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Interview with Wink and Sandy Martindale

By: Elvis Australia
Source: www.elvis.com.au
July 4, 2008 - 11:38:41 AM
Elvis Articles, Elvis Interviews, Video and Audio

Wink Martindale was the morning DJ at WHBQ in Memphis. Wink Martindale was born Winston Conrad Martindale on December 4, 1934 in Jackson, Tennessee, USA. He is perhaps best known as a game show host for such classic shows as Gambit, Tic Tac Dough, High Rollers, and Debt.

The evening DJ, Dewey Phillips, was known for playing what was then called 'race music', and it was one evening that a record brought in by Sam Phillips featuring an artist by the name of Elvis Presley was played.

'You could tell that something exciting was going on when the record was played', says Wink. Elvis appeared on Wink's 'Teenage Dance Party' show on June 16, 1956 to promote his July 4 charity show at Russwood Park in Memphis -- it was the first of two television interviews Elvis did with Wink.

Wink Martindale and Elvis Presley at WHBQ in Memphis - June 16, 1956
Wink Martindale and Elvis Presley at WHBQ in Memphis - June 16, 1956

Wink Martindale and Elvis Presley at WHBQ in Memphis - June 16, 1956
Wink Martindale and Elvis Presley at WHBQ in Memphis - June 16, 1956

Wink and Elvis remained friends for a long time.

Ironically, Wink's future wife Sandy had dated Elvis for six years. Sandy Martindale has fond memories of Elvis: 'My mother came with us on our first dates', chuckles Sandy. 'I was so embarrassed I cried'.

Dewey Phillips, Wink Martindale and Elvis Presley at WHBQ in Memphis - June 16, 1956
Dewey Phillips, Wink Martindale and Elvis Presley at WHBQ in Memphis - June 16, 1956

Sandy's romance with the King began at age 14, when Elvis was bowled over by the photo, which he spotted hanging in the office of her dad, a Los Angeles nightclub owner.

Elvis Presley MP3 Audio Interview with Wink and Sandy Martindale Pop Up Window (22:30)

'He called me to go out, but I had to tell him I had school the next day', she recalls. 'The next night Mom drove me to the club to meet him. Elvis had a date with a gorgeous actress that night and there I was, with my little ponytail. He was 24. He held my hand, kissed me on the cheek and I was a goner'.

They were an item, on and off, for the next six years --- right up until he married Priscilla.

'I danced in six of his movies because I was going with him', she says. 'In Viva Las Vegas that's me with Ann-Margaret and Elvis dancing at the roulette table'. Even after Elvis married, he and Sandy stayed friends. She says she was devastated the last time she saw him, back-stage at one if his last Las Vegas concerts.

Elvis Presley Video Elvis on Wink Martindale show 1956 Pop Up Window (01:18)

Above - In 1956 Wink interviewed Elvis on his Dance Party TV Show. Elvis spent the interview leaning against a jukebox, while his hair flopped over his forehead sending new feelings through teen-age America.

Elvis Presley Video Elvis Interviewed by Wink Martindale Pop Up Window (06:50)

Above - A look through Elvis' Audubon drive home will listening to Wink's second interview with Elvis Presley.

'I danced in six of his movies because I was going with him', she says. 'In Viva Las Vegas that's me with Ann-Margaret and Elvis dancing at the roulette table'. Even after Elvis married, he and Sandy stayed friends. She says she was devastated the last time she saw him, back-stage at one if his last Las Vegas concerts.

Elvis Presley Video Wink Martindale's tribute to Elvis Presley Pop Up Window (05:51)

Above - In 1956 Wink interviewed Elvis on his Dance Party TV Show. Elvis spent the interview leaning against a jukebox, while his hair flopped over his forehead sending new feelings through teen-age America.

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Tupelo's Own Elvis Presley DVD + 16 page booklet. Never before have we seen an Elvis concert from the 50's with sound. Until Now! The DVD Contains recently discovered Unreleased Film of Elvis performing 6 songs, including Heartbreak Hotel and Don’t Be Cruel, live in Tupelo Mississippi 1956. Included we see a live performance of the elusive Long Tall Sally seen here for the first time ever. This is an excellent release no fan should be without it. The 'parade' footage is good to see as it puts you in the right context with color and b&w footage. The interviews of Elvis' Parents are well worth hearing too. The afternoon show footage is wonderful and electrifying : Here is Elvis in his prime rocking and rolling in front of 11.000 people.

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