Did Elvis Presley Have a Good Manager?

In 1956, sensing that hip-swiveling sensation Elvis Presley was destined to become a mega-star, Colonel Tom Parker signed the young singer to a management contract, a relationship that lasted until Presley died of a drug overdose 21 years later. In only a couple of years, Presley’s music found a rabid fan base, dominated by excited young women. By then, Parker had put together one of the music industry’s first branding campaigns, selling Elvis merchandise that included charm bracelets, sneakers, "Teddy Bear" perfume, and "Heartbreak Pink" lipstick. Proving that it’s never personal, only business, Parker also sold a line of buttons -- which read “I Like Elvis” and "I Love Elvis" for the fans, and "I Hate Elvis" and “Elvis Is a Jerk” for the haters.

Elvis Presley's right-hand man:

  • Colonel Tom Parker's promotion of the world’s first rock star became a blueprint for acts that followed. However, by 1962, Parker's managerial take of Elvis-mania reached 50 percent, far more than the standard 10 or 15 percent.

  • When he was born in the Netherlands, Parker was named Andreas Cornelis van Kuijk, the seventh in a family of 11 children. As a boy, he worked as a carnival barker in his hometown of Breda before moving to the United States at age 18. He was given the honorary rank of colonel in 1948 after helping former country singer Jimmie Davis on his campaign for Louisiana governor.

  • Presley’s first manager was Scotty Moore, a guitarist in his band, The Blue Moon Boys. Sun Records owner Sam Phillips had encouraged Elvis to sign a manager to guard against dishonest promoters.

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More Info: Canadian Broadcasting Corporation

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