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RED WEST DEAD AGED 80
July 19,  2017   -   Wikipedia  /  IMDB  Elvis Express Radio
Red West, the one time bodyguard and close friend of Elvis passed away yesterday (18th July 2017) aged 80 and just shy of 2 months after the death of his Cousin and fellow
former Elvis Bodyguard/Friend, Sonny West who died on May


Robert Gene "Red" West
was born November 20, 1936. An American actor, film stuntman and songwriter. He first met Elvis in high school, where he was a year behind him. West
played football for the Memphis Tigers high school football team, boxed in the Golden Gloves and played football for Jones Junior College playing center.y. He is probably best
known to American film audiences for his role as Red in Road House, alongside Patrick Swayze.

West lived with his mother, Lois West, in the Hurt Housing project in Memphis. West
first became Elvis' personal driver in driving Elvis and band members Scotty Moore, Bill Black
and later D.J. Fontana to different cities in the South for live appearances from 1955 to 1956. West served in the US Marine Corps from 1956 to late 1958 and was stationed in
Norfolk, Virginia, which allowed him to stay in contact with Elvis.


On August 14, 1958, West's estranged father, Newton Thomas West, died, the ver same day as Elvis' mother, Gladys. After Elvis' discharge from the US Army in 1960, West was
employed as one of Elvis' bodyguards. Over the years Elvis bought West a number of vehicles as he became a world-famous celebrity.

West also became a movie stuntman and appeared in 16 of Elvis' films in the 1960s, usually playing extras or bit and supporting parts. West married one of Elvis' secretaries, Pat
West, on July 1, 1961. A man of many talents, West became a songwriter for songs that Elvis, Pat Boone, Ricky Nelson and Johnny Rivers recorded, including the classic tune
"Separate Ways" for Elvis, which won a BMI Award. In addition to the Elvis movies, West appeared in three Robert Conrad TV series The Wild Wild West (1965), Flying Misfits
(1976) and The Duke (1979). During the 1970s West, his cousin Del 'Sonny' West and 'Dave Hebler' served as Elvis' bodyguards, in charge of his daily transportation and,
especially, in keeping weirdo, or potentially dangerous, fans away from him.

On July 13, 1976, Vernon Presley, Elvis' father, fired West, Sonny West and Hebler after criticizing what he believed to be their heavy-handed tactics. The three of them
collaborated on a book about their lives as Elvis' bodyguards, which was published just two weeks before Elvis' death in 1977. West has since continued his acting and songwriting
careers.

Red West contributed to several songs written by Elvis Presley in 1961 and 1962. He received help from Elvis Presley in writing two songs in the early 1960s, which were
collaborations:
"You'll Be Gone" and "That's Someone You Never Forget." "You'll Be Gone" was also co-written with Charlie Hodge, and appeared on the Girl Happy
soundtrack album and as a 45 single in 1965. The single reached number 35 on the Canadian singles chart in 1965.

"That's Someone You Never Forget" was the final track on the 1962 album Pot Luck and was released as a 45 B side single in 1967 and was featured on the Artist of the Century
compilation. Red also co-wrote
"If You Think I Don't Need You" with Joey Cooper for the motion picture Viva Las Vegas. He teamed up with Joey Cooper again on "I'm A Fool",
which Ricky Nelson recorded.
"I'm A Fool" later became a hit for Dino, Desi and Billy, the partnership of Dean-Paul "Dino" Martin, Desi Arnaz Jr., and William "Billy" Hinsche.[citation
needed]

Red West also co wrote the song "Separate Ways" for Elvis in 1972. The song was the title of an Elvis album released on RCA's budget album line, Camden, in Jan. 1973. The song
"Separate Ways" was the B side release of the single "Always on My Mind" in November 1972. The single reached #20 on Billboard's Hot 100. It reached #16 on the Country Music
Billboard chart. Again, largely due to the success of "Always On My Mind". Both songs struck a sad, melancholy tone thought to largely depict Elvis' mood and outlook following the
recent separation of him and his eventual ex-wife Priscilla.

In 1976, West was involved in a series of heavy-handed incidents in Las Vegas with aggressive fans that got out of hand, drawing criticism by the media. More than that, West was
becoming more vocal about Presley's drug problem and how he needed help. As a result, West, his cousin Sonny West (actor), and a third bodyguard named David Hebler were
fired by Elvis's father, Vernon Presley, who hated most of, if not all, the members of his son's entourage.

Red West was fired by Presley and subsequently helped write the book Elvis: What Happened, which was published weeks before Presley's death. The book, according to West in
the book, was an attempt to help Presley, but believed by some to be an attempt to retaliate and earn an income after being fired.

When Presley was making films in the 1960s in Hollywood, Red West appeared in small roles in sixteen of the star's films. During this time, West became good friends with actor Nick
Adams and his physical abilities got him hired on as a stuntman on Adams' television series, The Rebel. From there, West went on to do more stunt work in film as well as
developing a career as an actor in a number of motion pictures and on television. He was often on screen as a henchman in the television series The Wild Wild West.

West played Master Sergeant Andy Micklin on Baa Baa Black Sheep. He guest starred twice on the CBS hit detective series Magnum, P.I. as different characters, as four different
ones on The A-Team, the Knight Rider pilot episode "Knight of the Phoenix", on The Fall Guy and in The Once and Future King (The Twilight Zone). In 1989 West appeared in the
action film Road House with Patrick Swayze as Red Webster, the auto parts store owner. West continued to work in motion pictures as of early February 2013. His most recent role
was in the 2013 film Safe Haven.[2] West co-stars in the 1984 film Hard Knox with Robert Conrad.


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