Elvis News delivered by email daily Elvis Presley News: delivered by email * Elvis Australia News Feed News Feed * SMS

Lindalee Wakely (Jimmy Wakely's Daughter) Remembers Elvis and Charle Hodge

By: David Adams
Source: Elvis Australia
November 18, 2008 - 1:03:00 PM
Elvis Articles, Elvis Interviews, By David Adams

Elvis Presley & Charlie Hodge
Elvis Presley & Charlie Hodge
For me, it was a horrible scene, Just horrible. But Elvis turned it all around. I did a Hollywood gossip column for a fan magazine called Teen Scene. You may remember it. Well, Dad had known Elvis' manager, Col. Tom Parker, and his wife, Marie, for many years. So Dad was able to get me an interview with the great Elvis who had just come back from Germany and had come out to the West Coast to make movies. The interview was going to take a place on the set of GI Blues. It really was a fantastic break for a kid like me. I knew it. I bought new shoes. I chose a new dress. I got an appointment with an expensive hairdresser. I was shaking but I was going to look sharp and make a great impression on Elvis.

Saturday afternoon, before the interview, I dropped by a girlfriend's house. She used to work for Elvis a little and I wanted to ask her about him. We decided to go swimming. We were out in her pool and she got a phone call. It was some of Elvis' people. They wanted her to come by and pick them up and all go out to the beach. She told them, 'Give me half an hour'.

She dressed to the hilt. Makeup. Cashmere sweater. High heels. The works. She said she would change back into a swim suit at the beach. Not to worry. I had nothing to wear but what I came in. Not to worry, she said.

We drove the back streets of Bevery Hills. We turned into the underground garage at the back of the hotel and took a rear elevator upstaires. We were just picking up some guys, then going on down to the beach. When the elevator door opened, we were suddenly in a fabulous suite. Elvis was standing on the other side of the room in a crowd in front of a huge picture window. I nearly died. I stopped breathing. There were gorgeous women evrywhere. Handsome men. Rafts of them. I had on an old faded pair of stretch toreador pants. Not one touch of makeup anywhere. Hair still damp from the pool but a little curl coming back in it. And Dad's old corduroy shirt. Then I remembered the worst. I was barefoot. No shoes.

I wedged my way through the crowd to a corner seat and sat down on my bare feet to cover them up. I tried to look like I didn't have a care. I hoped nobody in that mob would bother to give me a second look. Then a little guy came over, neat and smiling. 'You're Jimmy Wakely's kid?' he said. He had a kind of nice Southern drawl. 'You know my Dad?' Who is this guy, I wondered.  'I'm Charlie Hodge', he said, 'I sang with the Foggy River Boys before me and Elvis went to Germany. Yea, I worked with your Dad on the Ozark Jubilee on ABC'. He sat down on the floor beside me and started chatting away. He was adorable. I just loved him. He made me feel like I was safe and at home there. I actually was feeling like I would get away with it when I looked up and there was Elvis looking down at us with an amused smile.

'You sure look like kin folks', Elvis said, eyeing my clothes. 'Maybe like a cousin of mine'. I poked at my ropy hair and said, 'Your cousin must be a real knockout'. 'It's not a girl', he said, 'It's a boy, Named Billy Smith. You two sure look alike'. Charlie jumped up, 'This is Jimmy Wakely's little girl, Lindalee', he said. It was not the way I planned to meet Elvis Presley at all. I wanted to cry. Elvis winked, 'Stand up and let me see your outfit, Lindalee', he said. I got up and stood there, bare feet and all. 'Lindalee', he said, 'you look like family to me. From now on, that's the way we're going to treat you anytime you come see us'. He patted my shoulder and walked on. I was in a state of shock but it began to feel real good.

I was still feeling that crazy kind of high on Monday on my way to the interview. During a break in one of the dance sequence, Elvis ducked into a studio conference room to talk with me, to two other magazine writers and a photographer from Europe. Afterwards, I remember his smile, mostly. He sent words weaving through my mind like strings of colored balloons in a bright blue sky. He really made you feel like that. Then Elvis had to leave us to go back to the cameras. I walked dizzily back to my car in the parking lot. I already knew the title of my article. It would be called, 'A Handful of Stars'. It was from something my Dad once told me. Dad said, 'Lindalee, when you can walk down the street anywhere in the world and everybody turns and says, 'There's So-and-So,' then you know you are a great star. "But in all the world, there are only a handful of stars'.

Jimmy Wakely
Jimmy Wakely
When I got home and went in the house I felt an urge to do something nice for Elvis Presley. I went to the kitchen and mixed a batch of fudge. The next day, I took the fudge back to his hotel. Elvis had finished shooting his picture. The guys were already packing his personal belongings for the trip home. Elvis wanted to be home as soon as possible. Elvis grabbed a piece of my fudge and bit off a chunk. 'What's this, little one?' he said. 'It's Oakie Fudge', I said. 'Oakie' is a nickname of an Oklahoman - my Dad was from Oklahoma. 'Oakie Fudge?' Elvis said. 'Yea, Just Plain Old Oakie Fudge', I said. 'It's just the kind I like', he said. He licked his fingers. 'Little one, it's the best I ever ate in my life. Thanks'. I smiled in a kind of silent delirium and drifted back toward the elevator. When I punched the Down button, I felt like I went up.

The next day, I heard Dad tell Mom that he was having trouble finding a good tenor. He was putting together another one of his shows to take out on the Nevada circuit of saloons and gambling lounges. It was big money out there, stylish and sophisticated. Acts had to be tops. Nothing cornball allowed. 'Dad', I said, 'I met a boy yesterday at Elvis' hotel who said he had worked with you on the Ozark Jubilee. His name is Charlie Hodge'.

'Is he with Elvis now?' Dad asked. 'He was yesterday', I said. Charlie worked in Dad's show for the next six years, 1960 to 1966, that's when he wasn't off making movies with Elvis.

- Interview with Charlie Hodge

Jimmy Wakely (born James Clarence Wakeley February 16, 1914, died September 23, 1982) was an American Country-Western singer and actor, one of the last crooning cowpokes following the Second World War.

During the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s, he made several Country-Western recordings, appeared in several B-Western movies with most of the major studios, appeared on radio and television, and even had his own series of comic books. For his work for recording, Wakely has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 1680 Vine Street. Over the years, many singers have recorded Wakely creations - including Elvis Presley with I'll Never Let You Go Little Darlin' in 1954.

Interviews with or about Elvis Presley More Interviews

Interviews with or about Elvis Presley Interview with Larry Muhoberac
Interviews with or about Elvis Presley Interview with Michael Jarrett, songwriter, I'm Leavin'
Interviews with or about Elvis Presley Interview with James Burton
Interviews with or about Elvis Presley Interview with James Burton Sydney Australia 2006
Articles about Elvis Presley James Burton : First Call For The Royalty Of Rockabilly
Interviews with or about Elvis Presley Interview with Ronnie Tutt
Interviews with or about Elvis Presley Interview with Ronnie Tutt #2
Interviews with or about Elvis Presley Interview with Jerry Scheff
Interviews with or about Elvis Presley
Interview with Glen D. Hardin
Interviews with or about Elvis Presley
Interview with Sherrill Nielsen
Interviews with or about Elvis Presley Interview with Terry Blackwood & Jim Murray
Interviews with or about Elvis Presley Interview with Tony Brown
Interviews with or about Elvis Presley Duke Bardwell
Interviews with or about Elvis Presley
Interview with Scotty Moore
Articles about Elvis Presley Bill Black
Interviews with or about Elvis Presley
Interview with D.J. Fontana
Interviews with or about Elvis Presley Interview with Charlie Hodge
Interviews with or about Elvis Presley Interview with Ernst Jorgensen
Articles about Elvis Presley Elvis Presley & the TCB Band

 


-

This article © Copyright Elvis Australia : No part of this article maybe re-printed for public display without permission.

[Home] [Elvis Shop Home] [] [Top]

Elvis News delivered by email daily Elvis Presley News: delivered by email * Elvis Australia News Feed News Feed * SMS

Elvis Presley Video Video Preview: Tupelo's Own Elvis Presley DVD

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.

[Home] [Elvis Shop Home] [] [Top]

Elvis News delivered by email daily Elvis Presley News: delivered by email * Elvis Australia News Feed News Feed * SMS
Elvis Australia : Official Elvis Presley Fan Club