Country Beat

This appeared in Country Song Roundup - May 1995

Good news for Elvis Presley fans! If you weren't part of the cheering crowd in the Memphis Pyramid last October for the live Pay-Per-View tribute concert to Elvis Presley, don't despair. The star-studded event has been released as an album. Don Was produced the Mercury project titled It's Now Or Never--The Tribute To Elvis. The first single from the collection is Marty's Stuart's version of "Don't Be Cruel."

"I was raised down in the middle of Mississippi and any self-respecting son of the South has to admit to being an Elvis fan," Marty said backstage before the show. "I loved early Elvis. I loved Sun Records Elvis. I appreciate that. That's what got me into Elvis."

Marty also talked about his first visit to Graceland. "I was married to Cindy Cash (Johnny Cash's daughter) for a while," he says. "One day we were coming back from a vacation in Arkansas and Cindy said, 'I want to go to Graceland.' And I said, 'No, I'm not going on this tour.' This [was] the early '80s. And I said, 'No, I'm not going to be a tourist at Graceland.' So we went. We were parked across the street. Cindy went across to the guard shack where Elvis' Uncle Vester was working. The next thing I know, she was waving for me to come over. [Elvis' aunt] Delta sent down a golf cart for us and we went up. This was when they were just starting to make a museum out of it. They were working on it.

"We went up to the door and Delta hugged Cindy's neck and said, 'I haven't seen you since I held you at Gladys' [Elvis' mother] funeral.' She said [to Marty], 'Now I've seen you on Johnny's TV shows. I like you.' We went in the house and the next thing I know, she said, 'Bring me the keys to Elvis' room.' Cindy looked at me and said, 'So do you want to come to Graceland now?'

And so I tell you what. It was incredible. We went upstairs. They let us go through his bedroom and everything. This is the truth and I've never told this, but it scared me so bad and overwhelmed me so bad when we got back to Nashville, I got drunk and went out to get a Krystal burger and got put in jail. When I got to jail, I was still dressed up in all my black clothes and everything and this guy looked at me and, in the drunk tank I said, 'You ain't ever gonna believe this, but I went to Elvis' bedroom today.' He said, 'Sure, and I went to the White House.' That's the truth."

By Deborah Evans Price

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