How Did Elvis Get Turned Into a Racist?

Aug 10, 2007 Full story: Free Republic 1,247

“You've never walked in that man's shoes/Or saw things through his eyes/Or stood and watched with helpless hands/While the heart inside you dies.”

Posted on 08/10/2007 10:25:20 PM PDT by LdSentinal ONE of the songs Elvis Presley liked to perform in the '70s was Joe South's "Walk a Mile in My Shoes," its message clearly spelled out in the title. via Free Republic

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“....may God bless you, Adios”

Since: Jul 07

Viva Las Vegas

#1238 Feb 15, 2009
nina wrote:
<quoted text>
i found it interesting, but didn't finish with any sense that she'd really shared her insights into the Col.
just adding way more details than anyone knew.
It took me MONTHS to get through this ELVIS book, Nina. Whereas, I could not put Jerry Schillings down.
I did feel Nash added some interesting detail, but I didn't like the way she made the Colonel out to be a murderer. I thought she should have had more proof than she did to go that far with the speculating. I saw areas (like the murder) I felt she embellished only to sell a book. I rather writers stick to fact. I don't think she could give us much insight into the Colonel, but not really her fault. No way to nail the guy down the Colonel he was so DIFFERENT emotionally compared to most people. A psychologist would have had a field day with that man.
nina

Canada

#1239 Feb 16, 2009
TCB-girl wrote:
<quoted text>
It took me MONTHS to get through this ELVIS book, Nina. Whereas, I could not put Jerry Schillings down....
I enjoyed both her books the Col. one and the Memphis Mafia one

I agree that the claim that Parker may have been responsible for a murder was a shaky at best

I expect a more realistic and simple explanation was that Parker wanted more for himself than he'd find in Holland, and that the US was the place with the streets paved with gold.

Considering his snowman's club with the handbook of blank pages, we can deduce that he was a man with big ideas and very little to back them up.

he was scoundrel for sure, his carny career was most likely pure invention, but when he did the dog catch stint and invented pet cemeteries, he was canny enough to know how to manipulate people's emotions

he was too small time managing Eddie Arnold, who quickly outgrew him

Parker lucked onto Elvis and rode him to fame of his own.

“....may God bless you, Adios”

Since: Jul 07

Viva Las Vegas

#1240 Feb 17, 2009
"He was the King in my family. Even as a small child, I knew my parents loved Elvis. My mother not given to swooning, would swoon at the sight of him.

My dad bundled us into the old Ford station wagon and took us to the Stardust Drive-In to see Viva Las Vegas. He worked downtown at the Golden Gate as a Keno writer and when the cast and crew were shooting the race scenes on Fremont Street, he stepped outside and watched Elvis drive by in his sport car.

Just a few years later, my dad picked my mom up after her shift as a waitress in the showroom at Caesars Palace. It was still early in the night and they didn't want to go straight home. Fats Domino was playing in the lounge at the Flamingo. Right across the street. Perfect, said mom, let's go.

They hung a U-turn on Flamingo Road (you could in those days) and drove over to the Flamingo hotel. In no time they were seated at the bar listening to Fats Domino. The place was pretty lively filled with Fats fans.

Because he was with my mom (quite a striking woman in her hey-day) my dad scoped out the bar. Near my parents was a guy who had probably been drinking since the early evening.

Everyone in the lounge was enjoying Fats' set except that guy. He was from the south and didn't appreciate Fats' music, Fats' talent and most of all the color of Fats' skin.

As the set played on, the guy started to get loud and belligerent about the fact that he didn't like Fats Domino. Most of all he concentrated on the fact that Fats was black.

My dad told him a few times to shut up. They were big Fats Domino fans from way back and wanted to enjoy the show. Another guy at the end of the bar also told him to shut up. The loud mouth continued his bigoted remarks. My mom and dad had had enough. So had the man at the end of the bar. My dad told my mom to order another drink and he'd be back.

He approached the bigot and noticed that the man at the end of the bar did was doing the same. They grabbed the man and words were exchanged. I should note that my dad was in great shape. He was a well-known West Coast Judo champ at the time and took that training seriously. The other man grabbing the bigot was in good shape too.

Before my mother knew what had happened, the bigot was silenced, security was called and my dad and his new friend re-joined my mother. My mother almost fainted when she realized who the other man was. When he said "Hello ma'am" she just about lost it. Elvis bought the next round. When Fats Domino finished his set he came over to them and joined them. They drank together until the early hours of the morning sharing stories.

I have two cocktail napkins from that night with their autographs that I cherish.

In 1969, it was announced that Elvis was coming to the International Hotel in August. My mother's birthday was in August and he wanted to surprise her. He worked two jobs and saved all the extra cash he could.

He did good. We went to see Elvis Presley at the International Hotel in August that year. It was the dinner show and my dad tipped the maitre'd so that we could sit in one of those old fashioned plushy booths center stage.

My mother was in heaven. Somewhere we still the menu from that night.

In 1977, my folks were in vacation in Utah. They stopped in at a small general store and my mom heard something about Elvis on the radio in the store but not enough to understand. She went to the pay phone and called me to find out why they were talking about Elvis on the radio.

I had to tell her that Elvis had died."

Credit to: http://classiclasvegas.squarespace.com/classi...

“....may God bless you, Adios”

Since: Jul 07

Viva Las Vegas

#1241 Feb 17, 2009
To anyone who might be curious....the plushy booths mentioned in that great story (which once again explains ELVIS was not a racist) though the wine colored booths were more comfortable...they were in mid showroom. Most fans preferred to be at the long tables down closer to the stage and to ELVIS.:)
Lee

United States

#1243 Feb 17, 2009
nina wrote:
<quoted text>
I enjoyed both her books the Col. one and the Memphis Mafia one
I agree that the claim that Parker may have been responsible for a murder was a shaky at best
I expect a more realistic and simple explanation was that Parker wanted more for himself than he'd find in Holland, and that the US was the place with the streets paved with gold.
Considering his snowman's club with the handbook of blank pages, we can deduce that he was a man with big ideas and very little to back them up.
he was scoundrel for sure, his carny career was most likely pure invention, but when he did the dog catch stint and invented pet cemeteries, he was canny enough to know how to manipulate people's emotions
he was too small time managing Eddie Arnold, who quickly outgrew him
Parker lucked onto Elvis and rode him to fame of his own.
In my collection, which was stolen, I had a tie from Col. Parker's Circus. Probably would have been worth a fortune by now.
Lee

United States

#1244 Feb 17, 2009
BlackAfrican wrote:
<quoted text>
He was a cracker, so he could never hit the superior notes that blacks could. But his whole style was copied. Its perhaps the biggest fraud in music history. Rock n Roll is garbage these days cause it lacks a black presence, if blacks hadnt left it, it may be somewhere now.
Face it. They didn't have the looks, voice, or talent that Elvis did. Too bad.
BlackAfrican

Gaborone, Botswana

#1245 Feb 17, 2009
To answer your question, because most whites in the 50s were racist. So what are the odds that Elvis was somehow different??
RBGRO5

AOL

#1246 Feb 17, 2009
BlackAfrican wrote:
To answer your question, because most whites in the 50s were racist. So what are the odds that Elvis was somehow different??
Elvis and his family lived among blacks.They were
very poor.They got along.Elvis was never a racist.
nina

Canada

#1247 Feb 17, 2009
BlackAfrican wrote:
To answer your question, because most whites in the 50s were racist. So what are the odds that Elvis was somehow different??
if he'd been racist, why would he have listened to R&B music, hung out in the black part of Tupelo as a kid, and been friends with BB King, Sammy Davis Jr and others?

"I would never think that Elvis Presley was a racist," says R&B veteran Darlene Love, who sang background for him as part of the Blossoms. "I could never even open my mouth to say that. He was born in the South, and he probably grew up with that, but that doesn't mean he stayed that way."

"Early on somebody told me that Elvis was black. And I said ‘No, he’s white but he’s down-home’. And that is what it’s all about. Not being black or white it’s being ‘down-home’ and which part of down-home you come from." – Sammy Davis Jnr.

"Describe Elvis Presley? He was the greatest who ever was, is, or will ever be." - Chuck Berry.

"We were friends for a long time, for twenty years. And he told me, he’d ride around Memphis around the streets he’d come up in, all alone at night. Ride around on his motorcycle when he was sure the rest of the world was asleep, just kind of hauntin’ them places he hung around in as a kid. He was a country boy." – James Brown.

"Elvis had an influence on everybody with his musical approach. He broke the ice for all of us." – Al Green.

"Elvis was my close personal friend. He came to my Deer Lake training camp about two years before he died. He told us he didn't want nobody to bother us. He wanted peace and quiet and I gave him a cabin in my camp and nobody even knew it. When the cameras started watching me train, he was up on the hill sleeping in the cabin. Elvis had a robe made for me. I don't admire nobody, but Elvis Presley was the sweetest, most humble and nicest man you'd want to know." - Muhammad Ali.

Myrna Smith -"That's what we heard. And the promoter's daughter was made to drive us in an open convertible to the stage! So that promoter never defied Elvis again! In fact I don't think that we never worked with him again anyway. I know that no matter what colour I was Elvis would have loved me the same. As far as he treated me, there was not racial bone in his body. I mean in the early days he even sneaked into those black gospel churches in Memphis which would have taken a lot of nerve. White boys just wouldn't go there, it was a brave thing to do but he was just determined."
nina

Canada

#1248 Feb 17, 2009
the Myrna quote was in reference to the promotor of his 6 Houston Astrodome shows not wanting the Sweet Inspirations to perform with Elvis

Elvis said to cancel the shows, he wasn't performing without them and the promoter backed down
BlackAfrican

Botswana

#1249 Feb 18, 2009
nina wrote:
<quoted text>
if he'd been racist, why would he have listened to R&B music, hung out in the black part of Tupelo as a kid, and been friends with BB King, Sammy Davis Jr and others?
"I would never think that Elvis Presley was a racist," says R&B veteran Darlene Love, who sang background for him as part of the Blossoms. "I could never even open my mouth to say that. He was born in the South, and he probably grew up with that, but that doesn't mean he stayed that way."
"Early on somebody told me that Elvis was black. And I said ‘No, he’s white but he’s down-home’. And that is what it’s all about. Not being black or white it’s being ‘down-home’ and which part of down-home you come from." – Sammy Davis Jnr.
"Describe Elvis Presley? He was the greatest who ever was, is, or will ever be." - Chuck Berry.
"We were friends for a long time, for twenty years. And he told me, he’d ride around Memphis around the streets he’d come up in, all alone at night. Ride around on his motorcycle when he was sure the rest of the world was asleep, just kind of hauntin’ them places he hung around in as a kid. He was a country boy." – James Brown.
"Elvis had an influence on everybody with his musical approach. He broke the ice for all of us." – Al Green.
"Elvis was my close personal friend. He came to my Deer Lake training camp about two years before he died. He told us he didn't want nobody to bother us. He wanted peace and quiet and I gave him a cabin in my camp and nobody even knew it. When the cameras started watching me train, he was up on the hill sleeping in the cabin. Elvis had a robe made for me. I don't admire nobody, but Elvis Presley was the sweetest, most humble and nicest man you'd want to know." - Muhammad Ali.
Myrna Smith -"That's what we heard. And the promoter's daughter was made to drive us in an open convertible to the stage! So that promoter never defied Elvis again! In fact I don't think that we never worked with him again anyway. I know that no matter what colour I was Elvis would have loved me the same. As far as he treated me, there was not racial bone in his body. I mean in the early days he even sneaked into those black gospel churches in Memphis which would have taken a lot of nerve. White boys just wouldn't go there, it was a brave thing to do but he was just determined."
So what, just cause he was in the ghetto and up to hi neck in black folks all day doesnt mean he didnt despise them. We all know about our white co workers that laugh all day with us then go home to their communities and talk trash bout blacks. You think someone that listens to black music doesnt hate black? He may have an appreciation for the music and still hate those that make it.
Many people love Indian food, but hate Indians.

“Elvis News Ireland”

Since: Sep 07

Swords, County Dublin.

#1250 Feb 18, 2009
BlackAfrican, why do so many black artists praise Elvis.? A rhetorical question of course.

Insinnuations here do not prove anything. Try a little logic, otherewise you will only appear ignorant and very uneducated in the history of, "colourless", music. Beloved in China and Japan.

See here: http://irelandtoo.bogspot.com

“Elvis News Ireland”

Since: Sep 07

Swords, County Dublin.

#1251 Feb 18, 2009
http://irelandtoo.blogspot.com I really must watch the keyboard! ;-)
nina

Canada

#1252 Feb 18, 2009
BlackAfrican wrote:
<quoted text>
..Many people love Indian food, but hate Indians.
not everyone is racist and racism isn't limited to white people

the reality is that all humans on the planet trace their roots back to Africa

the variations in skin colour, hair colour, eye shape and over all body type - those are just acclimations to the climate their immediate ancestors lived in

people on the equator are darker to deal with the increase in sun and tall/thin to deal with heat

people in the north and south are shorter/fatter to preserve heat and lighter to absorb more sun

although in some areas developed an eye flap to help deal with brightness of sun

racism is stupid, painting an entire group of people with particular negative characteristics is stupid

and assuming that because a person is from a particular group and time/place is stupid too

if that was the case, then there'd never been advances in rights anyway

people can be more enlighten than their time and background

you can be better than your peers

many people who knew Elvis, the frequently said thing about his was his absolute colour blindness when it came to people

he was interested in everyone and every culture

if you look at his 70s stage wear, you see Inca and Aztec designs, Chinese Dragons, Gypsy - everything

Elvis was multicultural - his own ethnic background was Scottish and some American Indian

he came from one of the poorest social classes, he didn't come from a place to look down on anyone

and he never forgot that

“....may God bless you, Adios”

Since: Jul 07

Viva Las Vegas

#1253 Feb 18, 2009
nina wrote:
<quoted text>
not everyone is racist and racism isn't limited to white people
the reality is that all humans on the planet trace their roots back to Africa
the variations in skin colour, hair colour, eye shape and over all body type - those are just acclimations to the climate their immediate ancestors lived in
people on the equator are darker to deal with the increase in sun and tall/thin to deal with heat
people in the north and south are shorter/fatter to preserve heat and lighter to absorb more sun
although in some areas developed an eye flap to help deal with brightness of sun
racism is stupid, painting an entire group of people with particular negative characteristics is stupid
and assuming that because a person is from a particular group and time/place is stupid too
if that was the case, then there'd never been advances in rights anyway
people can be more enlighten than their time and background
you can be better than your peers
many people who knew Elvis, the frequently said thing about his was his absolute colour blindness when it came to people
he was interested in everyone and every culture
if you look at his 70s stage wear, you see Inca and Aztec designs, Chinese Dragons, Gypsy - everything
Elvis was multicultural - his own ethnic background was Scottish and some American Indian
he came from one of the poorest social classes, he didn't come from a place to look down on anyone
and he never forgot that
Very nice read. Thanks
RBGRO5

AOL

#1254 Feb 18, 2009
BlackAfrican wrote:
<quoted text>
So what, just cause he was in the ghetto and up to hi neck in black folks all day doesnt mean he didnt despise them. We all know about our white co workers that laugh all day with us then go home to their communities and talk trash bout blacks. You think someone that listens to black music doesnt hate black? He may have an appreciation for the music and still hate those that make it.
Many people love Indian food, but hate Indians.
I don't understand why you still think Elvis was a
racist.Not all white people were racist even back
the 1950's.There is nothing in his background that
suggest such a thing.Some whites hated Elvis and
called him the N word.Elvis never had hate in his
heart.He loved ALL people.He gave to many,both
Black and White.This is a fact.
swingmaster

Bremerhaven, Germany

#1256 Jan 11, 2010
Hi Guys, let me ad my six cents to this Elvis Presley stuff. Elvis could not read or write music and had never wrote a song, but through his status as a then famed Artist received songwriting credits for the most of his recordings. Usually the songs were presung and he like covered them, who knows he probably just dubbed or doubled their voices as he wanted to sound like the Black Blues Artists he heard on the radio and saw in the clubs.
Singers who is known to have often presang songs for Elvis were Roy Hamilton, Otis Blackwell, same voice and probably many others. Check out youtube and wiki. It was common back in those days as Black people had no rights(!!!)- if you remember the Pre Rosa Parks days - civil rights movement days etc - for a DJ or Rep. to say they wrote a black mans song, who should he turn to and which Lawyer was going to represent him. Just follow the lives of most blacks artist back then in the music industry, it is the same old story over and over again, for people nowadays hard to believe!!! And who knows how many songs famous white songwriters did not steal from black artists as the most could sing but not read music. You just had to go to a show hear a song there or singers performing on the street when you get home sit at the piano and make it your song, hey, just prove it is not my song. Think about it, maybe 70-80% of all R&B - Soul - Blues hits sung by black artist in and around the 50s were called written by white jewish songwriters and non jewish songwriters, go though the lists on wiki it is very suprising, coincidence maybe maybe not, at this stage you can't change it. Thank God the black songwriters and artist are not being ripped off in that form anymore!!!

“Wacko @ his most masculine...”

Since: Jul 09

Location hidden

#1257 Jan 11, 2010
Elvis was never racist and lets face it racism is something that cuts both ways. There are still racist whites and there are certainly racist blacks.. Something I've noticed becoming more and more prominent lately. Racism is born of ignorance so who's the more racist? Those who claim Elvis was racist without basis for their claims, despite the evidence readily available to the contrary, or Elvis, a man that both his black and white friends knew as colour-blind, and also a man crossing and merging black and white musical culture to create Rock and Roll?
39ehonor

Redmond, WA

#1258 Jan 11, 2010
Elvis wasn't racist, but he wasn't any good either
nina

Canada

#1259 Jan 11, 2010
swingmaster wrote:
Hi Guys, let me ad my six cents ...
well, given that many of Elvis' early hits were written by Jewish writers, that kinda blows your theory

like many others you totally ignore that Elvis fused country with R&B and delivered it with a gospel fervor

Elvis toured with Hank Snow and played the country circuit when he was getting started.

He played the Grand Ol Opry once and the Louisiana Hayride - a country program for nearly 2 years on a weekly basis

and black artists, did not infuse their R&B with country

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