In this section you can submit questions to people that knew Elvis, or to other important people in the Elvis World.

Billy Smith

Thu Nov 03, 2011 10:16 am

My question is for Billy Smith, or anyone else who may have an opinion on this:

In Revelations Of The Memphis Mafia, Billy mentions that he was hired as Supervisor of Tour Guides at Graceland, only to be let go later because "he had a love/hate relationship with Graceland." What exactly was meant by that?

I have some ideas, but just wondered what others think.

Re: Billy Smith

Thu Nov 03, 2011 2:11 pm

He loved Graceland (for the memories), and hated EPE.

Re: Billy Smith

Thu Nov 03, 2011 3:04 pm

EP made him bum around, EPE made him work for his money :smt003

Re: Billy Smith

Thu Nov 03, 2011 3:28 pm

That's not a fair characterization. Billy earned what should have been a lifetime pension by being with his cousin effectively 24/7 during the final months of his life. That they deigned to make him a tour guide was a slap in the face.

Re: Billy Smith

Thu Nov 03, 2011 3:57 pm

elvisjock wrote:That's not a fair characterization. Billy earned what should have been a lifetime pension by being with his cousin effectively 24/7 during the final months of his life. That they deigned to make him a tour guide was a slap in the face.


Hey, he could have left. Nobody put a gun to his head.
He could have taken another job whenever he liked to do real work! At MacDonalds or Kentucky Fried Chicken. :smt003

Re: Billy Smith

Thu Nov 03, 2011 3:58 pm

elvisjock wrote:That's not a fair characterization. Billy earned what should have been a lifetime pension by being with his cousin effectively 24/7 during the final months of his life. That they deigned to make him a tour guide was a slap in the face.

Agree 100%

Re: Billy Smith

Thu Nov 03, 2011 4:49 pm

elvisjock wrote:That's not a fair characterization. Billy earned what should have been a lifetime pension by being with his cousin effectively 24/7 during the final months of his life. That they deigned to make him a tour guide was a slap in the face.


+1

Re: Billy Smith

Thu Nov 03, 2011 5:02 pm

Lexie1973 wrote:
elvisjock wrote:That's not a fair characterization. Billy earned what should have been a lifetime pension by being with his cousin effectively 24/7 during the final months of his life. That they deigned to make him a tour guide was a slap in the face.


+1


The next question though, is why didn't Priscilla, or even Vernon...or later Lisa Marie, step in a recognize that Billy was not only a relative but one that Elvis put his trust into, particularly in the later years. Bit of a stretch here, but if Elvis had lived and Graceland was opened on a limited basis to fans do you think he would have made Billy 'head tour guide'?

Re: Billy Smith

Thu Nov 03, 2011 5:04 pm

I met Billy once and it was the sweetest person you can imagine! I'm very happy that I was able to talk to him and his wife for a very very little while.....

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Re: Billy Smith

Thu Nov 03, 2011 5:58 pm

zolderopruiming1 wrote:EP made him bum around, EPE made him work for his money :smt003


If you think emptying the contents of hundreds of narcotic capsules and replacing them with sugar, as part of the battle to help temper your cousin's drug abuse, qualifies as "bumming around," oh well.

Re: Billy Smith

Mon Feb 13, 2012 5:38 pm

This is an older thread but I have to address this. First of all, Billy is as honest as the day is long. (unlike those who hired him) He was with Elvis because he loved him dearly. God knows it was never a financial venture. He had a good job and beautiful house when Elvis begged him to come to Graceland. He sacrificed more than anyone here can imagine, and more than I would tell you,,,but it was about Elvis. Yes, he had good times too but working for Elvis held no job security, no pension, no security in general. Look at how Graceland was managed....the tour guides have a written speech that they say and it was written by someone who Elvis didn't even want to have part of his estate. As for Vernon,,,he never had much liking for the Smith side and had no loyalty to them what so ever,,,no matter what.

Re: Billy Smith

Mon Feb 13, 2012 7:35 pm

Kissincousin wrote:This is an older thread but I have to address this. First of all, Billy is as honest as the day is long. (unlike those who hired him) He was with Elvis because he loved him dearly. God knows it was never a financial venture. He had a good job and beautiful house when Elvis begged him to come to Graceland. He sacrificed more than anyone here can imagine, and more than I would tell you,,,but it was about Elvis. Yes, he had good times too but working for Elvis held no job security, no pension, no security in general. Look at how Graceland was managed....the tour guides have a written speech that they say and it was written by someone who Elvis didn't even want to have part of his estate. As for Vernon,,,he never had much liking for the Smith side and had no loyalty to them what so ever,,,no matter what.

Let's don't start the Presley/Smith thing up again. It serves no purpose that I can see. Vernon was left in charge after Elvis died. Had Elvis wanted something done differently, he could have provided that in his will. As it is, Vernon left Priscilla and 2 others in place after he died. Billy and all the other men with Elvis were well taken care of materially through the years and they were grown men and women. They could have left at any time.Vernon owed nothing to any of them except Lisa. . Elvis wanted his daughter to be taken care of and that was done . May we all be able to say that when we're gone.

Re: Billy Smith

Mon Feb 13, 2012 11:42 pm

Someone asked a question, I answered, why is that a problem. I thought that was the idea here????? I didn't mention anything about Elvis "leaving" Billy anything????

Re: Billy Smith

Sun Jul 15, 2012 4:32 pm

Many has questioned the will too. Elvis promised Billy that he would be taken care of. Very strange that Elvis didn't kept that promise; and that's why several people think that the will has been changed by someone. Personally I think it's a disgrace that Billy hasn't been taken care of. He was the one Elvis spent the most time with the last couple of years - and there certainly was a reason for that.

Re: Billy Smith

Mon Jul 16, 2012 7:32 am

Xaykev wrote:Many has questioned the will too. Elvis promised Billy that he would be taken care of. Very strange that Elvis didn't kept that promise; and that's why several people think that the will has been changed by someone. Personally I think it's a disgrace that Billy hasn't been taken care of. He was the one Elvis spent the most time with the last couple of years - and there certainly was a reason for that.

This was told in revelations. After Elvis died, Patsy called Billy wanting to know where Elvis kept his will and papers like that and apparently some night after Elvis night many were burned.
So who knows like Billy Smith said either Elvis was a good liar, or someone altered that will.
Either way Billy, is my favorite from t he Elvis story besides Elvis, second to Lamar and Red.
They were there literally from the beginning!

Re: Billy Smith

Mon Jul 16, 2012 11:20 am

Perhaps there was an earlier will in which relatives and friends were beneficiaries, but after the July 1976 firing of friends and the upcoming stories from former friends, Elvis decided to make a new will, making his father and daughter the sole beneficiaries as they never broke his trust.

Re: Billy Smith

Tue Jul 17, 2012 12:51 am

zolderopruiming1 wrote:Perhaps there was an earlier will in which relatives and friends were beneficiaries, but after the July 1976 firing of friends and the upcoming stories from former friends, Elvis decided to make a new will, making his father and daughter the sole beneficiaries as they never broke his trust.

Nope, he told Billy that after March '77, when he made his will. Billy is my favorite too, he seems like a very good-hearted person. :!:

Re: Billy Smith

Mon Jul 30, 2012 7:17 am

i just find it odd that elvis would be making out a will in march of 77 and telling billy about it , and then elvis dying 5 months later . that has alway's seemed strange to me . if elvis has mentioned the will a few years earlier i would have not thought about it , but to make one all of a sudden and then die 5 months later seem's a bit odd . i wonder what made elvis decide to make a will , hey i could die in 5 month's so better safe than sorry , that has alway's bothered me for some reason . what prompt elvis to write the will in march i wonder .

Re: Billy Smith

Thu Aug 29, 2013 6:25 pm

Maybe Elvis had a sense of foreboding. There was a statement supposedly made by Elvis that he would at least look good in his coffin. Maybe he knew he was losing the battle.

Re: Billy Smith

Thu Aug 29, 2013 6:48 pm

elviscollector101 wrote:i just find it odd that elvis would be making out a will in march of 77 and telling billy about it , and then elvis dying 5 months later . that has alway's seemed strange to me . if elvis has mentioned the will a few years earlier i would have not thought about it , but to make one all of a sudden and then die 5 months later seem's a bit odd . i wonder what made elvis decide to make a will , hey i could die in 5 month's so better safe than sorry , that has alway's bothered me for some reason . what prompt elvis to write the will in march i wonder .


Elvis learned about "Elvis what happened" to be published and probably did not want anything to go to the former employees.
So he made sure he made a will and everything going to Lisa-Marie.

Re: Billy Smith

Sun Sep 08, 2013 3:21 pm

Billy loves elvis. Definitely true love there. Elvis was family to him and that meant alot. I truly believe elvis would have wanted him taken care of. Billy has said there was another will and he had hidden it where elvis told him to. Patsy called & got the will for Vernon. What happened to it?
Also, ginger was a witness on the will. TN law states that a witness cannot be a beneficiary. So elvis intentionally did not include her in his will. Speaks volumes.

Re: Billy Smith

Sat Sep 14, 2013 2:53 am

This is an older article from 1987 thamay shed some light on to a few of the questions here. Including the fact that a couple family members were indeed taken care of (to some degree) by the estate after Elvis in Vernon passed away.

Equally interesting his his cousin Lloyds comments about not feeling entitled to complain about whatever was Not left for family members, when he feels so much was given to him when Elvis was alive. I have to commend him, many people are bitter in similar circumstances but he was very appreciative for whatever he got from Elvis in the past. He made it clear Elvis' Will was a non-issue to him.
We may never fully know who received what. There are some folks who got nothing, and there are folks who got something, but people don't know about it.

http://articles.orlandosentinel.com/198 ... s-was-born

Re: Billy Smith

Tue Jan 28, 2014 3:03 am

Kissincousin wrote:This is an older thread but I have to address this. First of all, Billy is as honest as the day is long. (unlike those who hired him) He was with Elvis because he loved him dearly. God knows it was never a financial venture. He had a good job and beautiful house when Elvis begged him to come to Graceland. He sacrificed more than anyone here can imagine, and more than I would tell you,,,but it was about Elvis. Yes, he had good times too but working for Elvis held no job security, no pension, no security in general. Look at how Graceland was managed....the tour guides have a written speech that they say and it was written by someone who Elvis didn't even want to have part of his estate. As for Vernon,,,he never had much liking for the Smith side and had no loyalty to them what so ever,,,no matter what.


There have not been tour guides at graceland for years. its a audio tour now.

Re: Billy Smith

Tue Jan 28, 2014 5:26 am

Billy is/was blood-kin to Elvis, and that matters. It definitely mattered to Elvis -- and Billy. During their formative years, family mattered. Back in that time and place, family mattered -- and it had a LOT to do with how things worked out.

I've had the pleasure of meeting Billy and Jo and their family and they are real people. Billy needs no defense from the likes of me. He has his memories and that seems to be enough for him.