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As his parents’ only surviving child, Elvis Presley shared a close relationship with both his mother and father.
Elvis’ mother Gladys died just a few years after he achieved stardom, so his dad, Vernon, remained his source of support throughout the rest of his career.
Vernon, whose voice sounds just like his son’s, was very proud of everything Elvis had accomplished. In 1972, he granted an interview at Graceland to share some personal memories of his son.
When asked how Elvis made the decision to become a singer, Vernon’s answer was quite simple:
“He come into his room there one day, I believe it was shortly after he got out of high school, and he said ‘I want to be an entertainer.'”
Vernon says at first, Elvis tried to get into some youth gospel groups, but was turned away, either because the groups were too full or because they didn’t like his voice.
But once Elvis started releasing records, all the groups wanted him to come back. When Elvis asked his dad what he should do, he encouraged his son to stick with making music on his own.
That turned out to be the right advice, as Elvis’s stardom exploded. He eventually earned himself the title “The King of Rock N’ Roll.”
Vernon was more than willing to brag about how many gold records and hit songs his son had. During the interview, he could be seen walking around the room where all of Elvis’s trophies hung on the walls.
Eventually, Vernon said that Elvis became so popular, he would sometimes have to quit mid-performance because fans were that anxious to get close to him:
“One place he told me about where he appeared, he sung part of one song and had to leave the stage, and didn’t go back, because they tour the stage all to pieces.”
Even though Elvis was a huge superstar, Vernon said it wasn’t the fame he cared about the most. Instead, Elvis was committed to making sure that everyone who attended his shows walked away feeling pleased with what they heard.
“I think the main thing he really wants to do when he’s on stage is to please the audience. If he don’t feel that he has, he gets kind of upset about it.”
With such incredible talent, we’re surprised that Elvis was ever worried about putting on a good show!
Watch the vintage interview of Vernon talking about Elvis’s career in the video below.