The False, the Evil and the Envy - ELVIS RADIO 24h


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9 sept 2022

The False, the Evil and the Envy


The False, the Evil and the Envy.

Anecdotes 1957

From Tupelo to Memphis

The power of the word has always been important when an artist is at the top. It can contribute to his success or ruin his reputation as an artist.

Like all artists, the figure of Elvis always attracted a lot of envy, jealousy and people who could do harm with negative comments about him.

Elvis and BB King (1956)

In 1957, there were many, the majority, who spoke well of him about his music, his successes and how he had conquered his fans.

But there were also those who wanted at all costs to discredit him as an artist and as a person.

An example of this would be a rumor that had been circulating in the black community for some time. Elvis was said to have made a derogatory statement towards them.

This is what they claimed Elvis said in an interview: "The only thing blacks can do for me is buy my records and shine my shoes", "like making a squirrel run to earth".

Such was the scandal that Jet magazine, which was then an important African-American newspaper, sent Louie Robinson to the set of Jailhouse Rock, to find out from Elvis himself what he had said.

Surprised Elvis said: "I never said anything like that", "People who know me", "know that I wouldn't have said that". For Elvis," "people are people, regardless of race, color, or creed."

Elvis and B.B.King (1956, dec, 7)

Elvis always showed admiration for the music performed by artists of color.

In June 1956, he made the following statement about rock 'n' roll to a reporter in Charlotte, North Carolina.

“People of color have been singing it and playing it like I'm doing now, man, for more years than I know. They played it like that in the shacks and in their juke joints, and no one paid any attention to it until I did. I got it from them. In Tupelo, Mississippi, I used to hear old Arthur Crudup bang on his snare like I do now, and I said if I ever got to the place where I could feel like old Arthur felt, I'd be a musician like no one has ever seen."

Elvis and Billy Ward

But Robinson also interviewed several black people who did know Elvis, from Dr. W.A. Zuber, a black doctor from Tupelo, to Rhythm and blues singer Ivory Joe Hunter, etc.

All of this was very upsetting for someone who had lived so close to the black community, like Elvis. It was absurd to think that he would have said such things.

Robinson dismissed "Sepia" magazine's claim that Elvis made the comment in Boston, since the singer had never been there.

In addition, Robinson had also heard that Elvis made this nasty comment to Edward R. Murrow on his CBS-TV show. But Elvis Presley had never appeared in "Person to Person," so Robinson would eventually write in "Jet" that there was no evidence that Elvis had made the alleged racial statement anywhere.

Clearing his name of these false comments.

But the fake news, unfortunately, had already tarnished Elvis's name...

Elvis with Junior Parker and Bobbie Blue Brand

That was the purpose and it was achieved and despite the time many artists of color did not trust him, but fortunately those who really knew him never believed that rumour.

It is curious to think that Elvis had a great friendship with Sammy Davis Jr and had great admiration for many artists of color with whom he was photographed such as B.B King, Fats Domino, Roy Hamilton, etc. If he had been racist he would never have been photographed with them.

Due to this type of false comments, Elvis would always take care of his image to the maximum and the arranged interviews were always supervised and ordered by Colonel Parker.

Elvis and Roy Hamilton, 1969

For this kind of thing Elvis always wanted to have trustworthy people around him. In order to have a little privacy, since at this time it was completely impossible to be a young man like the others due to his popularity and his success that forced maximum caution.

Elvis never wanted to give an image of himself other than his own personality and his music.

"Following The Path of the King..."

Information provided by From Tupelo to Memphis

From Tupelo to Memphis 80.

A full stop 1973


More Pictures:

Elvis and Jackie Wilson 1966

Elvis and Brook Benton, Dec 1957

Elvis and Muhammad Ali, Feb 1973

Elvis and Fats Domino, August 1969, Las Vegas

Elvis and Sammy Davis Jr. Set King Creole 1958

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