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The following article was found online via 'The Elvis Phoenix Forum' posted by a member with the username, 'scooby'. The article was originally on Facebook by a gentleman by the
name of Gary Butler, an African American Elvis fan, who back in 2018 attended a Q&A session with Andrew Young, who is a  former senior aide to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

King valued Young's work, trusting Young to oversee the SCLC (Southern Christian Leadership Conference) when protests meant that King had to spend time behind bars. Then in
1964, Young became the SCLC's executive director. While in this position, he helped draw up the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. He was with King in
Memphis, Tennessee, on April 4, 1968, the day King was assassinated.

It was during this 2018 Q&A session that Andrew Young, revealed a previously unknown story about how Dr Martin Luther King Jr had a secret friendship with....ELVIS PRESLEY!

Here, Gary Butler takes up the story:  
During the Q&A session with Andrew Young that I attended the other night, I actually got a question in and I was curious of the relationship between Dr. King and the pop culture of
his era.

As you know that I'm a Rat Pack fan, I asked Mr. Young what did Dr. King think of the celebrity participation in the movement. Mr. Young said that Or King welcomed it because it
helped give the movement more attention.  Then he added a bonus by including stories of two of my other favorite singers who tragically, like Dr. King, died young themselves. I
was astonished when the name Elvis Presley came up.

Contrary to what some people believe, I never thought Elvis was racist. I knew that Elvis grew up poor and was heavily influenced by Black musicians. I even heard stories from
other people that Elvis admired Dr. King (you can even find that on Elvis' imdb.com page).

What I didn't know was that Elvis and Dr. King talked occasionally on the phone.

Elvis even contributed money through various channels that filtered to the civil rights movement (Charles Evers, the brother of slain civil rights leader Medgar Evers, confirmed this
as well).

When Dr. King was killed in Memphis, Elvis was said to have been distraught. Not only was Elvis upset about Dr. King's death, but he was even more hurt that it happened in his
hometown and just a stone's throw away from his Graceland estate.

Elvis even inquired about attending Dr. King's funeral in Atlanta, but was talked out of it by others citing that he may be a distraction; it would delay filming and increase budget
costs (Elvis was filming the movie "Live A Little, Love A Little released in Oct. 1968) and other security concerns because nobody could be certain that a riot may break out at the
funeral at the time.

Instead Elvis watched the funeral from his on-location trailer. According to his co-star at the time Celeste Yarnell who watched the proceeding with Elvis in his trailer, Elvis "felt a
tremendous brotherhood with the black community because he grew up poor and he knew what it was like to live in poverty.

He was also proud that many blacks embraced him as one of their own.

He sobbed in my arms like a baby.

He was just devastated and desperately would have liked to attend the funeral.

We choked down our lunch and sang a little a capella tribute of 'Amazing Grace.' Later that year, Elvis would pay tribute to Dr. King on his "Comeback Special '68" by concluding
with a special song called "If I Can Dream" which borrows from Dr. King's "I Have A Dream" speech. Later released as a single, it peaked on Billboard's Hot 100 at number 12 and
sold over a million copies. Now isn't that interesting?

Here at Elvis Express Radio, we wanted to share this revelation as it's a rather huge one and while it's been known for years now that Elvis admired Dr King, the revelation that they
was a kind of "friendship" is certainly a subject to make you stand up and take notice.

We will be seeking to find out contact details for 'Andrew Young' in order to get as much of a first hand account as possible. Let's be realistic, why a single member of Elvis' family or
friends has never mentioned Elvis had, at leased, a telephone friendship with Dr. King in the last 42 years leaves a rather large open mind, but if this does indeed turn out to be a
genuine undiscovered part of Elvis history, it will be a massive plus to not only e
ducate those who still believe the many FALSE racist stories told about Elvis from various celebrities
who spread the "Elvis was a racist" bullshit, without looking into the FACTS.

Let's bring in Civil Rights photographer, Ernest C. Withers (August 7, 1922 – October 15, 2007), he was an African-American photojournalist, and friend of Dr King. He is best
known for capturing over 60 years of African American history in the segregated South, with iconic images of the Montgomery Bus Boycott, Emmett Till, Memphis sanitation strike,
Negro league baseball, and musicians including those related to Memphis blues and Memphis soul. One of those Memphis musicians was of course, Elvis!

Withers saw it all and as a professional photographer during 1950's Memphis, he saw his fair share of racial tension and bigots, but he actually met Elvis and this is how
he remembers him.

In 1950's Memphis, there were very few white people who would have ever have considered going to these places. But Elvis loved to pay a visit East Trigg Avenue Baptist Church
where Rev. W. Herbert Brewster, who was a renowned gospel composer, produced a show which was broadcast by WHBQ on Sunday nights.

Not only did Mr Withers capture many history making moments within the civil rights movement, but he took some of those cool 56/57 snap shots of Elvis secretly attending the
"Colored Only Nights" at various times. June 1956, the local newspaper, 'The Memphis World' reported that Elvis broke Memphis's segregation laws' by attending the Memphis
Fairgrounds amusement park 'during what is designated as 'colored night'.

Ernest told the crowd at one of his lectures, that he was a big fan of R&B and on the subject of Elvis he said "He was a mild tempered, quiet, nice guy. He treated everyone the
same. There have been rumors about him, saying that he said 'The only thing blacks can do for me is shine my shoes.' Now, I don't believe that. I never saw him act in anyway like

In 1956 Elvis appeared on the WDIA black radio station’s annual charity fund-raiser for "needy Negro children" at Memphis’ Ellis Auditorium. Elvis performed alongside some of his
own heroes, Ray Charles, B.B King & Rufus Thomas. One of Withers photos, show Elvis & B.B. King together taken at the charity concert.

So, did Elvis and Dr. King have a secret friendship? A statement made by Ernest Withers may actually allude to something like a friendship when he said, "Elvis was a great man
and did more for civil rights than people know. To call him a racist is an insult to us all."

Further Reading:


Originating Source - Gary Butler / Elvis Express Radio / The Elvis Phoenix Forum (scooby)

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The Story Of The Secret Friendship Between Dr. King And Elvis Presley.