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Who was the most influencial person in Elvis' life?

Colonel Tom Parker
Gladys Presley
Sam Phillips
Joe Esposito
No votes
Priscilla Presley
Chet Atkins (early RCA days)
No votes
Steve Sholes
No votes
Vernon Presley
No votes
Chips Moman
No votes
Steve Binder
No votes
Total votes : 37

The most influencial person in Elvis' life

Thu Jun 19, 2003 8:13 pm

We have discussed many times on this MB about the different influences affecting Elvis' life and career.
When it comes down to specific individuals, who do you think was the single most influencial person in Elvis' life (and why)?
(this can cover any aspect of his career and/or personal life)

Thu Jun 19, 2003 8:17 pm

I've gone for Gladys.

Just for clarification, her death was the most influential thing in Elvis' life.

Thu Jun 19, 2003 8:21 pm

Hi Colin!

her death was the most influential thing in Elvis' life.

I understand that her death affected Elvis deeply on an emotional level but how was her death an influence on him?

Thu Jun 19, 2003 8:23 pm

I agree with Colin about Gladys's death being the most influential event.

Gladys was the primary influence during the first half of Elvis's life...Parker ruled the second half. Just for the record, I think honorable mention should also go to Dr. Nick. He wasn't in the poll, but I think he had quite an influence, especially during the last handful of years.


His Truth Is Marching On...

Thu Jun 19, 2003 8:32 pm

Elvis-fan -

Well, Glady's death was such a traumatic experience for him, he just wasn't ever the same person again.

He never really got over it, and it affected his everyday life right up to his own death.

Thu Jun 19, 2003 9:07 pm

Gladys would have been an obvious choice on this one, and maybe her death had the biggest impact on Elvis' life.

But I went for Priscilla.
Wasn't it this little girl that made his life worth livin' again after his mother past away? Wasn't it maybe this young woman he married that perhaps made him return to live performing?
And just maybe, after his divorce in 73, wasn't that the reason his moods changed so drastically in 74? I'm almost sure that Elvis never got over losing Priscilla. His choice of music in those later years prove that.


Thu Jun 19, 2003 10:19 pm

Gladys had Elvis for the FIRST HALF of his life. She was the backbone of his values and attitudes. Losing her also molded his beliefs. There is simply no one else that can compare. Lisa Marie I would put second.

Fri Jun 20, 2003 1:30 am

I think there's no question it was Gladys. If you read much about their relationship you can see that they had an intimate bond that no one could ever compete with. Many even strongly attest to them having a psychic connection.

That's why Elvis was so shattered by her death. It left a hole no one could fill. And in a way, Elvis never matured enough to move on. Even Priscilla was an attempt to replace his mom, which is a bad basis for a marriage. She was young and very impressionable, and he moulded her to look and behave like Gladys. He did the same kind of baby talk with her and others that started with Gladys. But I believe this was a facade, that he was never as intimate and honest with Priscilla as he was with his mother.

As he would grow older, Elvis would often settle for thinly diguised fake intimacy. He was clearly over-sexed from the imaginary bond you feel by sleeping with many women he hardly knew, but on the other hand he would often have women he just met simply put on pajamas and literally sleep in his bed with him, just to get the feeling that he had someone very close in his life.

I'm not saying that Elvis didn't have close and honest raomantic bonds and friendships, but I think he was hung up on searching for someone who could make him feel like Gladys did, which may well have been impossible. And Elvis' paranoia about the loyalty of friends and relations was due in part to the fact that he never felt he could truly know anyone as he knew her.

When you are best friends with your mother from birth till adulthood, I don't think there could possibly ever be another person who can affect your life in such a deeply profound way. Your parents are inevitably a huge part in who you are and who you become, for good or bad. And if parent and child are as close as they were, that establishes various factors that you will always seek in every other relationship you have.

Just as Elvis being the biggest root in rock and roll, Gladys was the ultimate root in his personality and relationships to follow. That's why he is the King and she was his Queen.

Fri Jun 20, 2003 1:41 am

Influence in his personal life: Gladys Presley, Priscilla Presley.

Influence in his carreer: Tom Parker, Sam Philips.

Although in the case of Presley, it's impossible to distinguish carreer with personal life, because as of 1954 he lived for his carreer.

Fri Jun 20, 2003 8:54 am

In his personal life...

1. Mom
2. Priscilla

For a guy Your mom is the most important woman you will ever know in your life. Then your wife and mother of your child.

I don't buy it affected him everyday for the rest of his life but it definately changed his life

Priscilla was the second most important. She was like a ray of sunshine after his mom's death and was one of the very few woman he ever really opened up to. He would spend sometimes up to a week at a time with her up in his room where they would live in their own little world. She was a lover, a mother, and a daughter to him.


1. The Colonel

No explanation needed here.

Sat Jun 21, 2003 12:18 am

He isnt on the list, but I would also consider Charlie Hodge as an influence in Elvis' life. Probably not the number one influence, however. But to be best friends with someone for the last 15+ years of your live(from the army days to 1977) must count for something.