The King’s Schilling

Ken Sharp talks to one of the Elvis Presley’s closest confidantes, Jerry Schilling

It was way back in 1954 when a gangly North Memphis youth called Jerry Schilling met the wild hillbilly cat known as Elvis Presley. From that first youthful encounter on a football field, the pair became friends and confidantes until Presley’s death in 1977, after which Schilling stayed close to the Presley family (he was Lisa Marie’s first manager, and remains a close friend of Priscilla).

Unlike Elvis’ other buddies, however, Schilling was his own man, who also forged a career away from Graceland. In between stints working for Elvis, he managed the likes of The Beach Boys and Jerry Lee Lewis, honed his editing skills behind the scenes on projects such as the acclaimed 1972 documentary Elvis On Tour, and lent his expertise to television biographies of Brian Wilson and Sun Records chief Sam Phillips, and the documentary The History Of Rock & Roll.

It’s a unique journey that has afforded Schilling a rare perspective on life inside the gates of Graceland and beyond. As the last of the so-called ‘Memphis Mafia’ to pen a book about his friend, his new memoir, Me & A Guy Named Elvis, has been long awaited by fans and cultural historians alike.

Written in collaboration with Chuck Crisafulli, the book is a warm and candid account …

by Ken Sharp
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