Red West passed away July 18, 2017

  • I just don’t have the words but my prayers go out to the family and loved ones.
  • To be continued…

PRESS RELEASE:

  • Courtesy of Hollywood online
  • Red West, a boyhood friend and member of Elvis Presley’s “Memphis Mafia” who appeared in many of the singer’s movies as well as in Road HouseBlack Sheep Squadron and Goodbye Solo, has died. He was 81.

West died Tuesday at Baptist Memorial Hospital in Memphis after suffering an aortic aneurysm, his wife, Pat, told The Commercial Appeal newspaper.

West appeared as a stuntman/actor on dozens of episodes of CBS’ futuristic Western series The Wild Wild West in the 1960s and a decade later had a regular role as Sgt. Andy Micklin on another Robert Conrad-starrer, NBC’s Black Sheep Squadron.

He portrayed Red Webster, the owner of an auto parts store who gets his revenge against Ben Gazzara’s character, in the Patrick Swayze classic Road House (1989) and was Sheriff Tanner in the Walking Tall movies released in 1973 and 1975.

As a leading man, West garnered acclaim when he played an old-timer who forges a friendship with a Senegalese cab driver (Souleymane Sy Savane) in director Ramin Bahrani’s North Carolina-set drama Goodbye Solo (2008).

A native of Memphis, West played football in junior college, served in the U.S. Marines and became a Golden Gloves boxer and karate instructor. He first connected with Presley when both were students at Humes High School, he recalled in a 2008 interview.

“Elvis was always different,” he said. “We had crew cuts and wore T-shirts and blue jeans; Elvis had the long ducktail, the long sideburns, and he wore the loud clothes and naturally was a target for all the bullies. One day luckily I walked into the boys’ bathroom at Humes High School and three guys were going to cut his hair just, you know, to make themselves look big or make them feel big or whatever, and I intervened and stopped it.”

After Presley began his recording career, West served as his driver and then worked as one of his bodyguards for years. Meanwhile, he appeared alongside Presley in 18 films, including Flaming Star (1960), Blue Hawaii (1961), Girls! Girls! Girls!(1962), It Happened at the World’s Fair (1963), Viva Las Vegas (1964) and Live a Little, Love a Little(1968).

West also wrote or co-wrote such Presley songs as “Separate Ways,” “If Every Day Was Like Christmas” and “If You Talk in Your Sleep” and worked with singers Ricky Nelson, Pat Boone and Johnny Rivers as well.

One year after he was fired by Presley’s father and two weeks before Elvis’ death on Aug. 16, 1977, the tell-all book Elvis: What Happened?, co-written by West, was published and became a controversial best-seller.

West, who studied with the acclaimed acting teacher Jeff Corey, also appeared in at least two movies filmed in his hometown — Francis Ford Coppola’s The Rainmaker (1997) and Ira Sachs’ Forty Shades of Blue (2005) — and on a 2011 episode of the TNT series Memphis Beat.

His film résumé also included Two for the Seesaw(1962), The Americanization of Emily (1964), The Legend of Grizzly Adams (1990), Natural Born Killers(1994), I Still Know What You Did Last Summer(1998), Cookie’s Fortune (1999) and Glory Road(2006), and on TV he was seen on BonanzaMannixGet SmartThe Six Million Dollar ManThe Fall Guy and Nashville.

Survivors include his wife of 56 years, Pat — who was one of Elvis’ secretaries — and sons John and Brent.

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