Being one of the most famous people in the world, Elvis Presley needed to protect his privacy and take care of those he could truly trust. Rising to global stardom in 1956, The King formed an inner circle of close male friends, some of whom were family members. Known as the Memphis Mob, they became part of his party retinue throughout the singer’s two-decade film and music career. However, Elvis was still very much the boss forbidding certain things in his presence.
Elvis’ cousin Billy Smith is the last surviving original member of the Memphis mob, having met the King as a teenager before he even became famous. His father, Travis, brother of Elvis’s mother, Gladys, was one of the security guards at Graceland.
Billy was even at the family move from Tupelo, Mississippi to Memphis, Tennessee. He later became one of the star’s few confidants and one of the last people to see him alive before his sudden fatal heart attack on August 16, 1977 at just 42 years old.
Speaking on his Elvis Fans Matter YouTube channel with his wife Jo, the pair shared a couple of things the King made taboo for his Memphis Mafia to do.
Jo said: “Another thing I couldn’t stand was whispering. If you whispered and he didn’t hear it, he just had to know. Billy shared: “I just knew it was about him. I just had to know. He had an inquisitive mind.”
Jo added: “I couldn’t keep a secret. He was like, ‘I’m going to tell you this and don’t tell anyone.’ We swore an oath of secrecy and then the next day someone tells us what we were sworn not to! But that was him. He wanted to be the first to tell it ”.
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