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|WHY ELVIS NEVER PERFORMED AROUND THE WORLD
Why the worlds greatest performer never toured the world.
June 04, 2015 / Harvey Goldsmith
Elvis Presley's plans to perform in London were derailed by his manager's immigration status.
Legendary live promoter Harvey Goldsmith tried for years to bring 'The King of Rock 'n' Roll'
across the pond from America to perform in Britain for his millions of fans but during a private
conversation with Elvis' manager 'Colonel' Tom Parker he was told it could never happen
because Parker - who was actually Dutch - didn't know if he'd be allowed back into the U.S. if he
Speaking at the Hay literary festival in Powys, Wales, Goldsmith - who has worked with The
Rolling Stones, U2, Madonna and Oasis over the years - revealed: ''He (Parker) explained that it
was because he was an illegal. He didn't want to risk leaving the U.S. - it was him, not Elvis.''
Throughout his incredible career Elvis only performed in three cities outside of the U.S. -
Toronto, Ottawa and Vancouver - during brief tours to Canada in 1957. At the time U.S. citizens
did not need a passport to cross the border from the U.S. into the neighboring North American
Parker was born Andreas Cornelis van Kuijk in Breda in Breda in the Netherlands, and as a boy he worked as a barker at carnivals in his hometown, a job that first opened his eyes to
the entertainment business.
At 15, he moved to Rotterdam to work on the boats in the port town which was part of his plan to get to America, and at 18 he entered the U.S. illegally by jumping ship from his
employer's vessel. He first worked with a Chautauqua educative tent show, before returning briefly to the Netherlands.
Parker returned to America at age 20 and worked for a number of carnivals before joining the U.S. Army. He got the name 'Tom Parker' from the officer who interviewed him to
disguise the fact he was an illegal alien.
He first began working in the music business in 1938, working with singer Gene Austin. Parker discovered Elvis in 1955 and later that same year he became his co-manager with
Memphis radio personality Bob Neal.
It was on March 26, 1956, after Elvis's management contract with Neal had expired, that the musician signed a contract with Parker to make him his exclusive representative and the
pair worked together for the rest of Elvis' career and up until his death in August 1977 at the age of just 42.