Eternal prayers to the family of Marty Lacker from Jeff Schrembs

Image result for marty lacker 1971

  • Photo of Marty Lacker circa 1971 (the date may be off)

It is so…sad.

Marty Lacker passed away on February 13, 2017 at the age of 80 leaving behind a great family, loved ones, friends, etc. I am so very sorry for loss not just as I type these words but until my time comes to leave this earth.

His obituary, from Calane Funeral Directors, is as follows: Martin J. “Marty” Lacker peacefully passed Monday, February 13, 2017 of natural causes. He is preceded in death by his parents Henry and Rose Grodstein Lacker and his sister Anne Louise Lacker Grenadier. He is survived by two daughters Angie and Sheri Lacker of Memphis and one son Marc Lacker (daughter in law, Brenda Stoyka Lacker), Best friend, Patsy Daniels, Grandchildren are Brandon Lacker (Whitney), Cody Lacker and Katelynn Lacker and three Great Grandchildren Kydon, Kinzyn and Keston Lacker, and Special friends Billy and Jo Smith and Julie Bramlett. Born in the Bronx and raised in Brooklyn, NY on January 3, 1937 moved to Memphis in 1952, and attended Humes High School. After a semester at the UT Knoxville he was the successful radio Program Director at WKGN Knoxville. Later his radio career took him to WNOE New Orleans and subsequently back to Memphis’ WHBQ.

Discharged from the Army in late ’56 in Germany, he was invited to visit with fellow Humes alumnus Elvis Presley and became a close friend. In 1961, Elvis asked Marty to work for him and he eventually became Elvis’ right hand man and co-Best Man at Presley’s wedding. Marty appeared in 13 of Elvis’ movies, joined music tours, and co-ordinated recording sessions that produced iconic Presley hits. In 1969, he was responsible for Elvis returning to Memphis to record for the first time in 14 years. He convinced Elvis to record with producer Chips Moman at American Studios in what many have declared his greatest hit records since the Sun years like “Suspicious Minds” and “In the Ghetto”. Lacker remained a close and trusted friend until Elvis passed away. He was also responsible for the City Council and Memphis Mayor changing the name of Highway 51 S. to Elvis Presley Blvd in late 1971.

Outside the Elvis connection, Marty became a pillar in the Memphis Music industry in the late 60’s and 70’s, first with accepting an offer to start Pepper Tanner Records discovering Rita Coolidge and producing projects for her and then Eddie Harrison & The Shortkuts along with the help of his friends Isaac Hayes and David Porter. After becoming the General Manager of American Studios, he was responsible for other artists such as Petula Clark, Dionne Warwick, Jackie DeShanon and Bill Medley of The Righteous Brothers fame to record at the studio. He was later affiliated with Stax Recording Studios.

Marty Lacker was responsible for creating the Memphis Music Awards Show in the early 70’s and subsequently created an environment that drew many major record company leaders to Memphis. Marty, being one of the leaders of the Memphis Music industry of that era was the person who conceived the original Memphis & Shelby County Music Commission and was voted in and served as its chairman and was one of the co-founders of the Memphis Chapter of the National Association of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS), which is the Grammys.

Marty co-authored two popular books on Elvis and has appeared on numerous documentaries about Elvis and aspects of Memphis Music. In 2010, he was honored with a Beale Street Blues Note for his music industry accomplishments.

Services will be 12:30 p.m. Thursday, February 16, 2017 at Baron Hirsch Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers please donate to your favorite children’s charity or animal rescue program

To send flowers or a memorial gift to the family of Martin “Marty” J. Lacker please visit our Sympathy Store.

I was very fortunate to have had a relationship, of mutual respect,  with Marty over a great period of time. He was one of a kind and brutally honest. His passing has hit me like a Louisville Slugger to the back of the head. However, whatever grief I have is nothing compared to what his family/loved ones must be going through. My thoughts and prayers remain with them.

I also want to say THANK YOU to so many exceptional Elvis Presley related websites who conducted intimate, and fact filled, interviews with Marty over the years. I know firsthand the sacrifices and now your endeavor(s) carry greater weight that Elvis Presley fans will seek out – appreciate – support – etc. as long as there remains an interest in Elvis.

* Note some of these websites are (including but not limited to); http://www.ElvisPresleyNews.com, http://www.ElvisInfoNet.com, http://www.ElvisBlog.net, http://www.Elvis-Express.com, http://www.Elvis.com, etc.

To each of these websites, and the dedicated people associated, please keep up the good work(s) and I wish you (personally and professionally) continued success in every endeavor you undertake. Take care and may God bless you and yours…always.

I’ll miss him.

Man, I’ll…

 

Jeff Schrembs

 

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Marty Lacker (sadly) passes away 2/13/2017

Authored with the expressed written permission of Mr. Jeff Schrembs – 2017 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Man.

I.

Did?.

Man.

This is a tough one.

Learning that Marty Lacker passed away today February 13, 2017 hurts. I can’t even image the pain his family and loved ones are enduring. My prayers go out to them. Each of them.

Yeah this is being posted on http://www.theElvisExpert.com but this is real life. A man died. A man who left behind a family. A man who I and it is hurting me to write this. I don’t know if it is a combination of my own medical trials or the fact that he took the time recently to ask how I was doing and how I was feeling. I am just so very sad.

I can’t think of more to write at this time but when I am able I hope to.

Jeff Schrembs

 

 

Fathers Day 2016 – Elvis Presley as a Father

cool shirt   There are many friends, and authors who eloquently have written about this aspect of Elvis’ life, (i.e. Marty Lacker, Red West, Sonny West,  Alanna Nash, Billy Smith, Joe Esposito, Jerry Schilling, etc.) who were with Elvis when Priscilla was pregnant (from May 1, 1967 to February 1, 1068) – when Lisa Marie was born – and for the 9+ years Lisa Marie was  with her Father (as he sadly died on August 16, 1977).

There is not a shred of a doubt that Elvis loved Lisa Marie from; the moment it was confirmed Priscilla was pregnant, to every kick and movement during those 9 months, to the deliver (note: back then the man was not allowed in the delivery room and they had to wait in a designated “waiting room”).

Also, in southern culture (which I know firsthand and is a prominent place of where I come from and how I look at certain things especially respect, admiration, appreciation, etc. for women) the Father was kept from seeing his wife and newborn child until both were cleaned up and “presentable”. Furthermore the Father, in this case Elvis, was given strict instructions about Priscillas expected recovery time which Elvis not only took to heart but he had a deeply held belief that God gives life through the mother and that her body is literally a sanctuary and the relationship between man and wife can change (still loving and caring but “different”) once a child is born.

Priscilla and Elvis married both wanted children but I don’t believe that Priscilla envisioned that she would become pregnant on her honeymoon. Thus, this celebratory time in their life soon turned to semi-bedrest and after the birth months of recovery.

Priscilla becoming pregnant was a great joy in Elvis’ life and he was a loving, concerned, and proud expectant Father. He doted on Priscilla and together they chose names should it be a son and/or a daughter.

1967 was a turning point in Elvis’ life as he was on the cusp of getting out of his movie contracts, that had been in place since his release from the US Army whereby Elvis starred in (approximately) three movies per year and had stifled Elvis’ creative juices and kept him from appearing before a live audience something that he truly loved…and needed,  and he was in better physcial shape.

But he, nor anyone else, had any idea that within the next two years he would catapult back into the forefront of the musical world and renew his superstardom first by his 1968 Singer TV Special (by the talented Steve Binder) entitled “Elvis” and then his successful return to live performances starting in Las Vegas.

Lisa Marie was the greatest love of Elvis’ life.

She had the best of Elvis’ features as well as those of her stunningly beautiful mother Priscilla. She was quick witted, smart, and (like her Father) seemed to be always on the move.

Thankfully, Lisa Marie has shared many of her stories/recollections about her and her beloved Father (i.e. in videos, books, interviews, photographs, etc.) which I encourage everyone to seek out and enjoy.

The photographs taken of Elvis and Priscilla in the hospital with newborn Lisa Marie show a smiling, animated, laughing, and joyously proud Elvis who took to holding, and fonding over,  Lisa Marie like he had done it his whole life. Of course Priscilla looks beautiful and her smiles are equally bright and the love she has for her daughter is evident in every breath… every movement.

Writing this blog will never do justice to the love Elvis had for Lisa Marie. I think their love was beautiful, consuming, unique, and eternal. I believed that he loved her so much and that when the marriage between Elvis and Priscilla began to deteriorate it adversely effected Elvis every moment of his life. I don’t believe Elvis ever thought that he would bring a child into this world and not be able to spend their lives together with an enduring triangle of love cemented by an ever present Mother and Father.

Lisa Marie has been blessed to have her own children who I am sure she loves greatly. Lisa Marie is a multi-talented woman who is sensitive, regal, and in so many ways strong/brave/fierce. She is married to Mr. Michael Lockwood since 2006 and by all accounts they are happy, committed, and loving parents. I wish her and her family all the best in life.

Elvis spoiled Lisa Marie with gifts, attention, freedom, etc. I believe he did this, in part, because of his childhood growing up with love but also in adjunct poverty. Also, I believe Elvis (like many of us do) had an internal clock that was known only to Elvis but precipitated his intentions and his actions.

Perhaps it was because his mother died on August 14, 1958. For whatever reasons Elvis, as he did in every aspect of his life, did what he thought best and the end result was that he raised (along with Priscilla) an  exceptional woman in her own right.

I believe that Elvis Presley was a good Father. That he showed his love to Lisa Marie and that his love has, in part, sustained her throughout her life.

Lastly, I believe that true love is not only essential but never ending. That true love is not defined by geography, time, space, or presence. That true love is the greatest gift God bestowed to us other than his son, Jesus. I believe that the love between Elvis and Lisa Marie exists to their very day and that, as it should be, it belongs between them.

** Note – though I possess many photographs of Elvis with Lisa Marie I made a decision decades ago that it is not my place to show them to the general public. That the only person who should control those moments encapsulated on film (i.e. photos and videos). I am also very appreciative to Lisa Marie for giving of her time to Elvis Presley fans worldwide and to carry on supporting worthwhile charitable endeavors as Elvis did throughout his life.

Thank for your visiting our site and please let others know about our blog, and websites, via social media.

HAPPY FATHERS DAY 2016.

Take care and may God bless you and yours…always.

 

Jeff Schrembs – 2016 All Rights Reserved

http://www.ElvisCollector.info

http://www.ElvisCollectorWorldwide.freeforums.org

 

 

Elvis Presley requirements – September 10, 2015 edition

Welcome to the September 10, 2015 edition of Elvis Presley requirements.

What are, or is, the “Elvis Presley requirements” you say?

Well, it is my (approximately) six decades of personal experiences of  collecting, reading, etc. all things of quality concerning the life, onstage and off, of Elvis Presley.

If you want to learn intricate details about Elvis, and even after these six decades I am still learning and/or rediscovering, I have some recommendations.

First and foremost you can garner a lot of information, music, videos, etc. by visiting the official Elvis Presley website of http://www.Elvis.com. YouTube has a lot of content as well but don’t get distracted, or worse, about others that have adverse agendas and/or use attention getting subject lines that are hollow.

There are some exceptional books about Elvis. Some of the most interesting Elvis books are authored by Peter Guralnick] and some of my favorite books, which I recommend, are authored by Alanna Nash.

You can find exceptional books, articles, writings, posts, video projects, documentaries, etc. with contributions by (including but not limited to); Marty Lacker, Billy Smith, Red West, Sonny West, Jerry Schilling, Sandi Pichon, Joe Esposito, Sandie Kay Stevens, etc.

If you are looking for some great songs Elvis recorded, but are not widely acknowledged but are nonetheless exceptional, here are a few of my favorites; inherit the wind, wearing that loved on look, wonderful world, unchained melody, treat me nice, snowbird, walk a mile in my shoes, you’ll never walk alone, 500 miles, mona lisa (aka portrait of my love), trying to get to you (1968 edition), let yourself go, and edge of reality.

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention http://www.ElvisCollector.info and http://www.ElvisCollectorWorldwide.freeforums.org.

Until next time…

WM ARMY Elvis hair short growing out sitting head down reading papers rare scale 10 WM Elvis with Priscillla 1967 Elvis drivng his Rolls Royce rareraereare WM HORSEBACK 1969 side shot with many others getting autograph

Elvis (Presley) week August 2015

1961 candid head down Elvis sad looking

This being August of 2015 Elvis, even more than routinely, will be in the forefront of media attention not only for it being (sadly) the 38th anniversary of his passing (i.e. August 16, 1977) but for the United States Postal Service offering a “forever Elvis Stamp”.

While many will be traveling to Graceland, or getting together in person and/or online with other Elvis fans, there will be many who will acknowledge their memories of Elvis privately. Regardless of geographical location with the plethora of Elvis’ professional material available for sale, and/or on the internet, is extensive and much of which is of quality.

On one page of the website http://www.ElvisCollector.info I have the names of those who were integral part of Elvis’ life but (sadly) they too have passed away. After much thought, and with an emphasis of respect to the loved ones and family members of those who have passed, I decided on incorporating this into the site.

Many of those listed on the site I was fortunate enough to know, or have met, or have spoken with, or have communicated with, and/or I was able to (over a period of decades) convey my appreciation and respect. I continue to keep their family, and loved ones, in my prayers knowing that there are no words that can heal the loss that they have endured through the very writing of this post.

Knowing full well that we are the last generation with personal connections to Elvis, while he was alive in his prime, and performing to sold out crowds throughout the United States. Man, those days seem….like a lifetime ago.

To Lisa Marie, Priscilla, EPE, Jack Soden, etc. thank you for allowing Elvis Presley fans to view Graceland since 1982.

To so many that loved Elvis, and Elvis loved and trusted, such as; Marty Lacker, Red West, Sonny West, Billy Smith, Jerry Schilling, Joe Esposito, Sandi Pichon, Sandie Kay Stevens, Kay Wheeler, Kathy Westmoreland, etc. they were (individually and collectively) integral parts of Elvis life – his successes – etc. onstage and off. To each I say “thank you”.

To Alanna Nash, Russ Howe, JAT, Paul Litcher, etc. thank you for your professional endeavors which include unique books – exhibits – websites – dvd – cd’s – etc. about Elvis Presley’s incredible life.

I listen to Elvis music routinely. So many of the songs I not only know the lyrics by heart but have listed to (literally) thousands of times. Some of these songs were the backdrop of my youth and even in my twilight years I always enjoy, and am impressed by, countless recordings/concerts/dvds/cds/tv appearances/movies that Elvis made in his three decades in the entertainment field.

There will never be another Elvis.

One of the primary lessons of Elvis’ life is that he was blessed with God given talents and he found the strength to pursue his talents, working extremely hard at his craft, and in many ways became an inspiration.

Take care and may God bless you.

Jeff Schrembs

http://www.ElvisCollector.info

http://www.ElvisCollectorWorldwide.freeforums.org

Review of Geraldo Rivera’s tv program “Elvis at 80”

http://video.foxnews.com/v/3914839106001/geraldo-rivera-reports-elvis-at-80/#sp=show-clips

I recently watched this one hour special that aired on November 28, 2014.

My reaction(s) are:

There was way too much about Elvis’ drug addiction.

The Jerry Schilling interview was sincere but there was an answer, pertaining to members of the Memphis Mafia, that (I am sure) was hard for Jerry to answer but came across as (a) not in full context and (b) deserving of a response by those members of the Memphis Mafia. I have long held that it is long past time when the members of Elvis’ Memphis Mafia reconcile and support each other in every aspect. Every year brings (sadly) news of another death of those who were; loved by, befriended by, worked with, related to, etc. Elvis Presley.

Geraldo has a long history of Elvis expose and I can attest, firsthand, that some of Geraldo’s past comments about Elvis (an example is “I never bought into that yes mam and no mam —t”). Interestingly, during Elvis’ lifetime there was an incident whereby member of the Memphis Mafia related that “Geraldo felt snubbed by Elvis”.

They should have allowed other members of Elvis’ Memphis Mafia, other than Jerry and George, to be apart of this program even if it was only a statement.

I know that anyone/everyone in the world will be pining to do an interview about anyone pertaining to Elvis Presley’s 80th birthday being January 8, 2015. There are many people of quality (including but not limited to; Marty Lacker, Red West, Sonny West, Billy Smith, Alanna Nash, Sandie Stevens, and Sandi Pichon) involved in Elvis’ life, onstage and off, and their input should be sought out in every instance.

In closing, I wish everyone a happy Hanukkah. A merry Christmas. And a Happy New Year 2015. May god bless you one and all.

Jeff Schrembs

http://www.ElvisCollector.info

Remembering Elvis Presley’s passing August 16, 1977

RARE signed promo 56 or 57

 

On August 16, 1977 we lost the greatest entertainer who ever lived…bar none.

Others lost their best friend. Some lost their employer. A Father lost a son and a grandmother her only grandson. A daughter lost her Father and the world lost a man who, though imperfect, rose up from bitter poverty and excelled, against odds, in his chosen profession for three decades.

My prayers go out to Elvis’ family members and to those, like the Memphis Mafia Members (specifically Marty Lacker, Billy Smith, Red West, Sonny West, etc.) and their family members, who were related to Elvis and/or shared parts of their lives with him.

To each of the “Memphis Mafia Members”, Sandi Pichon, and Alanna Nash I say thank you for putting aspects of Elvis life into various forums (i.e. written, videos, interviews, photographs, blogs, etc.) whereby we learn about the man (onstage and off)  and can recall events (highs and lows) that made up the fascinating story that is…Elvis Aaron Presley.

I encourage Elvis Presley Fans Worldwide to seek out their works, individually and collectively, and add these books – videos – publications – etc.. for in doing so your knowledge, and your collection, of Elvis will be greatly enhanced.

Take care and may God bless you.

 

Jeff Schrembs 2013 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

www.ElvisCollector.info

Book review of “Elvis Aaron Presley”

Elvis Aaron Presley by Alanna Nash, Billy Smith, Lamar Fike, and Marty Lacker (1996 reprint) is an excellent book.

This book can be found online as well as on www.Amazon.com.

 

WHY you ask?

 

Well, I will tell you.

 

First and foremost these individuals were with Elvis, including Billy Smith who was Elvis’ cousin, for either (a) all of his life and/or (b) the vast majority of his life.

 

Secondly, Marty Lacker is an honorable honest and faithful friend of Elvis’ and been an Elvis Presley (facts both good and not so good) confidant since the early 1960s.

 

Lamar Fike was a funny, caring, and sincere man who never left a room before leaving his laughter/sense of humor on everyone. Sadly Lamar Fike passed away recently and our prayers remain with his family, friends and loved ones.

 

Billy Smith was with Elvis the day of his death and played racquetball with Elvis (as Elvis could not sleep). Sadly, Billy Smith was the last person on earth to hear/see Elvis sing a song (as Elvis played the piano which was outside his racquetball court in the same building and the song he played/sang was “Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain”).

 

Alanna Nash is the foremost author concerning Elvis Presley. Her writings are “sourced” and her writing style leads the reader effortlessly throughout this book and each of her books.

 

One of the great things about Alanna Nash’s writings are that she puts things into context that may be controversial but are necessary to fully examine various aspects of Elvis’ life onstage and off.

 

The stories contained in this book are memorable and the individuals who wrote this book are exceptional men (individually and collectively). They were proud of being Elvis friends and they loved him…and he loved them as well.

 

That alone, ladies and gentlemen, is reason enough to get this book and learn more about the world’s greatest entertainer and the man himself.

 

Take care and God bless.

Jeff Schrembs

http://www.ElvisCollector.info

http://www.ElvisCollectorWorldwide.freeforums.org

The last living links to Elvis Presley (by Jeff Schrembs)

The Rolling Stones had a, justifiably so, hit song entitled “Time is on my side”. With each passing year we have learned that this is not so. Time will go on long after we physically leave this world.

On August 16, 1977 at the age of 42 Elvis Aron Presley died. His health (mentally, physically and emotionally) had been deteriorating since 1973. The greatest entertainer in history had died and the world was in mourning.

At the time of his death the various family members, and friends, rallied around Colonel Parker and Vernon Presley (who was inconsolable and in shock as well as having his own severe health issues) in a constant state of chaos having not only lost a friend – a loved one – but also (in many cases) their employer.

In the days immediately after they had no time to grieve as the swells, and the media coverage, filled the infamous Graceland gates with hundreds of thousands of fans. Flower shops for miles were sold out. Elvis last album, Moody Blue, sold 1 million copies within a week.

Elvis fans suffered in the heat and at night sweated as candles were held up and personal stories recalled.

I will never forget that day nor will I forget the legacy, and the ups and downs of being a fan, of Elvis Presley. Our generation is truly the last living links to Elvis Presley as sadly other generations can only read about him, learn about him, watch tapes of him, but never can comprehend the musical scene in which Elvis triumphed – went into the Army – did his first comeback – went into the movies for 9 years – did the 68 Special – started touring and performing live in Vegas – toured from 1970-1977 – and created a great body of songs that still resonate these (4) four decades later.

With each passing year (sadly) we have lost loved ones, friends, relatives, etc. of Elvis Presley, Recently we lost Lamar Fike and Myrna Smith. My prayers continue to go out to their family and loved ones.

As of this writing (June 2013) there remains essential players in the “Elvis Presley story” being; Marty Lacker, Sonny West, Red West, Billy Smith, Jerry Schilling, Joe Esposito, Sandi Pichon and even Priscilla. Lisa Marie stands alone and I applaud her for excelling as a Mother having lost, at such a young age, her beloved Father…Elvis.

Though Elvis fans will form their own opinions, 99.9% on opinions not put into context or taking into consideration the fact that Elvis loved each of these individuals over a period of decades, I have always supported each of these individuals endeavors and I have respect for them. They remain “living breathing witnesses” to greatness. They were loved and trusted by Elvis. They shared in his success. His failures. His depression. His deteriorating health. And most of all in his life. I encourage everyone to seek out these individuals and support their endeavors for time holds no guarantees.

Outside of these few are those who have given of their time – their expertise – and of their passion by writing books, in context, about Elvis. Such is the case with Alanna Nash. I have read her books about Elvis knowing as much about Elvis as anyone outside of the Memphis Mafia, Priscilla and/or Lisa Marie. Alanna Nash writes about all aspects of Elvis, the good and the not so good, and provides a context. I applaud her for doing so and I thank her.

It is my hope that those of my generation never take for granted those who are actual links to Elvis. For Elvis himself often questioned, his friends and of God, “will they remember me when I am gone”? We have never forgotten him and I hope that the answer to this questions continues to be a resounding….YES.

Elvis was more than an image. More than a persona. He was a man who achieved greatness, in every avenue he pursued, while having his own self doubts and temperament. He was, of course, imperfect but he was unique and he used the talents he was blessed with and he shared it with the world. His story would be incomplete had it not of been for the inclusiveness of these individuals whom I have specified herein. I hope that they never stop sharing their memories. Sharing their time. And sharing their talents. For we lost enough on August 16, 1977.

Take care and may God bless you.

Jeff Schrembs

www.ElvisCollector.info