This is a question that has divided Elvis fans for years & seen as proof to the Elvis is Alive mob By Marty Lacker & Lee Dawson / Elvis Express Radio
A few years back, EER’s Lee Dawson got together with Marty Lacker to set the record straight regarding the question, is it Aron or Aaron? We thought we would revisit this article
after we received several email’s from our listeners asking for our thoughts on the matter. So here is what we were told by Elvis’ friend for most of his life and was one of two best
men at Elvis’ wedding.
Elvis Aron Presley or Elvis Aaron Presley…which one is correct?
The answer has had fans arguing for years, after all, Elvis’ birth certificate reads Aron, and yet on Elvis’ grave his middle name is
spelt Aaron. This fact has given the Elvis is Alive theorists something to cling onto by saying his middle name is spelt wrong which
points to the fact Elvis is not buried there or even dead?
Of course, that’s poppycock and the answer really is very simple…
At 4:35am on January 8th 1935, Dr William Hunt delivered the second of two babies and when it came time to fill out the Physicians
Record, Dr Hunt sat down at the table and asked what names Gladys & Vernon had chosen for the twins. The first who was stillborn
was named Jesse Garon Presley, the surviving twin was named Elvis Aaron Presley, spelt with two A’s.
When it came time to register the birth of baby Elvis, Vernon who was not well educated told the clerk the wrong spelling for his
middle name and from that point, Elvis was legally known as Elvis Aron Presley.
Here, Marty Lacker tells the story behind Elvis wanting to embrace the true intended spelling of his name.
“For those who have not read my book Elvis Aaron Presley: Revelations of the Memphis Mafia (later re-issued as Elvis and the
Memphis Mafia), here is the full story of what Patrick Lacy refers to when he mentions my name in his findings about the true
spelling of Elvis’ middle name Aaron, not Aron.
In December, 1966 in the basement den with Elvis, his father, Richard Davis and Mike Keaton, we were talking about something that
had to have his name on it. Out of the blue I said to Elvis,”You know with your knowledge of the bible, how come your middle name
is spelled with one “A” as opposed to the biblical spelling, which is normally used, that of Aaron with two “A’s?”
He answered while glancing at his father then back to me,”Well you know back then some people didn’t know how to spell or spell
someone’s name.” He was referring to Vernon giving Elvis his middle named to honor Vernon’s best friend in Tupelo, Aaron
So when Vernon went to register his name for the birth certificate he misspelled the name when filling out the form. What’s ironic is that the Dr. who delivered Elvis, when filling out
the required birth record that he was legally bound to do, he spelled Aaron with two “A’s” on the birth record.
What makes it even more unusual is the Dr. wrote Elvis’ first name as Evis because when he asked Vernon the name, Vernon always, for whatever reason, didn’t pronounce the “L”
in Elvis and called him Evis. I have a copy of the birth record and it plainly states in the Doctor’s handwriting Evis Aaron Presley.
So after Elvis saying that about the spelling, he further turned to his father and said,”Daddy from now on, on any legal document or anything else I want you to spell my middle name
with two “A’s.” And there you have the reason why the spelling was changed from one “A” to two “A’s.” – Marty Lacker
Pictured left is a document for a gun application dated October 22, 1970 and as you
can see from the typed name at the top of the application form, Elvis’ middle name is
spelt ‘AARON’ and it is signed by Elvis himself, which proves he was using the double A
spelling after 1966 as told by Marty Lacker.
Elvis Presley Enterprises also stands up for what Elvis wanted in relation to how his
middle name was spelt. ‘On the Elvis.com website they write:
“Toward the end of his life, Elvis sought to change the spelling of his middle name to
the traditional and biblical Aaron.
In the process he learned that official state records had inexplicably listed it as Aaron,
and not Aron as on his original birth records.
Knowing Elvis’ plans for his middle name, Aaron is the spelling his father chose for
Elvis’ tombstone, and it’s the spelling his estate has designated as the official spelling
when the middle name is used today.”
And so that is why E.E.R will always use the double A spelling in Elvis’ name.
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On the 22nd of April 1976 Elvis performed his second concert of his second tour of the year. The venue was the City Auditorium In Omaha, Nebraska. Doors opened at 8pm. The warm up acts were comedian Jackie Kahane and the Sweet Inspirations – Myrna Smith, Sylvia Shemwell and Estelle Brown.
In front 10,546 fans were Marty Harrell and the Joe Guercio Orchestra, James Burton on Lead, John Wilkinson on Rhythm, Jerry Scheff on bass, Ronnie Tutt on drums, Tony Brown on piano, David Briggs on Electric piano Charlie Hodge on Acoustic. Apart from the Inspirations, the back up vocalists were JD Sumner and the Stamps – Bill Baize, Ed Enoch, Ed Hill and Larry Strickland and High voice singer Kathy Westmoreland. And lead vocalist and star of the show was one Elvis Presley.
The recording of the show is a soundboard, which means it was recorded with the professional equipment used for mixing the vocals and instruments before it is sent out for the audience to hear over the P.A. system. So the audio you hear does not pick up the true volume of the audience reaction. The sound, although mono, is very good quality.
Elvis wore the Bicentennial jumpsuit. I am assuming there are no songs in the introductions section of the show as there is none listed. It is possible that Elvis may have done part songs of “What Id Say” “Hail Hail Rock N Roll” and “Love Letters”. There has never been an official or bootleg cd or cdr of this concert available up to now. I have the wording from a newspaper article, which many of you would have read but I attach it as it relates to this concert. I think the author was an Elvis Fan.
I have not heard the show at the time or writing this so I am unable to comment on the actual show and the performances of these songs.I think there are one or two surprises in the background to the songs – see what you think.
Also Sprach Zarathustra (theme from 2001 A Space Odyssey) Composed by Richard Strauss in 1896. The introduction of the works, called “Sunrise”, which Elvis used, is one of the most recognisable pieces of music used at concerts, boxing and athletic meetings. German born Strauss, a composer and conductor of good repute,
specialized in operas and tone poems, of which this is the most famous. It was Joe Guercio that suggested to Elvis that he used this to open his show after he and his wife saw the Stanley Kubrick movie “2001: A Space Odyssey” at the theatre and she whispered to him “you’d think Elvis was about to enter”
(Let me be your) Teddy Bear – The term teddy bear comes from the story concerning Theodore Roosevelt’s failure to shoot a trapped bear on a hunting trip. A cartoon of the incident appeared in a newspaper with a tag Teddy’s bear. A stuffed bear was created as a toy and became a huge commercial success. In 1957 Kal Mann and Bernie Lowe wrote (Let me be your) Teddy Bear. Flipped with “Loving You” it was a US number one. Kal Mann went on to write “Lets Twist Again” and Bernie Lowe was famous in the Rock n Roll history books having suggested to Freddie Bell that he write new lyrics to “Hound Dog” for his Vegas show.
Don’t Be Cruel – Written by Otis Blackwell and listed in Rolling stone’s 500 greatest songs of all time at number 197. In the UK, Don’t Be Cruel was not an A side until 1978. Elvis performed it frequently at his concerts although it was a noticeable absentee from the Hawaii worldwide broadcast set list. Used as a throwaway song at later concerts whilst giving out scarves to fans. Covered by Neil Diamond, Jackie Wilson, Ringo Starr, John Lennon Jerry Lee Lewis and Billy Swann after Elvis had recorded his “I can Help”
Heartbreak Hotel – The song that for most started it all. This was the first record “the world” heard Elvis Presley sing. Paul McCartney’s favourite Elvis record is number 45 on Rollin stones 500 greatest songs of all time. Mae Boren Axton and Thomas Durden wrote it with apparently some input from Elvis. Mae Axton is mother to Hoyt Axton and was also Hank Snow’s publicist whilst one Colonel Parker was managing him. The song is based on a suicide note left by a man who stated he walked a lonely street. McCartney recorded the song at Abbey Studios using Bill Black’s bass, which he now owns. Elvis fan Jimi Hendrix who saw Elvis in concert in 1957 recorded “Heartbreak Hotel” along with “Blue Suede Shoes” and “Trouble”.
America the beautiful – is the American national hymn and typically Elvis misses out a few verses in his version. Written as a poem by an American English Professor, Katherine Lee Bates, whilst travelling through Colorado. The music was added in 1910 although the composer did not know much about that collaboration as he had died in 1903. Samuel A Ward had written the music in 1882. The first known recording was in 1924 by Louise Homer. Elvis sang the song throughout 1976, America’s Bicentennial, showing once again how proud he was to an American.
Polk Salad Annie – Written by Tony Joe White who recorded it in 1968 and had a hit with it in 1969. Elvis’ version in 1970 was an exact copy of White’s recording, with the exception of the army reference. Described as swamp rock Elvis’ “On stage” version was eventually released as a single in 1973. Elvis had the song re-arranged in 1972 and again in 1975.
Hurt – Originally recorded for the album “From Elvis Presley Boulevard” it became a fast favourite of the fans who saw him perform it as he would stretch his voice and usually pull off a powerful rendition. Elvis’ studio cut was a major hit on the Country charts and the host album from which it was lifted along with “For the Heart”, was number one on the Country album charts. Written by Jimmy Crane and Al Jacobs it was a hit for Roy Hamilton and Marty Robbins.
Elvis also recorded “You’ll Never Walk Alone” which was Roy Hamilton’s first and major hit. He can be seen with Elvis at the American Sound Studios in January 1969. He died in July of that year after suffering a stroke. He was 40.
See See Rider – RCA got a bit confused with this old blues number on some of their releases. On its
See See Rider – RCA got a bit confused with this old blues number on some of their releases. On its first appearance in “On Stage” it was shown as See See Rider (arranged by Elvis Presley). It’s third appearance in 1973 as the B-side to the “Polk Salad Annie” single now showed it as C.C.Rider (Ma Rainey). Aloha From Hawaii and Recorded live on stage in Memphis showed it as See See Rider (Arr E Presley) Finally In Concert showed it as See See Rider (Rainey). Written by Gertrude “Ma” Rainey in 1924 the song underwent some lyric changes by subsequent artists who recorded this popular 12 bar blues. It is also known as See See Rider Blues, Easy Rider and of course C.C.Rider. The C.C. is not a motoring term but rather from the term “Country Circuit” referring to the country circuit riding preachers who travelled from town to town without chapels and had a reputation for doing more than blessing the local women. Big Bill Broonzy, Jerry Lee Lewis and LaVern Baker famously covered it. Many fans find the lyrics confusing but typically Elvis’ arrangement missed out several original and revised verses. The original song tells a story with a prostitute, a pimp and a punter. I wont elaborate or bother printing the original lyrics.
I Got A Woman – Written by Ray Charles and Renald Richard whilst listening to gospel music, on which the song is based, whilst on the road. This was the song that made Ray Charles famous. Elvis sang it as a medley with Amen therefore combining two gospels based songs. Woody Herman originally recorded Amen in 1942. Elvis recorded “I Got a Woman” in 1956 and first sang “Amen” in Boston, November 1971. If you don’t know the words to Amen they are available on more than one Website.
Hound Dog – Originally recorded by Willie Mae ‘Big Mama’ Thornton which itself sold 2 million copies. This 12 bar blues number was penned by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller and Elvis’ version is listed number 19 in Rollin stones greatest 500 songs of all time. When Elvis appeared in Vegas in 1956 he took in a show at the Sands Hotel and saw Freddie Bell and the Bellboys. Freddie had re-worked the song with some new lyrics and Elvis recorded his version based on this re-written work. John Lennon sang Hound dog at Madison Square Garden in 1972 during which he shouts out” Elvis I luv ya !”
Love Me – Originally recorded by Willie and Ruth in 1954 an eternal favourite with Elvis. Check out every major event in Elvis’ career and “Love me” is there. Originally set up as a parody on country songs this Leiber and Stoller number became a million seller on the Elvis E.P. Elvis vol 1.
If You Love Me Let Me Know – Written by John Rostill and made famous by Olivia Newton John. Rostill toured with Tom Jones before becoming a member of The Shadows. Born in Birmingham England, he also wrote, “Let Me Be There” another hit for OLJ and covered brilliantly by Elvis in concert. John Rostill died in 1973 at the age of 31. Elvis loved this song and sang it often 1974 to 1977. “If you love me let me know and if you don’t then move it!”
You Gave Me a Mountain – Written by Martin David Robinson better known as Marty Robbins who was famous for “A White Sports Coat” and the first country song to win a Grammy award, “El Paso”. Elvis used “Mountain” frequently in his 70’s concerts and incredibly some people pondered over whether is was a personal message song from him. He explained on stage that it was not, it was just a beautiful song. The fact Elvis never had a son should have been sufficient.
Trying to Get to You – Superb Sun song resurrected by Elvis from about 74. Written by Rose Marie McCoy and Margie Singleton and originally recorded by the Eagles in 1954. Margie was the wife of record producer Shelby Singleton who bought Sun Records from Sam Phillips in 1969.
All Shook Up – Written by Otis Blackwell and with some compositional additions by Elvis this song will forever be an Elvis song. Originally sang by David Hill Elvis took it to number one in the US and his first UK number one. Concert versions by 1976 tended to be throwaway versions put in for old times sake with little regard for quality
Help Me – Written by and originally recorded by Larry Gatlin as a duet with Kris Kristofferson. Larry, one of the Gatlin Brothers became one of Country music biggest acts. Elvis added this song into his concert repertoire around 74 having recorded it at Stax in December 73 when it found itself on the Promised Land LP.
How Great Thou Art – Elvis received his first Grammy Award for the Album How Great Thou Art and Also his third and Final Grammy Award was for the live performance of the song in Memphis in 1974. There was an article or possibly even a book recounting all the various connections between Elvis and Sweden.
I hope How Great thou art was included as it started life as a poem written in 1886 by Pastor Carl Boberg called “ O Store Gud”. It underwent many changes and Reverend Stuart Hine added English lyrics. There are versions still existing today indicating the differences between a Hymn and a Gospel song. The first recording was in 1955 by George Shea.
Little Darlin – Written by Maurice Williams of the Gladiolas, who recorded it in 1956. A year later The Diamonds had a number 2 hit with it. Also recorded by the Chevrons. Elvis always seemed to have fun with this song. Perhaps he saw it as a nostalgic look back to the fifties. Certainly I cant remember him ever singing it without a lyric change or laughing.
Its Now or Never – It seems possible to write a book about the history of this song. The first connection to Elvis is hearing him sing “There’ s no Tomorrow”, which carries the same tune, in Germany. It was written by Al Hoffman, Leo Cordey and Leon Carr and based on “O Sole Mio”. Tony Martin had a hit with it in 1950, which is where Elvis probably heard it. “O sole Mio” is what you have heard Sherrill Nielsen singing in concert before Elvis went into “Its Now or Never”. The portion Nielsen sings translates into “But another sun that’s brighter still it’s my own sun that’s in your face. The Sun, my own sun it’s in your face, it’s in your face”. In 1960 Elvis asked for, and Aaron Schroeder and Wally Gold duly penned, new lyrics. Still using the Eduardo di Capua music the result gave Elvis his only million selling single in the UK. Before Elvis could get out of his army uniform David Hill had recorded “Its Now or Never”. Hill, real name David Hess had previously written, with Schroeder, “I Got Stung” and was the same David Hill who had recorded “All Shook Up” before Elvis. He also went on to write “Come Along” and “Sand Castles”.
Funny How Time Slips Away – written by Willie Nelson (pictured with Kris Kristofferson and Waylon Jennings) this was one of the stellar recordings that were put onto “Elvis Country”. He had previously sung it in Vegas in 1969 and used it throughout the 70’s. Originally recorded by Billy Walker in 1961 and the writer covered it in 1962.
Written by Loner Dennis Linde, A Texan, first recorded by Arthur Alexander of “Detroit City” and “Lover Please” recognition and made famous by Elvis – The King. Burning Love despite recent unsubstantiated claims did only reach number 2 in the US and 7 in the UK. Elvis can be seen rehearsing this rocker in the “On Tour” outtakes and on stage in the Golden Globe winning movie itself. Also seen in “Aloha from Hawaii”.
My Way – The Elvis in Concert version is majestic. I believe he recorded a genuine hit that night. Written by Paul Anka after he heard Sinatra muse over the possibility of an early retirement. It had been recorded by every major star of the time. It started life as a French song Comme d’habitude by Claude Francois and Jacques Revaux . Elvis often read the words on stage and he was heard to say that he did not like doing songs of that nature. But then again he did sing it quite often so maybe that was not a definitive comment.
Cant Help Falling in Love – No lines in a song send shivers down my spine with the one exception “but darling so it goes some things are meant to be”. An excellent song written by three New Yorkers George Weiss, Hugo Peretti and Luigi Creatore. It was based on Plaisir d’amour (“Pleasure of Love”) by Jean Paul Egide Martini and dates back to 1785.
Elvis scored a number two in the US and a number one in the UK with this song from the Movie “Blue Hawaii”. Elvis was a long time admirer of Bob Dylan covering his songs “Blowing in the Wind”, “I Shall be Released”, “Tomorrow is a Long Time” and “Don’t Think Twice it’s All Right”. Bob Dylan was and is a major fan of Elvis. He wrote and sang a song about Elvis “The Gypsy”.
But did you know Dylan covered “Cant Help Falling in Love” for his 1973 album “Dylan”? Covered also by UB40, Andy Williams and Stylistics. With few exceptions Elvis closed his concerts with it. Sadly, near the end he is heard singing “Wise men know when its time to go”.
CONCERT DATE: April 22, 1976. Omaha, NE. King Elvis Still Classy April 23, 1976 Omaha, Nebraska (unknown newspaper)
Most stars are two cylinder jobs performing with their throttles wide open. Elvis Presley is a super-charged, fuel-injected V-12 who idles beautifully along, occasionally racing the engine to give just a hint of his great power. Thursday night in Omaha, the 41-year-old singer was as classy, though maybe not as sleek, as all of those Cadillacs he’s been handing out since he was last here in the summer of 1974. The King is still the King, despite of reports that he has been depressed, debilitated and overweight. Indeed, Presley is maybe 30 or 40 pounds over his playing weight. The long time sex symbol has the start of double chin.
But the pounds only make Elvis more imposing, if slightly less mobile. The charisma may be off a notch but the gestures are grand and Olympian. Omaha is the second stop on Presley’s current seven-city tour. As in hoping to catch sight of the singer. A Hilton employee said phone calls poured in and visitors asked to see the register. Presley had stayed at the Hilton in 1974 and had planned to stop again Thursday night until a change of plants. He cancelled his reservation for 60 rooms three weeks ago. Actually, Presley was still in the air between Kansas City, MO., and Omaha when the sold-out crowd of 10,546 had settled into the seats of the City Auditorium more than an hour later. Presley dresses in his plane so he can go from limousine to stage in just a few minutes. He sang for about 80 minutes and then was scheduled to go to Eppley Airfield for a flight in his private jetliner to Denver, the next tour stop. The Presleys formula hasn’t changed much since his three 1974 performances here. Some pleasing but decidedly minor entertainers opened the show. These included J.D. Sumner and the Stamps, comic Jackie Kahane and the Sweet Inspirations.
An intermission, the 25 sellers (all Elvis employees) who pitched to fans streaming into the arena, pitched to them again inside, selling Elvis buttons for one dollar, binoculars for five dollars, and posters and other mementos.
Then the loudspeakers warned everybody to return to their seats and the Presley troupe began blaring “2001”, a grand tune reserved only for prophets, superstars and antacid tablets. Presley’s arrival triggered an unearthly mass scream distinctive from the squeals other big stars occasion. It’s a high, building, inhuman rush of noise that might be compared to the music of the spheres on doomsday. The thousands of flashbulbs turned the midnight of the arena into high noon and then back. The process is rapidly repeated, giving the 20,000 irises of the fans a workout. Though Presley started with a routine version of “C.C. Rider” the crowd was already his. During the next 80 minutes Presley mixed patriotism, religion, sex and self-parody in a way that’s as seductive as ever. Finished with his guitar he had over his shoulder, he flung it carelessly behind him where it, of course, was caught by a sideman. He wore a white jump suit cut nearly to the navel in front and with rhinestone studded sleeves. On one finger was a gigantic, bright diamond ring. A diamond cross hung from his neck. His black curly hair had an intentionally tousled look, the only thing about him that recalls the 1950s, from sprung.
His body still speaks a universal language, said with a twitch of shoulders and rocking of the hips. His handsome face flickered with self-mocking arrogance at times, his lip pulled up into a showy sneer. Presley has one of the great voices around and he turned on the power, he was overwhelming. It’s a deep rich enveloping tone that is commandingly masculine. Though Presley works hard for his fans, he gives them little of himself. His comments between songs were brief and sometimes puzzling. He got a laugh when he said, “I woke up the other morning and I was married to some chick,” a reference to news reports about a woman who claimed Presley had proposed. The big guy rolled through his best-loved hits with an easy, playful style.
These included, “I’m all shook up,” “Don’t Be Cruel,” “Heartbreak Hotel,” and “You Ain’t Nothing But a Hound Dog.” But Elvis seemed to really get passionate about some others, belting out, “Help Me,” a sing-and-talk version of America The Beautiful,” “How Great Thou Art” and “It’s Now Or Never.” He had lots of fun with that ancient rock parody “Little Darling.” The singer again handed out dozens of scarves to fans gathered in a frenetic band in front of the stage. A sideman hangs them around Elvis’ neck and then he tosses them out into the crowd, only occasionally teasing the outstretched arms. He wiped one scarf over his perspiring, heaving chest and held it out. “That’s the one I want,” shouted a fan, as Presley strutted like Conrad Birdie, a fictional rock star who exaggerated the Presley image.
Mark Ritchie I don’t know why FTD don’t start at the first concert they have and then release them all in order, one per season, per year. Once you have heard one from a season you heard them all, Elvis was lazy and didn’t like changing his set…….its harsh but true! There’s a few diamonds over the years but not all that many and most have been released on bootleg/import or FTD.
He was one of Elvis Presley’s’ most trusted friends, he was one of the founding members of the ‘Memphis Mafia’ and now It’s with a heavy heart that we have to report the death of our friend, Marty Lacker aged 80.
Marty Lacker was born and raised in New York, first in Brooklyn, but he spent most of his early life on the tough streets of the South Bronx, that is until his family left New York and moved down to Memphis, Tennessee in 1952.
Marty & Elvis first crossed paths in 1953 when Marty attended the final year at Humes High School. In Memphis, Elvis stood out at Humes because of the way he dressed and his hairstyle, but Marty wore similar clothes to Elvis thanks to the New York fashion influences. But their friendship never grew until 1957, when Marty was discharged from the U.S.A Army.
During Elvis’ time in the U.S. Army, Marty began working as the production director for Memphis radio station, WHHM. Then finally in 1961, after years of trying, Elvis finally got Marty to agree to start working for him on a full time basis.
Marty served as Elvis’ Chief Personal Aide for a few years, but he was one of the tiny amount Memphis Mafia members who went out to build his own career and not rely on Elvis for a living. Even though, in doing so, Marty and Elvis remained close friends till the end. In fact, Elvis respected Marty enough to use him as a brutally honest sounding board.
Along with Elvis’ cousin, Billy Smith, he and Marty were considered to be probably the closest “true friends” of Elvis according to some in the group. In a past interview, Marty stated, “Everyone had assigned responsibilities and they were far from leeches, hangers on or whatever else they were called. They all had jobs to do so that Elvis could do his and as far as being there for the money, that’s laughable because there really wasn’t much in that area to be there for.”
Marty went on to say, “Most of us were not there for the money, we were there because we all cared about Elvis and each other like brothers.” In 1967, Marty was asked by Elvis to be his best man at his upcoming wedding to Priscilla. This honour would later end up being shared with Joe Esposito.
Marty continued with his radio career throughout the 1960’s and in 1969, he took the job of VP and General Manager at American Studios in 1969 but remained very close to Elvis. As fans of Elvis Presley, we have to be eternally grateful to Marty Lacker for convincing Elvis to record at American Sound in his home town of Memphis where Elvis recorded some of his most contemporary music and gave him his biggest hits in several years, hits like, ‘Suspicious Minds’, ‘In The Ghetto’, ‘Kentucky Rain’ and many more.
Below is what is featured from the Commercial Appeal paper in Memphis. If not for Marty Lacker, Elvis might never have gone to American Studios in 1969 to record the landmark “From Elvis in Memphis” record.
If not for Mr. Lacker, then, the world might never have had such Presley hits as “Suspicious Minds” — The King’s last chart-topper — and “In the Ghetto,” among many others.
“Marty was working for me and he was still in close with Elvis,” the late Chips Moman, who founded American, told The Commercial Appeal in 2009. “So Marty was talking to me about Elvis and talking to Elvis about me and slowly bringing us together. He’s really the one that got that album to take place.”
Mr. Lacker, a member of The King’s famed Memphis Mafia and one of the best men at Elvis’s 1967 wedding, died Monday after suffering from kidney failure. He was 80. He’s the second member of the Memphis Mafia to die in recent months, following the November 2016 death of Joe Esposito, the other best man at Elvis’ wedding.
Mr. Lacker also worked in the music business both during his time with Elvis and after The King’s 1977 death. In 1967, Lacker helped launch Pepper Records and went on to become American Studios’ vice president and business manager. In the early ’70s, Lacker also helped co-found the local Grammy chapter and also served as the chairman of the original Memphis and Shelby County Music Commission.
“A big thing that I wanted to accomplish was to organize the music industry in town. Memphis was not a very organized city; everybody did their own thing,” Lacker told the newspaper in 2010. “At the end of the day, you can’t underestimate what the music that came out of Memphis has brought to this city.”
“He went to school with (Elvis), that’s how they met. My dad was from New York, the Bronx, and he dressed just like Elvis did. They just formed a bond of friendship through that. They always took up for each other. Both of them went into the army and afterwards, a good friend of his re-introduced them and he went to work for him,” said Mr. Lacker’s son, Mark. “They were like brothers. They respected each other.”
Funeral arrangements were still being finalized late Monday.
Marty and Elvis Express Radio joined together back in 2008 for the original “Ask Marty”, where fans could send in their questions asking Marty to share with them any memories he could. Marty would also send in his thoughts to a story if he felt someone had said or done something that was incorrect about Elvis or the Memphis Mafia, he was never afraid to say things exactly how he saw them.
Elvis Express Radio will re-post every “ASK MARTY” Q & A in the next day or so.