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|ELVIS AND ME: PRISCILLA PRESLEY ON HER LIFE, CAREER & ELVIS
December 06, 2016 - News 4 San Antonio / Elvis Express Radio
Priscilla Presley has some stories to share and she wants to share them with you.
The original "first lady of rock and roll" is welcoming you into her living room, so to speak, during her one woman show - "Elvis and Me: An Evening with Priscilla Presley." The event
will allow you to take a journey with her through her fascinating life in an intimate interview format where she will answer audience questions and share stories that will spark
curiosity and conversation.
The Tobin Center for Performing Arts welcomes "Elvis and Me: An Evening with Priscilla Presley" at 7:30 p.m. on Dec. 15.
FROM THE SMALL SCREEN TO BLOCKBUSTER FILMS...AND BACK TO GRACELAND
Priscilla Presley, who was married to Elvis from 1967 until their divorce in 1973, has made a name for herself as an actress, playing Jenna Wade on the hit television drama “Dallas”
from 1983-1988 before showing off her comedic chops in the box office smash “The Naked Gun: From the Files of the Police Squad," and in the sequels “The Naked Gun 2 ½”and
“The Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult.”
She's also reached the pinnacle of the business world, when in 1979, she became the Co-Executor of the Presley Estate after the death of Elvis' father, Vernon Presley. Priscilla
Presley overhauled the company and turned the struggling entity into a phenomenally successful brand that consists of music publishing, licensing, and the world famous
Graceland Mansion, where she called home and shared countless memories with Elvis, their friends and their daughter Lisa Marie.
In 2015, Priscilla served as executive producer on "If I Can Dream," and album which brought Elvis in a new light to his loyal fans while introducing his music to a whole new
generation. The album features archival vocal recordings of Elvis accompanied by new orchestral arrangements by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.
She recently returned from an arena tour of the United Kingdom where the audiences were riveted by seeing Elvis on screen with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra on stage.
Priscilla said it was breathtaking to see so many people share their love of Elvis' music and take a trip down memory lane for her.
All this to keep Elvis' memory alive, which Priscilla has taken on as part of her life's work.
And now Priscilla is going to let you into her living room and catch a glimpse of what it's like to walk in her shoes in her new show.
"The response to the show has been really good," said Priscilla Presley during a recent phone interview. "It is great to talk about things I've never talked about. It's difficult when
things are written about you that just have no basis in the truth. Now I get to sit in front of people and talk with them and have them ask me questions."
"It's very liberating and free. From my point of view, it's very refreshing," said Priscilla.
When asked what kinds of questions she gets asked, Priscilla said that "the people who come to the show and ask questions are very curious, but they're also very respectful. I
haven't had any questions that have been disrespectful. I don't want to open a myth. There was nobody else like Elvis, and there never will be. He was just an amazing person.
"It's just really me sharing my own personal life. I feel so much more comfortable to be able to share this part of my life with everyone."
HOLIDAYS AT GRACELAND AND OPENING ITS DOORS
With the holidays upon us, Priscilla said that this time of the year was always Elvis' favorite and that Graceland turned into a regular "winter wonderland" filled with lights, family,
friends and lots of love.
"The holidays were always very festive around Graceland," she said. "Elvis loved giving gifts and loved decorating the whole house with lights. And the lights are the same as we
use now at Graceland.
"Elvis would have family and his inner circle over to Graceland. We would share stories in the den and it would be nothing for Elvis to set up a whole room with go karts for the guys.
It was just all about being together.
"He loved this time of year."
The Graceland Mansion has always been a magical place ever since Elvis purchased the nearly 14-acre estate in 1957. Hundreds of thousands of fans flock to catch a glimpse of
Elvis and where he and Priscilla called home.
But this isn't exactly what Priscilla had envisioned for Graceland when she took over the estate in 1979.
"Opening Graceland to the public was the most difficult decision I've had to make in my life," she said. "It was a very private place to all of us. That was our home. It was a real
adjustment, but I had no choice. We owed so much in taxes and upkeep on Graceland. I was so scared that I would have to sell Graceland and in six months, Elvis would be
forgotten. So, with Jack Soden, who is still with us, we borrowed some money and opened the doors.
"Never in my wildest dreams did I figured that it would do so well. In a month, we made it all back."
She just oversaw the opening of the Guest House at Graceland, a 450-room luxury hotel which Priscilla said stays in tune with Elvis' wishes to add a guest house to Graceland, but
those hallowed grounds still hold a special place in Priscilla's heart every time she visits.
"It is still home to me," she said. "Every time I walk inside, I expect to see Elvis walking down the stairs. We made so many memories together. Special memories that I'll cherish
ELVIS AND ME
So much has been written and speculated about Priscilla's relationship with Elvis - before and after the divorce - but very few have written the whole story or come close to the
microcosm of high-stakes emotion between the two of them. Priscilla said they had a connection from almost the time they met in Germany back in 1959.
"Elvis and I had such an amazing relationship," she said. "We were still close friends and loved each other even after we were divorced. I didn't leave him because I didn't love him.
There was just a lot of stress and strain. I mean I lived with eight guys. It was a difficult life."
Even after the divorce, the two were still close and never let their relationship challenges get in the way of raising their daughter, who was five years old at the time of the split.
"The biggest compliment from my daughter (Lisa Marie) was when she was asked what it was like when her parents divorced," she said. "She said 'I never knew they were
divorced.' That made me feel very proud that even during a difficult time, it was all about loving each other and our daughter. He would have done anything in the world for us."
GETTING TO KNOW PRISCILLA
After breaking out on her own for the first time in 1973, Priscilla hasn't stopped taking on new challenges and finally finding out who she was outside of being Mrs. Elvis Presley.
"One of the biggest wins for me after the divorce was I got to know myself," she said. "It was a really scary time for me. I didn't want to ride on the name Presley. My career really
was an evolution. I first got a commercial then I did a movie with Michael Landon (Love is Forever in 1983), which led to a role on Dallas. I then did Naked Gun with Leslie Nielsen,
which was such a joy to do. I think we laughed as much on the set as the people watching it in the theater. It was just one after another. And looking back on it, doing it all myself
made it a bit more satisfying.
"It felt great to be my own person."