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Marty Lacker Dies

February 14, 2017 | People

If not for Marty Lacker, Elvis might never have gone to American Studios in 1969 to record the landmark "From Elvis in Memphis" record.

If not for Mr. Lacker, then, the world might never have had such Presley hits as "Suspicious Minds" — The King's last chart-topper — and "In the Ghetto," among many others.

"Marty was working for me and he was still in close with Elvis," the late Chips Moman, who founded American, told The Commercial Appeal in 2009. "So Marty was talking to me about Elvis and talking to Elvis about me and slowly bringing us together. He's really the one that got that album to take place."

Mr. Lacker, a member of The King's famed Memphis Mafia and one of the best men at Elvis's 1967 wedding, died Monday after suffering from kidney failure. He was 80. He's the second member of the Memphis Mafia to die in recent months, following the November 2016 death of Joe Esposito, the other best man at Elvis' wedding.

"He went to school with (Elvis), that’s how they met. My dad was from New York, the Bronx, and he dressed just like Elvis did. They just formed a bond of friendship through that. They always took up for each other. Both of them went into the army and afterwards, a good friend of his re-introduced them and he went to work for him," said Mr. Lacker's son, Mark. "They were like brothers. They respected each other."

Mr. Lacker also worked in the music business both during his time with Elvis and after The King's 1977 death. In 1967, Lacker helped launch Pepper Records and went on to become American Studios' vice president and business manager. In the early '70s, Lacker also helped co-found the local Grammy chapter and also served as the chairman of the original Memphis and Shelby County Music Commission. 

"A big thing that I wanted to accomplish was to organize the music industry in town. Memphis was not a very organized city; everybody did their own thing," Lacker told the newspaper in 2010. "At the end of the day, you can't underestimate what the music that came out of Memphis has brought to this city."

Source:Commercial Appeal
Ton Bruins wrote on February 14, 2017
As far as I can judge Marty Lacker always was straight out in his opinion about Elvis, positive as well as negative. And I liked that about him. When an Elvis song was bad he said that the song was bad. Period. He also was very clear about Elvis' drugs problem.
circleG wrote on February 14, 2017
Martys straight forwardness and honesty will be missed. He set the record straight on many things and admitted if he didn't know. Thank goodness his conversations are documented for the record and hats off that he never sold out to EPE. Now a FTD should do a a book on the American Sessions of '69.
2kisses&3scarfs wrote on February 14, 2017
I'm SO sorry to hear this sad news. Marty was a dear, dear, man, who always took the time to answer our questions about Elvis. Now there are 3 Memphis Mafia members gone- Lamar, Joe, and Marty. Rest in Peace dear Marty. My thoughts and prayers go out to the Lacker family and all the Elvis fans. We'll miss you Marty.
dailyone wrote on February 14, 2017
goodbye marty , life is so short . marty had a good innings and I hope he did not suffer . told it as it is even though I did not always agree with him , till then .
You Dont Know Me wrote on February 15, 2017
A Great loss- extremely sad and i appreciated his 'straight talking'
TheMemphisFan wrote on February 15, 2017
dailyone (or someone), please enlighten me. What is "a good innings"? The only "innings" I'm familiar with is in the game of baseball.
dailyone wrote on February 15, 2017
Hello MemphisFan , simply , good innings is said by mainly english and australians cricket fans to persons that had a long life " "Marty had a good innings !"
Ton Bruins wrote on February 16, 2017
He was known for both his honesty and being forthright with his opinions. He was the only member of the Memphis Mafia who still watched and commented on recent Elvis news. He did not sell his soul to the EPE and I never saw him sell pictures with Elvis and him on it for 10 dollar. Rest in peace Marty Lacker.
TheMemphisFan wrote on February 16, 2017
dailyone, thanks for the "innings" clarification.