The King And I - The Colonel Parker Story

The Colonel Parker Story is the stuff of myth and legend, as Rob Brydon, a self-confessed Elvis fan and presenter of this two-part BBC Radio series, can testify. "...For Elvis fans like me, Colonel Tom Parker has always been cast as the villian of the piece: at best, a salesman; at worst, a con-man. For fans, it's a simple equation: Elvis = Good; Colonel = Bad... It's great to find out about the man himself from the people who knew him best," he says. From Memphis to Vegas, Nashville to New York, Rob seeks out the truth behind the rumours surrounding the King's manager, with contributions from: The Colonel's widow, Loanne Parker, '68 Special producer Steve Binder, guitarist Scotty Moore and hotel and casino magnate Barron Hilton. Rob has exclusive access to members of the charmed inner circle of Elvis's entourage - the infamous "Memphis Mafia" - and to a whole host of stories. And what stories they are: terrible movie decisions; huge gambling debts that allegedly forced Elvis into a punishing Vegas schedule; Hawaiian shirts and shorts that The Colonel wore to the King's funeral; and the details from his murky past that, even today, get the conspiracy theorists gossiping. There are also exclusive, previously un-broadcast, recordings of the Colonel himself. Part 1 broadcast Tuesday, 31 January, BBC Radio 2, 8.30 - 9.30pm. Part 2 broadcast the following week. Tuesday, 7 February.
Source: The Elvis Express / Updated: Jan 27, 2006 
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Reactions

Devon (profilecontact) wrote on Feb 1, 2006report abuse
There is no doute that had it not been for the colonel,and his way around the almighty dollor elvis may not have got to were he went so fast. But lets also understand that he did many things over the years,(they caught up with him in 1979 or 80 ) to hurt Elvis and his music. One can say why didnt Elvis get someone else to guide him, but when it came to the money there was no one like Parker! I was very lucky to see Elvis 32 times in concert and i miss him every day. So had he not met the Colonel would he be as big as he was and still is? we will never know. There was Elvis and with him the Colonel.
byebye (profilecontact) wrote on Feb 1, 2006report abuse
The Colonel was one of the greatest negotiators, but didn´t know much about music quality. Elvis on the other hand was a genius in how to look upon a song and moulding it to perfection. Now.. what made Elvis dress up like a fool and play along in so many crap movies, is to me one of the greatest mysteries of Rock´n Roll. I mean.. he must have seen the result. I dont think its an exuse to blame it on "getting out of movie contracts".. Problem was I think that he never realized how bad he was as an actor, and no one told him since it provided everyone around him + himself with money. However, he is so carismatic and draws focus on him on the screen that he compansates for it somehow. Only wish he would have done about 10 movies, instead of 33!!
Crawfish (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 31, 2006report abuse
Well, well, well. Great programme as it turned out; but can't say my mind has been altered this week and I am pretty sure it won't be next! But good to hear a programme like this and personal opinions voiced.
Dixieland Rock (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 29, 2006report abuse
There are some things I think the Colonel did right & then there are things he did wrong. Of course we have the advantage of looking back in hindsight seeing the obvious mistakes. There are several things I wish the Colonel would have done that would have propelled Elvis career further. For one thing, I wish the Colonel would have spent a little money on a movie camera with sound & some film. He could have hired a cameraman as part of the staff to film Elvis concerts in the 50's & 60's. That would have been more profitable in the long run than selling cheap carnival trinkets. I think that was the problem so many times, the Colonel only thought of the immediate profit. Another mistake was not letting Leiber & Stoller write more of the movie songs in the 60's. Those guys would have spared us from the infamous songs like "Ito Eats (like teeth are out of style)", "Dainty Little Moonbeams". After Elvis was back from the army, Elvis should have been hitting the TV Shows. Imagine him singing "Surrender", "Such A Night" or even "GI Blues" on the Ed Sullivan Show. That would have made them more money in the long run than hawking Elvis trinkets. But then there are good things the Colonel did. So this will be something debated for a long time.
Crawfish (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 29, 2006report abuse
I shall be listening with interest. Wonder though if there is anything we don't already know? Still it hopefully will clarify things to those people who aren't Elvis fans, but like his records. I have a feeling this just going to widen the gap to many of us, but still ... let's see! But not holding out too much hope!!! Just think there is a much bigger chance of us still having Elvis here today if Col. wasn't Col! See you Tuesday evening! :-)

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