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Charlie Hodge Interview Elvis Unlimited Sweden

By Elvis Unlimited Sweden, March 17, 2005 | People
In cooperation with Elvis unlimited Sweden we offered you the possibility to ask Charlie Hodge a question. Here are some of your questions and Charlie's answers.

Charlie likes to thank everyone who sent in questions for the talk show Elvis Unlimited Sweden had with Charlie on the 23rd of February. He also would like to thank you all for the kind words in your letters, him and his wife are really enjoying themselves traveling around to meet and greet with all the fans.

Here are some of your questions and Charlie’s answers. The questions have been edited, due to the fact that they were long letters in some cases. We start of with a question from Rob Stafford who won the poll and will get a personally signed picture from Charlie.

So again a big thanks to you all and to ElvisNews.com, and we hope to do more of the same thing in the future.

Elvis Unlimited Sweden

Q: What did Elvis think was his biggest achievement, what was he most proud of career wise?
A: Elvis didn’t reflect that much on his achievements but he was very very proud of the JAYCEE award he received on January 16, 1971 for being one of the ten most outstanding young men of America.
Rob Stafford USA

Q: I’d like to know if Charlie will ever perform with the TCB band. He was on stage with them in the seventies, but we never see him on TCB appearances?
A: I’m doing so many things all the time, both around town were I live and also a lot of traveling so there isn’t any time I’m sorry to say.

Q: Many questions regarded Elvis involvement in songwriting in the early sixties especially on the tune You’ll Be Gone?
A: I really don’t know much about that, the question should be directed to Red West who was more involved.
Rob Nelson Canada, Carl Savich USA, Mike Watson USA

Q: Was there ever a time when you wanted to get away from the chaos being around/associated with Elvis, if so please comment?
A: I must say that I loved every minute of the ride, to be paid to travel around with your best friend and sing and perform.
Darren Jenkins

Q: How could Elvis keep his opinions to himself, not write lyrics when so many people would have been influenced by his words?
A: Elvis himself didn’t think that he was the kind of person to influence others by his words, he really loved people like Martin Luther King and what they did but he didn’t feel he himself was that kind of outspoken person.
Stuart UK

Q: I have always heard many stories, never knowing witch is the truth, so maybe you can help by answering if Elvis was due to or had any plans in place to do a world tour or to tour Europe?
A: I really can’t answer why it never came about as it was talked about on several occasions, especially after he got the Lisa Marie, Elvis said on time - the colonel better book me in Europe or I will do it myself, that’s why I bought this plane. As we all know, it didn’t happen, but I can kill one rumor for sure and that’s the one about the Colonel being an illegal alien and was afraid not to be let in if he left the country, by his marriage to Marie he became a US citizen, so...
Steve Wright

Q: Elvis remarked that you were able to sing like one voice with him, what was your favorite or most memorable song or gospel that you sang harmony with Elvis?
A: Elvis and me loved to harmonize on different parts of many songs, like we could do an ending that we liked over and over again. I remember one time we did that and Tom Jones was visiting. So Elvis and me sang the same words over and over til Tom in an eager voice said - hey guys I know the lyrics to that song, and we just looked at him and said... -oh shut up Tom!, ha ha.
Little Sister1

Q: I always wanted to know what happened that time during Are You Lonesome Tonight when Elvis laughed so much, I heard that he laughed at a bald guy in the audience?
A: I think that the main thing that "cracked" Elvis up was that when he changed the lyrics the people in the band started to laugh and when you see other people laugh when you are not supposed to it’s even harder to stop yourself.
Emelie Sweden

Q: Did Col Parker have a retarding effect on Elvis mid and late career both musically and financially, and why did Elvis not deal with that.
A: Colonel was the best thing that could ever happen to Elvis, cause he really worked for him 24 hours a day all year through, I know for a fact that he on many occasions called real big producers at home on a Saturday or Sunday to get the best deal for Elvis.

Q: Since Elvis enjoyed renting the Memphian to watch movies privately with his friends I would like to know if he saw, Jaws, Rocky and Star Wars, and what he thought of them.
A: Ha ha...oh I don’t remember any particular movies, the guy who got the movies for us just rented the latest ones and we would just come and watch, many times without knowing the title of the movie.
Ton Bruins wrote on March 18, 2005
wtfw22 wrote on March 19, 2005
Wow!! oofaa
Ton Bruins wrote on March 19, 2005
What I mean with boring: always the same questions and always the same answers. Besides Charlie H. was and is a "yes man". The colonel was the best thing that ever happen to Elvis, Charlie ? Not my opinion.
PaulFromFrance wrote on March 19, 2005
The only interesting question was the one about "You'll be gone". The answer, as usual, is "I don't know about this". I guess he wonders "What the hell is this song ?". Actually, he, and the other idiots, didn't gave a damn about Elvis work. But, happily... now, we know Parker called some executives on Saturday and Sunday ! What a big deal ! As I worked sometimes in the week-end for my boss, I suppose I can say I'm the best thing that ever happened to him. Charlie forgot to mention that the best deal for Elvis was, BEFORE ALL, the best deal for Parker. He is the WORST thing that ever happened to an Artist ! Kind of disgrace for humanity.
dailyone wrote on March 20, 2005
the reason elvis didnt tour is obvious look at the hand carrying case that one of his entourage is carrying and look at how elvis makes sure that he never leaves his sight , that is why charlie . I know someone who cant get back to the fridge as you know he has his booze in it .
andy0862 wrote on March 20, 2005
charlie is ok. none of us were there with elvis, none of us know the whole story. charlie was and anything he shares with us is interesting to read.
Bill E. Burk wrote on March 22, 2005
Couple of things I MUST take issue with Sir Charles on here after reading his Answers to Q's. 1. Parker's marriage to an American citizen did NOT automatically make him an American citizen. Not then. Not today. Underline "automatically." Just like George Klein saying last August that Parker's having served in the U S Army automatically made him a USA citizen. NOT SO !! 2.
elvinpelvin wrote on March 22, 2005
Someone should have asked Charlie if it hurt when Elvis slapped him, because he got drunk and was talking out of line with some new members of the entourage. I think few Elvis fans know that this really happened.
CD King wrote on March 23, 2005
A good and loyal friend who genuinely cared for Elvis, CHARLIE HODGE is one of the few Memphis Mafia whose reputation has never been tarnished. Charlie, a gifted guitarist and gospel singer from Dacatur,Alabama was with Elvis almost at the beginning and at the end. For more than 17 years, he lived at Graceland and took care of personal business for the King. On the road he was always there to hand Elvis the trademark scarves he tossed out to the audience during a show. Charlie, the butt of many jokes because of his height (5'3"), met Elvis during a television show in 1956 and the two singers hit it off from the start. They joined the Army at the same time, did basic training together at Fort Hood, shared the same troop ship to Europe, and were stationed together in Germany. To see Charlie in action, check out the superb Elvis' 68 Comeback Special where he plays guitar, sings harmony and generally having one heck of a good time. Of all the mMemphis Mafia, Charlie was the only professional musician. I met him in 1984 in Memphis and he seems a nice and very friendly fella.
cathyreno wrote on March 25, 2005
Hi all I met Charlie recently there in feb when he came over to Ireland for a convention. Charlie didnt have a bad word to say about Elvis and told the crowd there he doesnt regret a single day being with him and the 'memphis mafia' said he still talks to Red and Sonny and understands why they wrote 'Elvis what happen' but he didnt elaborate much about that, One guy asked him to sign a autograph writing his full name and charlie said 'Do you know you're last name?' The guy replied 'yes' and Charlie said 'well I dont need to know it' A wicked sense of humour though, I asked him about the footage I saw in the video 'Elvis I knew' how elvis threw his guitar over his back towards Charlie , when was the 1st time that was done? Before he answered my question he told us he never got to see that video and couldnt give an answer anyway . I thought his answers were well rehearsed but he wasnt given anything away. Didn't want to talk about August the 16th at all which was understandable. Nice guy just gone 70 last Dec. Anyway it was nice to meet him didnt get an autograph didnt want one. A scene in 'Elvis thats the way it is ' comes to mind when Charlie was about to sing on the lead microphone at a rehearsal and you got to hear 1 word and then Elvis took over very funny... Thats my opinion ... T C B
CD King wrote on March 28, 2005
"The guy that hands me my water and, ya know, goes around here pulling my cord, my guitar and just jacks around, he's a good friend of mine. I met him when I was in the army in 1932, he's from Decatur, Alabama, his name is Willie Booger, nah, his name is Charlie Hodge, ladies and gentlemen." -Elvis Presley-
caseyiodine wrote on April 01, 2005
On a Sad note. The release of 'Crying In The Chapel' will be by far the biggest seller of them all. Sadly, the Pope is in his final hours as I type this message. This song could mean as much to the faithful, as Enyas' song did to the Twin Towers disaster.