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Mamie Van Doran, Elvis and Tom Jones

Tue Nov 22, 2005 4:25 pm

Hi Gang

I don't know if this story has been posted on here before. A few days ago I read this piece from Mamie Van Doran, she's 74 years of age now. This was taken from her website concerning her encounter with Elvis sometime during the 50’s. Mamie’s account of her meeting Elvis is somewhat explicit and amusing. So here goes -


Elvis:
Almost Love Me Tender


There is no place like Las Vegas. It is the locus of the collective American Fantasy. It is the beginning and end of people's dreams. It is a separate dimension where time is endless, and where games and greed, shows and sex are its chief commodity. The heat in summer, the cold in winter, the glitter and sleaziness of it in all weather combine to make it a world like no other. It is the Middle-Earth of sin. I love it.

I starred in the Latin Quarter Revue there one summer. In New York, the nightclub known as the Latin Quarter had long been world-renowned for great entertainment. Now the Las Vegas version of the Latin Quarter Review was also a hit. For me, it marked the beginning of a long and successful association with Lou Walters (papa of ABC's Barbara). I was booked for a four-week run in the show so I brought my son, Perry, and his nurse to stay with me in my suite. My husband, bandleader Ray Anthony, stayed in L.A. during the week to work on his Plymouth-sponsored television show, and returned to Vegas to spend the weekends with Perry and me.

But, as always in Las Vegas, temptation is never far away. You may try to hide from it, but it can find you the way a drop of water finds the leak in your roof. One Thursday afternoon the phone rang, and there was a familiar deep Southern drawl. Temptation was about to make a puddle on my floor.

"Hi, Mamie. This is Elvis Presley."

Elvis Presley! I remembered the first time I'd seen Elvis on television. He was making an appearance on The Tommy & Jimmy Dorsey Show. We had a big color television (one of the first color sets around-Ray was a fanatic for new electronic toys) and I flipped when I saw Elvis. I was like one of the teenagers squirming and screaming in the audience as he gyrated and crooned his songs. I loved his voice and the way he looked. Ray, one of the last of the big band orchestra leaders, was becoming increasingly bitter about the growing popularity of rock 'n roll music. He stamped angrily out of the room as I squealed over Elvis. (Another time Ray and I were meeting in New York during a hiatus in our work schedules. I took a suite at the Hampshire House, expecting Ray on a midday plane the next day. Someone had given me a poster of Elvis and, thinking that he was the hottest thing I'd ever seen, I pinned it up over the bed before going to sleep that night. Ray caught an earlier plane, however, and came in the next morning while I was still sleeping. When he saw the poster over the bed, he went through the roof and made me take it down.) To me, Elvis was magic. I'd imitated him in "Untamed Youth," wiggling my hips as I sang Eddie Cochran's songs. In fact, my imitation had been so good that the movie and I drew heavy fire from the movie censors. They refused to give the film their seal of approval. (Time has healed the wound. "Untamed Youth" is now firmly entrenched as a cult classic.)

"Well," I said, pulling myself together, "this is a surprise."

"How're you doin', Mamie? I understand your show is great."

"Thanks, Elvis, I'm fine. The show's a lot of fun."

"I'd like to come see you tonight. But I'd like to be sort of incognito, okay?"

"I'd love to have you as my guest. I'll reserve a table for you, okay?"

"Yeah, but tell 'em it's for Mr. Smith. I don't want anyone to know it's me. I'll call you after the show, Mamie. 'Bye."
I hung up the phone, the blood racing in my temples. Zowie! Elvis was coming to see my show! The little girl from Rowena, South Dakota had arrived.

That night, Elvis and two other men came to the show. He arrived after the showroom had darkened, and left a few minutes before the end. Backstage, I hadn't even had a chance to get out of my gown before I heard a knock at my dressing-room door.

"It's Elvis," the voice on the other side said. I let Elvis in while his friends waited in the hallway. Elvis was young and virile and handsome. He exuded a sort of barely-reined-in energy that immediately overheated the room, making the walls close in and the air seem thick. He wore dark pants and shirt and a dove-gray sport jacket. When I saw him in "Love Me Tender" his hair was dark blonde. Now his hair was dyed black, slicked back in a pompadour with a few locks hanging over his brow. I could have sworn I saw a hint of dark mascara on his lashes, but who cared? It was Elvis. On him it looked great. His eyes were a penetrating blue, and I was stunned by their power.

"Great show, Mamie!" he said.

"Thanks. I'm glad you could come."

"Oh, I wouldn't have missed you. I saw "Untamed Youth" in Memphis and I loved it. You don't happen to have a picture you could autograph for me, do you?"

Here was Elvis, the hottest new singer in the country, and he wanted my picture.

"I copied your wiggle in that movie," I said as I gave him a photograph of myself.

"Yeah? I like your wiggle better. Listen, Mamie, are you free to go with me and my friends to have a couple of drinks?"

"I've got another show to do."

"What about after your second show? We'll come back and get you. We'll do this town up right."

I thought about it for all of an instant. It has never been my style to cheat on a husband. If I want to go out with someone, I'll come straight out with it and let the chips fall where they may. But Ray was in Los Angeles. How could I tell him? And he wouldn't be in until tomorrow night. And, after all, this was Elvis.

"Sure."

In addition to his outward charisma, there was something shy and countrified about Elvis that was very charming and appealing. Something he knew how to use. He smiled as he turned the knob.
"See you later."

When Elvis opened the door, pushing and shoving people spilled into the room. The hallway outside my dressing room had quickly become a mob scene as word spread that Elvis was backstage. His friends grabbed him and formed a flying wedge to get him through the crowd.

Elvis was alone when he picked me up after the show. Even though it was after midnight, heat radiated up from the pavement as if from an open oven as we got into his big white Cadillac. We drove with the windows down and the wind blew our hair around like blasts from the front door of Hell.

Our first stop was the Frontier Hotel, where Elvis had worked a few months before. He insisted we stop at the long bank of dollar slot machines. With a flourish he produced a one-hundred-dollar bill and came back from the cashier's cage cradling a bucket of silver dollars in the crook of his arm.

"When I was growing up, my whole family could've lived for a month on half this much money. Now I can afford to throw it away." He gestured toward the line of one-armed bandits.

"C'mon, Mamie."

We ran through the two-month's worth of silver dollars in a few minutes, laughing and whooping like a couple of kids. Elvis suggested we go see Louis Prima and Keely Smith, who were headlining at the Sahara. Afterward, we went upstairs to the Starlight Room on the roof of the Desert Inn, where we sat in a cozy corner booth and had drinks.

Driving around later, I slipped across the Cadillac's broad front seat and into the crook of his arm. "Mamie, can I ask you something…personal?"

"Sure."

"That dress you had on tonight-were you wearing anything under it?"

I smiled demurely. "No."

He hit the steering wheel with the heel of his hand. "I knew you weren't wearing anything under that! Damn, but you looked great up there, Mamie." He pulled me closer and added, "And you look even better here at close range."

I had the designer Norman Norrell make copies of some of Marlene Dietrich's sensational gowns in nude-colored see-through soufflé chiffon with strategically placed beads. I was backlit on stage to make the effect of being nearly naked complete. Effect, Hell! I was.

As Elvis barreled the Caddy through the late night traffic, the conversation turned to the movies. His ambition to become a good actor was evident in his almost child-like fascination with the business.

"I fell in love with you when I saw you in "The All American" with Tony Curtis," he said. I just can't believe you're here with me now. Tell me, what was Tony like? He's my favorite actor. Him and James Dean."

"Tony's a great guy. He helped me get my contract at Universal. And he's sexy. Not as sexy as present company, of course," I said, "but a very sexy guy. James Dean I met once and I went for a motorcycle ride with him." (Coming soon to the next Bedtime Story!)

We pulled into the parking lot at the Riviera and stopped in a pool of darkness off to one side of the entrance.

"Mamie, would you like to come back to my hotel?"

I thought about Perry upstairs with his nurse, and Ray back in L.A.
"No, I'd better not."

Elvis kissed me softly but insistently. A world-class kiss. He French kissed me deeply and I responded passionately to him, barely able to hold myself back.

"Are you sure you don't want to go back to my place?" Elvis asked with a chuckle when our lips parted.

We necked some more. I had never been kissed with such ardor and emotion before. His hands caressed my breasts and my nipples stood out hard. My passions were about to boil over as I groped for his growing erection. I took a deep breath and pushed him gently back. "I'd better not."

We took some deep breaths of the hot night air and straightened our clothing.

"Whew! I've sure enjoyed the evening, Mamie. I'd like to come see your show again tomorrow night and bring some friends along. Maybe we can all go out on the town again."

Ray was coming from L.A., but I didn't say anything.

Who knows? I thought, maybe I can get away.

"That sounds like fun," I said, feeling a twinge of guilt.

We were both a little tipsy and having a great time. I was not willing to go to bed with him, but we were enjoying each other's company too much to say goodnight. As we looked through the car's windshield at the desert night, Elvis began to softly hum the melody to "Love Me Tender." We ended the night singing it together. I got into bed as the sun was coming up over the desert.

As I pulled the drapes to block out the early morning light, I told myself halfheartedly that I was a married woman and a mother. Certainly Elvis must have known that. But there was a part of me (a warm, throbbing, unfulfilled part, for sure!) that cursed me for not succumbing to Elvis' magnetic sexuality.

The next evening, Ray was in town, though he didn't attend the show that night. Just before I went onstage one of the showgirls ran up to me breathlessly and said: "Mamie, Elvis is in the audience again!"

I only had time to say, "Oh, sh*t!" before the orchestra started playing my intro music. I walked on stage and saw Elvis with at least fifteen others at a long table next to the stage. For a moment, I completely forgot the lyrics to my opening number, "'Deed I Do." I just stood there trying to smile until the words came back to me, and the band and I caught up with each other.

During my act the showroom was a madhouse. People in the audience constantly got up while I was singing and snapped pictures of Elvis.

Throughout the show, Elvis' eyes seemed to send an unmistakable message to me. He came backstage again after the show and invited me to join him for drinks. I didn't want to say no, but I had not figured out what to tell Ray. I told Elvis I had to go upstairs and change.

Ray was watching television up in the suite. I peeled out of my sweaty gown and began to freshen up. Before I had a chance to say anything to Ray, the phone rang.

"Mamie, it's Elvis. We're all waiting for you downstairs."

"Oh, yes," I said, trying to hide who it was from Ray.

"Are you coming down or what?"

"Yes, yes. I am."

Ray asked, "Who's that?"

"Oh, it's just a friend," I said, covering the mouthpiece. "We were going to go out for a little while."

Ray looked at me suspiciously. "A friend? Who?" Ray grabbed the telephone out of my hand and barked into the receiver, "Who is this?" The color drained out of his face. "Elvis who?" he croaked. He listened a moment more and slammed the phone down. "Elvis Presley said he and his friends are waiting for you downstairs. What's this all about?"

"I was going to tell you. Elvis and some of his friends invited me out to have a drink."

Ray looked at me in astonishment. "Are you out of your mind? Mamie, you're a married woman. You've got a child right there in the other room. How can you go out with another man?"

"We weren't going out exactly, Ray"

"Then just what exactly were you going to do?"

"Have a couple drinks. We might go see Louie Prima and Keely Smith at the Desert Inn-." I stopped myself just in time from saying "again."

Ray shook his head in disbelief. He walked over to the couch and sat in front of the television. "Mamie, you go on if you want. But I promise you that if you do, I will not be here when you get back." He turned and looked over the back of the couch at me.

I hung my head. Of course I knew that going out with Elvis was not exactly proper behavior. But most of the female half of America would've died for the chance. Elvis had the kind of magnetism that could derail a marriage. I tried to explain it to Ray. I think he understood at least a little.

What Ray did not understand, and what I was only beginning to understand myself was that I had to have my own life, my own career. I wasn't able to be a supporting player in a script designed by and for Ray Anthony or any other man. I had to be free to live my own life, without answering to someone all the time.

But on that night, I did not go downstairs to meet Elvis. I opted to maintain a stable married life on Ray's terms-for a while. For the time being, the field I was playing in had another set of ground rules. But I couldn't resist one parting shot.

"Of course, if Marilyn called and asked you to come downstairs for a drink…would you go?"

He began nervously twisting a button on his shirt.

Fast forward to February 1971. I was invited to Las Vegas to do the Merv Griffin show, which then originated from Caesar's Palace. Elvis was opening at the International Hilton Hotel, and got a message to me at Caesar's inviting me to see his show that night. It was a gala event because Elvis was making his comeback after years of relative obscurity during the Sixties music revolution. Sonny Bono was in the audience that night too. During the show, Elvis introduced Sonny and me, and the follow-spot illuminated each of us in turn. I blew kisses to the crowd. Sonny waved a cap he was wearing. (This was in the days when people still dressed up to go out in Las Vegas. Sonny looked like he should have been selling newspapers on the corner.) Not yet the grotesquely bloated Elvis of his final comeback, it was still not the Elvis of old onstage, but his performance retained the spine-tingling energy of the early rock and roll days. His show left me with the impression that Elvis had matured as a man and a performer-an impression that was confirmed when I saw him backstage afterward.

Sonny and I arrived backstage at almost at the same time, and we were ushered into the bar of Elvis' star-sized dressing room. Elvis came in a few moments later, a large towel wrapped around his neck.

His familiar crooked smile was unchanged, but he was thin and pale, and there was world-weary look in his eyes as he embraced me warmly. We exchanged pecks on the cheek, and he turned to Sonny who he greeted cordially. When he tried to introduce me, Sonny turned away sullenly. At that point in the Seventies, Sonny and Cher were wildly popular and just beginning their television career. But it appeared that Sonny was in an angry snit because Elvis had greeted me first. Sonny stayed only a few moments before ducking out the door.

Elvis excused himself and went into the other room to change. His father, Vernon, who traveled with him in the capacity of manager and confidant, showed me to a chair. While we waited for Elvis to return, Vernon and I talked about his son's comeback and career. When I complimented Elvis' show, a smile crinkled across Vernon's face. "That's mighty good to hear, Mamie. Elvis is real proud of his new show and he'd like to know how much you liked it."

When Elvis came back into the room clad in a thick terrycloth robe, he held me at arm's length. "Mamie," he said, "you're just as pretty as ever."

"You're looking good yourself, Elvis," I replied. "Your show was fabulous. I can't thank you enough for inviting me."

"Thanks for coming, Mamie," he said, the exhaustion clearly etched on his face. We chatted a few minutes more before Elvis finally said, "I'd like to talk some more, Mamie, but I've got to lie down and rest before the next show. I've had a touch of the flu..."

We embraced again, kissed lightly on the lips, and I left. Elvis couldn't have been sweeter to me. By then I was no longer under the tyranny of my marriage to Ray Anthony, but Elvis' path and mine had diverged, and there was no question of any personal involvement. We were on different roads to different places, though I like to think that he may have looked back fondly on that night as I did, as a pleasant interlude that might have taken us both to a better place.

I left Las Vegas the next day. Back in L.A. I sent him a telegram thanking him for the evening. Looking back on the events now, it is tempting to say that the "flu" Elvis was suffering from that night may have come from the hard drugs he was just beginning to use. But he was still powerfully attractive offstage as well as on. But there was an undercurrent of sadness about him that had not been there before, and I sensed Elvis' internal struggle with forces beyond his control.
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I wasnt going to post this one but Mamie also writes about her meeting with Tom Jones and she certainly does not hold not back

Tom Jones: It's Not Unusual

I was listening to Howard Stern one morning earlier this year when I caught an interview he did with Cassandra Petersen, aka Elvira, Mistress of the Dark. Howard was pumping Cassandra, as he does all his guests, for intimate details of celebrities she had slept with when she mentioned an affair she'd had with Tom Jones. Howard pressed for details and she said that Tom was huge--that she could barely walk when they were done.
Not long after that, Mary Wilson of the original Supremes was Howard's guest, and said in passing that she too had boinked Tom. When Howard quoted Cassandra that Tom was huge, Mary remarked, "That girl's lyin'."
This brought to mind the different views of President Bill Clinton's penis expressed by Gennifer Flowers (kind of small) and Monica Lewinsky (really big). I suppose that one girl's Louisville slugger is another girl's fly swatter, but the facts are the facts and tape measures don't lie. I can't speak for the Presidential pecker, but I am prepared to reveal the answer to the Tom Jones conundrum.
Some of you may not remember when Tom Jones hit the U.S. record charts. From the early 1960's Tom Jones, who was born in Wales, began making records in Britain. When I met him in 1965 he had two hits on U.S. charts: It's Not Unusual and What's New Pussycat? His onstage act was regarded as wildly sexual because of his gyrations, much like Elvis a decade or so before, and because of the obvious bulge in his pants. He was banned from television in England and looked at suspiciously by the networks in the states.
I was working at the Latin Quarter in New York when Tom called and asked if I'd like to go out. It was the perfect combination: the sexy blonde who was too hot for tv and the sexy Welshman who was too. I said yes. I began to think about that bulge. It spoke volumes to me (as I'm sure it did to his other female fans) of the treasures that must lie beneath.
We had a pleasant dinner somewhere and went back to my place. We made out for a while. When the time seemed right we made ready to ****. Tom took that bulge into the bathroom to get undressed, but when he came out it was gone! Tom was not sporting a slugger, alas, but a rather unimpressive swatter. I didn't whip out a tape measure, but it must have been four or so. I made the best of it that I could. We did the nasty and parted company.
If you've read my article in Glamour Girls: Then and Now on penis size, you know that I have a certain ideal when it comes to a man's most intimate of areas. I don't like HUGE, but I do like size. Tom and I went out once more, and I didn't turn him down at the end of the evening, but all in all, it fell short.
And so the winner is Mary Wilson with the correct answer: it wasn't that big. And Elvira? I like to think she was being kind, or telling Howard what he wanted to hear.
It was most certainly not unusual. Mamie doesn't lie, kids
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Heres the link and I hope you enjoy:

http://www.mamievandoren.com

and then click on bedtime stories