Elvis Presley is known for his music — and his generosity. However, this had its downsides. Let’s take a look at why the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll felt his family took advantage of him.
Why some member of Elvis Presley’s family ‘shunned’ him when he was growing up
In her book Elvis and Me, Priscilla Presley describes Elvis as being “the boss, the provider, and the power.” She says she and his entourage often kept certain people Elvis did not want around away from him. The King of Rock ‘n’ Roll would have Priscilla find out who would be visiting before “coming down for the evening.” If someone was visiting he did not wish to see, he would remain in his room. Also, his father, Vernon, he had a hand in keeping “some of their relatives at a distance.”
Priscilla writes some of his relatives had “shunned” him when he was younger and growing up – they had ridiculed “him as a sissy, a mama’s boy.” His mother, Gladys, told these relatives to “go their own way.” She would tell them not to “bother us with these accusations.” Once the singer became a star, his status in the family changed.
Why Elvis Presley got upset at some members of his family after he became famous
Priscilla writes “all the kinfolk came around” once fame hit. Elvis gave jobs to many – Vernon was his business manager as well as “Patsy, his personal secretary; uncles Vester Presley and Johnny and Travis Smith, and cousin Harold Lloyd, gate guards; cousins Billy, Bobby, and Gene, personal aides; and then there was Tracy Smith.” The singer was providing for everyone – either in the form of a job or in the form of financial help.
At times, Elvis would become upset about all of it. According to Priscilla, “Sometimes Elvis got upset, charging, ‘The only time they visit is with their hand out. It’d be nice if they’d come around just to see how I was doing. But hell no, it’s always, ‘Ah, Elvis, I could use a little extra cash. Could you help me out? Hell, I’ll bet when I’m dead and gone, they’ll still be taking advantage.’” But no matter how upset he got, he would still give them money – “a hundred dollars or more every time they came around.”
What happened to Elvis Presley’s estate after he died
This raises an interesting question – what happened to Elvis’ estate after he died? According to Graceland.com, after he died on August 16, 1977, Vernon was named the executor and trustee of his estate by Elvis’ will. The beneficiaries were Vernon, his grandmother, Minnie Mae, and his daughter, Lisa Marie. Vernon, under the provisions of the will, could “at his discretion” give funds as needed to others in the family. As it turns out, Vernon died in 1979 and Minnie Mae died in 1980 leaving Lisa Marie as the sole heir. Lisa Marie’s inheritance was to be held in trust until she reached the age of twenty-five. The state certainly changed from the time when the singer was handing out money.
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