Muhammad Ali and Elvis Presley by Jeff Schrembs

Alanna Nash is the expert when it comes to Muhammad Ali and Elvis. Not only did she write several exceptional books about Elvis Presley, and about Muhammad Ali, but she had access to those who knew these two men. I highly recommend that the professional works of Alanna Nash be sought out, purchased, read, and collected. They are, one and all, great reads. Here is a link to Alanna Nash via Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Alanna-Nash/e/B000ARBFRA Books written by Alanna Nash via Amazon

Like Alanna Nash I was born in Louisville Kentucky the birthplace of Muhammad Ali. During my childhood, and teenage years, Muhammad Ali was a divisive man due to his stance on not going into the US Military and his conversion to Islam.  Worth noting is that Muhammad Ali admired Malcolm X who (sadly) was murdered by a faction of the Nation of Islam. This is not conjecture this is fact.

Elvis Presley grew up bitterly poor. When I say bitterly poor I mean that Elvis was born into a family without monetary means. Both men were born in January. Elvis on January 8, 1935 and Ali on January  17, 1942. Elvis grew up in the throes of the great depression and WWII. Ali was three years old when the war ended. That the Presley family lived in a small two room home. There were times when they lived on the grace of others. Elvis’ mother could not read and write but she was a darling of a woman who loved her son unconditionally. Muhammad Ali was born to a working class family where his father wrote music, painted signs, played the piano and other works.

Elvis admired Muhammad Ali for his 1960 Olympic performances where Ali represented the United States using his birth name, which he would later change, of Cassius Clay a unique name for a unique man.

Elvis Presley, contrary to many “celebrities”, went into the US Army via draft from 1958 to 1960. Elvis was offered, by all branches of the US Military, the military career of going to difference bases and performing before the troops. Also, he was to use his name, likeness, singing, etc. to sell US war bonds. Elvis Presley chose to go into the US Army and be treated like every other enlisted man. This meant going to boot camp. Pulling KP. Being stationed in Germany in the freezing cold. Elvis was, at times, on military maneuvers when he crossed the Russian lines which could have resulted in his death as the breach of any “lines” could result in death or capture. The Russians had made comments about Elvis Presley and his worldwide fame including their belief that Elvis was a pawn for the United States.

Elvis watched Muhammad Ali fight in the 1970s via “closed circuit” television. Closed circuit was similar to what we now call “pay per view” but you had to go to a specific venue to watch the fight and back in the 1970s, which I know firsthand, the size and quality of the TV picture was (wholly) lacking. Those who could not pay to see the fight relied on radio a medium that most Americans had access to.

Muhammad Ali became a friend of Elvis Presley and had long admired his career and his personal life rising from poverty and at times state assistance. Ali once said of Elvis “Elvis Presley was the sweetest, most humble and nicest man you’d want to know’. ‘Elvis was my close personal friend. He came to my Deer Lake training camp about two years before he died. He told us he didn’t want nobody to bother us. He wanted peace and quiet and I gave him a cabin in my camp and nobody even knew it. When the cameras started watching me train, he was up on the hill sleeping in the cabin. Elvis had a robe made for me. I don’t admire nobody, but Elvis Presley was the sweetest, most humble and nicest man you’d want to know’.

On February 14, 1973 on the eve of the Ali – Joe Bugner fight Elvis presented Ali with a custom full length sequined robe with the words on the back saying “the peoples choice”. The estimated cost of this robe was $3,000.00. Ali cherished the robe.

WM Elvis with Muhammad Ali BEST DETAIL

 

 

When Elvis Presley died on August 17, 1977 Muhammad Ali was very sad about losing his friend. Ali reached out to Priscilla and Vernon to convey his condolences. When Graceland, Elvis’ home in Memphis Tennessee, opened up to the public Muhammad Ali visited and laid flowers on Elvis grave. Ali was moved to tears as he was escorted by Jack Soden the President of EPE/Graceland.

These two men knew success on a level unknown to the vast majority. This does not make them better or worse it just shows how, if one applied their god given gifts with passion – commitment – and hard work, that success will follow. And if someone is doing a job they enjoy it makes a daily positive impact on the soul.

Elvis Presley and Muhammad Ali, who died yesterday on June 3, 2016, will always be considered “the greatest” in their chosen profession. They achieved unparalleled success and worldwide fame. They had fans around the world and millions of people. through generations to come, will learn of their stories and revel in the body of works they left behind.

My prayers go out to the Ali family and those who knew Ali and loved him. The world lost a good man who had a great love for children including, private and public, charitable acts that benefited many.

Take care and may God bless you.

 

Jeff Schrembs

http://www.ElvisCollector.info

http://www.ElvisCollectorWorldwide.freeforums.org

 

  • Jeff Schrembs has been a fan, and collector, of Elvis Presley for (6) six decades. Mr. Schrembs has numerous blogs, and his premier website of http://www.ElvisCollector.info and the (100% free with no ads, no pop-ups) Elvis Presley forum http://www.ElvisCollectorWorldwide.freeforums.org, where he shares his collection, insights, firsthand accounts, photographs, videos, original articles, etc. Mr. Schrembs’s website has received numerous awards and has a ever growing following. Mr. Schrembs is an Elvis Presley expert, collector, historian and author. Mr. Schrembs has undertaken, for 4 decades, the massive commitment to the preservation of rare Elvis Presley photographs, audio files, documents, autographs, handwriting, etc.

 

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