Elvis Presley Band members & their stories
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"We do two shows a night for five weeks. A lotta times we’ll go upstairs and sing until daylight — gospel songs. We grew up with it...It more or less puts your mind at ease. It does mine."
-Talking about the informal jam sessions he and the band and entourage enjoy each night during the lengthy Vegas engagements. These happen upstairs in Elvis’ suite at the Las Vegas Hilton as they all try to "wind down" from the excitement and energy of the live shows. Quote is from a 1972 taped interview used in MGM’s documentary Elvis on Tour
July 19, 1954
Sun releases "That's All Right" and "Blue Moon of Kentucky" by Elvis Presley, backed by guitarist Scotty Moore and bassist Bill Black.
Joe Esposito was Elvis' road manager and was foreman of his entourage. He worked for Elvis from 1960 to 1977.
D.J. Fontana was Elvis' drummer on stage 1955-61 and in recording sessions from 1956 through much of the 1960s. He also performed in Elvis' television guest appearances 1956-60, in several of his movies and in Elvis' 1968 television special.
The Imperials were among the vocalists who worked with Elvis on his How Great Thou Art album in the 1960s. They also backed him on stage from 1969 to late 1971 and were the male back-up vocalists for his He Touched Me album. Armond Morales owns the Imperials name and tours with today’s configuration of the group.
Other members from the Elvis days have gone their separate ways professionally, but still get together for special projects with Graceland/EPE.
Visit the Official Imperials Website for information about the group’s history and what’s going on today. Also, visit sites of some of the individual former members: Sherman Andrus, Terry Blackwood, Jake Hess and Jim Murray. The Jordanaires
The Jordanaires were Elvis' primary male back-up vocal group from 1956 to the end of the 1960s. They worked with Elvis in the recording studio, on stage and in his movies. Visit their official web site to learn more.
George Klein is a popular Memphis entertainment and media personality. He and Elvis began a lifelong friendship while attending Humes High School together.
George does not have his own web site, but he does present a weekly radio program, The Elvis Hour with George Klein, on 98.1 FM in Memphis on Sundays at 7:00 AM CDT.
He also has a local television program, Memphis Sounds with George Klein, seen on WYPL-TV (Channel 18) Wednesdays at 7:00 PM, Fridays at 4:00 PM and Sundays at 9:30 AM.
Interview with RED:
Bill Black was one of the craziest guys I ever met, you know, the bass player. We had some good times on the road in those early days and they far overshadow the bad times, although the bad times were bad, but we had too many good times to dwell on that. It’s just something that happened. Now we’re talking about it, like me, I’m dying for a cigarette right now!!! I have a brother who’s addicted to gambling.
I might as well get into this now and tell you. People have come up to me and said, "Why the hell didn’t you do something to stop it". They don’t know that I did try. They didn’t know I got fired because I tried, but his step-brothers and a member of one of the singing groups were bringing these things to him.
When I found out about it I kicked the door in, I stomped the guy’s foot and broke his foot, said "You keep bringing them I’m just gonna work my way up". Elvis of course found out about it and I was gone. I’d been with him since junior high school, but the drugs took over in the end and I can understand it in a way because he had no privacy, he was bored with his life.
Scotty Moore was Elvis' lead guitarist on stage 1954-61 and in the studio from Elvis' first recordings in 1954 through much of the 1960s. He also performed in Elvis' television guest appearances 1956-60, in several of his movies and in Elvis' 1968 television special. In 2000, he was among the first group of musicians inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in their new "sidemen" category.
"It was Scotty Moore’s guitar riff when he was doing the Steve Allen Show that got me into rock music. I’ve been an Elvis fan since I was a kid."Elton John
Singer/songwriter/actor Rick Nelson was a contemporary, a friend and a great fan of Elvis Presley. His adult children are his heirs and manage his legacy, including maintaining the official Rick Nelson site. They are very good friends with Graceland/EPE management.
Before he became a country music star and established his stage name, he was known as William (Bill) Browder. He was a longtime friend of Elvis and, for a while, was also a marketing executive at RCA Records.
J.D. Sumner & The Stamps Quartet
J.D. Sumner & The Stamps Quartet were Elvis' male backing vocal group from 1971 to 1977. The late Mr. Sumner's family maintains the only official web site about this legendary gospel bass singer. The site is temporarily not in operation. A link will be posted here once operation resumes. Ed Enoch and Ed Hill, longtime members of J.D.'s group, along with new members, tour with today's configuration of The Stamps Quartet.
The Sweet Inspirations were Elvis' female backing vocal group from 1969 to 1977. Visit their official site to see what these lovely ladies are up to now.
Click the heading to go to the site for Elvis' rhythm group from the concert years — the TCB Band: James Burton (lead guitar), Glen D. Hardin (piano), Jerry Scheff (bass guitar) and Ronnie Tutt (drums) and John Wilkinson (rhythm guitar). Also see individual sites for James Burton, Jerry Scheff and John Wilkinson.
Elvis’ Generosity Large and small amounts were generously given to those he cared for
Kathy Westmoreland backed Elvis on stage and on recordings 1970-1977. She is the soprano vocalist Elvis referred to in his band introductions as "the little girl with the beautiful high voice."
Celeste Yarnall has led a multi-faceted career. She began as a model, spokesperson and actress, fresh out of high school, and was discovered by Rick and Ozzie Nelson while walking past their offices at General Service Studios in Hollywood. Elvis sang A Little Less Conversation to Celeste in the film Live a Little, Love a Little. Celeste is also very involved in the health care of dogs and cats through her company, Celestial Pets.
Chapter 5 √
Elvis Presley Girlfriends & the true Loves of his life.
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