On July 2 2009, Ferlin Husky was hospitilized with an accelerated heart rate and possible pneumonia. He was admitted to the critical care unit of Summit Medical Center in Hermitage, Tennessee. Doctors were also treating him for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. His condition was very weak.
As of yesterday, Ferlin is improving and has been moved out of the critical care area. He is in good spirits and is expected to be released Thursday or Friday.
In the begining of his career, Elvis toured with Ferlin. In the below article from the Daily Journal, Husky recalls his days with Elvis.
Husky was already a recording star and touring out of Memphis when the young swivel-hipped lad from Mississippi was trying to break into the music world. Promoters signed Presley up to be the opening act for several Husky tours through Mississippi and other areas to the south of Memphis. Those were the first performance tours for Elvis before he made it big.
"How many people can say Elvis Presley opened shows for them?" Husky said with a smile of satisfaction.
Husky said he met Presley in Memphis and they got acquainted. He also go to know Presley's parents, Vernon and Gladys, and the eventual King of Rock and Roll's promoter, Col. Tom Parker. When Presley was drafted in the late 1950s, he continued to correspond with Husky while serving with the U.S. Army in Germany.
In August of 1977, Husky had heart surgery in Minneapolis. When he regained consciousness, the owner of the Minnesota Twins was in the room and read him a list of the people who had left messages wishing him a speedy recovery.
"He said Vernon called," Husky said. "I have a cousin named Vernon so I asked, 'Vernon who?' He said, well Vernon Presley, of course."
"I don't remember the date of the surgery," Husky said, his voice more somber now, "but I will never forget date they took the stitches out. I was laying there on the table and there was small, black and white television monitor up on the wall. All of the sudden they flashed a news bulletin on the screen. Elvis had died. It was Aug. 16, 1977, the day I got the stitches out.
"You don't know how I felt. He was a good friend and a good person. It really took something out of me."
Husky said Presley was a very unique young man with a tremendous personality. He loved to perform and loved his fans. For those who were his friends, they could have no better fan.
Unfortunately, it is Husky's opinion, that some of those who surrounded him not only created the problems that complicated Presley's later life, but also caused his death.