Elvis Presley Interviews
Read all the latest interviews with friends and family about The King of Rock 'n' Roll, Elvis Presley.
Interviews By Scott Jenkins : Index of Elvis Interviews A-Z
Charlie Hodge began his musical career at age 20 in a gospel quartet with Bill Gaither. He went on to be the lead singer for the Foggy River Boys. At 5'3", the guitarist had to stand on an empty Coke crate to reach the microphone. Elvis Presley first met Hodge backstage after the group performed in Memphis, Tennessee. Charlie Hodge
.... I said, 'Hello, Is Elvis there? This is Charlie Hodge'. And Lamar said, 'Charlie Hodge?' And I heard Elvis yell, 'Yeah, Charlie, come on up'. And so, that's how we got together ...
Mike Stoller and Jerry Leiber helped give birth to rock and roll when they wrote Hound Dog
in 1952. Their list of hits sounds like the very history of rock and roll almost from the moment of its birth, with classic songs recorded by everybody from Elvis Presley
to the Drifters to John Lennon
The following interview with Sonny West took place in Sydney Australia, on May 4th, 2005. If you think you know Sonny and his motivations over the years, you may want to think again after reading this interview.
Interview with Bill Belew, who has the distinction of having designed Elvis Presley's costumes and personal wardrobe from 1968 until 1977.
In 1963 Cissy Houston and three other singers formed a backup group that became known as the Sweet Inspirations and performed around the country with various headliners. It was during Cissy Houston's soprano obbligato on 'Are You Lonesome Tonight?' that Elvis started laughing at the mid night show on August 26, 1969.
Whitney Houston : 'You don't actually MEET Elvis, you just have to LOOK at Elvis'. She goes on to explain that her mother Cissy Houston (who sang with the gospel group Sweet Inspirations), used to sing back up for Elvis Presley and Aretha Franklin for many years. [Cissy Houston was actually only with Elvis for his opening shows in 1969] and how they were sitting in a room backstage and Elvis walked in with his mink (real fur), glasses on, and she just looked at him and could not say anything (star struck).
When I was with Voice, those were moments when I was actually in there. You sit on the couch around in the house with Elvis. And he'd come and we'd gather around the piano. We'd sing old spirituals and stuff. And he'd play -- he loved to play the piano. And he actually played pretty good. I learned from being in Voice what kind of a guy he really was which is basically just a good southern guy who happened to be really handsome and really could rock the world, you know.
Priscilla Presley interviewed by Larry King August 16, 2007.
Well-known in music circles since the early 1960's as a top songwriter, sideman and producer, Swan's songs have been covered successfully by Elvis Presley
, Waylon Jennings
, Loretta Lynn, Conway Twitty, and many others; one of the first he wrote, Lover Please
, was a #7 hit for Clyde McPhatter in 1962, and landed a Grammy for Kris Kristofferson
and Rita Coolidge in 1975. Billy Swan's initial hit single I Can Help
sold over one-million copies in Europe and over two million worldwide. Elvis recorded I Can Help
on March 10, 1975 for the Today album.
On March 8, 1961, Elvis addressed the Tennessee State Legislature and accepted the title of 'Honorary Colonel
'. During this time Ann Ellington, the daughter of Governor Buford Ellington met Elvis and even attended his recording session at Studio B on March 23 when he recorded 'Can't help Falling In Love'. Of Elvis Ann said, 'I think any female who had an opportunity to sit down and meet him, just even for five minutes, you find a love for him that words cannot describe'.
Interview with Vernon Presley by Nancy Anderson : Good Housekeeping, January 1978.
Nicolas Cage talks about ex-wife Lisa Marie Presley on Barbara Walters.
Interview with Elvis' dentist, Dr. Lester Hoffman who first met Elvis just after he had come back from Hawaii, from making Blue Hawaii. 'It was my day out of the office, the girl called me and said, There's a phone call, somebody said Elvis Presley needs a dentist'.
The connections between Elvis Presley and Australia are few. He never visited us. He never expressed any particular interest in the land 'down under' He was essentially a Memphis boy who, apart from his brief stint in the army in Germany, liked to stay in the Deep South and to spend his time in Graceland. It therefore comes as a pleasant surprise to learn that Larry Muhoberac, the man who played keyboards for Elvis for ten years, is an Aussie citizen and currently lives in a delightful home overlooking a valley full of gum trees on Sydney's northern beaches.
Marty Pasetta produced and directed the Aloha TV special which became the most watched TV program ever, with over 1.5 billion people watching it worldwide. Marty actually told Elvis 'He's got to lose some weight' when they met in Las Vegas. Elvis spent the next three months dieting, taking vitamin injections, and rigorously working out with his Memphis karate instructor, Kang Rhee. Director/producer Marty Pasetta reminisces about pitching his ideas for the Elvis Aloha from Hawaii special, the first program to ever be beamed around the world by satellite. Following is an interview with Marty and clips from the show.
Elvis was first exposed to Karate in 1958 after he was drafted into the Army
and stationed in Germany. His first instructor was a German shotokan
stylist named Juergen Seydel who taught Elvis at his off-base housing in Nauheim until 1958. One nice thing about the military was that you got thirty days of paid vacation (leave) each year. During his vacation in Paris
he would take private lessons with Tetsugio Murakami, one of Japan's top shotokan stylists, who would help pioneer shotokan in Europe. On one occasion he spent nine straight days studying for several hours each day with Murakami.
American martial arts man Bill 'Superfoot' Wallace who was Elvis Presley's bodyguard and personal trainer from 1974 until his death in 1977 recently talked about his times with the King and gave a rare glimpse of the man behind the legend. 'He was a wonderful person, a nice guy. It was fun working out with him too but you couldn't hit him too hard. You couldn't punch Elvis in the face but it was fun beating up his 'Memphis Mafia
'. He was very good at martial arts, he worked out very hard.
Scott 'Mac' Davis was born Jan. 21, 1942 in Lubbock, Texas. During his early years in the music business, he lived in Atlanta, where he played in a rock & roll band and worked as a regional manager for Vee-Jay Records. Although he had enjoyed a measure of songwriting achievement before, his big breakthrough occurred in 1969-70 when Elvis Presley turned three of his songs into pop hits.
One of the most recorded guitar players of all time, Reggie Young has played on hundreds of hit songs in multiple genres. His career spans over 50 years and between the years 1967 thru 1971 alone his guitar was on 120 Top 40 pop and R&B hits. He's recorded with Elvis and opened for The Beatles
along with playing guitar on several hundred different artists recordings, playing rockabilly, R&B, rock, pop, country and jazz with some of the greatest of all time: ... Do you have a special memory with Elvis? Well, it's all a special moment. But especially American, the one on one, when we were just sittin' around talking and you know, after the fact I look back and say, man I was just sittin' around talking to Elvis.
Interview with with Anita Wood, Elvis' girlfriend during the whirlwind late 50's. Anita talks about meeting Elvis for the first time WHPQ radio television in Memphis 1957, dating, Elvis being drafted and his mothers reaction, Hollywood, Elvis Presley Jr, Natalie Wood and more.
Mary Tyler Moore talks about Elvis Presley.
Interview with Donna Butterworth who played Jan Kohana in Paradise Hawaiian Style
Elvis Presley and Jack Lord first met on January 14, 1973 following Elvis' triumphant Aloha From Hawaii television special. Elvis made special mention that Jack was in the audience which completely 'floored' the Lords., 'One of my favorite actors is in the audience, Jack Lord, I gotta say that, you know, Hawaii 5-0'. Afterwards, they went backstage and met Elvis for the first time, and met later at The Lords home facing the ocean on the Oahu side of the island. They met again on February 10, 1973 in Las Vegas.
A look at Elvis' Guitar Man Sessions with Jerry Reed. Jerry Reed immediately took over the session
, you can hear it from the first notes of the first take - Reed is coaching the musicians, encouraging them, egging them on, with Felton happy just to be presiding over some thing that is actually happening. There is a bright, shimmering surface to the music different in many respects from anything Elvis has ever recorded before but providing, at the same time, the kind of churning, driving rhythm that has characterized Elvis' music from the first. There is not the slightest question of Elvis' engagement. There is no self-deprecation, there is no wisecracking; all of the singer's attention is focused on the music. Completely updated
Ginger Alden is of course known in the Elvis World as the woman who shared his last few months with him. Late in 2014, after years of keeping silent about their relationship, she released 'ELVIS AND GINGER: Elvis Presley's Fiancée and Last Love Finally Tells Her Story'
. The book has been received warmly by fans and the general public, and went to No.1 on the New York Times Bestseller list. Here she speaks with Scott Jenkins about her life with Elvis, the book and more.
Audio: Bing Crosby talks about Elvis Presley
. Bing's comments are surprisingly perceptive: 'He's gonna be a very big star, I mean, in a lot of fields ... he sings in tune, and he's got good rhythm, he just hasn't developed enough voice just yet to handle the ballads but that'll come ...' An interesting audio document. Bing Crosby was surely an influence on Elvis, and he clearly understood Elvis Presley and his talent, way better than the idiot who was interviewing him. In fact, Elvis had great rhythm, he could sing, and with time he developed his voice and became an accomplished vocalist. Elvis received the Bing Crosby award
in 1971 ...
Bobby Emmons a member of The Memphis Boys, who worked with Elvis in 1969 on the sessions at American Studios. Bobby tells of playing with Elvis at American in 1969 and the first time he saw Elvis.
Video, Ken Berryhill met Elvis when he was producer and director of the Blackwood Brothers Show. Ken shares the story of how The Blackwood Brothers turned Elvis down when he wanted to join their quartet.
Mimmye Goode remembers meeting Elvis Presley Ellis Auditorium 1954.
In this video Jerry Schilling, talks about Elvis Presley - the 'perfectionist'.
Throughout the years I've been fortunate to have had the opportunity to witness the beginnings of more than one musical legend. One afternoon, we were paid a visit by a young and inexperienced Elvis Presley, who was appearing on an excursion boat, the S.S. Mt. Vernon. Includes Interview with Jimy Dean
Elvis was the love of my life. I met him in the summer of '55, when he was just a regional star. I was 17 and he was 20. He had been in my hometown of Biloxi, Mississippi, several times before, and people said, 'You need to see him', and I went on this one night. I thought he was the most gorgeous thing: big, dreamy eyes. Girls were screaming over him, and I'm just not that kind. I was passing by him, not even looking at him, and he reached through the crowd and grabbed my arm. He said, 'Where are you going?'
Susan Henning was born in North Hollywood, raised in the San Fernando Valley, the blonde, tan, blue eyed California girl epitomized the Healthy All American girl. She won 'Miss Teen USA' in 1965. Susan apeared in Elvis' movie, 'Live A Little, Love A Little' and says her all time favorite was the 1968 'Elvis Special' where 'Elvis and I came together again igniting our chemistry to thrill the fans'.
Interview with songwriter Michael Jarrett who wrote both I'm Leavin'
as well as a Christmas song cut at the same sessions, the bluesy I'll Be Home On Christmas Day
, which Elvis recorded in 1971.
Jerry Chesnut : I met Elvis through a mutual friend of ours, and so called Memphis Mafia
member, Lamar Fike
... in 1974 Priscilla came to see Elvis perform. They sat in the booth Elvis always reserved for her and when he spotted them, He sang Priscilla's Favorite song 'It's Midnight'. He walked to the edge of the stage, looked at her, and tears were streaming down his cheeks. He was all broke up. She was the only girl he really ever loved ... The Nashville songwriting great originally wrote the clever tune 'T-R-O-U-B-L-E' for singer Little David Wilkins, who really did play from '9 til half past 1' in a Nashville bar, and he had a stroke of genius when he realized he could rhyme certain words if he spelled them out.
This is an interview I conducted with the great recording engineer Bill Porter
back in 1987. We chatted and listened to some of his recordings. In one week of 1960, Bill Porter-engineered recordings accounted for 15 of Billboard's Top 100 Singles. You could chalk it up to his having folks like Elvis Presley
, Roy Orbison
, Chet Atkins
and the Everly Brothers
to record, but then you'd have to explain why, with Porter out of the picture, so many of their careers took a nose-dive. The fact is, the original pressings of many of those classic Porter recordings possess a natural, spacious, jump-out-at-you 'live' feel that today's engineers don't seem capable of achieving ... Steve Sholes, who produced the first Elvis session Bill was involved with, said, 'Roll the tape' And I said, 'But I haven't heard the song yet!' And he said, 'Roll the tape, Bill!' and I look and the studio is totally black out there. I can't see a thing. I said, 'You're kidding!' He said, 'No, roll the tape!'.
Ann-Margret was born Ann-Margret
Olsson in Valsjöbyn, Jämtland, Sweden to Anna Aronsson and Gustav Olsson, a native of Örnsköldsvik. She grew up in a small town 'of lumberjacks and farmers high up near the Arctic Circle'. Her father worked in the United States during his youth and immigrated back in 1942, working with the Johnson Electrical Company. Ann-Margret and her mother moved to the USA four years later. When she filmed Viva Las Vegas
with Elvis the two began a relationship.
Will McDaniel met Elvis Presley in 1957 at Rainbow Skating Rink. In this video, Will talks about how he earned the nickname Bardahl from Elvis that evening.
I think being a real person, I kind of go back to being out of place, out of step sometimes with the time. Like, being something so unique at a time in life. Makes you stand out more. Although probably he would stand out at any time. But I think that something about his courage and his ability to go out there and be himself and not compromise what he was made him somewhat of an idol, a hero, a person that you worshipped for a lot of reasons other than his talent as a singer.
WMHS TV-13 from Murray High School interviews Sandi Pichon at Marlowe's Restaurant in Memphis, Tennessee. Sandi met Elvis Presley on several occasions and student Aileen O'Brien talks with Sandi about her experiences. In 1956, Sandi Pichon was a bored 11-year-old girl sweating out summer living in Memphis, Tenn., when she got the idea to knock on rising star Elvis Presley's back door. Such was the beginning of her years-long friendship with one of the most famous entertainers of all time. Don't miss viewing this!
Darlene Tompkins met Elvis Presley in 1961 when she co-starred with him in Blue Hawaii. In this video, she talks about how down to earth Elvis was and his unique laugh.
Nancy Graff talks about when she met Elvis in December of 1971.
Del Puschert's most prized possessions are two scraps of fabric, each about six inches long and frayed at the edges. One is lavender-colored cotton with faint white lines forming a rectangular pattern; the other is black wool with thin pinstripes and a zipper attached. At first glance, they're nothing special. In fact, if they weren't framed together and hung on the wall of Puschert's Annapolis home, you'd pay them no mind. Puschert stands before the scraps like a pilgrim in the presence of a reliquary. 'There they are', he says, dialing back his boisterous voice to a murmur.
For rock-and-roll devotees, the scraps do, indeed, have near-religious significance - they were cut from a jacket and pants that clothed Elvis Presley.
View, and listen to an amazing testimony of meeting Elvis, and even as fans becoming friends, Donna Lewis first met Elvis in July 1962 at Graceland.
Listen to Glen Campbell talk about his first meeting with Elvis Presley.
Among the more notable pieces I made for Elvis during his career include the TCB ring, Aloha ring, the Maltese Cross, and the Lion necklace. Elvis was a very giving person who had wonderful, yet expensive taste in the jewellery he added to his collection. He loved his fans, friends.and family, and he tried to give everything he could back to them I was honoured to be able to work with him.
Ron Olson, a Memphis DJ tells the story of how he was able to get Elvis' autograph at Graceland.
Nancy Bramlett knew Elvis through her husband John Bramlett
and spent time at Graceland.
Mindy Campbell was a flight attendant and was invited to attend the Aloha from Hawaii
concert. Then, the next day, she was excited to find out that Elvis and his entourage would be passengers on their flight back to Los Angeles. We think you will agree this is a very interesting video and well worth your time.
John Bramlett grew up with Elvis in the same neighborhood in Memphis. They spent time playing football, going to the movies and more.