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Colonel Tom Parker

 
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PostPosted: December 9th 2012, 09:20 pm    Post subject: Colonel Tom Parker Reply with quote

Absolute id crashed into absolute superego...as the uptightset man in America shook hands with just about the loosest." (Mark Feeney on the 'Elvis meets Nixon' meeting)       
       
       
 
       
 
       
The Colonel & Elvis: The Truth
 

     
Parker's involvement in the music industry began as a music promoter in the late 1940s, working with such country music stars as Minnie Pearl, Hank Snow, and Eddy Arnold. During this time he received the honorary title of "Colonel" in the Louisiana State Militia in 1948 from Jimmie Davis, the governor of Louisiana, in return for work he did on Davis's election campaign.       
On August 18, 1955, Parker became Presley's manager officially, and in November he persuaded RCA Records to buy Presley out from Sun Records for $40,000 (which included $5,000 going directly to Elvis as a bonus), a considerable sum for that time. With his first RCA single, "Heartbreak Hotel", one of whose authors-composers, Mae Boren Axton, had been one of Parker's associates for years, Presley graduated from rumor to bona-fide recording star.       
It is debatable both whether Presley would have become the superstar he became without Parker and to what extent Parker's management of the King of Rock and Roll was Svengali-like. Parker held the reins of Presley's singing and acting career for the rest of Presley's life and was said to be instrumental in virtually every business decision that Presley made—including his decision to cut back on recording and stop touring after returning from his stint in the United States Army in 1960 in favor of a film career (from 1960 to 1967-68) that was lucrative in terms of his bank account but, to many critics and fans, bankrupting in terms of Presley's music quality.       
It took the energetic 1968 television special Elvis, which the Singer Sewing Machine Company sponsored, and a subsequent series of acclaimed recording sessions in Memphis, Tennessee, to restore Elvis Presley's musical reputation. However, the Elvis "Singer Special" TV show was not intended to turn out the way it did. Parker was adamant that Presley would wear a Santa suit and sing Christmas Songs, as the show was due to be broadcast in December 1968. It was the producer of the show, Steve Binder, who put forward the idea of Elvis singing his old hits and even the staged section with his old band, Scotty Moore and DJ Fontana. Presley was never one to stand up against Parker, but he knew that this TV show was his one chance at a true comeback, and with Binder backing him, Presley told Parker he was doing it "Binder's way."       
After the Special, Parker managed Elvis's return to live performance, including a set of brief U.S. tours and many engagements in Las Vegas. Following the success of Elvis's Las Vegas return, Parker signed a contract with the International Hotel to guarantee Elvis would play a month-long engagement for $125,000 a week, an unheard of sum at the time. During this part of Elvis's career, Parker and Presley agreed to a 50/50 "partnership," which, with Parker controlling merchandising and other non-music related items, resulted in Parker earning more than his client.       
According to Presley biographer Peter Guralnick, Elvis and Colonel Parker "were really like, in a sense, a married couple, who started out with great love, loyalty, respect which lasted for a considerable period of time, and went through a number of stages until, towards the end of Elvis's life, they should have walked away. None of the rules of the relationship were operative any longer, yet neither had the courage to walk away, for a variety of reasons." Indeed, Elvis did reportedly on at least one occasion try to fire Parker; he gave an associate orders to "tell Parker he's fired," which the associate did. However, Parker replied that he would go only if Elvis gave him the order to do so in person. Parker may thus have taken advantage of Elvis's well-documented fear of direct confrontation in any case, he remained Elvis's manager without break until Presley's death       
       
 
 
Top 10 Rock And Roll Managers Nov2010
If drummers and bass players get lost in the media’s frenzy to focus on singers and guitarists, then have a little sympathy for the rock manager. Sometimes a svengali figure, sometimes a glorified accountant, sometimes a crook in rock and roll clothing, one thing is certain – every band needs a manager. Managers play an indispensable role in any band’s career, good and bad. According to "Ultimate Guitars", here are 10 of the most successful, colorful and, for the most part, musician-friendly managers in rock and roll history.01. Colonel Tom Parker (Elvis Presley)The role model for most of rock and roll’s subsequent managers, Parker was a natural-born huckster. He took the greatest talent in pop history to the top of the entertainment game with tactics he learned as a carny. In the circus, he entertained the crowds with dancing chickens, and critics might say he treated Elvis Presley much the same way through the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s.Parker was a cutthroat businessman, for himself first and his artist second. He was on a 50% commission with Elvis, at a time when 15-20% was the norm. He always demanded money up front, cultivated income from merchandising and totally controlled Elvis with the media. Directly after Elvis’ funeral in Memphis, Parker was in meetings to negotiate merchandise deals. An illegal American immigrant, Parker never allowed Elvis to tour internationally for fear of letting Presley out of his hands or control. But for good or bad, he was a devoted manager, always there when Elvis toured, played Las Vegas or made movies. He oversaw every aspect of the worldwide network of Elvis fan clubs, merchandise and record company deals.




The other managers are:

02. Brian Epstein (The Beatles)
03. Peter Grant (Led Zeppelin)
04. Malcolm McLaren (Sex Pistols)
05. Don Arden: (Black Sabbath, Gene Vincent, The Animals, Small Faces)
06. Andrew Loog Oldham (The Rolling Stones, Marianne Faithful, Humble Pie)
07. Allen Klein (The Beatles, The Rolling Stones)
08. Kit Lambert (The Who)

09. Simon Fuller (Spice Girls, Annie Lennox, Amy Winehouse)

10. Irving Azoff (The Eagles, Van Halen)






       
Surviving Elvis       
After Presley's death in 1977, Parker became embroiled in legal disputes with the singer's estate and ex-wife over claims that he had brought about Elvis's death by frequently haranguing him during his most pill-addled days. Parker eventually agreed in 1983 to sell his masters of some of Presley's major recordings to RCA for $2 million and to drop any claims he had to Presley's estate. Parker moved to Las Vegas in 1980 and worked as an "entertainment adviser" for Hilton Hotels; the disputes with the Presley estate did not terminate his association with his most high-profile client. Parker appeared at posthumous events honoring Presley, such as the ceremonies marking the tenth anniversary of the singer's death and the 1993 issuing of the United States Postal Service stamp honoring the King of Rock and Roll.       
The continuing interest in Presley's enduring legend, interest that is sometimes notable for its obsessiveness, provoked Parker to remark in 1993, "I don't think I exploited Elvis as much as he's being exploited today."       
 
Personal life
As Presley's fame grew, people became interested in Parker as well. For a time he lied about his childhood, claiming to have been born in Huntington, West Virginia, and to have run away at an early age to join a circus run by an uncle. The truth about his early years was revealed when his family in the Netherlands recognized him in photographs of him standing next to Elvis. Parker's brother Ad van Kuijk visited Parker in Los Angeles in 1961. Parker acknowledged his brother and introduced him to Elvis. Parker also was informed that his mother died in 1958, never knowing what happened with her son after he left in 1929. The claim of Parker's Dutch heritage was confirmed when Parker tried to avert a lawsuit in 1982 by asserting that he was a Dutch citizen. In 1993 Dutch TV director Jorrit van der Kooi talked to him in Dutch about the Netherlands. Parker was not aware that his sister Adriana had died a few years before. Van der Kooi also filmed the Colonel in Las Vegas. This footage can be seen in the Dutch documentary Looking for Colonel Parker.       
   
       
       
Vernon Presley & Colonel Parker Graceland 1978       
       
  
Real birthplace       
Parker's real place of birth was in Breda, Netherlands. Still carrying his baptismal name, Andreas Cornelis ("Dries") van Kuijk left his native land at about the age of 20[4] and joined the United States Army, despite the fact that he was not a U.S. citizen. Van Kuijk was stationed in Hawaii, at a base commanded by a Captain Tom Parker. After leaving the service, van Kuijk adopted the name Tom Parker as his own. He became part of the circus world some time later. He also worked as a dogcatcher and a pet cemetery proprietor in Temple Terrace, Florida, in the 1940s.       
Elvis fans have speculated that the reason Presley never performed abroad, which would probably have been a highly lucrative proposition, may have been that Parker was worried that he would not have been able to acquire a U.S. passport and might even have been deported from the United States upon filing his application. In addition, applying for the citizenship required for a U.S. passport would probably have exposed his carefully concealed foreign birth, even though as a U.S. Army veteran and spouse of an American citizen he would have been entitled to U.S. citizenship. Presley did tour Canada in 1957 with concerts in Toronto, Ottawa, and Vancouver; however, at the time of these concerts, crossing the U.S.-Canada border did not require a passport. Red Robinson, Vancouver radio icon and MC of the Elvis concert in that city, says that Colonel Parker did not accompany Elvis to that show, but instead stayed in Washington State the whole time.)       
 
Parker died of a stroke on January 21, 1997, in Las Vegas, Nevada, at the age of 87.       
       
 
       
 
As most fans know, Colonel Parker sold (almost) his entire Elvis Archive to Graceland/EPE.
    
 
 
 
This clip on YouTube gives you an insight in that archive. Colonel Parker collected everything, from Las Vegas menus to the five colored Moody Blue test singles, and from the Golden Suit - now on display in the Trophy Room - to a blue Cadillac. Here's the link to the clip:       
       
YouTube       

       
       
 


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PostPosted: December 9th 2012, 09:20 pm    Post subject: Colonel Tom Parker Reply with quote

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PostPosted: December 23rd 2012, 11:37 am    Post subject: Colonel Tom Parker Reply with quote



By Loanne M Parker
 
Quote:
Quote:
 ParRKER, who gave up smoking his trademark big Cuban cigars in 1990, had a meteoric rise from being a hobo in the late 1920s to a top show business manager.

Tom Parker was born on June 26, 1909 in Breda, The Netherlands to Adam and Maria VanKuijk who named their fifth child Andreas Cornelius VanKuijk. As a young man Parker immigrated to the United States where he worked on carnivals and served four years in the United States Army.

After his discharge from the army he went back to carnival life. In late 1939 and early 1940 he became the manager of Gene Austin and traveled with Gene's "Models & Melodies" show.

In late 1940 he became Field Director of the Tampa Humane Society, a position he held for three years. Tom Parker left the Humane Society to go back into the entertainment field, booking country acts. In 1944 he became the manager of Eddy Arnold and by November 1947 Eddy had been #1 on the country charts for 53 weeks.

When Tom Parker and Eddy Arnold went their separate ways, Tom began booking Hank Snow and in January 1955 became his personal manager. Colonel (as he was now called, having been given an honorary title of "colonel" by several southern governors) began booking Elvis Presley as an opening act on the Hank Snow appearances.



In October 1955 as Elvis' special advisor (Bob Neal was still managing Elvis), Colonel negotiated a recording contract with RCA Victor for Elvis. It should be noted that it was, at that time, the custom for the A&R people to choose the songs for an artist to record. However Colonel insisted that Elvis choose his own songs. Today it is common practice for the artist to choose their own material. . . .but Elvis was the first.

In 1956 Colonel became Elvis' personal manager. By the end of their first year together the WALL STREET JOURNAL reported that since Colonel began marketing Elvis merchandise, they had grossed some $22 million in sales. Elvis records and albums were selling in the millions. Together they made history.

After reading a newspaper story pleading for support for the Arizona Memorial fund, Colonel talked with Elvis and they decided to offer a benefit concert to raise funds to finish the memorial which honored those who lost their lives during the devastating surprise attack on the military installations at Pearl Harbor. In March 1961 the concert took place and nearly $100,000 was raised. Nothing from the receipts was held out for expenses--in fact Elvis and Colonel EACH paid $27,000 out of their own pocket to cover expenses.

In August 1972 Colonel originated the idea of Elvis performing worldwide via satellite--the first time an entertainer had performed via satellite. The show took place in Hawaii January 14, 1973. It was seen in about 40 countries by one billion to 1.5 billion people. The show also raised $75,000 for the Kui Lee Cancer Fund in Hawaii.

After Elvis' death in 1977 Colonel was a personal entertainment consultant for Barron Hilton, a position he held until his death in 1997. Although Colonel was asked to manage many entertainers, he declined, saying it would always be ELVIS & The Colonel.



Quote:

NOTE: To set the record straight ... the name "Dries" was a nickname his family used when he was a child. There was never a "Great Parker Pony Circus". Also there were never any "dancing chickens". This was a joke Colonel used to test the gullibility of people. It has been repeated (and believed) so many times that there is no doubt people are gullible!

"To give you a little background about myself - I met Colonel in 1969. As you know, RCA Records Tours sponsored the Elvis Presley Tours beginning in 1971. I was the RCA Record Tours secretary on the Elvis tours and worked under the direction of, and traveled with, Colonel Tom Parker during the touring years. I experienced the Elvis Presley tours - and what an experience it was! Colonel and I shared more than 25 years together and those were wonderful years."
-Loanne






Courtesy Art Nadler and Ed Koch, Las Vegas Sun
The Colonel's Passing:
LAS VEGAS, NV - At age 87, Col. Tom Parker was still working as a consultant for an upcoming Elvis Presley movie and advising the Hilton hotel chain on entertainment when he suddenly suffered a stroke. The cigar-chomping manager who catapulted Presley to megastardom remained active until his death. His wife, Loanne, was at his bedside when he died.
"He could tell you who's hot and who's not," longtime friend and former Las Vegas Hilton Publicity Director Bruce Banke said. "The colonel could tell you who's grossing what in each city around the country." Banke said he was besieged with phone calls from reporters in seven countries after Parker's death. Parker was cremated and interred at Palm Cemetery on Eastern Avenue in Las Vegas.
"I handled the press when Elvis died," Banke said of Presley's former manager. "I never expected this response (to Parker's death). For a manager to be held in such high esteem is a surprise. He's as well known as Elvis."
Elvis and Parker came to Las Vegas in 1968, Banke said. The entertainer appeared at billionaire hotelier Kirk Kerkorian's International Hotel in 1969, which was later sold to Hilton.
"All of us here at the Las Vegas Hilton and in the Hilton Hotels Corp. family are deeply touched and saddened by the death of Col. Tom Parker," Las Vegas Hilton President Gary Gregg said in a written statement. "For more than 25 years, the colonel was a key figure behind much of the worldwide entertainment success of the Las Vegas Hilton. ...
"There, in the Hilton Showroom, Elvis entertained 2.5 million people during 837 unfortgettable live performances. Through all that time ... there was the colonel, the strength behind the 'King.'" Parker at one time maintained several suites at the Las Vegas Hilton. He moved to a private Las Vegas residence in 1985.
"The colonel was an avid reader," Banke said, "He loved biographies. He recently gave me a book on Ann-Margret. He also loved to go out for lunch every day." Like Elvis, Banke said Parker gave generously to his friends. Every Mother's Day, the colonel would display a huge bouquet of flowers, signed from "Elvis and the Colonel," at the Las Vegas Hilton entrance.
"When my father died, one of the biggest bouquets on the wall (at the funeral home) read, 'From Elvis and the Colonel,'" Banke said. "He was a generous and caring human being. And you'd be surprised how many people would recognize him." When not doling out entertainment advice, Parker could be seen at local casinos playing slot machines. "He loved to play slot machines," Banke said. "He would say, 'I'm going down to get my exercise.'"

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