Day number 8384Site Date Map
At the Colonel's home, 1215 Gallatin Road South Madison, Tennessee 37115, Elvis presents him with a BMW Isetta. "It is snug," the Colonel comments.
'Last Train To Memphis' by Peter Guralnick wrote: They [Elvis, Cliff and Lamar] arrived at the Colonel's home in Madison early the next morning, but there was already a gang of reporters and photographers waiting. He and the Colonel posed for pictures in the car. "It is snug," observed the Colonel. "It isonly a small, small way of showing my feelings for you," replied Elvis on the record. "Now isn't he a sweet kid?" Colonel said to the newspapermen, his eyes "dewing up." "He could have just sent me something in the mail." In addition, Elvis answered questions about the draft (who knew, he said,he might just reenlist when his hitch was up) and even tried on an army surplus set of fatigues, which a photographer [George Barker of The Tennessean] thoughtfully provided and in which he looked exceedingly uncomfortable. "I guess I'll be wearing this stuff for real, soon," he said, looking ruefully down at the green twill." Whatever private feelings he had he kept to himself or reserved for the private conference that he and the Colonel had, as per custom, behind closed doors.
Gordon Stoker came out at the Colonels direction to pick up the jordanaires' four thousand dollars in Christmas bonuses, and Elvis asked if he'd be going to the Opry that night. "He told me. 'If I had some kind of clothes, I'd go with you guys. Well, i called Marllernee's down on sixth - I happened to know the man who owned the store - and I told them, 'I'm going to bring Elvis Presley in there to get something to wear down to the Grand Ole Opry tonight, but if any of the salesmen or anyone makes anything over him, he'll walk right out in the middle of a fitting, so don't tell anyone he's coming,' Anyway, surprisingly, he picked out a tuxedo with a tux shirt, tux tie, even tux shoes. I was shocked. I thought he'd just buy a suit or a sports coat. but that's what he wore down to the Opry that night."
His draft situation was really bugging him, Stoker felt; he still couldn't understand why the Colonel hadn't fixed things better, but he didn't say much about it. At the Opry that night he just walked out onstage and waved and visited with old friends backstage. How were things going? asked T. Tommy Cutrer, who had promoted him in Shreveport and was announcing the Opry now. "He said, 'It's lonesome, T.' I said, How can you talk like that, with thousands of people...' He said, 'Well, I can't go get a mahburger, I can't go in some greasy joint, I can't go water skiing or shopping'-and he loved to go shopping. By this time he'd dyed his hair and had on makeup, which was strange to me. The only one of the Opry stars that would make up back then was Ferlin husky, and that was to go onstage. So i said, 'Cat, why you got that shit on you?' He said, 'Well, that's what the movies want.' But he never changed a bit, he was always the same."
He had his picture taken with old friends and current Opry stars: he and the Colonel posed with the Duke of Paducah and Faron Young and booking agent Hubert Long, and he was pictured with his arm around an absolutely thrilled-looking Brenda Lee (who at thirteen looked no older than ten), with Johnny Cash, Ray Price, Hawkshaw Hawkins, the Wilburn Brothers, even Hank Snow, who seemed to hold no grudge against his onetime protégé even if his feelings toward his former partner were less than mixed. Jimmie Rodgers Snow, too, came by with his fifteen-year-old fiancée to say hello, "and he asked me what I was doing. I said, 'Nothing special, why?' And he said, 'Why don't you come over to Memphis around the first, we'll have some fun.' And I said, 'Fine.'" Then he changed back into the clothes he had worn on the trip over and, according to Gordon Stoker, threw his new tux into a barrel full of stage ropes before setting off on the 230-mile drive back to Memphis.
That final piece by Gordon Stoker has him mistaken about the tuxedo. After the Opry Elvis and the Colonel went over to Governor Frank Clements with pictures taken where Evis is still wearing the tux. See bottom of this post.
Lamar Fike wrote:After the Opry we went over to the governor's mansion to see Governor Frank Clement. We stayed up there until one o'clock in the morning playing the piano.
The Marigolds, (evolved from The Prison Aires), with lead singer Johnny Bragg, performed for Elvis at Governor Frank G.Clement's mansion. They sang Jailhouse Rock for Elvis, and he was impressed with their harmonies, and wanted to record with them, but apparently Colonel Parker did not consider this a good career move. Elvis joined them for a rendition of Just Walkin' In The Rain,a song Elvis did not record.