Ever wanted to ask a question about Elvis to someone who was there through the good times and the bad? Now is your chance!
Love him or hate him, Marty Lacker is about as open as they come, so send your questions to us at
eer-desk@ntlworld.com with the subject header as "ASK MARTY" and we will pass
them on to him. As soon as we get a reply from Marty, both your question and the answer will be added here.

Please note that Marty will answer your questions as and when he can...also, contrary to some beliefs, Marty, as part of the Memphis Mafia is doing this "ASK MARTY" page for us
without charge in order to help us, help YOU get more than just the usual EPE approved answers to your questions about Elvis.
Christopher Asks Marty: [09.12.09]
We fans know of Elvis' talent and great generosity. But as talented and as down to earth as he was, I can imagine that it must still have been a great burden at
times being Elvis Presley. John Lennon said that with the Beatles they had each other but they felt bad for Elvis because he didn't have other people to relate
to on THAT level.  Although I know that he had many good friends in the MM that cared for him.

We know what is said about hind sight and  20/20. Looking back on your years with Elvis,  if you could go back in time; what would you say to him, (if
anything), that you hadn't all ready said, in an effort to ease his mind from his burdens?

Also, according to Billboard Magazine and contrary to popular myth, Elvis was in fact the  second most commercially successful music act of the 1960's.
Second only to the Beatles. And Elvis in fact had more top 40 hits than them during that decade, 51 to their 44; although he had  a head start. I know that a
significant portion of that decade unfortunately did not yield Elvis creative fulfillment. As you said in your previous e-mail, we know Elvis was not a braggart; but
somehow I'm sure he must have been aware of this paradox and perhaps discussed it with you on a few occasions. Do have any comments on that?

Thank-you for your time Mr. Lacker. And I hope you enjoy the Hanukkah  season.

Marty Says:
Hi Christopher,
I said all the things that were necessary to say to Elvis back then at the time including some of the things he asked me about some of the guys that was in the
form of him telling me what he thought they were with him for.  Some I agreed and some I gave him my take on them that was different than his.  Also on some
of the women he was with.  As I've stated before I also wrote him a letter about getting of the pills after I left.  During the time I was with him I was taking pills
too, although not on the same level as him, so it would be the pot calling the kettle black if I had spoke to him about it although I mentioned it to him once.

As for the Beatles vs. Elvis and Billboard magazine, he paid no attention to Billboard except the times during '69 and early '70 when I brought them to the
house to show him how great the American Studio session Records were doing including his first #1 in 8 years,Suspicious Minds. He enjoyed that.

His 51 number ones makes Mariah Carey's and Madonna's and Michael Jackson's boasting of having more number ones than anyone else including Elvis a
joke.  Just as them now claiming they have sold more records than Elvis worldwide.  Everyone likes to hype themselves and publications like Billboard and
organizations like RIAA don't help much in straightening the truth out.

He knew he was a giant in the music industry and just think, if he hadn't recorded all those crummy movie songs or done those crummy movies in the 60's,
how much greater he would be in record sales.
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Candy Asks Marty: [09.12.09]
I know this is the third letter or so..but again I have more things to ask/say.

Did Elvis really try to commit suicide before marrying Priscilla?  

And I recently viewed on www.rareelvispresley..,  Elvis used inhalers for sinus/asthma.

I never realized elvis had asthma..as a person who used to suffer from it, he didn't seem to have breathing problems...

It seems to me that parker didn't care about Elvis' bizarre behavior on stage as long as parker raked in the money.  IT really makes me mad that VERNON
stood back and didn't do something. Of course we could "what if" it to death,,it makes no difference now,,but it certainly is a sad thing that such a talented ,
loved man abused himself to the point of death.

Also....do you give any merit to charlie hodge's claim that he heard a thud that morning up stairs at graceland and that he thought Elvis may have been hurt
on purpose?  

It is okay with me if you compile all my letters into one ....
Thanks Marty,,,IT is nice to have someone that will actually ANSWER questions and not want something in return....

Marty Says:
Hello Candy, This is getting to be a habit.

Let me answer your first question as succinctly as I can.
ELVIS DID NOT THEN OR EVER TRY TO COMMIT SUICIDE!

Where you got such nonsense bewilders me.
If these are things you're making up in your own mind I will not give them the dignity to answer them. Elvis was not a weak person to try to do that.

I have spoken about Parker's greed ad nauseum.

As for Charlie's claim I think that was Charlie's brain he heard falling on the floor from his ass.  The upstairs of Graceland was soundproof and you could not
hear anything going on in Elvis' suite even if you were standing outside the door and Charlie was either on the main floor or in his little hole that was his room
in the basement. I get tired of hearing things said by Charlie, Grob and Geller and a couple of others.  It's a dis-service to Elvis' memory.
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Candy Asks Marty: [07.12.09]
Okay, this is the third letter in a few days, but I have to know these things.

I have read that Wanda June Hill, believes the cancer story.

I have read that one of the guys in the band supplied Elvis with drugs, was it Donnie Sumner?
Why did Vernon allow this?  

Also Marty, if the colonel had such control over Elvis, why didn't he stop the drug flow?

According to what I have read, dr. nick's book coming out in january, says Elvis had certain phobias, do you know what these are supposed to be?

I fully understand the kind of personality Elvis had.  I have a friend who is quite like him, a musician and quite different. He uses his anger to control ones
around him. He throws out bait and then when he hooks you emotionally, for whatever his reason is for that moment, he just as fast reels in back so that HE
isn't hurt.
Unfortunately, I feel Elvis did the same things to folks around him.  That is a difficult thing to endure, no matter how much you love a person or how famous
they are. The status of their life doesn't make them more or less, just well-known.

I am not putting him down, I LOVED him dearly, that is why this is so upsetting still.

IT still amazes me Marty that GOD gave these folks all these talents, yet they just couldn't get a grip on life.

I can imagine how you guys felt getting to hang out with Elvis, no put down, but it was like a bunch of little boys living out a childhood dream, playing like little
kids , laughing, having fun, and just being there. I think the childhood caught up with Elvis, I think it was time to grow up  but he took the drugs along for the
ride and couldn't let go of them.
How we all wish he had.

Marty, someday I am going to get to meet you guys...I just would be so happy. Are there any events coming up where you all will be together for the fans?

Marty Says:
Hi Candy,
Wanda June Hill wouldn't know anything first hand, and as far as I know she only talked with Charlie [Hodge] who was one of the people who spread that
falsehood that Elvis had cancer. She wouldn't know if Elvis had a pimple on his face. She had nothing to do with Elvis or any of the rest of us. That's one of the
reasons Vernon told Charlie to leave Graceland after Elvis died. Charlie spread some things that Vernon had someone tell Charlie and a couple of others to
see if they would come back to him.  It's a shame he used the cancer rumor because that falsehood got around and some people believed it.

It was the members of the group Voice which Donnie was part of but Red and Dave Hebler threatened to break their legs if they continued.  I doubt Vernon
knew.

The Colonel couldn't do that, plus the fact that he was only interested in the money and having Elvis, no matter what shape he was in, to perform on tour and
in Vegas so he wouldn't have to cancel the show and give the ticket money back.  Parker knew very well about the drugs and he lied after Elvis died saying he
didn't know.

As for his phobias I'll let Nick talk about them, I don't want to rain on his parade.

I can only speak for myself and a couple of others but I can assure you I wasn't there for what I could get from Elvis, I stayed because I cared for him like a
brother.  All my few arguments, (really not negative arguments) with him was when he wanted to give me something, money or a car.  I'm no angel but I also
wanted him to know that's not what I was there for, he knew it because he told me so more than once.  There were a few guys who were there for what they
could get but Elvis knew it.

And yes, he at times used that ploy of giving someone something in addition to being generous.  Elvis thought he did but he didn't have to do that for most of
us to stay with him. Elvis used whatever he needed to or said whatever he needed to to get whatever he wanted when he wanted it. In that respect he was
cunning and conniving, at times when he did that with others he noticed I was smiling because I knew what he was doing and he had to keep from laughing.

Yes, there were unpleasant times when he got angry but he was usually angry at someone or something else and he unloaded his anger on us because he
knew we cared enough to take it. We knew that it would blow over in about 30 minutes and then he'd feel bad for doing it.  That's what friends do for friends.

People have the wrong impression about things they haven't experienced. yes, there were good times where we had fun but for the most part we lived
normally the way most people do.  You might say, yeah well most people don't live in big houses or drive big,nice cars or be on a movie set and meet all those
celebrities so let me clue everyone in on something.

A big house, after a while is no big thing, if you're in a room it's like any other room in any other house. A ceiling, four walls and a floor.  I've had used cars that
drove and got me to where I was going just like a shiny new big car did.

As for the celebrities, many are no big deal.  People need to get over fawning over celebrities, they're no different than anyone else, you,me or anyone. They
put their pants or panties on the same way every man and woman does. They go to the bathroom the way we do and pardon my crassness but they also
leave the same kind of odors we do in the bathroom which kills the fallacy that their stuff don't stink.  Celebrities have never impressed me for being so-called
celebrities, what impresses me is nice people and some of the celebrities are not nice people.

What it all boils down to as far as my comments about all that is, it's all in your head, it's what you make of it.  if having all those things goes to your head and
makes you think you're better than those who don't have it then you've got a problem and you created it.  If it doesn't go to your head and you just live a
normal life then you're just like those who have things but don't go overboard.

The other thing is in my opinion everyone has a talent, it may not be singing, acting, dancing or entertaining, your talent may be being a doctor, lawyer,
factory worker, waitress (handling people) etc. So celebrities are no big thing. They're like others who after they finish work they go home and have thoughts
of ineptness or not being good at what they do or badmouthing their co-workers or screwing someone else's spouse or have the same human faults and
frailties as we all do.  Elvis was no exception, none of us are.  

Some fans have made him into some G-d but believe me he was as human as you or I and everyone else.  95% of Elvis was good but he still had that other
5% where he wasn't. Most of us wish we could say the same about ourselves.  Nobody should worship or idolize another human being, he wouldn't want you to
anyway. Just live your life and enjoy it as much as you can. Now I will stop philosophizing.

We have no events planned for the future.
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Candy Asks Marty: [05.12.09]
In the last few years of Elvis' life, there was so noticeable distortion of his face. By that I mean, I could see a swollen, not natural look.  I know that drugs do
this,,but what about all the so called illnesses that Elvis was supposed to be suffering from.

I know Nichopolous has a book coming out in January and he is stating that he tried to help Elvis by giving him placebos, and I know Billy defended him, but
the fact is he was a DR. and he has a responsibility to REFUSE to give a person these kinds of things.

I also know the big pile of drugs Geraldo displayed on his show years ago, was NOT just for Elvis but the whole entourage...but STILL...a doctor shouldn't just
take money. Had he really cared for Elvis he wouldn't have done what he did.

Elvis was very complex I know but wasn't there something someone could have done to stop him?

I just have NO respect for Priscilla...Elvis didn't want her to have anything and yet she lives the high life off his name....VERNON was a stupid man for allowing
that to happen...and to cut Billy off like he did was just wrong.  I guess the good people got the shaft.

I can see protecting Lisa's interests, after all she is his child, but to poison her mind against the smith's and her family isn't right.

People can say what they want to about you men, but at the time you were all doing what you knew how.
I think Elvis held on to all you because of his lonliness as a child..believe me I know what being lonely can do. It makes you hold on to things that aren't good
for you..NOT saying you all weren't good for him,,but other things he held on to for escape like the drugs.
I am glad you are clean and that you found the strength to help yourself.

Marty Says:
Hello again Candy
Dr. Nick got caught up in a lifestyle that he shouldn't have and Elvis knew how to play him to get what he wanted in the way of prescriptions.  Nick was also
egged on by Joe and they basically used each other in different ways to where Elvis is concerned. However, Nick did try to control the situation the best he
could but if Elvis couldn't get what he wanted from Nick he turned to other doctors who really didn't care about him as much as Nick did.

Elvis was not unlike any other addict, you can talk to him till you're blue in the face about that stuff but until he was ready to stop it, it did no good to talk to
him.  Red talked to him one night in Vegas during a serious conversation about what the pills were doing to him. He just nodded his head but when he woke up
the next day he came out into the living room angry and pulled his gun on Red and told him to mind his own business and not to tell him how to live his life.

After he pushed me and a few others away in late '76 after he got rid of Red and Sonny, I decided to move to California for awhile in '77 in the meantime I
stopped taking pills and cleaned my system out in about 60 days.

Before we left for California I wrote Elvis a long letter and told him how great I felt since getting off of that stuff and suggested he try it.  I told him I could breath
better, and that my sense of smell and taste came back and I stayed in a much better mood.  I mailed it care of Billy and asked him to give it to Elvis.  

I found out months later that the night he read the letter he went to the Memphian theater for our usual all night movies.  I was told that he ranted and raged
about me and the letter throughout the movie saying who did I think I was telling him how to live his life and I should mind my own business.  

That was disappointing to hear because he knew I was right just as Red was and he also knew that we said those things because we greatly cared about him
but he was his own man and he was gonna do whatever the hell he wanted to.  An addict like Elvis and me and anyone else always thinks they have the stuff
under control but they don't, the pills just make you feel like you do but you're only kidding yourself.

As for Priscilla, I've known what she is after being around her the first 6 months in the very early 60's, she's just gotten worse as she's gotten older. That's why
we don't have a mutual admiration society, I was one who wouldn't kiss her ass even when she was with Elvis and certainly not in the last 37 years.

As for the guys around Elvis, if he hadn't had guys around him he could trust, regardless if it was us or another group, he would have died much earlier than
his 42nd year.  So people can talk about us all they want that doesn't change the truth or history.

As for us writing a few of the things we wrote in our book, Elvis was a historical icon and the history of Icon's should always be complete, the good and the bad
so that people who come after us can learn the true nature of their greatness and also their humanness.  Many Icon's of history provide good lessons in life
for those who come after them.  That's why they teach history in school and why non-fiction books are written.
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Candy Asks Marty: [04.12.09]
HI MARTY,
I have written before, but I have a few more questions /comments.

I have always felt that there was an affair between schilling and priscilla, I think Elvis thought it too.

I also feel that Joe [Esposito], I think you will agree with me, followed the MONEY!
I have heard him on you tube tell two different stories about the day Elvis died, once he says he couldn't give him C.P.R and then another time he says he DID
tried to.

Also...I would like to know what happened to Patsy Presley...Elvis' cousin? The few photos I have seen of her are very pretty...Did she have any singing talent..
and did Billy?
I just have such love in my heart for Billy, you and lamar..

I have read extensively about Elvis and the MM. I enjoy reading about everything.

Some folks on a discussion room I get in have ripped you all for writing the MM book, but as I stated to them, maybe some of the things were delicate and
could have been kept hush-hush, but I for one WANTED to know all the details..and after having read them, did NOT change my love for Elvis. Other readers
agreed with me.  IN spite of the things that were shocking, we all wanted to know...and maybe just maybe it helped someone get off pills out there.

You all lead an incredible life . I know it was heaven and hell at times.

I think Elvis was changing, he was going to get rid of the colonel and possibly he was growing up some at 42 and getting some insight he hadn't had before.  I
think Elvis was possibly so overprotected as a child and so poor, that he just had nothing to draw from. His folks only knew what they knew and then he carried
the same dysfunction with him to the end.

I love you marty...You are special, intelligent and very truthful. I appreciate that.

I have been to graceland 3 times over the years, and I would like to go back, but I just HATE putting money into priscilla's coffers..she has lived high enough
off Elvis. HE left her nothing. I think Lisa was a victim of the whole situation.

I also don't think Priscilla was the virgin she pretended to be..but then that's another story.
Thanks Marty..I got long winded,,but I just had to write you again. I still hope someday I run into you somewhere..

Marty Says:
Hello Candy,
Nice to hear from you again and thank you for your nice comments. I know Billy and Lamar appreciate it too.
As for the naysayers about us, they're usually people with two problems...One, they are uninformed and unrealistic! And two, their lives are usually so
miserable that they compensate by putting others down!  It doesn't show much intelligence when you talk about people you never spent one minute with. We
don't spend any time worrying or thinking about what those kind of people think.

Elvis thought Schilling and Priscilla had something going and that's why he sent Jerry along when Priscilla and Joan Esposito went on a supposed shopping
trip to NY.
His exact words were, "I'm giving them enough rope to hang themselves."

As for Joe you pretty much hit the nail on the head, he has always latched on to people he thought could do something for him,usually someone with lots of
money. He always thought he was more special than anyone else in the group.  That's why he now foolishly touts himself as Elvis' Best Friend.  Problem is
Elvis nor the guys thought Joe was special nor did Elvis consider him his best friend.  The fact is, according to Billy, Elvis told Billy that he was going to fire Joe
after the tour that never was because Elvis died.

Elvis did live in a protected world and there were many things he was never exposed to, good and bad, as he grew older.

Priscilla was not what she says she is/was about many things and that's just one of them.

By the way, if you finally do run into me, please don't be driving a car.
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Al the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in Canada Asks Marty: [03.12.09]
1. Is that true that on Christmas night 1975 Elvis brought you all in his plane the Lisa Marie for a ride over Memphis and that at one point Aunt Delta who was
drunk pull a gun on you and Elvis was mad has hell? What kind of woman was she?

2. Where you at the concert on that New Year Eve in Pontiac Michigan? How was it and how was the show compare to the one in New year eve 1976?

Marty Says:
Hello Al,
Yes, it's true! Delta threatened to shoot me when we landed.  She had absolutely no reason from me to do that, but the fact is she was a cantankerous mean
drunk.  
Elvis got highly angry at her and threatened to kick her out of Graceland where he had taken her in after her husband Pat died years earlier.  

Fact is I volunteered to go to Alabama where she was stranded and alone when he died to bring her back to Graceland.  For that she never said thank you to
me or Richard Davis who I took with me to Alabama.  The sad fact also is, like some others in the family, she was anti-semitic and I am Jewish, plus I handled
the money for Elvis when I was on the payroll and some of them thought we were getting things that they should have...........Their thinking was totally opposite
of Elvis'.

I was not at the Pontiac show as I had business to attend to in Memphis.
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Kim Asks Marty: [27.11.09]
Did Elvis celebrate Thanksgiving?  
If yes, did you ever celebrate it at Graceland?

Marty Says:
Hello Kim,
Yes, Elvis celebrated Thanksgiving every year whether he was at Graceland or in Hollywood. It was always a rational elaborate Thanksgiving dinner.
Many times he celebrated with us guys and when at Graceland both with his family and some of us guys and ours.
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Gerard McCluskey Scotland Asks Marty: [27.11.09]
Regarding Elvis`continued problem with pills in his life, some fans are in dispute to when he started with them, with some saying it started in the army, while
others say Elvis back in the 50s along with, johnny cash, jerry lee lewis were all on the pills doing one nights here and there, could there be any truth
regarding elvis in this situation?

Also Marty, we all know storys of how generous elvis was but how did he deal with those, who he knew was trying to take him for a ride (i.e those who only
turned up at christmas or when gifts were being handed out?)

Lastly Marty Is there any nights you feel like having a few beers, put on aloha from hawaii or thats the way it is, and just sitting back and relaxing and just
listing to your friend? I can on think of how many wonderfull memories these dvds could only bring back to you?

May I just say on a personal note on yourself and the MM, thank you in sharing your times with elvis.

Marty Says:
Hi Gerard,
Occasionally Elvis would lift a diet pill, uppers, from his mother's medicine cabinet as she was prescribed them by her doctor for weight loss, but he really didn't
start taking pills until he was in the army. He was a scout who went on maneuvers with his sergeant who introduced him to Benzadrine (Bennies) to help him
stay awake.

He continued taking pills when he returned home from Germany and the quantity and variety increased as the years went by.

Elvis had a very good sense of people around him and he knew what everyone was there for.  He very well knew that a couple were opportunists and he
tolerated them to a point but they never fooled him.  He and I had a couple of conversations about that and I know he also confided in Billy Smith.  Those
people shall remain nameless for now.

To begin with I don't drink alchohol of any kind, I gave that up a long time ago.  I never had a problem with it except when I had a bit too much I got mean and
wanted to fight someone.  I really don't listen to his music very often the fact is I don't listen to music unless I'm in the car and my radio stays on a R&B oldies
station.  If I listen to his music most of it would be from '54 to about '61 and then skip over to '69 and it would end there.  I'm not a fan of his movie songs or
much of what he did in the 70's.  That said, I don't need drink or music to think of him and all those years, I do that naturally every day. His memory is deeply
etched in my heart and mind.
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Fran (Melbourne, Australia) Asks Marty: [24.11.09]
Dear Marty,
Is it true that Elvis, in the much latter years, had some sort of cosmetic surgery? I had heard this but do not know if this is true or false. If he did, do you know
what he had? To me, he will always have the most beautiful face.
Thanks Marty for taking the time to read this.
Take care and best wishes

Marty Says:
Hello Fran,
Yes, Elvis had minor surgery to get rid of the small bags under his eyes in spite of the fact that the Doctor and we told him he didn't need it.  Like many other
things though, Elvis did whatever he wanted no matter what anyone said. When it was over you really couldn't tell the difference.
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Christopher S Asks Marty: [24.11.09]
Hi Mr. Lacker;
With reference to my previous question to you; it was actually Ginger Alden herself who has stated in more than a few interviews that she and Elvis were to be
married in Memphis' Greek Orthodox Cathedral on Christmas Day, 1977.  Anyway, that's neither here nor there.

My question for you today, is this. What did Elvis think of having so much commercial success in the early 1960's with  sound track albums and movies that
were often but not always, creatively unfulfilling for him? Am I correct in saying that it was a paradox that he was finally able to overcome with the 68 Television
Special?
Thank-you for your time.

Marty Says:
Hi Christopher,
Ginger has said a number of things that really wasn't going to happen!  Elvis would say anything at any time to get what he wanted even just for her to stay
with him on the night he told her that.  He would go through the minute detail in describing what would happen and then when the time came he'd make some
excuse why he couldn't do it.

As for his soundtrack albums, he really didn't pay attention or make any big deal out of it because it started getting old and he was tired of some of the lame
songs they sent him to do.  

He was happy to do the '68 Special because it would allow him to get on stage in front of an audience, especially the black leather suit segment that allowed
him to show people and remind them what the real Elvis Presley was all about and not the guy in the musical travelogues of the movies he did.
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Philip Tosini (Bootle-England) Asks Marty: [22.11.09]
Hi Marty,
Thanks for your precious time in answering my question.

I would just like to follow on from a previous question really, it's about RCA and parker messing with Elvis' songs.

I recently heard for the first time in a long time Elvis singing 'Milk Cow blues Boogie' on the TCB show (here on E.E.R) with an amazing amount of echo.

Can you remember what Elvis' thoughts were when he heard this song being released like this? This was not the only song either to have this echo.

He must have been pulling his hair out with anger and fustration, as Joe Crein said it sounds like he is singing in a barn, hall or something.

Marty Says:
Hi Philip,
No,  Elvis wasn't pulling his hair out because that was recorded in December,1954 when he first started on Sun Records and all of Sam Phillips' productions
had echo on it, some more than others.  Basically the way he got echo in those early, not so technical times, was to have a solid loop of tape on a tape
machine that instantaneously played back what was being recorded.  Sam did not have much technology in the early Sun Studios.  At the time that sounded
normal to Elvis, me and others.
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Karen Asks Marty: [22.11.09]
Hi Marty,
My question is:
How was Gene Smith related to Elvis? I know he was a first cousin but I heard Louise Smith say that Gene's dad was Ed and that he was not Gladys's brother.
Will you explain the kinship there?
Thank you,

Marty Says:
Hi Karen,
Ed Smith married LaVelle Smith who was Gladys Smith's sister and therein solves the mystery of how Gene Smith was related to Elvis.  
Gene and his brother Junior, (real name Carroll), were first cousins to Elvis.  
Hope that helps.
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Gerard McCluskey In Scotland Asks Marty: [19.11.09]
Hello Marty,
First of all thank you for taking the time to respond to my email,
I would like your thoughts if possible on these subjects,

1. What do you think elvis reaction would be to BMG/SONY releasing outtakes of studio material?

2. where you there when he found out RCA had messed with the masters of How Great Tho Art album? And basicly turn up his voice? I could only imagen how
angry/hurt this must have been to him.

Marty Says:
Hi Gerard,
I doubt Elvis would like the fact they released outtakes because he was very diligent in not stopping to do another take of a song until he was satisfied that he
did it the best he could and to his liking.  if it wasn't good enough to be the final take to him then it wouldn't be good enough to him to be released on a record
with his name on it.

Yes, I was there a when he heard the mix on a number of records in the earlier years and he blew his top.  Colonel Parker was responsible for that happening
because he would tell RCA to put his voice out front because he had it in his head that the only thing that mattered was Elvis' voice.  Parker had no business
making any production suggestions because he had absolutely no talent when it came to music.  He should have just stuck with his only talent---- conning
people.  
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Arun Jassi Asks Marty: [19.11.09]
Hello Marty,
I hope you are well.
My question concerns Otis Blackwell who is regarded as an unsung hero of rock'n'roll. He wrote/co-wrote 11 songs which elvis recorded, two of which,
provided Elvis with no.1 hits in the Pop and Rhythm and Blues charts (All Shook Up and Don't Be Cruel) Blackwell also provided the demos for these songs
and others(Teddy Bear, I Beg Of You, Paralyzed) which apparently Elvis basically copied.

I understand Parker insisted on crediting Elvis as co-writer for songs he didn't write, three of which were Blackwell's compositions. Who actually benefited
financially from this unethical arrangement, which I know was not unusual practice at the time? I have read that Elvis didn't even benefit from this, only Parker
and Hill and Range music publishers did. Is this true? How did Elvis feel about this? Did Elvis, especially in later years, have misgivings and believe it be
unethical?
On the surface of today's music business, to the non-Elvis fan/believer, it makes Elvis look bad i.e. to take credit for something he didn't actually do and on top
of that appear to benefit from it as well.

Though Elvis and Otis never met each and Elvis (as far as I know) never openly acknowledged Otis for providing two of his biggest hits in the '50s, do you
have any insight on Elvis' thoughts  about Otis and his small contribution to Elvis' early success in his career?
I know Elvis liked Otis' vocal style on the demos.
Thank you for your time, Mr. Lacker

Marty Says:
Hi Arun,
To begin with his name on those songs was all Parker's doing and Hill & Range took their orders from Parker when it came to Elvis.  Elvis did not know that
was going to be done until after the record came out, too late to stop it.

Elvis often praised Otis to us and if I'm not mistaken Otis played piano on one or two of Elvis' early sessions in NY. However I might be wrong about that
because that was while I was in the Army stationed in Germany.

Elvis was always mindful of people who contributed good things to his career but if an interviewer in one of the rare interviews Elvis ever did, did not ask him of
someone or something specific he would not have commented on it.

Elvis only wrote one song in his career although he added a couple of lines to a Red West song.  The song he wrote was in the very early days with the late
country singer Johnny Horton.
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William Rauhuff Asks Marty: [04.11.09]
I love asking you questions and do not want to be a pest but I was re-reading the book you did with Lamar and Billy again last night and in it we here the word
publishing  a lot and how the Colonel insisted on a percent. I am not in the business so would you explain how publishing is so lucrative for songs. I
understand a new song that hits big and is new but I read somewhere recently that John Hartford earned nearly a hundred thousand dollars a year for several
years on Gentle on my Mind. How can a song be so lucrative especially after it has been around several years and has all but stopped selling and nobody
buys the sheet music for it any longer.

Marty Says:
Hi William,
The songwriter and the publishing company gets a good royalty not only on every record that sells but also every time it is played on a radio station, in a
nightclub or on a juke box.

The publishing company and the writer splits the royalties evenly. So a record might be years old but if it's still being played publicly they still earn money.
Writing and publishing a song can be very lucrative when it's recorded. They also get a royalty if it is used in a movie, DVD, video or Television. If a writer
writes a number of songs that become recorded and popular he can become a millionaire.
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Arun Jassi  Asks Marty: [30.10.09]
Hello Marty,
My question is how was Parker able to manipulate Elvis into increasing his share from 25% to 50% of Elvis' earnigs in 1967?
It seems absurd that for nearly half of the time that he 'managed' Elvis from 1956 to 1977 he was taking 50% of his client's earnings and Elvis allowed it.
Wasn't this exploitation?

Marty Says:
Arun,
Parker caught Elvis in a weak moment a few days after he fell in his California bathroom and had a concussion.  It was partly because he had sleeping pills in
him when he got out of bed.  parker got mad and told Elvis if he didn't stop he would no longer manage him.  he then said in order to contuinue managing him
he wanted 50% instead of 25%.  Elvis was too dazed still to answer and his silence was taken as an agreement.
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Noel Shine Asks Marty: [30.10.09]
Hi Marty and greetings from Ireland,
I am 42 now and am still fascinated by Elvis and his music possibly more than ever before except I have long since taken off my rose-tinted Elvis sunglasses!
Your book Portrait of A Friend was the first insight I had into the man behind the image and I remember reading it one night in my fathers car 30 years ago by
the the light of a streetlamp and not being able to put it down. I was waiting on my father who was visiting an old friend. When he returned to the car he joked
with me saying "what are you reading about that junkie for? Sure, he's dead!" I replied defensively something like "what about all the cars and girls and
millions of dollars and all the fans that he made happy and he sings about God, he must be in heaven because he was so good and......?''( I was 12 or 13) His
reply was, "yeah Elvis would have been better off pickin' spuds! (potatoes) and do you know all these years later I agree with him.

Everyone whoever loved Elvis' voice and look and pop music when that used to mean something had their experience of life enhanced by his gift. I'm not sure
what Elvis gained from life other than to combine his unique talents with the Smith hereditary madness and call it genius. He showed us how great he could be
and we responded because we (youth) had dreams and wanted to be great too and when he crumbled he demonstrated human fallibility for all to see showing
us what was really important in life.......that we must learn to cope with disappointment....as well as success.

My question: what was Elvis' favourite colour?
Thanks for the memory ''Moon''
Kind Regards

Marty Says:
Noel,
Elvis contributed much more than just his music, and the world is a better place because he was here.
His favorite color was blue.
------------------------------------
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William Rauhuff Asks Marty: [28.10.09]
I meant to ask you this question the other day. I never understood why the KING of Rock and ROLL wasted his talent singing The Impossible Dream, What
Now My Love, It’s Impossible and And I Love You So just to name a few of the lamest songs from the 70s. I am not criticizing him I just think it was beneath him
and I also agree with you about the gospel quartets and gospel numbers at the concerts. He should have limited that too a few times a year for special
occasions. As you can tell I believe Elvis was the ultimate rocker and ballad singer and had the talent to cover all  genres of music but I wish in the mid
seventies he would have came back to more rock and roll. I do believe he would have liked Bob Seger and especially enjoy a song like We”ve Got Tonite. Just
my opinion. I read Sonny West once said he would have loved Celine Dion. God I hope not. Love what you do and hope to meet you and shake your hand
one day as I have the most respect for you, Sony, Red, Lamar and Billy Smith because I know you guys speak the truth.

Marty Says:
Hello William,
Two reasons, first Elvis just liked some of those songs but more importantly he was being any other songs that were good by Parker and Freddy Bienstock of
Hill & Range publishing.  The songs they sent him were lamer than the ones you mentioned and instead of going back to places like American Studios where
they were cutting nothing but hits, Parker poisoned his mind about Chips Moman.  That's one of the reasons Parker, Bienstock and I didn't have mutual
admiration society.  They were pissed at me for bringing him good songs that they did not have the publishing on.

Problem is Elvis was the one who really suffered because of it all.
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Arun Jassi Asks Marty: [28.10.09]
Hello Marty
I like to know why is that Elvis never stood up to Parker regarding Vegas and the touring of the same places?Why did Parker seem to have a hold on Elvis?
Why was Elvis so non-confrontational with Parker regarding issues concerning his career which he was unhappy about?

Marty Says:
Hello Arun,
From the very early days when Elvis was very young and Parker approached him and his parents, he told them sign with me and I will make you a millionaire
within one year.  That was music to a poor boy's ears and his father really wanted it even though Mrs. Presley didn't like Parker nor did she trust him. (Smart
lady).  So Elvis signed with him and his father signed off on it because Elvis was still considered too young because he was not 21, the legal age at the time.

From the beginning Parker drummed it into Elvis' head that he must do everything he says if he wants to be a big star,be famous and make a lot of money.  He
did make Elvis a millionaire within a year and Elvis was the biggest thing going at the time.

Because neither Elvis nor his parents really knew anything about business especially about the business end of showbiz, they left everything up to Parker
because he showed them the money quickly.  Parker continued to do that through the years and then he also added that if Elvis didn't do what the movie
studio moguls and RCA execs wanted him to do they could ruin his career and to be sure that he does what Parker tells him they wanted.

In the very early years Elvis would say if it all ended now I could go back to driving a truck and just be thankful for what I had in this short time. As he got older
and used to the fame and fortune he stopped saying it, he didn't want to lose what he had because he was enjoying the life style he was then entrenched in.  
Parker never let up telling him that shit even though to a point Elvis now knew better but he still didn't want to take a chance. Elvis was scared that if he lost
Parker he wouldn't do as well.

The sad thing is because he didn't know about the business he was unaware that in the mid to later years there were a number of managers in the business
who would have been better for him and he wouldn't have lost a thing nor would they treat Elvis the same way Parker did.  They did have an argument in '74
and Elvis fired him briefly but shrewd Parker handed Vernon Presley a bill for $2 Million that he said Elvis owed him, which was bullshit. If anything it was the
other way around,Parker owed him but Vernon panicked as he did whenever money was the subject and the possibility of losing it and convinced Elvis to
make up with Parker and hire him back.
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Christopher Asks Marty: [26.10.09]
Thank-you for answering our questions. I enjoy reading your Q&A about Elvis.

I was wondering if you could clear something up in the Elvis World that has puzzled me for a long time. According to what I've read,  Elvis and his then fiancee,
Ginger Alden, were to be married on Christmas Day at the Greek Orthodox (Christian) Cathedral in Memphis. The only thing is that as far as I know neither
Elvis or Ginger were of that denomination. I believe they were both Protestants. Were they just going to borrow the Church for the momentous occasion or is
this just a story that is factually incorrect?
Thank-you for your time Sir.

Marty Says:
Hi Christopher,
I never heard such junk in my life.  Where do these stories start?  

As Elvis said to Billy Smith in '77 before he died, "I said we'd get married, (He said with a YEAH RIGHT look on his face) but I never said when."  Which in Elvis'
language meant, NEVER!!!!! The only connection to that church in Elvis' world  was Dr. Nick who was Greek.
Marty
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Rich Asks Marty: [26.10.09]
Marty:
It's Rich in New York. I have a basic question for you and it may cover lots of other answers with your reply so here we go and I thank you in advance for
responding.
As a performer, I know what it feels like when you get stale and you feel like you are spinning your wheels...maybe because of decisions made by others...do
you believe
that Elvis felt this way towards the last few years of his life? I mean, no challenges, nothing new to spur himself on....

Marty Says:
Hello Rich,
Absolutely, and he stated so...that he was tired of going back to the same cities tour after tour that Parker booked him in.  Many of them were known as
Podunks.

As for Vegas, he got tired of that after about the third year and he said on a number of occasions, "I'll be playing in this fucking, (his language), Vegas forever
just to help pay off the Colonel's gambling debts." That would effect anyone, but Elvis shares some of the blame because he never confronted or stood up to
Parker and said "No More."  

He really wanted to tour outside the US. Had he done that he might have lived longer and possibly still be alive.
Marty
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Mari Araujo-Held Asks Marty: [24.10.09]
Dear Marty,
How have you been?
I thought I'd share this with you.
In an interview, Tony Bennett actually says how Frank Sinatra was his master and then the following: “It was a great era, a time when all the singers sang
beautifully. And then Elvis Presley became famous the good music stopped.”  Tony Bennett says this during an interview for a Brazilian Tv Station in 2009
(promoting his tour)

I just could not believe my ears. I believe Frank Sinatra said a similar thing back in the 1950's about Elvis, and now this guy is repeating this? Apparently,
Frank Sinatra was a great master, teaching how to disrespect people. I am sure Elvis would have never said such a thing about another person ON TV!!!!!!. It
saddens me.

Marty Says:
Hello Mari,
Pay that no mind, Tony is right in one sense, his and Frank's type of music was referred to as "Good Music" back then and even now.  It's basically big band
tunes both ballads and up-tempo and none of it is really similar to what Elvis started in '54.

They are a little bitter about it all because once Elvis and those who came along after established what then was a new genre of music, Rock N' Roll,
Rockabilly, R&B, the overwhelming majority of people didn't pay enough attention to Bennett and Sinatra and others.

Frank did say something similar but later said the exact opposite and paid Elvis a compliment.  It all doesn't mean anything but poor old Tony, it seems, can't
let it go.

I am well, thanks for asking.
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William Rauhuff Asks Marty: [21.10.09]
I am a lifelong fan 55 yrs old. I was wondering with todays music being so bad, in my opinion I believe that Elvis would have had a kinship with artists like John
Mellencamp, John Fogerty, Bob Seger and Tom Petty along with Springsteen. I could almost imagine a project with these guys. I believe they are probably the
only few still singing true rock and roll. What is your opinion and do you believe Elvis would have liked these artists as well?

Also I am from Knoxville Tennessee and lived there until a few months ago. I believe you lived in Knoxville for a while if I am not mistaken. Keep on keeping on
you are a class act.

Marty Says:
Hello William,
Thank you for the nice comments. Yes I lived in Knoxville from '57 to '60 as I was the Program Director of WKGN when it was owned by George Mooney and
when it was the number one station in town.

I think the only one of the artists you name whose music would appeal to Elvis is Fogerty, the others music and style wouldn't have appealed to him.  As long
as Parker was alive there would be no duets.
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Arun Jassi Asks Marty: [21.10.09]
Hello Marty
Thank for answering my previous questions.
I like to know if Elvis ever got an invitation to sing at the White House?

Am I right in thinking that he was once invited to sing at the Royal Variety Performance in front of the Queen? If so, was it Parker that vetoed it?

Marty Says:
Hello Arun,
Elvis received an invitation from the Nixon White House and the call went to Parker.  Parker asked them what they were paying and he was told that it was for
the White House and the President and that they didn't pay anything, that it was considered an honor. Parker's answer was that if they wanted Elvis to sing
they would have to pay as Elvis doesn't give free concerts for anyone. We did not find that out until after the fact, after he turned them down................Elvis
just let it go.

As for an invitation to play for The Queen, Not that I remember.  But if there was, they would have got the same answer Parker gave to theThe White House. In
addition to that because he was an illegal alien and wouldn't be able to leave the country, Parker would have had another excuse why Elvis couldn't do it.  As
I've mentioned a number of times we did not find out about his illegal alien status until after Elvis died and the Probate Court in Memphis had him investigated
on behalf of Lisa Marie who was inheriting Elvis' estate.
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Arun Jassi Asks Marty: [19.10.09]
Hello Marty,
Can you tell me if it's true that Elvis kept a copy of the Bible in every room in his homes at Graceland and in California?
If so, was there a specific reason for this?

Did Elvis pray every time before performing and  going on stage?

How did Elvis spend his Sundays? Were his Sundays looked upon as any more special than the other days?

Did Elvis and Billy Graham ever meet each other and if so what did he think of him?
Thank you for your time Mr Lacker.

Marty Says:
Hi Arun
No, Elvis didn't keep a Bible in every room of any house he lived in.

Unless Elvis prayed to himself I never saw him pray before a show.

No, Sunday was just like any other day in Elvis' life.

As far as I know or remember Elvis never met Billy Graham.
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Arun Jassi Asks Marty: [16.10.09]
Hello Marty,
In your book,'Elvis and the Memphis Mafia' there is something you say about Elvis not being attracted to or he never ever flirted with black women and after
meeting Diana Ross in LA in 1971,Elvis commented about her saying,'Man,she's too skinny and ugly for me.' Was Elvis joking or was he serious when he said
that?
I know Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder but Diana Ross to my mind was and still is one of the most beautiful women in the world.I've seen her in concert
and love her voice and music.

Marty Says:
Hello Arun,
He was serious when he said that.  That was at a time when she was real skinny and not that good looking as she has been in the last decade or so
since she's gained some weight.

However, everyone has different tastes, I have seen and admired many beautiful black women but she has never been that attractive to me either.
I think in the early days of The Supremes, Mary Wilson was a hell of lot better looking.

I can assure you that it does not mean that Elvis was prejudiced about black people, in fact he was the exact opposite.
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Raj in London Asks Marty: [12.10.09]
Do you know what did EP think of The Rolling Stones - thier music and Mick Jagger in particular? Is it true he shot at the screen the first time he saw Mick's
odd dancing?

I imagine a poor country boy would have some difficulty relating to all the well-off, middle-class kids from the UK that road into fame on his coat-tails?

AND is there any truth in the stories that EP once stepped unannounced into an Elvis-a-like contest whilst on the road - and came third? If so that could not
have happened in Memphis - could it?

And also the story that in his later days, EP once accidentally sang "searchin' for you...in that cold Kentucky Fried Chicken?"

Marty Says:
Raj,
Elvis was really not into those rock bands like the Stones and he thought Jagger was too effeminate.
there were many of those rock bands and artists that he knew nothing about because that's not the music he listened to.

That look a like contest rumor never happened that I know of.

And as far as him substituting Kentucky Fried Chicken in Kentucky Rain, yes he did that because his mind went to all kinds of crazy funny things.  It depended
on what kind of mood he was in.  Our nickname for him was, "Crazy."
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Moggy Asks Marty: [12.10.09]
I've just finished watching the aloha from Hawaii special and love this show, Elvis looking superb and enjoying the show. I just wondered if polk salad annie was
considered for this show?
I love this song and thought it would have been great in this concert and also what a wonderful thought... once the show was over, Elvis actually took this show
on a world tour, a great challenge for Elvis, something to keep him Happy Healthy and Hungry.for life....

Only a Dream maybe but wow It would have been a amazing tour...And would have kept Parker happy with the money rolling in.even if he had to stay in
States.......Thanks for all the questions you answer, its great to be able to ask someone who was there..
many thanks marty...

Marty Says:
Hello Moggy,
Yes, it was a great show.

Elvis always wanted a world tour but it was Parker who nixed it because he couldn't be there.  Elvis wanted to go to England and many other countries but
because Parker was an illegal alien, something we didn't know at the time, he made up all kinds of excuses why Elvis shouldn't do it.

I think if Elvis could have done that he probably would still be alive or at least live longer than he did but he got bored and tired of going to the same podunk
cities Parker booked him in on every tour.

As for Polk Salad, I don't recall it ever being mentioned for the show.
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Christopher Asks Marty: [10.10.09]
Dear Mr. Lacker;
Like most people, as a kid, when I bought Elvis' vinyl albums or singles back in the day, like a lot of fans, I did so because of Elvis' impassioned vocals and the
fine musicianship and background vocals accompanying him. The man could deliver a song. Then I learned that most of Elvis' recording catalog had been
sold up to 1972.  And I was disappointed because I realized Elvis would not be getting royalties from those recordings as us fans wanted him to and as he  
genuinely deserved.

Through the years, there's been a lot of speculation as to why the sale of the recording catalog happened and who was advising Elvis that this would be a
good move. (Unfortunately, it wasn't in my opinion.) I was wondering if you could please shed some light on what actually went down. And did Elvis ever
discuss his feelings on the matter with you. As always, thanks for your time and valuable insights.

Marty Says:
Hi Christopher,
As I have mentioned before, Priscilla's demand for more alimony is what sparked that sale.  

Elvis and I were out in the back yard by the fence near the office when his father came out with an angry look on his face.  Elvis asked him what was wrong
and his father's exact words were,"I just got a call from Priscilla's lawyer and that damn Priscilla is wanting $2 Million more in alimony." Elvis called her every
name in the book, even some I'd never heard before as he was sometimes wont to do.

They didn't have that kind of cash and Elvis called the Colonel saying he needed to come up with that kind of money.  It was Parker's idea to sell everything
from '73 back to the beginning.  That didn't surprise me because that meant Parker would get his percentage.

From what the Memphis lawyer who was appointed to be Lisa's guardian ad litem after Elvis died to investigate all of the dealings Elvis had found out, he
learned that RCA paid $5.3 Million for the royalties. By the time Parker got through divvying it up, Parker got more money out of the deal then Elvis did.  

That was one of the reason's the probate judge ordered EPE not to do business with Parker anymore and ordered that Parker could no longer have any
dealings with the estate on behalf of Lisa or EPE.
Marty
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Raj From London Asks Marty: [01.10.09]
Hello again Marty,
Good to find your wise-crackin' informed retorts are still going and to read 'em.

Some years ago there was a dark haired Latin looking woman, (a Washington based Legal Professional ) who was mentioned in a magazine article as having
been approached by EP to become his discrete lover over a ten year period. Apparently he visited her on and off over several years. She was very smart,
strong and independently financed - not clingy.

I can imagine from all that I've read of EP that these things may have appealed to him in his later years. Do you know who she was and whether there were
many such girlfriends dotted around? Given that he was the World's Own Elected Alpha Male....  I don't think anyone would blame him if his lifestyle extended
that way. Like... you were his close buddy- and I respect your total lasting loyalty to him but I'm inclined to think he'd giggle about it, sitting up there now....... so
do you think the score on his bedpost topped Cary Grant's, say? Or Errol Flynn's?

Also, I read somewhere that Marlon Brando's (now deceased) son Christian was married to a girl claiming to be EP's daughter? I think I know what your
comment on this one will be... but wouldn't that make for interesting genes?

Thanks for your time,

Marty Says:
Hello Raj,
I just, as the old saying goes, "Calls 'em like I sees them."

Yes, her name was Joyce Bova and she had a twin sister. She worked as an aide for a Congressman in Washington.  She was good looking and a basically
nice girl but as some did, she exaggerates a bit as to the seriousness of her relationship with Elvis.  He did like her for a time but like most girls he had been
with, he moved on after awhile. He didn't have as many girls like that that you might think.

As for the phony daughter that's laughable. As for Christian Brando he has been proven not to be all that trustworthy or good.  As for his genes, I think Elvis
would pass on that.  He didn't like wearing jeans at all.
Marty
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Arun Jassi Asks Marty: [01.10.09]
Hello Marty,
I've seen pictures of Elvis meeting and shaking hands with George C. Wallace, Governer of Alabama (and a Presidential candidate) before a concert in
Montgomery, Alabama in 1974 during which Elvis acknowledges Wallace's presence to the audience.

I read on a website that Elvis was a big supporter and admirer of Wallace and his presidential campaign.  This is based on a book by Dan T. Carter entitled,
'The Politics Of Rage'.
I found this hard to believe and it has left me confused knowing that Elvis never publicly expressed his political views and nor did he(as far as know)endorse
any politican.

Moreover, Elvis supported Civil Rights privately if not publicly, and Wallace was the epitome of the opposite of that. What connection did Elvis have with
Wallace socially and politically? I have read they were friends? What were Elvis' views on Wallace and what he stood for?
Your insight is appreciated.

Marty Says:
Hello Arun,
Seems that Carter is one of those people who wrote things they know nothing about.  It's idiotic to write that based on one photograph.

Elvis played Alabama one time and Wallace was at the concert probably because even though he was a hateful person in terms of civil rights he was also an
Elvis fan.  
He presented Elvis with a plaque from the state of Alabama backstage and that was what the picture was all about.  So Carter, the author, stretches a one
time meeting into something it was not.

It is well known that Elvis had an affinity for black folk, not only black music but the people in general.  This notion written by Carter is a good reason why
people who read things written by people who never spent one minute with Elvis should take what they read with the possibility that it is a load of crap.
Marty
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Christopher Asks Marty: [28.09.09]
Recently Freddy Bienstock, passed away. May he rest in peace. I understand that he was a music publisher. But I was wondering exactly what role he played
in Elvis career. On a scale of 1 to 10; 1 being poor and 10 being outstandingly good; where does Freddy sit in terms of his being beneficial to Elvis’’ recording
career? (I know Freddy made a lot of money thanks to Elvis and was even present at his wedding.)

Also, as we have discussed before, Elvis was sometimes given songs to record that were not worthy of his considerable vocal talents - in part because of
Colonel’’s pursuit of the percentages on the publishing. Since Elvis had his own music publishing companies, was well liked and admired by many people in
the music business; why didn’’t Colonel and or Elvis hire some top notch song writers to work for Elvis? (Like the folks in the Brill Building.) Most song-writers
would have happily jumped through hoops to write for Elvis and would have been delighted to collect their song-writing royalties on an Elvis recording while
letting Elvis and the Colonel have the publishing rights to their songs. It seems to me that would have been a better alternative than "whoever it was"
frustrating Elvis’’ immense creativity with songs that he was not particularly fond of recording.

And finally; why do you think an album like GI Blues outsold an artistic masterpiece like Elvis Is Back? Am I wrong to think that Elvis would have been more
content to consistently sell a half a million units (Gold Record Status) of a creatively fulfilling album to record; than to sell 1, 2 or even 3 million units on an
album that was not particularly fulfilling to his creativity? I wonder if the immense commercial success of the 60's soundtrack albums ultimately contributed to
frustrating Elvis’’ creativity.

Thank-you for your insight Mr. Lacker.

Marty Says:
Hello Christopher,
Thank you for your well wishes.

Freddy was more beneficial in the very early years when he had good writers write songs for Elvis like Leiber & Stoller, Doc Pomus and Otis Blackwell but then
he started to get lesser talented writers to write for Elvis' movies.  Freddy was in charge of Elvis' publishing companies as he was running Hill & Range for his
brothers in law and his wife, who owned it.

Colonel Parker made the deal with H&R to administer Elvis' publishing companies and Parker and Freddy kept a tight fist on the company and who could write
for Elvis or not. Freddy took his orders from Parker when it came to Elvis.  Their main objective was to get a piece of the publishing no matter if the writers
were signed with H&R or not.  

After the first couple of years when the record business exploded because of what Elvis started, other artists came along and sold million sellers.  The good
writers gave their songs to those other artists because they didn't have to give them part of the publishing even though they would have loved for Elvis to
record their songs.

Parker and Freddy were more interested in making all the money instead of just a little so they discouraged other writers unless they'd give them part of the
publishing.

Parker and Freddy are equally responsible for Elvis not cutting good songs,hit songs, for a good number of years.  Elvis deserves some of the blame for not
confronting them and refusing to cut all that crap.  However, he briefly changed during the Memphis sessions after I talked to him and explained why he wasn't
getting good songs.  That's one of the reasons I was not one of Parker's favorite people.  Which was OK by me because he definitely never was one of mine.

As for GI Blues vs. Elvis Is Back, I agree with you on which one was much better.  The reason GI Blues sold more is because Elvis just got out of the army and
that was the first LP and it was backed by his first post army movie.  Elvis Is Back is one of the best all around albums he did in his early career.
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Paddy Asks Marty: [28.09.09]
Hello Marty , best wishes , good health to you and your family .
I  dont mean to be rude at any stage but i feel that the Chips Moman  produced 'From Elivs in Memphis' lacks the spontaneity of Elvis previous records .
It was too perfect , the musos are great no doubt . Also I read that Moman didnt like the way 'Suspicious Minds' was produced . Moman was wrong it got to
number 1 and it was the sound that with the horns etc and the ending that fans liked .

Though in Australia we were ahead of the time by turning the record over from the horrible 'If I  Dream' to the magnificent 'Edge of Reality' which made number
1 before 'Suspicious Minds' . This album is as people say it is a CRITICS album not a FANS album .This album has nothing on 'GI BLUES' , 'GIRLS! Girls!
Girls!', 'BLUE  HAWAII' , 'FUN IN ACAPULCO', 'GIRL HAPPY' etc , note they are film albums and these were his greatest and best selling albums. What annoys
me that the new fans should buy these albums as they are up tempo and fun.

At the time these films came out they were great, they made you happy to go into a theatre and see Elvis sing and see the beautiful scenery. We didnt want to
see Elvis in a dramatic role, we didnt like 'Wild in the Country' and 'Flaming Star', we wanted to see Elvis sing thats why we didnt see those films. Parker was
right, Elvis wasnt a popular actor or singer with the most of the world he was with us fans only. You either liked Elvis or hated him . The films also and this is
important, children are able to watch them they were general exhibition.

During the 70's and 80's these films were on the TV around afternoon time and mothers would put their children in front of the TV to watch. This and not the
records kept Elvis in the highlight not his music on the radio. And the children would watch Elvis and it kept them quiet. They knew who Elvis was.

As a fan I  couldnt stand Elvis as a actor he was and always will be a singer only. Thanks for reading , have a bonza day .

Marty Says:
Hi Paddy,
You have your opinion and millions of others have theirs.
I will stick by my opinion and Elvis', we both loved that album (From Elvis In Memphis), and it's the first one that he was really happy with, and I have to say me
and millions of others felt that way for the first time in a number of years about an album he did.

He wasn't too fond of his movies either after King Creole.
Have a nice day.
Marty
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