Elvis Presley The Stanley Brothers article page
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Let me tell you about my brother
A brother like no other
His father married my mother
But he’s more than a brother
Wherever I go
The people keep asking me
What’s it like to be the brother
Of a Celebrity
By Billy Stanley
Billy, Rick and David grew very close to Elvis.
Elvis wasn’t only their big brother, he became a role model the boys admired and loved.
When Rick was in first grade of school, he remembers his first time autograph. Rick was feeling pretty sure of himself this day, as he approached some of the seventh grade girls asking them if they wanted his autograph. Sure enough being Elvis’ little brother they weren’t about to say no, so Rick took out his crayon and started signing, just like his big brother.
Being apart of Elvis’ world for the Stanley brothers was fun, exhilarating and at times frightening when they found themselves suddenly thrust into Elvis Presley’s golden aura. In the years to follow, it became more evident to the boys the powerful effect Elvis Presley’s presents had on the world.
To Billy, Rick and David, Elvis was just a guy that they loved. But as the boys would soon learn through experiences watching the rest of the world going crazy over their stepbrother, Elvis was more than just a guy they loved.
The Stanley boys new experience being stepbrothers to the King of Rock and Roll wasn’t always fun and games, it could get serious very quickly.
Dee Presley’s concerns about the effects of Elvis’ wealth and fame on her boys were always a high priority. As the years went by, Dee would have the boys involved in Sunday schools, summer camps, swimming pools, and a controlled group of screened friends.
Dee would offer to her boys the more conventional life in respect of the unconventional circumstances. Billy remembers, it being a fairly strict life.
Vernon would make sure the boys understood some rules with being apart of his sons world, having them aware of the situation as Elvis’ stepbrothers. The boys are about to learn their first rule.
LESSON ONE: Never, under any circumstances, reveal anything concerning Elvis to the public or the press. This was the Golden rule; the boys always respected this rule.
Billy, Rick and David all grew up very security minded and tight lipped with any conversation outside the walls of Graceland.
The boys always looked forward to Elvis’ return to Graceland. Naturally, the feeling was mutual, Elvis also looked forward to being home with his stepbrothers, but there were occasions where the age difference would affect Elvis and he simply didn’t want his stepbrothers around.
Billy, Rick and David learned how to be aware of these occasions, giving Elvis his space and respecting his privacy, even though the boys longed to be in their big brothers company.
But Elvis would spend valuable time with his brothers; he would go all out when he had his brothers on board. Offering his brothers endless hours of fun excitement and adventure.
When they all got together, Elvis ran the boys ragged involving them in a range of activities.
There were times they would all be off to Memphis at midnight in his fleet of cars, and times involving country side all night horse rides. Other occasions involved all night movies, when Elvis rented the movie theater from Paul Shafer.
There was a range of exciting experiences for the boys, go-cart racing, and touring around on Elvis’ motor bikes at exhilarating speeds. When the boys were bigger, they would be included in Elvis’ football games.
Ricky remembers, they would always team up against Elvis, and Elvis being the speedy sure handed flanker, he would knock the boys flying at full strength. Elvis being both big brother and father figure to the boys, the boys would turn to Elvis for advice.
Elvis was always happy to offer when any of his brothers reached for it, Elvis wasn’t one to tell them what to do; he would give his opinion on the matter, leaving it completely in the hands of the one involved to work it out.
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