View Full Version : Unknown Stories Behind The Legend (1- 62)

Unchained Melody
10-08-2008, 05:20 AM

As Told By..... MYRNA SMITH

If Elvis was in Las Vegas when he wasn't performing, he would go down and gamble in the casino. Nobody would bother him. But if he was working Vegas, it was a different story. The hotel would be flooded with Elvis fans. I remember one day during one of his engagements, he came down out of his suite on the elevator, alone. All of a sudden I see just hordes of people running toward the elevator. I had no idea what was going on, but it turned out Elvis had walked out of the hotel, gotten into a cab, and gone down to the gun shop to buy some guns. It was always like that if he tried to venture out while he was working. When he wasn't working there, somehow he kind of blended in.


When Elvis celebrated his 39th birthday on January 8, 1974, the entire town of Memphis got in on the festivities and set up a parade for their most popular resident. Hundreds of people paraded down Elvis Presley Boulevard, led by the Mayors of both Memphis and Tupelo, Mississippi. The L.C. Humes High School band supplied the parade music. As they neared Graceland, the band slid into a jazzy rendition of "Happy Birthday". Elvis heard the music and excitement coming from the street and ran out of his house. He was then treated to the sight of the parade and the musical salute by the band. Both Mayors walked up to the gates and yelled out their best wishes to the King. Elvis could not believe that the Mayors would actually get involved in something so trivial as a parade for his birthday. He could not see what the big deal was and could not understand why they would go to so much trouble for him.


A radio station in Jacksonville, Florida set up a contest to promote Elvis' April 25, 1975 show at the Veterans Memorial Coliseum. The disc jockey had ten pairs of tickets for the show and wanted to give them away via a radio contest. If a caller could correctly answer questions about Elvis and his career, they would win the tickets. The response to the contest was so great that the central telephone system was knocked out. Phones went dead for miles around. The station had to cancel the telephone contest and ended up giving the tickets to listeners who visited them at the station. The only prerequisite to winning a pair of tickets was that whoever came in had to be wearing blue suede shoes or had to have a hound dog.


In the 1970's, Elvis frequented the Four Flames restaurant, located just 15 minutes away from Graceland. Elvis usually went there more to relax and enjoy the atmosphere than to eat. While slowly sipping a vanilla malted shake or a soda, Elvis would watch the people enjoying themselves. Once in a while he actually ordered dinner and ate it over the course of a couple hours. No matter what Elvis ordered, the owner of the restaurant would not let him pay his tab. Sometimes Elvis and the owner got into little spats over paying, but in the end, Elvis always lost. He was never allowed to pay his tab. To compensate, he left the waitress a $100 tip.


In 1939, when Elvis was four years old, he received a spanking from his father and decided to run away from home. He packed himself a couple of sandwiches and slipped out the door right after his parents went to bed. Elvis was lonely, cold, and scared, but as he was intent on teaching his parents a lesson, he kept moving down the darkened road. Fifteen minutes later, he heard a car approaching. He moved closer to the side of the road, hoping he wouldn't be seen. When the truck began to stop alongside him, the sound of the brakes was familiar. It was his fathers truck. Elvis ate one of his sandwiches during the short drive home. Gladys was waiting for them outside, ringing her apron with nervous hands. She thanked God that her son was safely back in her arms and led Elvis inside. He received another spanking from his father, but, ths time, instead of running away, Elvis hugged and kissed his parents.


Elvis committed his first sin when he was just four or five years old. He stole two empty cola bottles from a neighbor's porch. When his mother questioned him about the bottles, he admitted that he had taken them from the Harris' porch without permission. Gladys took him by the hand and dragged him back to the Harris' house. Although Elvis was embarrassed at having to return the bottles, he was even more upset when Gladys annonced that he was to confess his sin at church the following Sunday. She wanted to teach him a lesson about stealing that he would never forget. When Sunday came, Elvis pretended he was sick. His condition was instantly cured, however, when Vernon showed him a strap. When the awful moment came, Gladys pushed Elvis up to the front of the Church and ordered him to confess in front of the entire Assembly of God congregation. With tears brimming from his blue eyes and his head hanging low, Elvis whispered his wrong doing and then run out of the Church, crying. He never again took anything without permission. It was one lesson he learned the hard way.

Unchained Melody
10-08-2008, 05:20 AM
STORIES 7 - 12


In order to help support her family, Gladys was forced to get a job when Elvis was only a few months old. She found a meager yet back-breaking job picking cotton for the Tupelo Garment Factory. She could not afford and did ot want to leave Elvis with a babysitter, so she wrapped him in a blanket and took him with her. After walking over a mile in the field, Gladys collected two sacks. The first was used to collect cotton; the second was used to carry her son. Elvis rested on a sack while Gladys plucked cotton from the seed pods. As she moved down the row of plants, she pulled Elvis along. When Elvis needed a diaper change, Gladys stopped picking and tended to her son. When he was hungry, she stopped working and breast fed him until he had his fill. Gladys continued to bring Elvis to the cotton fields until he grew active enough to require her full attention.


A few weeks before Priscilla gave birth, she and Elvis had to decide what to name their first child. The four boy names they'd chosen were Vernon, Aron, Thomas, and John. Elvis suggested Vernon after his father, but Priscilla was not crazy about the name. She then came up with Aron after, Elvis' middle name, and both agreed to have that as a standby. Thomas was for the colonel, and John was chosen because it was a strong name. In the end both Elvis and Priscilla decided on, John Baron Presley. Baron was a play on Elvis' and his stillborn brother's middle names, Aron and Garon. The three girl names they selected were, Gladys, Josephine, and Lisa. Glady's was Priscilla's choice in honor of Elvis' mother. Elvis felt bad that he could not include or honor his paternal grandmother Minnie Mae, but neither he nor Priscilla liked the name Minnie. Priscilla then came up with Josephine in honor of her step-father Joseph Beaulieu. In the end the Presley's decided on Lisa. Lisa Marie was the name chosen by Elvis and Anita Wood when they had discussed having a baby in the 1950's. When Priscilla gave birth to a girl Elvis decided to keep the name. The name Marie was rumored to have been in honor of Colenel Parker's wife, but that is not true. Marie was Anita's Woods middle name, and Elvis chose his daughter's middle name in honor of his love for her, as well as because he genuinely liked the name.


When Elvis was offered a deputy's badge from Shelby County Sheriff Gene Barksdale in Memphis on September 1, 1976, he insisted on it being an authentic sheriff's badge with all its power and authority. Sheriff Barksdale did not want to give him such "powers", as Elvis called it, because Elvis was only a civilian, after all. When Elvis was refused the sheriff's badge, he became angry. He threatened Barksdale, saying he would run against him in the upcoming election. The sheriff knew that he would not be re-elected if Elvis did run. Once the threat was understood, you can be sure Elvis was given the sheriff's badge, complete with all its "powers".


A 10-year old boy named Donald Wilson had lost his immediate family to a horrific car accident. After the funeral, the court awarded his grandmother custody. A short while later, Donald suffered a nervous breakdown and was diagnosed as having a complicated kidney ailment. His grandmother did not know what to do or how to help her sick grandchild. The only thing that raised the boy's spirits was his Elvis Presley record collection. One day, as Donald blasted his Elvis music, his grandmother went to her den and composed a letter to the singer. She explained about Donald's ailments as well as his love for Elvis' music. When Elvis received the letter he sat down to write a few encouraging words to the boy. He put together a package which included several photos, current records, and a get well card. He had each of his secretaries write a little something to the boy to show that everyone cared about him. Elvis took the package to the post office himself and had it sent special delivery. When Donald's grandmother brought the package up to his bedroom, the young boy cried out with glee. He was amazed when he found the photos, records, and notes inside. After reading Elvis' letter, Donald knew his loving grandmother had written to his favorite singer about him. He ran over to her and hugged her tighly, crying as he thanked her. After Elvis' package arrived, Donald got better and both he and his grandmother felt that they owed his recovery to Elvis and the love he had shown.


Because Elvis and Priscilla held different religious beliefs, they decided that Lisa Marie would not be baptized. They wanted their daughter to be able to make her own decision about such things when she was of age. Sometime after Elvis died Priscilla became a member of the Church of Scientology. She is part of what is called the Celebrity Center branch in Hollywood., where discretion reigns and privacy is respected. When Lisa Marie was 16 years old, she followed in her mothers footsteps and became a member of L. Ron Hubbard's Church of Scientology as well. She is still a member today. as are her two children.


Grandpa Vernon was ecstatic when Lisa Marie was born. She was the first girl in a long time to be born in his immediate family and he could not have neen happier. When it came time for Vernon to hold his granddaughter, Elvis roared with laughter. Vernon hadn't held a baby in over 30 years, and he was scared. Every time Elvis or Priscilla let Vernon hold Lisa Marie, he did so hesitantly. He would hold her, look at her, and then begin to shake uncontrollably. He was scared that he might drop or hurt her. Vernon's knees wobbled and his hands and arms shook as he passed his grandchild over for someone else to hold. The longest Vernon ever held baby Lisa Marie was about five minutes. He reasoned that the baby was too small and too frail and he did not want to be held responsible if anything happened to her. When Lisa Marie got older, Vernon lost his fear and played with the first girl in the Presley family everyday.

Unchained Melody
10-08-2008, 05:21 AM

When Lisa Marie was four years old, she gave everyone at Graceland a big scare. Elvis was on tour at the time, having left just two days before. Vernon was named babysitter until Priscilla came to get Lisa Marie; Elvis and Priscilla were seperated and Priscilla had moved to their home in Bel Air.

The minature female version of Elvis went into the bathroom and locked herself in. Vernon could not get her to come out. He feared she would hurt herself or accidently take some pills, thinking they were candy. He called the local fire department for help. While he waited for the firemen to arrive, he tried to open the lock by inserting thick wire and other keys, but the lock was too good. He even tried to slide a credit card in at the side of the door to push the lock open, but it didn't work. When the firemen finally arrived, Vernon was in tears. The fire chief checked out the lock and then asked for a bobby pin. After fiddling it back and forth and twisting the pin a little the lock opened. A relieved Vernon saw Lisa Marie sitting on the closed toilet seat with her arms crossed against her chest, and an angry look on her face. When Vernon called for her to come out, she stomped out of the bathroom with her arms still crossed. She gave her grandfather an angry look as she passed, walked into her room, and slammed the door.


When Lisa Marie's first baby tooth came out, Elvis named himself her personel tooth fairy. Lisa Marie was advised to put her tooth under a pillow at night and was told the tooth fairy would come and exchange the tooth for money. She ran up to her room and put the tooth under her pillow early so that she wouldn't forget. The following morning she woke up to find a $5 bill under her pillow. Lisa Marie jumped and yelled all around Graceland, waving the money at everyone. When Elvis got up several hours later, Lisa Marie showed him what the tooth fairy had left for her. Elvis played it cool and acted very happy for her. When Lisa called to tell her mother about it, Priscilla was shocked. She scolded Elvis and told him the going rate for a child's tooth was 50 cents!


Elvis was obsessed with cleanliness, germs, and bacteria from a very early age. He was especially opposed to using other people's dining utensils. As a result, he carried his own little utensil kit with him wherever he went. Gladys was embarrassed by Elvis' behavior. She scolded him, telling him that people would think he was crazy if he brought his own silverware when invited to their homes. Elvis explained that no matter how often people washed their utensils, they could not get rid of all the germs and odors. He told his mother that she should not worry about what people thought, but what her own son felt. Gladys' heart melted. Elvis' obsession stayed with him throughout his life. When drinking out of coffee cups that others had used, he drank from the area where the handle meets the rim, ensuring that others had not used the same spot. In addition, he never shared his food or allowed anyone to eat off his plate.


In 1942, Elvis was involved in his first school fight. When he got home, he was sporting a large shiner on his left eye. Gladys took one look at Elvis' bruises and torn clothes and called for Vernon. Elvis told his parents about the fight and how he'd lost. Vernon told his son to fight back harder, not to yield to another boys punches, and above all, not to lose. Gladys was horrified by her husbands advice. Vernon told her that no son of his was going to be pushed around and that Elvis had to learn to protect himself. While his parents bickered, Elvis went outside and began to shadow box. His father was right: he was a Presley, a fighter, a survivor, and had to win. The next time Elvis was picked on by a bigger boy, he was not afraid. He looked his apponent squarely in the eye, dodged the boys punches, and landed several of his own, knocking the boy down. The champion proudly told his father about his win. Gladys was very upset that her husband had turned their son into a fighter, but Vernon was proud. He congratulated Elvis and then gave him some money for a movie.


In 1944, Vernon taught Elvis how to drive a car. Vernon sat in the passenger seat of the 1934 Ford, offering instruction to his son. Elvis loved to drive; whenever his father asked him if he'd like to go for a spin, Elvis ran like lightning to the car. The neighbors found it peculiar that Elvis was allowed to drive as such an early age. He could barely see over the dashboard, so it was quite an amusing sight to see the young Presley behind the wheel. In order to reach the accelerator and brakes, Elvis had to adjust the drivers seat all the way forward, sit on the edge, and stetch his legs as far as he could. Every time the big old Ford was seen cruising around with no driver, the neighbors knew it was Elvis.


AS TOLD BY... GEORGE KLEIN - There was a mayor in Memphis who really liked Elvis and wanted to honor Elvis in some way. There were a lot of fans who kept saying, "Why don't you name something for Elvis ?". So finally they decided to rename Higway 51 South, which runs {in front of} Graceland, as "Elvis Presley Boulevard". They asked me to find out what Elvis thought about the idea. Elvis said, "Look, I don't want to make a statement because either way I could look bad. If I said yes, it would look like I had a big ego; If I said no, it would look like I'm a snob or I'm not happy that they're doing this. I can't win either way - just tell them I'll be happy, I'll be flattered, I'll be extremely honored if they name a street after me. But by the same token, if they don't, I won't care; I won't get mad; it won't bother me in the least". So, I told them and they passed a resolution and named the boulevard after him.

Unchained Melody
10-08-2008, 05:21 AM
Teenagers In Trouble..... The Chiefs of police in both Los Angeles and Memphis stated that Elvis had helped many people out of various situations. In the 1970's, it was reported that Elvis occasionally helped out teeagers who were in trouble with the law, sometimes even paying their bail. Before the policemen would let the teens go, however, Elvis would lecture them for a couple of hours about life, law, limits, and obeying the rules. He read their rap sheets and lectured them about what they'd done wrong and what they could, and should do to be better citizens in the future. Once these boys had their ears full of Elvis' words, they thanked him for bailing them out and ran off as fast as they could.


The King Sent Her Flowers... A young woman by the name of Peggy Thompson was an avid Elvis Presley fan for many years. In the 1970's, she purchased tickets to one of his shows near her hometown. It would be her first Elvis concert. Unfortunately, Peggy suffered an illness and was forced to have surgery. To make matters worse, the only day the surgeon was available to perform the operation was on the day of the Elvis concert. Unable to postpone the surgery, Peggy was forced to miss the show. Elvis found out about Peggy's situation from a fan who had a rendezvous with one of his men. He decided to send Peggy a dozen long-stemmed roses tied with one of his baby blue scarves. Peggy was in the intensive care unit when the flowers arrived. When she was released from the ICU later that day, she saw the marvelous bouquet. She saw the blue scarf, read Elvis' name on it, and couldn't believe that the King had sent her flowers!. Peggy marveled at how Elvis found out about so many unfortunate, sick, needy people, and how he always managed to make them feel better with his love and kindness.

10-08-2008, 05:40 AM
Most of these are little far fetched, IMO.

Unchained Melody
10-08-2008, 05:41 AM
Most of these are little far fetched, IMO.

Still interesting nonetheless.