #1 Pop Singles on Cashbox, USA:

Heartbreak Hotel (1956)

Don't Be Cruel (1956)

Hound Dog (1956)

Love Me Tender (1956)

Too Much (1957)

All Shook Up (1957)

Teddy Bear (1957)

Jailhouse Rock (1957)

Don't (1958)

Stuck On You (1960)

It's Now Or Never (1960)

Are You Lonesome Tonight? (1960)

Surrender (1961)

Good Luck Charm (1962)

Return To Sender (1962)

In The Ghetto (1969)

Suspicious Minds (1969)

Burning Love (1972)

(The Cashbox chart is now defunct)

Elvis Facts:

Elvis was 5' 11" tall


Elvis' natural hair color was dark blond


Elvis' blood type was O Positive


Elvis' shoe size was 11D


One of Elvis'( maternal) ancestors, Morning White Dove (born 1800, died 1835), was a full-blooded Cherokee Indian


Elvis' uncle, Noah Presley, became Mayor of East Tupelo on January 7, 1936


The Presley family moved to Memphis on November 6, 1948


Elvis was issued a Social Security card in September 1950 with the # 409-52-2002


In 1954 some of the shows played by Elvis & The Blue Moon Boys were at the Overton Park Shell; the Bel-Air Club; Sleepy-Eyed John's Eagle's Nest Club and the Louisiana Hayride


Elvis' first manager was Scotty Moore, then Bob Neal, before signing with Colonel Tom Parker


The first DJ to play an Elvis record was Fred Cook (WREC), not Dewey Phillips (WHBQ). However, Dewey had the distinction of being the first DJ to play an Elvis record in its entirety


Elvis once dated famous stripper, Tempest Storm


Elvis was filmed from the waist up only during his 3rd and final appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show


In the 50s Elvis was friendly with rising stars, Natalie Wood, Robert Wagner and Ty (Bronco Lane) Hardin


Gladys Presley was 46 years old when she died, not 42, as many books suggest


The Roustabout album sold 450,000 copies on its initial release, 150,000 copies more than any of the preceding three soundtrack LPs. It was Elvis' last "soundtrack" album to reach #1 on the major album charts in the US


Elvis received $1m for filming Harum Scarum (aka Harum Holiday). The film grossed around $2m in the US


Elvis and Priscilla married on May 1, 1967


They were officially divorced on October 9, 1973


Elvis earns nearly $3.5m in 1968 and pays just over $1.4m in income tax


Elvis' return to live performing in Las Vegas on July 31, 1969 was in front of an "by invitation only" audience. Stars in attendance included Wayne Newton, Petula Clark, Shirley Bassey, Burt Bacharach and Angie Dickinson


On January 9, 1971, the national Junior Chamber of Commerce (Jaycees) announced Elvis as one of "The Top Ten Young Men of the Year". Elvis spoke at the official awards ceremony on January 16


"Elvis: Aloha From Hawai" made entertainment history on January 14, 1973, when it was beamed around the world by satellite. In the Philippines it drew 91% of the audience, in Hong Kong 70%. The viewing audience was estimated at more than 1 billion


For his 4 week Hilton Vegas season in August 1973 Elvis received $610,000

Sales of Elvis' 1973 album, Raised On Rock, were less than 200,000 units on its initial release


Elvis paid $2,959,000 in income tax in 1973


In December 1976 Elvis was sworn in as a special deputy sheriff of Shelby County (Memphis) by Sheriff Gene Barksdale


Elvis' final live concert was in Indianapolis on June 26, 1977

When Elvis died, he and his father Vernon, were embroiled in an FBI investigation called Operation Fountain Pen

More than 1,500 books have been published about The King in more than 30 languages


At Dec 2005 Elvis' biggest selling album in the US is the budget priced, Elvis' Christmas Album, with accredited sales of 9 million units (fingers crossed it reaches 10 million to give Elvis his first "Diamond" award)


By early2006, Sony BMG's "collectors label", Follow That Dream, had released more than 50 Elvis CDs


During the 1980s, tour guides at Graceland stated that Elvis' biggest selling album (globally) was Moody Blue, with sales exceeding 14 million


While Sony BMG estimates Elvis' global sales exceed 1 billion, the company is unable to substantiate this figure. Accredited sales worldwide are estimated to be less than 400 million
















































































































































































































































































"Elvis and the Memphis Mafia"

Alanna Nash with Billy Smith, Marty Lacker and Lamar Fike

Aurum Press Ltd, England & Australia, 2005 (USA release in Spring 2006), Softcover, ISBN: 1845131282

Reviewed by Nigel Patterson


Praise for "Elvis and the Memphis Mafia":

"You don't need to be an Elvis fan to be awed by this book. It is so detailed, gossipy, far-ranging and coherent that it becomes a clear window on an entire era. The book's genius is in the volume of fresh and flowing information...Nash is one of the finest, most perceptive chroniclers and appraisers of pop music in America."


Finally, the long awaited re-issue of Alanna Nash's superb 1995 book, Elvis Aaron Presley: Revelations of the Memphis Mafia.

With a snappier new title, a new generation of fans and many older fans who have forgotten just how enthralling this book is, will have the opportunity to expand their knowledge of Elvis many times over.

Elvis and the Memphis Mafia was originally a monumental 4,000 page oral biography, written after numerous individual and group interviews between Alanna Nash and Memphis Mafia stalwarts, Billy Smith, Marty Lacker and Lamar Fike. (We can only hope the publisher may one day see fit to release a second volume!)

The final product is an absorbing 792 page roller-coaster ride...a ride you won't want to stop!

In many ways Elvis and the Memphis Mafia is like an Elvis encyclopedia. It covers so many diverse subjects that at times your mind spins at the information being provided. The anecdotes, the recollections, the revelations, the emotions...they tell the whole Elvis story, from birth to death and beyond.

The three central protagonists (Billy Smith's wife, Jo, also features in one chapter) speak with candour, at times with great emotion, at times evoking a wonderful playfulness, and the result is delightfully colorful and at times confronting and challenging.


Many of the events discussed in Elvis and the Memphis Mafia sparked high emotion between Billy, Marty and Lamar, and their sometimes diverging opinions on what actually happened offers an insight to the rich and complex tapestry that comprises the Elvis story. Regardless of the tension sometimes inherent in the differing views, Elvis and the Memphis Mafia is always engrossing and continually offers us gold nuggets of information which add immeasurably to our understanding of the man who was Elvis Aaron Presley.

There is also great poignancy and sincerity in Elvis and the Memphis Mafia, and the reader's emotions will often flow from joy to laughter to anger and sadness. Such is the wonderful and illuminating way in which Alanna Nash has captured and presented her potent narrative.

Some fans will be unsettled by the discussion of Elvis' final, erratic years. It paints a disturbingly vivid picture of a man unfortunately emotionally and psychologically out of control.

And many readers will, like me, seethe with anger at the many "creative" missed opportunities so routinely and blithely dismissed by The Colonel! At the same time one cannot help but acknowledge the fact that Elvis did not take enough personal responsibility for the direction of his career.

Opposite (L. to R.): Billy Smith; Ray Sitton; Marty Lacker; Joe Esposito; Elvis; Lamar Fike; Red West (behind Lamar); Sonny West - taken on set of Kid Galahad

Because of the enormity of its subject matter it is not easy to distil its essential narrative. To illlustrate this point a very, very small number of its fascinating subjects include:

  • Gladys and Vernon Presley - what you didn't know!
  • why Elvis wasn't a regular soldier while in Germany
  • Elvis nearly dies while on maneuvers in Germany
  • Elvis' visits to General Omar Bradley
  • what really happened when Steve Binder took Elvis out onto Sunset Boulevard during the making of the Comeback Special
  • the very unusual "urine" diet Elvis adopted to get in shape for the Aloha concert
  • Elvis' fatal flaw!
  • the night Elvis though Hawaiian killers had attacked him on stage
  • how Las Vegas health and safety standards were ignored in order to handle the huge demand for tickets to Elvis' concerts
  • the girl kissed by Elvis at the Graceland gates who was so overcome she almost ran into oncoming traffic
  • a "hidden" reason why Elvis liked to tour regularly
  • the huge multi-million dollar concert offers from England, Australia, Japan and Egypt...all indefensibly rejected!
  • Elvis' worst ever concert performance
  • details of Dr. Nick's salary while working with Elvis
  • the Albert Goldman "Elvis" biography
  • the very unfortunate Sweet Inspirations and Kathy Westmoreland on-stage incident
  • the Colonel's hidden involvement in Elvis' recording sessions
  • the girl who almost died when visiting Elvis at Graceland
  • hallucinations in the desert!
  • Elvis' recurring dream

The re-issue lacks the photo spread included in the original hardcover release, while a 25 page Index adds value to our reading.

Verdict: Elvis and the Memphis Mafia thoroughly deserves its reputation as one of the best ever books written about The King. This book was the #1 Elvis book release in 2005 and should be an essential inclusion in all fan's Elvis libraries. Highly recommended.

Click to comment on this review

(reader feedback published below)

Marty Lacker opens up to EIN: In Part 1 of our two part interview with Memphis Mafia member, Marty Lacker, Marty tells us about the famous celebrities, the pills, marriage and the Memphis Mafia, the $10m concert offer for Elvis to play in front of the Pyramids in Egypt and the real reason Elvis shot out his TV set when Robert Goulet appeared on the screen. Part 2 of our fascinating talk with Marty will be published next week. (Interview, Source: EIN)

Interview (Part 1) - Noted Elvis author, Alanna Nash, talks to EIN about her latest book, Baby, Let's Play House Elvis Presley and the Women Who Loved Him:

In the first part of her absorbing interview with EIN, among other things Alanna talks about:

  • her family life
  • how she became a writer
  • the importance of both Gladys Presley and Jesse Garon Presley in Elvis' life
  • Elvis' early relationships with women
  • how 'complicated grief' affected Elvis
  • the 'psycho-sexual' Elvis
  • the beginning of Elvis' demise and how it affected his relationships with the opposite sex

Billy Smith, Elvis' cousin, opens up to EIN (Part 1): In the first part of an fascinating two-part interview with EIN, Elvis' cousin Billy Smith talks candidly about Elvis & the family, the early years, his colleagues in the Memphis Mafia, meeting The Beatles and much more. Billy Smith is still working for his living and so it is a real privilege for us that he could spare so much time for this interview. (Interview, Source: EIN. Jan 2006)

Lamar Fike opens up to EIN: In the first part of an absorbing two-part interview with EIN, prominent Memphis Mafia member, Lamar Fike, talks candidly about Elvis, the early years, the pills, why Elvis' relationship with Ann-Margret didn't work out, marriage to Priscilla and a lot more. (Interview, Source: EIN)


Elvis and the Memphis Mafia is available from leading bookstores in the UK and Australia. It can also be bought from online bookstores including amazon.com


"Bright lights city moved their soul....

They strode into town

With a swagger and ready fist,

Protecting the people's King

Good ole boys, one and all,

Flashy badges and an orgy of excess,

Their life was for living

Hard, fast and fun,

Fighters and lovers

With a "downhome" cheeky grin,

If you were looking for TROUBLE

You'd come to the right place...

Be prepared...

As they'd "scatter" you all over the place"


(from "The Ballad of the Memphis Mafia", anonymous, 2003)

Reader feedback on EIN's review

Ida, USA:

Hi, I read your review before but did not want to comment until I red the actual book, which I think is very well designed, but I still do not want to make any further comments and be blamed for not being fair. It is hard to judge people without thinking, it is one thing to hear about a story and another actually being there in the same steps they were. 

Also I agree with the fact that Elvis was such an insecure human being, and he never took actual control of his life and his career, and did not have around himself the right people to council him, guide him and help him make the right decisions to the point of not really knowing what was happening in the entertainment world,  so sad when you think that he spend the last years of his life in pain and suffering, pushing himself to the edge when the people around himself watch his self destruction.

Extremely sad to know that some of them where around him for his money and not because they have any kind of fillings for him, starting with Ginger who was found to sell her story for money to the Enquirer, and this I do not doubt because she was the only one upstairs and the one that saw him death first that could provide that information first hand.  The will that was never found ignoring his last wishes. 

So much can be said and I have to say that this book is full of so many sad things that happened and the thought that there was nobody that could try to save him even from himself.  All those guys put up with a lot, but at the end they were just expectators of all the destruction. I could undertand why to this day they still have nightmares and could not help but to think about it. I hope that they could find peace some day. 

And then Priscilla came in the picture after his death to become the head of this all Estate, running this Estate ignoring the wishes of Elvis that said to help the ones in need and acting as she was his widow.  I will say no more about her, I never have any good thoughts about her.   Good review, and thanks for letting me comment on this.

Mandy, England:

I agree with your review. Elvis & the MM is my fave Elvis book. It made me feel as though I was there with Elvis, experiencing parts of his life and his ups and downs. Maybe they'll publish a 2nd volume.

Jeff, USA:

These guys sponged off Elvis for years, bad mouthed him for a buck and I bet none of them have done a decent's day's work in their lives. They can gloss the story all they want but the truth was there at the time. Elvis was his own person but god these guys should have done more to save him.






CD: All Shook Up (reggae tribute)
Book: The King's Ransom
Book: The King (graphic novel)
'Elvis On Tour Outtakes' DVD review
'Hitstory' CD EIN in depth review
CD: Hitstory (USA edition)
FTD: Summer Festival
Book: The Year the Music Changed
Playboy magazine: In Bed With Elvis
DVD: Born To Rock
Book: Elvis Aaron Presley: A Candle In The Wind
FTD: Too Much Monkey Business
Book: Desert Storm
Book: Elvis On Stamps
Photobook: A Tribute To The King
DVD: Lilo & Stitch 2
FTD: Elvis Today
Concert: Elvis Leaves His Mark
Book: Elvis-UFO Connection
Book: Behind The Image Vol. 2
Book: Elvis on Screen
DVD: Elvis & Me
FTD: All Shook Up
FTD: Tickle Me
CD: Elvis by the Presleys
Book: Warman's Elvis Field Guide
DVD: Why Elvis?
Book: Dewey and Elvis
CD: Black & White Elvis
CD: All Shook Up
Book: Rough Guide to Elvis
FTD: Rockin' Across Texas
FTD: Elvis Is Back
TV Special: "Elvis by the Presleys"
Book: Elvis by the Presleys
CD: A Legendary Performer Vol. 5
Mini-series: Elvis
FTD: Big Boss Man
Graceland 2005
Elvis and Las Vegas
The man who bought Elvis (Robert Sillerman)
Presley Commission Report
Paul McCartney on Heartbreak Hotel
Barbara Pittman
Mario Lanza meets Elvis
A Kick Upwards For Elvis' Movies
How Mario Lanza influenced Elvis
Enduring economic power of Elvis
Graceland - the ultimate bachelor pad
Elvis was not a racist!
The Definitive Elvis "blues" album
Elvis on The Creative Edge - Part 2 - The CD
'Elvis Seriously'- Why is Elvis' voice too often ignored
Elvis & Ed Sullivan - The Real Story
It's Over - Gordon Minto on 18 #1's
Elvis - symbol of freedom or not?
The importance of being Elvis
Elvis rules on television! (updated August 2005)
Tribute to Elvis (16 August 2005)
Elvis in the 50s - Maxine Brown
Meeting Elvis & Priscilla
How & where to sell your Elvis collection
Elvis in the 1970s
More on Elvis on TV
"Orion" gunned down!
Elvis Is Back
Elvis - Hero with 1000 faces
Elvis Film Guide
Elvis rules on television! (updated May 2005)
Elvis & other major artists miss out on Grammy Awards
How did Elvis die?
Lamar Fike (Part 2)
Lamar Fike (Part 1)
Marty Lacker (part 2)
Marty Lacker (part 1)
David Bendeth, producer of 'Elvis 30#1s'
Ernst Jorgensen
Ernst Jorgensen & Roger Semon 2002 FTD discussion
Ronald King (Elvis On Stamps)
Bernard Lansky
Albert Wertheimer
Priscilla Presley
Marshall Terrill
Lisa Presley on Larry King Show
Tony Joe White
Stanley Oberst
Bud Glass (part 2)
Red & Sonny West
Ed Bonja (Part 2)
Ernst Jorgensen
Phil Aitcheson (Presley Commission)
Elvis On Tour (Hampton Roads) footage
Elvis On Tour
Graceland cam
Listen to the Elvis "strung out" in Vegas audio
The "Real" Elvis off-stage
Unreleased Elvis audio now online
View EPE Graceland tourism ads
View video of "All Shook Up" opening night on Broadway
All about Elvis
All about Elvis tribute artists
All about Lisa Presley
All about Graceland
Elvis DVDs 2006
Elvis books 2005-07
Elvis film guide
Elvis Online Virtual Library
Elvis Presley Research Forum
Elvis was a racist? (archives)
Elvis Week 2005
Links to Elvis' family & friends
Online Elvis Symposium
Sale of EPE "Archives"
6th Elvis Website Survey
Spotlight on The King
"Wikipedia" Elvis bio


"Elvis Presley is the supreme socio-cultural icon in the history of pop culture"

(Dr. Gary Enders)


" Elvis is the 'glue' which holds our society together....which subconciously gives our world meaning"



"Eventually everybody has to die, except Elvis"

(humorist Dave Barry)


"He is the "Big Bang", and the universe he detonated is still expanding, the pieces are still flying"

(Greil Marcus, "Dead Elvis")


"I think Elvis Presley will never be solved"

(Nick Tosches)


"He was the most popular man that ever walked on this planet since Christ himself was here"

(Carl Perkins)


"When I first heard Elvis' voice I just knew I wasn't going to work for anybody...hearing him for the first time was like busting out of jail"

(Bob Dylan)


"When we were kids growing up in Liverpool, all we ever wanted was to be Elvis Presley"

(Sir Paul McCartney)


"You can't say enough good things about Elvis. He was one of a kind"

(Johnny Cash)


"It isn't enough to say that Elvis is kind to his parents, sends money home, and is the same unspoiled kid he was before all the commotion began. That still isn't a free ticket to behave like a sex maniac in public"

(Eddie Condon, Cosmopolitan)

Elvis records reaching #2 & #3 on the Cashbox Pop Singles chart:

#2: A Fool Such As I (1959)

#2: A Big Hunk Of Love (1959)

#3: Hard Headed Woman (1958)

#3: One Night (1958)

#3: (You're The Devil) In Disguise (1963)

Elvis Facts:

Tickets for Elvis' show on March 29, 1957 in St. Louis cost $2.00 to $2.50


While in Germany Elvis was hospitalised with tonsillitis in October 1959


Despite being an illegal immigrant, photographic evidence shows Colonel Tom Parker traveled to Canada with Elvis in 1957


Elvis strongly believed there weren't enough good songs in King Creole to justify releasing a soundtrack album. RCA initially agreed, releasing two very successful EPs from the movie. A soundtrack LP eventually followed


During the 1960s Elvis had his own football team, Elvis Presley Enterprises, which played in the Menphis touch football league. In the 1962 final, EPE narrowlt lost to Delta Automatic Transmission. 6-13.


In Clambake, (Elvis) Scott Hayward's driving licence shows February 23, 1940...taking 5 years off Elvis' real age


In the 1970s Elvis was ofered $5m to stage a concert in front of the Pyramids in Egypt. When the Colonel declined the offer, Saudi billionaires raised the offer to $10m