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Tom Parker: did he appreciate Elvis' music?

Sat May 24, 2003 4:22 am

I've always wondered if the Colonel would have been interviewed throughly on Elvis' place in popular culture, what would he have replied?

Was he aware of Elvis' giant contributions to music history, his place in history, his immense talent? Is there any account whatsoever of Parker listening to rock 'n' roll and enjoying it? Or enjoying a particular performance or song by Elvis? Or overall complimenting Elvis' music in private or in public ? Or defending Elvis' music against his detractors? Was the Colonel all business or did he have a musical side to him (army marching music? :) ) I know his wife liked "Are you lonesome tonight" but that's about it.

BTW, did our Dutch friend Andreas ever give out an up-close interview?

Sat May 24, 2003 9:52 am

There was an interview done, in the late 80s or early 90s, where Parker attributes all of Elvis' success to his managerial skills. He said something like "I was behind it all from the sexy rebel to the movie eunuch to the Rhinestone messiah".

Perhaps equally enlightening is a second hand quote from Marty Lacker (allegedly from Tom Diskin I think.) Elvis, at Chips Moman's request had kicked the Col's lackeys out of his Memphis recordings sessions. The Col's reply to this was allegedly "let him fall on his ass". By the way, the session spawned four top twenty singles that all topped or approached a million copies and two gold albums, one of which "From Elvis in Memphis" is considered by many critics to be Elvis' finest moment on record.

Parker, I think knew, Elvis had some sort of talent but I don't think he was man who really had much appreciation for any kind of art.

Sat May 24, 2003 6:29 pm

I think the quote posted here about the colonel’s comments with regard to the Memphis sessions, and the fact that he wanted Elvis’ 1968 television special to consist solely of Christmas songs, proves that from an artistic standpoint he didn’t really have a clue. I agree that he recognised that Elvis had talent, (who wouldn’t) but he had a tendency to play safe, and stick with tried and tested formats, (the movies, the concerts) and was only motivated to try something new when the financial rewards from these projects started to wane.

Sat May 24, 2003 7:06 pm

Did Parker appreciate Elvis' music????

or even appreciate Elvis the human being???

This the answer:

In a January 1997 interview with the Las Vegas Sun, (an article promoting what would be Elvis' 62nd birthday) Parker was asked about it being the 20th anniversary year since Elvis died, and did he miss Elvis.

Parker replied, "No."