Who Replaced "Hamburger" James? A Mystery No More !

Fri May 21, 2010 6:03 am

In the early 1970s, after Memphis Mafia member Richard Davis left the fold, the now-infamous "Hamburger" James Caughley took over the role of valet and general "go-fer."


JamesCaughleyInternationalID1970.jpg


When, in mid-1973, Caughley was apparently caught stealing -- and hauled off a commercial jet liner by an incensed Elvis, flashing his DEA Badge to the pilot on the runway -- it was a bit of a mystery as to who took over this crucial role.

Well, it's a mystery no more. Say hello to Ken Hicks -->


LakelandLedgerOct231977p61.jpg


After Hicks got the boot, it appears Al Strada inherited the job.

Poor Al, those last few years were not easy.

Enjoy!
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Last edited by drjohncarpenter on Sun Jul 30, 2017 9:13 pm, edited 3 times in total.

Re: Who Replaced "Hamburger" James? A Mystery No More !

Fri May 21, 2010 6:34 am

Very interesting article thanks for posting! :lol:

Re: Who Replaced "Hamburger" James? A Mystery No More !

Fri May 21, 2010 6:46 am

Nice stuff, Doc, thanks!
Last edited by Frankie Teardrop on Fri May 21, 2010 7:08 am, edited 1 time in total.

Re: Who Replaced "Hamburger" James? A Mystery No More !

Fri May 21, 2010 6:54 am

Thanks.

Re: Who Replaced "Hamburger" James? A Mystery No More !

Fri May 21, 2010 7:10 am

I hope he writes a book!

JEFF d
EP fan

Re: Who Replaced "Hamburger" James? A Mystery No More !

Fri May 21, 2010 7:15 am

Is it Doc or Detective - some nice finds lately Doc 8)

Re: Who Replaced "Hamburger" James? A Mystery No More !

Fri May 21, 2010 7:17 am

Good one, Doc, thanks

Re: Who Replaced "Hamburger" James? A Mystery No More !

Fri May 21, 2010 7:25 am

Interesting article, Doc. Thanks,

Phil

Re: Who Replaced "Hamburger" James? A Mystery No More !

Fri May 21, 2010 7:40 am

After 30 years, all we really have are some of these small vignettes to interest us.

Well, those, and the upcoming Sun book + CD project from Ernst.

Re: Who Replaced "Hamburger" James? A Mystery No More !

Fri May 21, 2010 9:13 am

Very interesting read. Thanks for the post.

We should be glad Mr Hicks hasn't written a book.

He was Elvis personal dresser.............yet he claims he didn't know whether or not Elvis was abusing prescriptions and never illegal drugs.

He says that Elvis only swore when he was mad......was Elvis mad at every recording session

He quotes his salary at $30,000 including bonus and gifts..........that would be $148,000 in todays money.

The MM never got paid that much

Would Vernon really be paying out that for a valet let alone pay for the mafia's parties booze and food

Re: Who Replaced "Hamburger" James? A Mystery No More !

Fri May 21, 2010 10:44 am

An interesting read ,thanks Dr John

Re: Who Replaced "Hamburger" James? A Mystery No More !

Sat May 22, 2010 10:57 pm

paulsweeney wrote:Is it Doc or Detective - some nice finds lately Doc 8)

acmeruya wrote:Interesting article, Doc. Thanks,

keninlincs wrote:An interesting read ,thanks Dr John

You are all most welcome!

Re: Who Replaced "Hamburger" James? A Mystery No More !

Tue Jan 03, 2012 1:51 pm

There is an e-book on Ken Hicks and the two years he spent working for Elvis. It's called Elvis, as I knew him.
I was looking for information about him here, since I had never heard about this guy before. So thanks for posting the article, Dr.
If anyone is interested, it's available for download at Amazon.

Image

http://www.amazon.com/Elvis-As-Knew-Him ... 334&sr=1-2

Re: Who Replaced "Hamburger" James? A Mystery No More !

Tue Jan 03, 2012 3:27 pm

Aunt Delta wrote:http://www.amazon.com/Elvis-As-Knew-Him-ebook/dp/B0047GN78U

Thanks for the link. I almost want to drop the $10 and read his story.

Re: Who Replaced "Hamburger" James? A Mystery No More !

Tue Jan 03, 2012 4:13 pm

Thank's Doc. Great article!

I love reading stuff like this discovering new information. I had never even heard of this bloke until today !

Re: Who Replaced "Hamburger" James? A Mystery No More !

Tue Jan 03, 2012 5:20 pm

KiwiAlan wrote:Very interesting read. Thanks for the post.

We should be glad Mr Hicks hasn't written a book.

He was Elvis personal dresser.............yet he claims he didn't know whether or not Elvis was abusing prescriptions and never illegal drugs.

He says that Elvis only swore when he was mad......was Elvis mad at every recording session

He quotes his salary at $30,000 including bonus and gifts..........that would be $148,000 in todays money.

The MM never got paid that much

Would Vernon really be paying out that for a valet let alone pay for the mafia's parties booze and food



excellent points......

Re: Who Replaced "Hamburger" James? A Mystery No More !

Sun Jul 30, 2017 7:48 pm

I am glad I found this site. I was friends with Ken Hicks for about 7 years before he passed away. We spent many hours together talking about his life with Elvis and J.D Sumner and I recorded the conversations on cassette tape which I still have today. I finished writing the book after Ken died in 2004 and I went on the cruise, maybe November, 2010, meeting many of the guys who remembered Ken, including D.J. Fontana, Gary Schilling, Joe Moscheo, Joe Guercio and members of the TCB band who were on the cruise. I read one comment where Ken had said that he didn't know whether Elvis had illegal drugs or not. Asked this several times, to Ken, he always told me the drugs that Elvis had were prescribed by the doctors that worked with Elvis, but he did take the drugs. He carried the black case that the drugs were in constantly. As Joe Moscheo, of the Imperials, who I met on an Elvis cruise out of Jacksonville verified to me the legacy of Ken could have been the bearer of the black bag.

Another note I took was that Ken succeeded Roger Davis as the personal valet of Elvis. Ken stated to me he succeeded Marvin "Gee Gee" Gamble, a cousin of Red West, when "Gee Gee" got into trouble dating a Patsy Presley, a favorite cousin of Elvis's. Gamble's assistant at that time was James Caughley. Hamburger James also became Ken's Assistant.

Ken was around when "Hamberger James" took personal pictures of Elvis and Priscilla and headed to the airport and a flight back home. "Red" and his group did stop the plane and pulled "James," off the flight and the group put a huge scare in him returning to the hotel and facing Elvis. That evening displayed Elvis's temper along with another story on how the yellow Pantera that Elvis put two bullet holes in and is displayed at Presley Motors Museum in Memphis.

Ken stated in the book we wrote that on the initial interview with Joe and Elvis, when his salary with J.D., $150.00 a week, was disclosed Elvis doubled the salary to $300.00 with the reasoning that he could pay Ken more than what J.D. was paying. Ken also received $10.00 per day as per diem when he was out of town. In his time with Elvis he was also given a Corvette and a Cadillac. The IRS later came back to Ken with a tax figure they needed for Ken to catch up his taxes. Ken had to sell the Cadillac to pay the taxes and the Corvette, with all his possessions in it were stolen in Atlanta. The car, and its contents, was never recovered.

In 2015 a ring that Ken was given by Elvis to six members of the "Stamps." It was put on a silent auction, or maybe and Elvis auction and verified by written note that Ken was the owner of the ring. The ring auctioned off for $22.000. I actually saw the ring which was in possession of a friend of Ken's after he died. I assume that person put it on auction. Everyone in this post, that I talked to on the cruise, remembered Ken as the personal valet or wardrobe manager in the time between about 1971 to 1975. That time, Ken was employed was never verified. His departure from Elvis ended with a dispute over fudge cycles that Elvis loved dearly. Ken actually came back and worked with Elvis for a weekend swing through Florida in April, 1975. Maybe 1976.

Re: Who Replaced "Hamburger" James? A Mystery No More !

Sun Jul 30, 2017 7:53 pm

Sorry, Richard Davis.

Re: Who Replaced "Hamburger" James? A Mystery No More !

Sun Jul 30, 2017 9:36 pm

ekorgan wrote:I am glad I found this site. I was friends with Ken Hicks for about 7 years before he passed away. We spent many hours together talking about his life with Elvis and J.D Sumner and I recorded the conversations on cassette tape which I still have today. I finished writing the book after Ken died in 2004 and I went on the cruise, maybe November, 2010, meeting many of the guys who remembered Ken, including D.J. Fontana, Gary Schilling, Joe Moscheo, Joe Guercio and members of the TCB band who were on the cruise. I read one comment where Ken had said that he didn't know whether Elvis had illegal drugs or not. Asked this several times, to Ken, he always told me the drugs that Elvis had were prescribed by the doctors that worked with Elvis, but he did take the drugs. He carried the black case that the drugs were in constantly. As Joe Moscheo, of the Imperials, who I met on an Elvis cruise out of Jacksonville verified to me the legacy of Ken could have been the bearer of the black bag.

Another note I took was that Ken succeeded Roger Davis as the personal valet of Elvis. Ken stated to me he succeeded Marvin "Gee Gee" Gamble, a cousin of Red West, when "Gee Gee" got into trouble dating a Patsy Presley, a favorite cousin of Elvis's. Gamble's assistant at that time was James Caughley. Hamburger James also became Ken's Assistant.

Ken was around when "Hamberger James" took personal pictures of Elvis and Priscilla and headed to the airport and a flight back home. "Red" and his group did stop the plane and pulled "James," off the flight and the group put a huge scare in him returning to the hotel and facing Elvis. That evening displayed Elvis's temper along with another story on how the yellow Pantera that Elvis put two bullet holes in and is displayed at Presley Motors Museum in Memphis.

Ken stated in the book we wrote that on the initial interview with Joe and Elvis, when his salary with J.D., $150.00 a week, was disclosed Elvis doubled the salary to $300.00 with the reasoning that he could pay Ken more than what J.D. was paying. Ken also received $10.00 per day as per diem when he was out of town. In his time with Elvis he was also given a Corvette and a Cadillac. The IRS later came back to Ken with a tax figure they needed for Ken to catch up his taxes. Ken had to sell the Cadillac to pay the taxes and the Corvette, with all his possessions in it were stolen in Atlanta. The car, and its contents, was never recovered.

In 2015 a ring that Ken was given by Elvis to six members of the "Stamps." It was put on a silent auction, or maybe and Elvis auction and verified by written note that Ken was the owner of the ring. The ring auctioned off for $22.000. I actually saw the ring which was in possession of a friend of Ken's after he died. I assume that person put it on auction. Everyone in this post, that I talked to on the cruise, remembered Ken as the personal valet or wardrobe manager in the time between about 1971 to 1975. That time, Ken was employed was never verified. His departure from Elvis ended with a dispute over fudgecycles that Elvis loved dearly. Ken actually came back and worked with Elvis for a weekend swing through Florida in April, 1975. Maybe 1976.



That was really interesting. Thank you for sharing this with us.

I will not soon forget your description "the legacy of Ken could have been the bearer of the black bag." Wow!

Do note that Marvin “Gee Gee” Gambill, Jr. was married to Elvis’s cousin Patsy, and they had two children, Jim and Deana. Not sure what led to his departure from the group in 1970. He died in Nashville on 2-20-2005 from injuries sustained after being hit by a car.

Re: Who Replaced "Hamburger" James? A Mystery No More !

Mon Jul 31, 2017 1:14 am

Please let me note. The legacy was what Joe Moscheo said to me. I never made that statement. Interesting to read Gamble left in 1970. Ken described getting interviewed by Elvis and Joe prior to their month long Spring engagement in Las Vegas.

I have seen various articles where Ken started somewhere between 1971, at the International Hotel in January, 1971 and quit Elvis as late as 1975. I have tried to set a time table based on the facts I got from Ken. Still don't really have a good time frame.

Re: Who Replaced "Hamburger" James? A Mystery No More !

Sun Sep 24, 2017 7:04 pm

Interesting! I'd never even heard of him!

Re: Who Replaced "Hamburger" James? A Mystery No More !

Mon Nov 27, 2017 12:02 am

At the Auto Museum in Elvi's Memphis the Yellow Pantera was displayed. The museum never mention the reason the car was shot at. The interesting part of that car was that Elvis took some shots at it. In my book Ken was there when it happened and he gave an interesting account of why Elvis shot the car. He was probably the only one around who witnessed the actions of Elvis.