Elvis Presley Interviews
Read all the latest interviews about Elvis Presley | The King of Rock 'n' Roll.
Elvis Interviews A-Z
Interview with Glen D. Hardin. I Elvis him the first time when I went to an audition to play the Las Vegas show. I didn't go the first time in 1969. But I, after that, Larry Muhoberac, playing the piano before me, for reasons of his own, didn't want to go on the road anymore. Anyway, the boys in the band leaned on me and wanted to come and do it, so I went down for a little audition.
Interview with Bobby Wood. Working with Elvis was definitely one of the highlights of my career. I'll never forget those days. We just had a good time.
Suzanna Leigh was the Kate Winslet of her day: a beautiful feted young British actress who made it big in Hollywood. In her heyday she starred opposite Elvis Presley
and Tony Curtis
and stepped out with Steve McQueen; her other beaux included Patrick Lichfield, Richard Harris and Michael Caine (for one night only - well, it was the Sixties, after all). She lived a champagne lifestyle, mixed with the beautiful people and drove a Rolls Royce. She was presented to the Queen at a Royal Command Performance. (HRH wanted only to hear about Elvis, she remembers.)
In an extract from his new memoir A Head Full of Music, Cliff Richard recalls his first encounter with the King – and how he fell for his music, style and way of being. That Saturday in May 1956, Norman Mitham, Terry Smart and I did the walk. We were planning to do the usual: hang out in the park, look in a couple of shops, have a cup of tea in a cafe, maybe call in at Marsden's to listen to a new single or two. And then, outside the newsagent's, Aspland's, we saw the parked car.
I grew up in Memphis with Elvis but did not meet Elvis until 1969. I was born into the jewelry business which my father had established in 1937. The night I met Elvis he was shooting at a target on the side of his dad's office. It was raining, and Elvis was wearing a full-length ranch mink coat. Over the period of that year, I got to know Elvis. We went to movies, and football games together. In December 1969, he called me on Christmas Eve and wanted to do his Christmas shopping at around 10:00 or 11:00 at night. I took my briefcase to the Memphian Theatre, a movie house in Memphis where I met Elvis. He sat down, went through my jewelry briefcase and very carefully selected pieces of jewelry for friends, family, his aunt and his dad. From then on I was Elvis' jeweler. He invited me to go on the tours with him, with one requirement that I bring along a case full of jewelry. He loved to give gifts to people he met along the way. Elvis bought a small garnet cross from me. He had it with him when we were in Jackson, Mississippi at a concert, and someone told him about a little boy who was dying. It was a Make-A-Wish Foundation request, and he wanted to see Elvis. So, Elvis agreed, and we took the limo to the hospital where the little boy was staying. Elvis visited with him awhile and then gave him that very cross I had made for Elvis.
The only original Jordanaire still standing, genial bass extraordinaire Ray Walker (born March 19, 1934) has experienced an astronomical 60-year career in show business, adding a nuanced low backing vocal to definitive hit singles by Elvis Presley, Rick Nelson (e.g. 'Poor Little Fool' and 'Travelin' Man'), and Patsy Cline.
In fact, Walker's debut recording session with the King of Rock 'n' Roll
in June 1958 yielded a million selling record - '(Now and Then There's) A Fool Such As I'. By 1969 the renowned country-gospel quartet was singing harmonies on roughly 80 percent of the songs recorded in Nashville, performing on over 30,000 total studio recordings.
The following is an interview with Col. Tom Parker's widow, Loanne Parker
. There were absolutely no restrictions on the questions that we were able to ask of Mrs. Parker, and in this interview Loanne and Joanna spend considerable time discussing the various myths and stories surrounding the Colonel.
As if any introduction is required. Ronnie Tutt was a regular member of Elvis' TCB band from July 1969 until June 1977. He started playing drums in his last year of college in 1955, appearing on stage the same night as Elvis that year, in the shows house band.
It was December 21, 1970. I got a call from Dwight Chapin, who was one of my best friends on the White House staff. And he said, 'The King is here'. And I said, 'King who?' I looked at the President's schedule and said, 'There aren't any kings on the president's schedule'. He said, 'No, not just any two-bit king, the real king. The King of Rock--Elvis.
Dolores Fuller is best known (downright famous, in fact) for her 40-years-past career as an actress, her mid-'50s relationship with director Edward D. Wood Jr., and the three movies that she made with him. By the end of the 1950s, she'd started her own record company, Dee Records, and one of the talents that she discovered was a New York-born singer/guitarist named John Ramistella, who later became Johnny Rivers. Later on, her ability as a songwriter manifested itself through the intervention of her friend, producer Hal Wallis; Fuller had wanted to get an acting role in the Elvis Presley movie Blue Hawaii, which Wallis was producing, but instead he put her in touch with Hill & Range, the publisher that provided Presley with songs. Fuller went into a collaborative partnership with composer Ben Weisman and got one song, 'Rock-A-Hula Baby', into 'Blue Hawaii'.
Upon setting up shop in Memphis in the late 1960s, Ronnie Milsap joined forces with super-producer Chips Moman, and by decade's end, was tickling the ivories for none other than Elvis Presley.
'Oh, I was given total (artistic) freedom (on Kentucky Rain)', Milsap recalled. 'The only suggestion I got from Elvis was that he wanted to hear thunder roll on the piano. He basically said, 'Play what you feel'.
After accepting the Paramount contract, actress Marianna Hill found herself cast as the second female lead in the Elvis Presley vehicle, 'Paradise, Hawaiian Style' (1966). Often cast as ethnic types, Hill now found herself playing Hawaiian nightclub singer Lani Kaimana, one of several women who Presley's character romances while manipulating them to help his helicopter charter business. Hill relished the opportunity to work more closely with Presley. After briefly working with him on 'Roustabout', it was not until she did 'Paradise, Hawaiian Style' that she really had an opportunity to get to know him.
The following is an interview with Larry Strickland - June 28, 2007 by Joe Krein. It was popular to wear for guys and girls these bib overalls. Well I had bought a pair, I thought they were really cool, I figured I was this really hip guy. So I had no clue about what was about to happen. So he is hugging Ed and all that stuff. Ed turns to me and says Elvis I want you to meet Larry Strickland he is our new bass singer for the group. Elvis puts out his hand and shakes it and then he takes Ed and pulls him about three steps away from me but not far enough that I can't hear them. But I hear everything that he says. He says 'Ed where in the world did you get the f###ing farmer?'
In 1956, Alfred Wertheimer was a struggling twenty-six year old free-lance photojournalist in New York City, Wertheimer's good fortune gained him access to Elvis Presley during that first, heady flush of fame in 1956. The resulting photos captured the everyday Elvis, relaxed and off-guard during down times. Now, Al Wertheimer's classic photos are the most esteemed collection of pictures of Elvis Presley ever taken.
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.
When you think of the TCB Band on stage with Elvis, it is probably James Burton's guitar that first springs to mind. It's difficult to imagine what Elvis concerts would have sounded like had Elvis not chosen James to help make his Las Vegas '69 comeback what it was. I felt very privileged that James gave me over two hours of his time on his day off, the day after the recent Elvis Presley In Concert show in Sydney Australia.
In 1967 Annette Day was filming Double Trouble with Elvis Presley. They say everyone remembers where they were when they heard the news that Elvis Presley had died. That is certainly true of Annette Day, who has very vivid recollections. 'I was sitting at home, I lived at Beckenham in London then, and I heard it on the television news', she says.
grew up with Elvis in Tupelo and in this video interview shares some of his favorite memories of his childhood friend Elvis. Much is covered in this interesting 3 and a half minute video; from a tree house, to church, using a broom as a make believe guitar, Shakrag, Elvis' musical ability and that old chestnut; racism
In this video interview with Billy Strange (From 2010, to celebrate his 80th birthday), Billy talks about his friendship with Elvis, writing songs for him with Mac Davis
. Writing Memories, discussing the lyrics with Elvis in the process of writing the song, A Little Less Conversation
and about that songs mega success in 2002. Working with Elvis on the song Viva Las Vegas
, 'I was playing guitar on Viva Las Vegas
... he liked what I did'. On their friendship he talks about Elvis calling him up 'to his house' and them 'playing with the baby, Lisa Marie
for hours. Billy also talks about working with Nancy Sinatra
and her hit, These Boots Were Made for Walking
and much more.
Elvis was singing in the men's room. But I'd gotten used to that. This time, though, there was something new. And it led me, after all these years, to the legendary Barbara Hearn. A little explanation -- all right, a lot of explanation -- is in order:
Nancy Rooks was hired on at Graceland as Elvis Presley's cook / maid in May of 1967. She was there at Graceland on that awful day of August 16th 1977 and continued working at Graceland after Elvis' death.
Barbara Leigh is an accomplished model and actress who currently works for the Playboy organization. As an actress, Barbara has appeared in numerous TV series and on the big screen with major stars including Rock Hudson and Steve McQueen. Barbara is also fondly remembered as the 'original' Vampirella. In 1970 Barbara was introduced to Elvis and that meeting began a torrid, two-year affair. Barbara speaks candidly about her time with Elvis.
'I tell young musicians that we recorded 35 tracks in five nights, and they tell me that's impossible!' snickers Norbert Putnam, bassist with Elvis Presley from 1970 to 1977.
From the age of 10, or whenever she could get her hands on a camera - whatever came first - Riley Keough was making movies.
Interview with Elvis' Flaming Star, co-star Barbara Eden. God, what a talent he was! I remember the first time I saw him. It was on television. I had a job dancing, and one of the girls took me home to rehearse, and her sister came running in the room and said, 'Look! Look! Quick! Stop!' It was the Ed Sullivan Show
. And he was just electric. You'd never forget him after that.
Up on the 17th floor of the St Regis Hotel in New York City, John Lennon is learning to type. 'It's great', he says, 'Yoko's teaching me'. John is in his bedroom, surrounded by the detritus of creation: guitars, books, notepads, nylon-tipped pens, and... a box full of Elvis Presley singles. 'I asked someone to get all his old singles for me', he says, now down on his hands and knees, opening the box and spilling the bright red RCA labels over the floor. The next 10 minutes are spent sorting them out. My Baby Left Me, Hound Dog, One Night
and the old Sun classics
are in one pile, while crap (John's opinion) like Bossa Nova Baby
and Are You Lonesome Tonight?
go on another.
Elvis Presley's Friend, Confidante & Business Partner Jerry Schilling On His Lifelong Relationship With The King | Jerry Schilling's tender friendship with the King is a core component of his identity, but his story wouldn't mean much if he wasn't a fascinating character in his own right. In this interview, he goes deep on how Elvis Presley irrevocably shaped him.
In 1957, Yvonne Lime was chosen to co-star with Elvis Presley in Loving You in which she played the role of Sally. Elvis and Yvonne developed more than a professional interest in one another - and they dated some during the filming. Yvonne spent Easter weekend 1957 with Elvis and his parents at Audubon Drive in Memphis and Elvis took her to see Graceland that was in the midst of renovation and the two posed for a series of photographs in front of the house.
Elvis Presley could merely open his mouth and fans across the world would be utterly entranced by what came out of it. Elvis inspired the onslaught of rock and roll bands of the 1960s, including one of rock's finest exports, Led Zeppelin. Singer Robert Plant owes much of his introduction to genre to Elvis, as confirmed in a number of press pieces throughout the years.
Ronnie Milsap auspiciously bridged the gap between country and pop in the early '80s, and his influence still permeates contemporary country music radio. In a wide-ranging, exclusive interview, Milsap, the dictionary definition of a crossover phenomenon, recalls meeting boyhood idol Elvis Presley and ultimately getting to play on the King of Rock and Roll's heralded 1969 comeback sessions at American Sound Studios in Memphis.
Elvis Presley co-star Interviews 1992 Part 5 (of a 5 part series).
If Elvis Presley lived, perhaps he would still visit Denver, where it turns out 'The King' struck up some close friendships in the 1970s. Elvis was even made an honorary captain on the city's police force. Robert Cantwell first got to know Elvis in 1970 while working as a guard in a hotel the night Elvis played the Denver Coliseum. When Elvis emerged from an elevator, Cantwell wasn't sure it was him. So he asked for identification. 'He was definitely a country, Southern gentleman', Cantwell tells Colorado Matters host Ryan Warner. 'Off the stage he was a different Elvis. He was a superstar on the stage and a super friend off the stage'.
Elvis Presley co-star Interviews 1992 Part 4 (of a 5 part series).
Elvis Presley co-star Interviews 1992 Part 3 (of a 5 part series).
William Schallert recalls working with Elvis Presley in 'Speedway' (1968).
Susan Ker Weld was born on Friday, August 27th 1943 in New York City. When her father, Lathrop Motley Weld, died three years later at the age of 49, the cute little girl, whose name by then had somehow been transmogrified into 'Tuesday', took over the role of the family breadwinner: Tuesday became a successful child model, posing for advertisements and mail order catalogs. Her work and the burden of responsibility estranged her from her mother Aileen and her two elder siblings and catapulted the preteen girl into adulthood.
Elvis Presley co-star Interviews 1992 Part 1 (of a 5 part series).
George Klein was one of Elvis' oldest friends, having first met him in high school way back in 1948. Over the years, he has championed Elvis' name and is still involved with the Elvis world. I spoke to George Klein from his home in Memphis.
Bob Chase WOWO Exclusive Interview with Elvis Presley Fort Wayne, Indiana, March 30, 1957.
Interview With Elvis Presley. August 28, 1956. About the 'Criticism', About the Show, So I'm Never Nervous, Huh?, My Special Girl, What, No Singing Lessons?, The Green Scrapbook, My Greatest Ambition, My Sideburns, My True Religion, Have I Changed?, Who Am I Going to Act Like?, Do I Really Play the Guitar?, Do I Say All Those Things?, On Amusement Parks, Why Do I Sing Like I Do?, And Now, What Can I Say?, Fan Club Address Change.
What do Tony Joe White, Jimmy Buffett, Joan Baez, Ray Charles, Henry Mancini, Dan Fogelberg, and Elvis Presley have in common with each other, other than all being consummate musicians? The answer is obviously the subject of this article, but how they are all connected to this man is a world of wonder for the historically-minded music aficionado, mainly me. When the opportunity arose to speak with Norbert Putnam, I jumped at the chance. Very rarely does a window like this open to discuss music with the masters, because honestly, interviews are proverbially pimped to scribes like us to promote newer, younger artists … those who have a tendency to brood professionally, emulate authenticity, and basically make an ass of themselves on a regular basis. Even with the parameters set to interview Putnam about the new Elvis Presley release (and having only 20 minutes to do so), I knew beforehand this conversation would take a left turn or two … I was going to make sure of it. How can I not bring up JJ Cale, Tony Joe White, or any other legend Putnam has worked with? How can we not discuss 'Polk Salad Annie' and 'After Midnight' in the same conversation as 'Promised Land'? To me, it's just impossible.
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.
This is an interesting interview with Annett Wolf, one of the co-producers of Elvis In Concert in 1977. She supervised all of the backstage filming plus fan interviews, Vernon's interview.
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 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.
wrote the song, It Keeps Right On A Hurtin'
early in 1962 inspired by the terminal illness of his father. He recorded the song himself and it became one of his biggest hits, reaching # 3 in the US pop chart and becoming the first of his records to make the country music charts, where it peaked at # 4. It earned him his first Grammy nomination, for Best Country & Western Recording, and was later recorded by over 100 performers including Elvis Presley in 1969 at his legendary American Sound Studios Sessions
Interview with Donna Butterworth who played Jan Kohana in Paradise Hawaiian Style. Donna also appeared in the 1965 film 'The Family Jewels' with Jerry Lewis and received Golden Globe nomination for her role.
Interview with Steve Wynn, bother of Kenny who we recently featured an interview with. Steve Wynn graduated from The Manlius School, a private boys' school in upstate New York, in 1959. Wynn's father, Michael Weinberg, ran a string of bingo parlors in the eastern United States, and died of complications from heart surgery shortly before Wynn graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1963. At college, he studied Cultural Anthropology and English Literature. After college he took over running the family's bingo operation in Maryland. He did well enough at it to accumulate the money to buy a small stake in the Frontier Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, where he and his wife, Elaine, moved in 1967. Wynn managed to parlay his profits from a land deal in the early 1970s (the deal involved two established titans of the Las Vegas casino business, Howard Hughes and Caesars Palace) into a controlling interest in a dusty downtown casino, the Golden Nugget Las Vegas (he also owned The Golden Nugget in Atlantic City). Wynn renovated, revamped and expanded the Golden Nugget with enormous success, in the process attracting a new upscale clientele to downtown Las Vegas'. Steve Wynn literally helped build over half the casinos in Las Vegas and having a road was not good enough for him, in 2005 construction completed on The Wynn hotel.
I knew Elvis was different by his clothes and his actions on stage. I said, ‘The boy's got something. What it is, I don't know'. The first show at the Louisiana Hayride was kind of lukewarm. It was a country-oriented crowd, and they weren't quite used to what he was doing. They weren't ready for it. After the second or third time, that changed and we had kids coming in. But it was a gradual thing. We didn't really know it for a couple of years. We knew we were getting bigger crowds, but we didn't know exactly how big he was. I don't think he knew, because we were always going from one town to the next. We didn't have the chance to hear any critics, although we knew the security had gotten tight. But we really didn't know that he had become so famous. We didn't pay attention to it, because we were there every day. We were all still traveling in a car, and it wasn't any big deal to us'.
Sofia Coppola will direct a Priscilla Presley Biopic based on Priscilla's 1985 memoir, Elvis and Me. Starring Cailee Spaeny and Jacob Elordi, 'Priscilla' will chronicle Presley's torrid, one-of-a-kind romance with the king of rock and roll. Born Priscilla Ann Wagner in 1945, she was only 14 when she caught the eye of a then 24-year-old Elvis Presley during his military service in Germany. The pair eventually got married in 1967 and had a daughter, Lisa Marie, before separating in 1972. It's easy to see why Coppola would be drawn to interpreting her one-of-a-kind life for the screen.
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.
Never before have we seen an Elvis Presley concert from the 1950'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.
+ Plus Bonus DVD Audio.
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. Highly recommended.
Tupelo's Own Elvis Presley DVD Video with Sound.