Yesterday I checked back with Graceland.com to see if the ticket prices for Elvis Week had been announced, but they weren’t. While there, I clicked on the News tab, and was surprised to learn that Elvis’ buddy George Klein had passed away. For those of you who have not read that post, here is what EPE had to say:
Nicely done. George Klein was one of the good guys. Unlike the others in Elvis’ Memphis Mafia, George was never on the payroll. He had his own career as a radio DJ. When he hung out with Elvis at Graceland or traveled to movie sets with him, George did it because they were buddies.
So, I did a search to see what I had written about George Klein on ElvisBlog over the years. He has been mentioned dozens of times, but I never wrote an article just about him. The closest I did was a funny story in a post about Elvis and Ann Margret. Here it is from August 28, 2005, just seven months after the blog was launched (and years before I started adding pictures).
Here is the rest of that article:
One night, during the filming of Viva Las Vegas in 1963, Elvis invited Ann-Margret over to his house. He specifically told all his buddies to disappear before she arrived, but Alan and George Klein asked if they could stay if they promised not to leave their rooms. Elvis agreed, but he should have known better.
After Ann-Margret had been there awhile, Alan and George snuck on to the patio and peeked into the den. According to Alan, “They were dancing and cuddling and talking, and George and I were going crazy.”
Then, Elvis left the room to get something and walked around to another part of the house. From this vantage point, he could see the two spies plain as day. When Alan and George realized they had been caught peeping, they panicked. George tried to run off and slammed right into the glass patio door, nearly breaking his nose.
This is George Klein’s autobiography. The text above the big ELVIS is a quote by Priscilla, “You told your story with class, mister. Elvis would be proud.” I agree. This is not a tell-all of bad stuff about Elvis. If you haven’t read it, you should. My copy has a cover price of $29.95 on it, but you can get a copy for as low as $6 on Amazon. A great book at a low price.
The photo on the book’s cover was taken at George’s wedding to Barbara Little. Here are some other pictures of this event from my files.
I liked this one because Elvis is holding a gun to George’s head. Please note he does not have his finger on the trigger.
The Presleys and the Kleins. I have read often that Elvis didn’t smoke, but there are quite a few pictures around showing Elvis with a stogie in his mouth.
This photo is both good and bad. I like the shot of George and Barbara’s hands on their Certificate of Marriage. However, the certificate showed up for bid at auction a few years ago, probably because it had Elvis’ signature on it. Kind of sad.
As the press release said, George Klein and Elvis became friends at Humes High School. The above picture from their 1954 yearbook shows that George was senior class president.
George is not in this picture, but the text has an interesting quote from him.
This shot had a caption identifying Elvis’ pallbearers as Jerry Schilling, Joe Esposito, George Klein, Lamar Fike, Billy Smith, Charlie Hodges, Gene Smith, and Dr. George Nichopoulos. I believe George is the second on the right. He had longer curly hair in 1977.
The tag on this simply says 1957. Backstage at a concert? Or maybe on a movie set?
Speaking of movies, George Klein had bit parts in at least four Elvis movies.
Here are a few other photos of Elvis and George Klein.
On the set of Speedway. George with Elvis, four Memphis Mafia buddies, a sound guy, and baseball pitcher Don Sutton (second from right).
This strange shot was taken in 1958 when Elvis was on the train to NY before embarking on the SS Randall for Germany. The train stopped briefly in Memphis which is why George Klein is in the picture. Elvis is kissing a fan.
Red West and George Klein with Elvis first guitar. This photo was taken just two years ago.
Good bye, George Klein. We’ll miss you. Say hi to Elvis for us.
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