On To Page 16
Bill Rauhuff Asks Marty: [21.07.11]
Have you heard anything about Sonny West? The last I heard he was very sick but is slowly doing some better?

I watched a clip of Elvis from 1977 and he sounded great and I saw him in Knoxville on May 20, 1977 and he looked good but a little heavy from 20 rows back.
I just do not understand why he did that LONG version of I Got a Woman/ Amen with JD Sumner. He did that from about 74-75 onward and as a HUGE fan I
hated it along with those 2 awful Olivia-Newton-John songs Let Me Be There and If You Love Me Let Me Know.

How could the King of Rock n Roll sing some of those songs so far beneath his talent level? I am not trying to be negative but out of the 700 songs he
recorded I loved at least 500 of them. I just wished it would have done more of his own songs especially some of the ones from the fifties and sixties that are
not heard much. I Was The One, Blue Moon, His Latest Flame, Surrender, even Return to Sender would have made great concert songs as well as the hardly
sung but great songs From Elvis in Memphis like Kentucky Rain and Long Black Limousine or Power of My Love.

What is your take on the 74-77 song selections?

Marty Says:
Hello Bill,
Sonny has improved somewhat but he is still fighting a staph infection and he has been losing blood which they replace every day.  he also has swelling in his
feet. He will be undergoing treatment for a bit longer and he appreciates all the thoughts and prayers people have sent to him.

Elvis was bored in the 70's from the same old tours to the same old places that Parker booked him in. As well, he was bored with playing Vegas. Unfortunately
he wouldn't confront Parker about it. He was tired of singing the same songs on every show for years so he tried songs made hits by others. Unfortunately he
didn't expose himself to better songs and after doing my best to bring him other songs and being stopped by Parker and his two stooges in the MM, I gave up.
Plus I wasn't on every tour at that time because I was busy being involved in the recording of hits in the Memphis Music industry.  You can only do so much. He
should have toured overseas but Parker stopped that too.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Randy Erdman Asks Marty: [21.07.11]
Dear Mr. Lacker,
Do you think ELVIS felt "appreciated" by RCA?  
Also: do you think ELVIS more or less assumed he would "always" be an RCA recording artist?
Thanks for your time, Sir.

Marty Says:
Hi Randy
Elvis really had very little contact with the RCA execs, Parker handled all that and whatever RCA did in regards to Elvis and his records was dictated to them
by Parker. That was the kind of control deal he made with them.  Parker kept him tied to RCA because Parker had a side deal with them for himself that Elvis
did not know about. That was discovered when Elvis died and the Probate Judge put an end to it and Parker as far as the estate was concerned.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Randy Erdman Asks Marty: [16.07.11]
I realize that, as a rule, you didn't care for ELVIS' films.
But were there any actors or actresses (who appeared in this or that ELVIS movie) whom you personally enjoyed getting to know?               

Marty Says:
Hi Randy,
Some of his co-stars were nice, the two that stand out above the rest were Ann Margret and Shelley Fabares. They are both genuinely nice people and we
had a lot of fun with both of them.  Ursula Andress was great too. Teri Garr who was in a number of his movies was a good friend and still is.

As far as actors not really any. Bill Bixby was a typical Hollywood phony.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Gerard McCluskey, Scotland Asks Marty: [13.07.11]
1. I was thinking of great actors of the 60s &70s and wonder if Elvis had ever met them, those Being Leslie Neilson, Peter Falk, Rodger Moore, Clint Eastwood
and Sean Connery. Was he a fan of Columbo and Bond?

2. Even though Elvis was held back from touring Europe, did he ever to you knowledge wish to travel there on vacation?

3. Bootlegs are wide spread in today music scene, what's your opinion on them?

4. While Speaking to Sandi Miller regarding herself Recording the shows in vegas, she states that once up in the Vegas suit, she played them back for Elvis`
reaction, while he didn't seem annoyed he did state "you know, you're not allowed to do that, don't get caught or ill have to bail your ass out the cell" I would
take by this statement that Elvis didn't bother with fans recording shows, but parker would of been taking fits!

Hope you are in good health, and thanks for taking time for my questions

Marty Says:
Hello Gerard,
Thanks for your questions and say hello to Scotland for me, I spent a day and one night in Prestwick on the way home from the army and thought your country
was beautiful.

He met Clint Eastwood a couple of times. He met him before when he was doing Hang 'Em High at Goldwyn Studios and Elvis was on the soundstage next door
doing his film.  I don't recall him meeting any of the others but he might have in Vegas at a time I wasn't there.  he did enjoy the Bond movies but I don't
remember ever watching Columbo with him.

Yes, he wanted to travel to Europe both to perform and vacation.  He was going to take a vacation in Europe but Parker killed that by telling him he shouldn't
go because Parker had been making excuses why he couldn't tour over there to the European fans and promoters and it would look bad if he was able to
vacation there with no problem. I have often wished that he would have told Parker to go to hell on a number of things but he didn't.

Elvis didn't know what audiences did while he was performing but what she did was illegal here in the states especially if she tried to use it in any way
commercial. Parker definitely would have had fits and probably prosecuted her or tried. Elvis knew she shouldn't have done that or had a recorder in the
showroom.  I can tell you that when she revealed what she did he didn't trust her anymore and was careful what he said or did around her.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Jason Czeskleba Asks Marty: [09.07.11]
Hi Marty,
1.  My 8-year-old has become an Elvis fan and we've been watching some of his movies together.  We watched Fun in Acapulco recently and it stood out like
a sore thumb that all the location shots featured a double instead of Elvis.  Was this because the Colonel didn't want Elvis to leave the US without him, or was
there some other reason he didn't go to Acapulco?

2.  Did Elvis ever meet Charlie Rich?

Marty Says:
Hi Jason,
Yes, chalked that up to Parker too.
Yes, I knew Charlie and his wife Margret Ann. They were nice people.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Randy Erdman Asks Marty: [07.07.11]
When you first heard that ELVIS had been drafted ,in your heart of hearts, did you think it (being drafted) meant the end of ELVIS' Super-Super-Super-
STARdom?
I once asked D.J. Fontana that question and he said: "I knew his manager wouldn't let it die."

I also once asked Lamar Fike that question and he said: "It blew all our minds at the time. But I thought he could 'work through it' ".
Thanks for your time, Sir.

Marty Says:
Hi Randy,
I took it in stride waiting to see if he would try to get out of it or go into Special Services entertaining the troops.  Although he really didn't like it because he
thought his career would end while he was away, he decided that he would serve just like every other soldier. That endeared him to the people even more and
Parker was shrewd enough to get enough records cut to keep releasing them for the two years Elvis was away and that way he was not out of sight ,out of
mind with the fans.

I was proud of him for serving as I had done a couple of years before him.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Bobby Asks Marty: [01.07.11]
Following the great 69 American sessions, in the 70's Elvis's studio material seemed to get worse and worse. I've read all about the politics that went on with
Hill & Range and how difficult it became for writers to get good songs through to Elvis. But was Elvis really aware of why he wasn't getting good material to
record in the 70's? Or did he just become so frustrated that he didn't care enough to complain?

Why was he so seemingly so disinterested in recording the last 4 years of his life?

Marty Says:
Hey Bobby,
Elvis was fully aware of why he didn't get good songs because one night when he got sick and took a break from the American sessions I explained to him why
he hadn't gotten good new songs for years.  He changed during those sessions and we brought him some good songs. I also brought him good songs during
the Stax sessions and a couple when he recorded at RCA in Hollywood but he then got complacent about recording because he was beginning to be bored
and he didn't like Parker hounding him to record so out of spite he just went into a studio and went through the motions, much to my chagrin.  Parker and
Freddy Bienstock killed his desire to record.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Bill Rauhuff Asks Marty: [01.07.11]
Happy 4th of July my friend. As many questions as I have asked I feel as though you are a friend.
I have 1 stupid question to ask that I have wondered about for years. Did Elvis and Jerry Lewis ever meet because I read once that Elvis said his comedy was
about as funny as a turd in a fish bowl, which is obviously not funny at all, but from Elvis saying it (if he did it), would explain him not being a fan.
I was watching his telethon in the 70s and Frank Sinatra was on the show and said Elvis called in from a Memphis hospital with a pledge. I always got the
feeling they were not to wild about each other . I told you it was a stupid question

Marty Says:
Hi Bill,
Elvis met Jerry once.  Two interesting titbits.

One is when Elvis did movies at Paramount he used the same big dressing room that Jerry Lewis' used and decorated.
Unlike other dressing rooms it had a big red door that Lewis had put on it.

Secondly, when Elvis bought his Rolls Royce we used to use it to go back and forth to the studios while filming. One day Parker told Elvis and us that he got a
call from Jerry where he said that he saw Elvis and us driving in the Rolls on Sunset Blvd and if Elvis was going to drive a Rolls he should dress better than he
did. That pissed Elvis off as it did some of us and Elvis told Parker to tell Jerry to mind his own f###ing business and that Elvis didn't need Lewis to tell him how
to dress.

From then on Lewis was not one of Elvis' favorite people.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Jeannie Taylor Asks Marty: [25.06.11]
1, When did you move back to Memphis?

2, Also on the Dick Grob thing. Since Vernon died in June 1979 I guess I'm wondering how and when Vernon fired him.
Was Priscilla involved by that time?  Not fair to ask after all these years, I know. Just trying to pin it down closer.
What gets confusing is; I've seen pictures of Grob at Graceland in the time period someone said he was gone.
Wondered who Vernon had watching over things if he let everyone go? It seems he wasn't in good health at that time himself.
Thanks and hope you have a nice summer. Jeannie

Marty Says:
Hi Jeannie,
I moved back to Memphis in 1979.
As for Grob I do not know exactly when Vernon fired him but it was sometime between '79 & '81.
I doubt Vernon hired anyone to look after things, he didn't want to spend the money, Billy was there for awhile, he left after Grob.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Bobby Wysner Asks Marty: [25.06.11]
I wanted to mention that your book - "Elvis Portrait of A Friend" is the best book about Elvis I've read. And I've read most of them. I still have my limited edition
signed by you. Most of the books about Elvis are filled with fluff. The reason your book is the best is because it is Compelling!  Elvis seemed like a very
intelligent and compelling man. Your book really helped me understand Elvis much more. After reading your book I had even more respect for Elvis.

Have you ever considered writing a book about The Memphis Sound? I have read several on STAX and another about Memphis, but surprisingly they ignore
Elvis for the most part. Of everyone associated with Elvis, you were the only person really involved with the Memphis music scene. And thank God you were!  I
think Elvis' real "comeback" was actually the 69 American sessions. Without that I don't think the 68 Special would have been enough for Elvis to have been
truly relevant in Rock music again. So my questions

1. What was Dan Penn's opinion of Elvis prior to the 69 sessions ?  Did his opinion change much after those sessions.

2. Did you ever meet, or know the incredible soul singer James Carr ?

Thanks so much Marty!

Marty Says:
Bobby,
Thank you for the nice comments.

Dan, like all the guys at American were fans of Elvis.
They all had similar backgrounds growing up and they appreciated what Elvis had accomplished.

Yes, I met James briefly and he was a pleasant person.  Chips Moman always spoke well of him.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Bobby Wysner Asks Marty: [22.06.11]
I want to thank you for sharing your vast knowledge and experiences in Memphis Music. I first met you when I was 13, at the Graceland Fan Club convention.
You were there several years, the first was 1976. You are THE ONLY member of Elvis's inner group who actually talks about Elvis' music. It really seems that
you were the only person in his group who was knowledgeable about music. And all of Rock & Roll owes you so much for being responsible in having Elvis go
to American Sound to record what I think is the greatest music of his life!

I have two questions.  During the 1960's, with all of the passion Elvis had for black R&B and Blues -  was he interested at all about the great music coming out
of Stax studio? Did he ever talk about the artists like Otis Redding, Sam and Dave, etc?  That studio was so close to Graceland.

Also, although the material he was recording for the movie soundtracks was very bad overall - It seemed like there were always at least one or two very good
ballads. It sounds like Elvis was really putting a lot into some of the better ballads. Do you think Elvis did like some of the songs from the movies?

Marty Says:
Hey Bobby,
Thank you for your nice comments.
Elvis was aware of the music from Stax as well as Hi Studios and records.

Fact is Isaac Hayes as well as Willie Mitchell and his band played at a couple of Elvis' New Years Eve parties in the 60's at Memphis' Manhattan Club.

He generally liked singing ballads because he thought they suited his voice and he probably did like a couple of movie songs but on the whole I wish he had
not sung most of them, they were terrible.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Arun Jassi Asks Marty: [22.06.11]
Hello Marty,
My question is regarding the song "The Climb" which was performed by the vocal group, The Jubilee Four in the movie Viva Las Vegas and was actually
recorded by the group's bass vocalist, George 'Biggie' McFadden, with The Jordanaires and Elvis himself - who I read also produced the track - backing
McFadden up.

I would just like to know if you were present when this rather unique recording took place which was on July 10th,1963 and if there is anything you may wish to
add? It was issued on the 2003 edition of the soundtrack on the Follow That Dream label. Did Elvis produce this track?    

Marty Says:
Hi Arun,
Sorry I can't help you, at the time I had taken a break from working for Elvis and went back into radio and then in mid  '63 he asked me to come back to work
for him.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Randy Erdman Asks Marty: [22.06.11]
Since ELVIS sometimes mentioned Gatorade onstage, did anyone with the Gatorade company ever ship a free case of Gatorade to ELVIS, care of the Las
Vegas Hilton?
THANKS for your time, Sir.

Marty Says:
Hello Randy,
Not that I know of.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Jeanie Taylor Asks Marty: [22.06.11]
Hi Marty,
Hope you're enjoying the nicer weather .Of course it's gonna get hot !!

I can't seem to find anything about Vernon Presley's funeral. Did any of you guys go?
Think he passed away in 1979 ,didn't he? Can't remember much about that.

One other thing; do you know whether he kept any of the guys on at Graceland after Elvis passed away?
I saw a picture of Mr Grob there that said 1978 . Heard a story that Charlie Hodge left and Billy Smith. Any idea when these guys were let go?

Oh yeah, how about Linda's brother. [Sam] Thompson, I can't recall his first name.
And Al something.

I've been away from all this for awhile. Sorry .
Just trying to catch up to all the guys that were left and see about Vernon's funeral.
Thanks much.

Marty Says:
Hello Jeanie,
I didn't go and I know a few others didn't.

Vernon let Charlie go quickly.
Then I was told he caught Grob taking pictures inside Graceland about 2 years later and canned him.  
Billy was there for a few years until Priscilla did him dirty and he quit.
All the others were gone right away.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Candy Asks Marty: [22.06.11]
I was wondering about Elvis' sleep walking. How prevalent was it?  
Was it a problem for you guys, or did it lessen as time went on?

Marty Says:
Hi Candy,
It didn't happen frequently just every once in awhile.  No, it was no problem for us.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
April Asks Marty: [14.06.11]
Dear Marty,
Hi this is April it's been a long time since I ask you a question.
1st I like to thank you for answering all of our questions to the best of your knowledge and memories. This maybe a strange question but I've always been
curious what you guys looked for in a girl that you selected to meet Elvis? Did Elvis have a standard look or behavior for girls that you had to look for?
If so what was it?

Also, I've read that Elvis had a foot fetish. Wondering if true or not, if it is true, What was it about woman's feet that he liked and what was the standard for
woman's feet while selecting a girl for Elvis?

Now after asking you a strange question, what is the strangest question you've ever been asked about Elvis?  

Thank you again Mr. Lacker for answering our questions & quenching our curiosity.

Marty Says:
Hello April,
Nice to hear from you again.

Elvis was attracted to attractive and stunning women but they all have different aspects of that. he also liked someone who was nice and polite, although a few
didn't measure up in that area including one he was with the longest.

He didn't like a girl with big feet or dirty feet and toenails.

The strangest question I have been asked is your second and third one.......Just kidding!

No question is strange, but some of my answers might be.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Jim K Asks Marty: [11.06.11]
Hi Marty, It's my pleasure to speak to you. Thank you so much for all of your input about Elvis, from all of us Elvis Fans.

1. I have said for 30+ years Elvis needed to take a long break and re-think everything from his Music to his Health. Why in the world didn't he just go to Hawaii
or someplace to chill out and take a well deserved break, that may have changed the outcome of the year 1977?

2. I recently saw Charlie Hodge on YouTube saying Elvis had Bone Cancer throughout his whole body! WOW, that would explain the pain meds etc. I have
never heard about this before, I realize he had many other health problems, however Charlie said a lot of things I was not aware of and I feel like I have to
believe him. I could kill all the "A" Holes that say cruel things about Elvis being fat etc. They are stupid and plain ignorant!  Is this true to your knowledge?

Marty Says:
Hi Jim, Nice to hear from you.
He should have taken a break and he told Lamar he would after the tour that didn't happen because he died.
Parker kept pushing him out on the road on tour every month almost and that's because Parker wanted and needed the money regardless of what it did to
Elvis' career or his health.  

As much as I tried as one of the leaders of the Memphis Music Industry to get Elvis to see the light about music and the songs he recorded, Parker fought
every which way in the background to keep control of the music Elvis cut and so not much changed.

As for Charlie's bullshit statement about cancer,
"ELVIS DID NOT HAVE CANCER".  That falsehood has been spewed by Charlie, Dick Grob, Larry Geller and
Kathy Westmoreland since Elvis died and it is absolutely not true. If anyone knew if he did or not it would have been Billy Smith in the last year of Elvis' life
because he was the sole person Elvis confided in then and was with Elvis 18 to 24 hours a day.  

He told me where that crap came from. After Elvis died information and other personal things was leaking from Graceland and Vernon Presley had a suspicion
as to who was doing it. Grob and Charlie were still working there. So Vernon wanted to find out who it was and told Grob and Charlie about Elvis having cancer
to see if it would get out.  They were the only two he told that to and sure as hell it soon got out in the Elvis world and Vernon ended up letting them go.  

In my opinion it was stupid to use cancer as the rumor because look what it has caused. Grob or Charlie told Geller and Kathy and they have sadly repeated it
a number of times including in interviews. I was on The Larry King Show with Kathy and a couple of others about 5 years ago and she brought that falsehood
up and I quickly told her, as did Lamar, that Elvis did not have cancer. She shut up about it.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Randy Erdman Asks Marty: [06.06.11]
I would like to ask (please?):
Were you with ELVIS at the 1962 (Seattle)World's Fair? And, if so, what were your impressions of that experience? Did the massive crowds (who didn't even
know ELVIS was going to be there) make him nervous or uneasy?

Marty Says:
Hello Randy,
I had taken a break from working for Elvis right after Kid Galahad in early '62 to go back into radio so I wasn't with him in Seattle.
However knowing Elvis as I did, crowds didn't bother him or make him nervous, he was used to them. Fact is he thrived on seeing all those people who were
there to see him.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Judy A. Kessinger Asks Marty: [01.06.11]
Hello Mr. Lacker,
I appreciate your honesty and setting straight the rumors, etc. that are out there. I have always believed that Elvis was put on earth for a reason, he had such
a gift and he gave so much of himself to everyone, it didn't matter what station in life you were, whether you were a janitor or a bank president. I always felt
that he could have done so much in the movie aspect, like Marlon Brando, etc. and felt that he wanted to be challenged, to spread his wings.

I have always wanted to go to Graceland because I felt that Elvis spirit would be there, but since the past years with the things I see, the money being made
from Elvis' name, I almost prefer to honor him in my own way--with his music, his giving, etc. and put those things in myself, I feel this is the best way to
remember Elvis.

I realize this is more comment than questions, but I wanted you to know that I for one, realize that Elvis was a gift given to us and some are not treating that gift
as they should. When I care about someone, whether family or friend, I feel that they are a treasure, so respect them, give them your love. I haven't read your
book, but I know in my heart what I feel so strongly about. It upsets me they are those who don't respect Elvis as a person first, then an artist, but want to make
as much money as possible.

I would like to see the concerts from 1977 released, but it seems that the "powers that be" may not let that happen. Elvis was all about the music, so let's
honor that. Give us what Elvis would have, the music. This will honor him in the best light. Give us the best that he had to give.
Thank You for reading my comments. Honesty is the best way to show our respect to Elvis, because he always did the same for us.
God Bless And Keep You.

Marty Says:
Hey Judy,
Thank you for the nice comments about Elvis.

As you said, enjoy the music and forget about the rest.

It's really not necessary in my opinion to show the '77 concerts because his physical appearance was not the way he was for most of his life and career.  That
footage only gives the negative people something to denigrate him with instead of honoring him for the things he accomplished and gave to the world during
his career.
Enjoy his music.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Jason Czeskleba Asks Marty: [28.05.11]
Hi Marty,
I don't know if you've seen it, but a recent news story has come out suggesting that Elvis was an uncredited backup singer on The Platters' "Tenth Anniversary
Album," recorded in 1964.  
The claim is that on the original album mix his voice is buried in the background, but that when the individual multi-tracks are separated out his voice can be
clearly identified.  
The story [also shown on the E.E.R news] appears here: http://www.classicpopicons.com/did-elvis-presley-record-with-the-platters/
I'm curious if you can verify whether or not this is true.  Thanks a lot!

Marty Says:
Jason,
I was with Elvis in '64 and at no time did he do a recording session with the Platters or anyone else.  The only way they could have his voice is if they lifted it
from one of his own recordings of those songs and I don't remember him recording any if not most of those songs.  They would have had to make one helluva
a deal with Parker and RCA to use his voice that way.

I think this is another case of someone trying to capitalize on Elvis since he died. It's funny they have waited 34 years to make that claim.  If Elvis had done that
someone from The Platters or Buck Ram's assistants would have known it was done and they would have spoke up sooner.  It's just some more bullshit in
regards to Elvis.  This is just a ploy to sell that album.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Al Asks Marty: [27.05.11]
As I was watching Aloha From Hawaii with my new TV,  I had a few questions.
1- How did Elvis fly to Hawaii? Did he fly commercial? If he did how was the people with him on the plane?  

2- Did he rehearse a lot in Hawaii? Do you know if any rehearsal (Other than the rehearsal show) was filmed?  

3- Finally, what is your opinion regarding this TV Special?

Marty Says:
Hello Al,
Elvis and us flew commercial to Hawaii and nobody bothered us. Elvis, Linda, Joe [Esposito] and I were in First Class and the rest of the guys flew coach.
We were on a 747 and coach is not bad on that big plane. That was the first time I flew on a 747 and Elvis delighted showing me around the plane when we
were in the air including riding the elevator down to the galley in the lower part of the plane. None of the other passengers bothered him during the flight.

There were rehearsals almost every night for a week and as far as I remember the dress rehearsal was the only one filmed.

I think it was a great show and Elvis loved it..
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Arun Jassi Asks Marty: [27.04.11]
I was reading about Elvis's chart statistics in Billboards black R&B charts and was fascinated to know that he had 34 Top 20 chart hits, 6 No Ones, was the
2nd most successful chart act after Fats Domino during the decade of the Fifties based on the total number of weeks on the charts and he is the most
successful white chart act ever, to this day, even though his last chart entry was in 1963.
These statistics reflects how popular Elvis must have been with the African American community during that early era of his career.

1. My question is, was Elvis aware of how popular he was with the black community back in the day?

2. Was he aware of the aforementioned chart statistics at all?

3. One more question...In 1956 and 1957 Elvis attended the WDIA charity concert events at Ellis Auditorium - is there any reason why he never attended this
event again in the '60s and '70s?

Marty Says:
Hi Arun,
Elvis was aware of how popular he was with the black community, especially in the 50's and early 60's. Those statistics shoot down the uninformed attitude of
young black people who think he was a racist and stole the black man's music.  The black people of that long ago era can teach these young black people a
lesson about Elvis and how helped so many black artists and music back in the 50's. He broke down the barriers for them with the white community. Fact is I
was happy to see Jesse Jackson teach that young Rolling Stone black writer, Toure, a lesson when he schooled him on how much Elvis did for and meant to
the black community back then. he did it on CNN.
That is a message that should be repeated on behalf of Elvis a number of times.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Randy Erdman Asks Marty: [25.05.11]
I would like to ask please:
After a concert, on tour or in Las Vegas, would ELVIS be especially elated, emotional, or was he like "another day at the office"?
THANKS for your time, Sir.

Marty Says:
Hi Randy,
It depended on how the show went and what kind of mood he was in?  
Most times he was still wound up and it was hours before he usually went to sleep.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Angie Asks Marty: [18.05.11]
Hello Marty,
I really enjoy reading your website; your candor is so refreshing.  Thank you.

Marty, we met briefly in July 1966.  Elvis was coming out of his driveway on Rocca Place in Bel Air CA in a black Caddy convertible.  You were in the
passenger seat.  Elvis stopped to say hello to the few fans gathered there.  Just before he drove off, I snapped a picture of you both that I still have and
treasure.

To think that a decade earlier, Elvis had such an impact in my life that I felt compelled to travel 3,000 miles across the US to see him in person.  Looking back
now, I realize that it was my way of making sense of what had happened to such a once promising career.  By 1966, we endured six years of those films.  How
do you go from KING CREOLE to GI BLUES within the span of just two years I often asked myself.  I know, the Colonel.  I think one of the Beatles once said
that Elvis 'died' when he went into the army.  More recently, George Clooney said that there was nothing like Elvis Presley before the army.

Yes there was a brief but glorious revival of Elvis' career with the TV special in 1968, along with the initial years in Las Vegas and touring the US.  I had the
privilege of attending opening night at the International Hotel in Las Vegas in July of 1969.  What an extraordinary event!  People were standing on chairs and
tables, cheering, crying, shouting bravos.  It was an 'A' list crowd in the audience that special night.  Elvis' appeal was broad based to say the least.

As you've said many times, boredom set in, first with the films, then Vegas, then touring the country.  So much boredom.  Underneath all that dissatisfaction
though there must have been sadness so profound, it eventually took him away for good.  This is the part of the Elvis story that may never be told.

One can only hope that he is resting in peace.  Keep up the good work Marty.

Marty Says:
Hello Angie,
Thank you for your nice comments and a look back on history.
Just keep enjoying his music and forget about the rest of it.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Randy Erdman Asks Marty: [03.05.11]
Dear Mr.Lacker,
I would like to ask, was ELVIS just NOT a Corvette fan?
Thanks for your time, Sir.

Marty Says:
Hello Randy
Elvis was more a big car fan, Caddys and Lincolns.  
I think that stemmed from when he was young and poor and the Caddy was THE luxury car at that time.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Phil (Bootle, Merseyside) Asks Marty: [17.04.11]
Hi Marty,
I'd just like to repeat what William Rauhuff said that you would have been GREAT as Elvis' Manager, as I think you are one of the few real friends Elvis had
and would have looked after Him better than that so called Colonel, who just screwed Elvis until he couldn't  be screwed anymore(until Elvis passed away).

I was watching a recent Neil Diamond documentary, he said that he (Diamond) after working and touring for 6 years nonstop, had to take a break for 1, 2
maybe 3 years to spend time with his family and have a rest.

Do you think Marty, that IF Elvis had taken such a break (not doing any work at all-maybe mid sixties/seveties)and took stock of his life, spent time with His
family and went to places around the World on holiday etc...(I know it would have been impossible to do that as being who he was), but you know what I mean,
just have a bloody good rest. Do you think Elvis MIGHT still be with us?

Can I also congratulate you on being honoured for your contributions in music in Memphis, it is well deserved and well done.

Marty Says:
Hello Phil,
Thank you for the compliment.
Yes, it would have been good for Elvis to have taken more time off but he kept working because Parker kept booking him on those tours to the same cities that
it just became downright boring for him.  I think too that if Elvis had invested his money and let it work for him he wouldn't have had money problems that he
sometimes did. Problem is he left his personal finances up to his father who knew nothing about business and trusted no one and Parker who took too much
of a percentage as manager. The way Elvis spent money he thought he needed to keep working so much to continue his life style, he was wrong.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
William Rauhuff Asks Marty: [15.04.11]
I have followed you as MM member and I am convinced if Elvis would have hired you as his manager and dumped the Colonel and Esposito he would have
had a friend looking out for his interest as well as somebody that knows music.

I guess a lot of us fans and me included have some ideas on what was good for Elvis. I remember in the late 60s and even the 70s defending Elvis with my
non Elvis fan friends and thinking if I could meet Elvis and tell him as a fan what I wish he would and would not do for the sake of his career especially
musically. I know you get it when we as fans or some of us only wanted what was best for Elvis and I still after all of this time just want to almost cry and say
what a damn waste that we lost him so young with the most god given talent as a singer that ever walked this earth and some of his greatness was
squandered by such a con man like Tom Parker.

By the way congratulations on being honored recently for your contributions in music in Memphis and if you ever talk to Red West tell him I watched Goodbye
Solo on Netflix the other night and he was great. He is a damn good actor.

Marty Says:
Hello William,
Thank you for the compliment.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
John Cunningham Asks Marty: [14.04.11]
I've got a question about Elvis music.  What is your opinion of why Elvis didn’t take on the chart topping kind of music in the mid to late 60’s or maybe he  
thought he was? But the songs just didn’t make it that far up.  Of course, it was MOVIE TIME for Elvis during those years, but what was Elvis thinking when his
music was falling off and he wasn’t keeping up with the others that were hot then?   
Was he okay with it because of the money that was being made. If money is being made, fans must be happy?   I’ve often wondered why he didn't make a 45
or two in between the movies for release and radio play during these years.   Thank you.

Marty Says:
Hi John,
That is something that has always bothered me even back then.  The music sucked because it was fed to him by Parker and Freddy Bienstock of Hill & Range
because they owned a piece of the song publishing.

For whatever reason in the 60's while Elvis was doing all those equally shitty movies that he hated he paid no attention to the charts, fact is he never read the
trade papers like Billboard or Cash Box at the time. He complained to us guys about the music and the films but he didn't confront Parker about it until '68 and
it's a shame he didn't. He relied on what Parker told him and that was part of the problem because he knew very little about the business end of showbiz.  Yes,
he enjoyed the money and as long as it came in he did nothing to change it. Problem is if he had changed it he could have made even more money in record
sales.

As I have said before Parker was the main culprit. All he wanted in addition to the movie money was enough songs to fill an album to be released with the
movie. He had no talent in picking hit songs, he wouldn't have known one if it hit him in the face. Bienstock and Hill & range were equally to blame.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Chad from Illinois Asks Marty: [11.04.11]
Hi Marty,
Not much is mentioned about Elvis' Grandmother and what if any role she had in his life during his later years. Was he close to her?  Did he confide in her?
Did she recognize his decline in health, and ever try to intervene?  It must of been very sad for her to watch her grandchild and then her only son Vernon pass
away.
Thanks for answering the fans questions!

Marty Says:
Hi Chad,
Elvis was very devoted to Grandma all his life.  When he was home at Graceland, he always took time every day to go to her room and sit and talk with her for
awhile. She would also give him advice on things as she was a very opinionated person and she was also funny.  I don't know anyone who was with Elvis that
did not like her and she loved having some of us and others visit her because she basically stayed in her room alone every day and night.

She was a good lady and she always worried about Elvis' health and well being and would tell him to take better care of himself.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Candy Asks Marty: [09.04.11]
Bill Rauhaff wrote to you about Weintraub and Sonny's opinion of the Colonel..He [Sonny] said that colonel was misunderstood..........uh..duh?  The only thing
that was misunderstood was the public's perception of that ole USER....I really believe Marty, had the public been aware of his handling of Elvis, they would
have risen against him.  Elvis was very beloved , the colonel wouldn't have stood a chance.

Sonny obviously is just trying to be nice, and may in his own mind find some justification for what colonel did to Elvis...certainly not FOR Elvis. That old geezer
saw a chance to manipulate less sophisticated folks for his own greed.  This, to me, is one of the worst betrayals there is.

I hope you are well Marty.  I know you guys have told the story over and over, but I sure would love to see a documentary or a movie, or something with you,
Red, Billy and Sonny now, at this time period. I think it would be an interesting view, especially with all the passing to time.

I know your opinion of Priscilla, but I also have read in the MM revelations book, that you understood Elvis manipulated her quite a bit.  Is there any
compassion, for lack of a better word, on your part, for her? I don't particular care for what she did to EPE taking over after he left her nothing...but I can also
understand WHY she probably felt vindicated after having 'suffered', (if you will) the indignities she endured.

Having said all that, I think she did the smith side wrong...and still does ,maybe because Jo and Billy knew too much.
Thanks as ever,

Marty Says:
Hello Candy,
Elvis manipulated her [Priscilla] to a degree but he was not cruel to her and trust me when I say she tried to manipulate him even more.  As for her running
EPE,he didn't want her to have anything to do with it.  She is not responsible for the success of the estate, the credit belongs to the original co-executors, the
NBC Bank advisory board and equally Jack Soden's business acumen. She's there because Lisa can't be bothered nor is she qualified to run it business wise.
Fact is neither is Priscilla. The only reason anyone pays attention to her is because she has kept the name Presley and she did it for exactly that reason.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Bill Rauhuff Asks Marty: [07.04.11]
I have been reading about Jerry Weintaub and his stories seem like a bunch of made up stories. I have been meaning to ask you why does Sonny West seem
to have a good opinion of the Colonel? I heard him say he was misunderstood. I really like Sonny but do not agree with him on that statement. Do you believe
Elvis would have liked would have liked any music out there today. I certainly do not care for much of it.

Marty Says:
Hi Bill,
Jerry (Weintraub) is a nice guy but he does seem to come out with stories I've never heard before.

As for Sonny, he spent time with Colonel on the tour advance team and he tends to believe Parker's bullshit. I can't fault him for that. However let me relate a
story to you.

One day on the movie studio back lot where we were shooting a film, Colonel was in a conversation with Esposito and I. For a number of years he always
made out like he really liked Alan Fortas and Alan always was overly friendly with him. Alan walked by us that day and said, "Hey Colonel how you doin'?"
Parker was exuberant in saying, "Alan my boy how are you?"  They chatted like old friends for a few minutes and as Alan was walking away Parker said to him.
"Be sure to tell your uncle Abe hello for me." Abe Fortas was a Supreme Court Justice. As Alan got out of earshot, Parker says to Joe and I "He's worthless he
does nothing for Elvis, he's lazy." Alan was one of the most loyal Elvis friend..........So Sonny might change his tune if Parker really said what he thought of him.

He was a fat old piece of shit of a human being and a hustler carny all his life. I trusted and liked him as far as a could throw his lard ass.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Jeannie Taylor Asks Marty: [03.04.11]
Someone talked about Elvis having a gold tooth the other day. Did you ever hear or see that?
If that were so, wouldn't it show up in a picture?

Marty Says:
Jeannie,
Elvis had no gold teeth. It is possible that he may have had a gold filling but it was not visible, however, I don't recall him having a gold filling either.
He did have a golden voice though!
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Randy Erdman Asks Marty: [03.04.11]
THANK YOU for letting us ask you questions.
I would like to ask (please?): Do you ever recall whether or not ELVIS ever saw the movie Ann-Margret did just before "Viva Las Vegas"---both Directed by
George Sidney---"Bye Bye Birdie" which is of course about an "ELVIS-type" character who's been drafted etc? Do you recall ELVIS expressing an opinion
about "Conrad Birdie"?

Also: as you may know in his auto-biography which came out last year Jerry Weintraub says that when he (and The Colonel) booked ELVIS into Miami on
9/12/70 that the evening show sold out just fine but the added-on a matinée show only sold half of the 10,000 seats. So, according to Mr. Weintraub he had to
think fast. So he says he used prisoners from the (nearby) local jail to come into the Convention Centre in Miami and unbolt FIVE THOUSAND seats so that
when ELVIS performed the matinee, Mr.Weintraub could truthfully report to ELVIS that the "house" was full.

According to Mr. Weintraub ELVIS never knew the difference and the 5000 seats were re-installed in time for the evening performance.
I welcome your comments Mr.Lacker.

Marty Says:
Randy,
If I remember correctly Elvis saw the movie after he met Ann and he thought it was funny but he liked looking at her as we all did.
As for Jerry Weintraub's story that's the first I heard of that as I wasn't there but I never heard him or anyone else talk about it.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Al Boulianne Asks Marty: [01.04.11]
I just heard that Johnny Harra was very sick. It was him who did Elvis in August 16, 1977 in the movie This is Elvis. Even if he look a lot like Elvis he is not a
very good singer. I was wondering if you were there for the filming and what was your thought about Johnny.
Knowing that the filming was done in Graceland, I was wondering if the black and white track suit that he was wearing in the film was the real Elvis track suit.
Any  anecdote from you about this filming would be nice.

Marty Says:
Hello Al,
There's a rumor going around yesterday that he died yesterday.

I think Priscilla should be slapped for allowing Harra to portray Elvis in that movie and no I was not there nor did I have anything to do with it.  That was
Esposito, Charlie and Geller who worked on it.  As for the track suit, I have no idea but I doubt it was Elvis'.  To portray Elvis as big and fat by using Harra
instead of the way Elvis looked 99% of his life is an insult and disgrace. The production had a lot of bullshit in it.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
BACK TO PAGE 14
Way back in 2008 one of Elvis Presley's dearest friends and who was asked to be Elvis' best man at his wedding with Priscilla,
first answered a question / questions for E.E.R listeners. Now after 5 years, our ASK MARTY shuts it's email but we shall be
keeping his past Q&As online for you to take a look over if you so wish.
So many thanks Marty for answering the questions over the last few years.