Elvis Revisited by Mae Boren Axton (1965 article)

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Elvis Revisited by Mae Boren Axton (1965 article)

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Elvis Presley Revisited
by Mae Boren Axton
Elvis Presley, Fall 1965
is the 7th issue of Songs And Stars
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Re: Elvis Revisited by Mae Boren Axton (1965 article)

Post by George Smith »

This is wonderful, thank you!

Who is Charley Neal? The baseball player?

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Re: Elvis Revisited by Mae Boren Axton (1965 article)

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The fool wrote:Elvis Presley Revisited
by Mae Boren Axton
Elvis Presley, Fall 1965
is the 7th issue of Songs And Stars
Thanks The fool.

"the peerless Colonel Tom Parker", "the Colonel's lovely wife", "Col. Tom Parker, who remains the guiding light in Presley's career, even today".

Why do people have to be so fawning ? I thought Mae was a classier lady. I loathe this way of addressing people.

And, by the way, Elvis' career in 1965 was at an all-time low. So much for the guiding light...
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Re: Elvis Revisited by Mae Boren Axton (1965 article)

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Mister Moon wrote:"the peerless Colonel Tom Parker", "the Colonel's lovely wife", "Col. Tom Parker, who remains the guiding light in Presley's career, even today".

Why do people have to be so fawning ? I thought Mae was a classier lady. I loathe this way of addressing people.
I can see your point, Mister Moon, but there's more going here than you may think.

Axton genuinely adored Parker: in her memoirs she gushes over him in a way that makes the above look tame. It's my belief that Parker set up a job for Axton in 1954 with Hank Snow at a time when she really needed financial aid, hence her devotion to him.

Also, Mae's writing and speech are almost quintessentially southern -- there's a real sense of extreme good manners: if you can't say something good about someone then say nothing at all. All of Mae's "friends" are "wonderful" people. All of her professional aquaintances are "just lovely." This is who Axton was: she was very, very good at her PR job: words were her weapons.

Fascinating lady: almost everything she said in her interviews about Elvis is worth reading twice. She never lies but she doesn't always tell the unvarnished truth.

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Re: Elvis Revisited by Mae Boren Axton (1965 article)

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George Smith wrote:This is wonderful, thank you!

Who is Charley Neal? The baseball player?
I believe Charlie Neil was Bob Neals son. Bob Neil, Elvis' manager before the Colonel.
Charlie and him or about the same age.


This is really great The Fool!! Thank you. Love these priceless magazine stories

Mister Moon

Re: Elvis Revisited by Mae Boren Axton (1965 article)

Post by Mister Moon »

George Smith wrote:
Mister Moon wrote:"the peerless Colonel Tom Parker", "the Colonel's lovely wife", "Col. Tom Parker, who remains the guiding light in Presley's career, even today".

Why do people have to be so fawning ? I thought Mae was a classier lady. I loathe this way of addressing people.
I can see your point, Mister Moon, but there's more going here than you may think.

Axton genuinely adored Parker: in her memoirs she gushes over him in a way that makes the above look tame. It's my belief that Parker set up a job for Axton in 1954 with Hank Snow at a time when she really needed financial aid, hence her devotion to him.

Also, Mae's writing and speech are almost quintessentially southern -- there's a real sense of extreme good manners: if you can't say something good about someone then say nothing at all. All of Mae's "friends" are "wonderful" people. All of her professional aquaintances are "just lovely." This is who Axton was: she was very, very good at her PR job: words were her weapons.

Fascinating lady: almost everything she said in her interviews about Elvis is worth reading twice. She never lies but she doesn't always tell the unvarnished truth.
Thanks George for your informative post.

Yes, I can tell from her words that her professional relationship with Parker was very close. And that she was "very good at her PR job".

But, to me, words, or the ability to communicate, are / should be much more than "weapons". It's a privilege, really.

When one uses so many adjectives in such a small space, it immediately becomes an empty speech to me.

I mean, you can use diplomacy, and everything in the book, but there's a line that should not be crossed, in the name of good taste.

Of course, this is only my opinion. Maybe I'm too "dry" !!!

Thanks again, George.
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Re: Elvis Revisited by Mae Boren Axton (1965 article)

Post by drjohncarpenter »

George Smith wrote:This is wonderful, thank you!

Who is Charley Neal? The baseball player?
Reading through the article, my guess is Elvis actually said Charlie Hodge. The interview appears to be circa July-August 1965, and Elvis' association with anyone from the Sun days was long gone. And I do not believe Bob Neal had a son named Charley.

Mae also writes that Elvis calls cousin Gene Smith another of his "closest" friends, but this cannot be correct, as Gene had been banished from the inner circle perhaps two years before. Presley likely said cousin Billy Smith.

The article is a puff piece, with other inaccuracies, but it is interesting to read how many times Presley and Axton touched base after 1955, especially when Elvis was anywhere near Florida. It's too bad we don't know more about the relationship, and Mae's role in the creation of the landmark single that is "Heartbreak Hotel."

Also, I believe the article offers an previously-unseen Wertheimer shot from Richmond in June 1956:

580630_Mosque_Richmond.JPG
Thanks for the upload, The fool.
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Re: Elvis Revisited by Mae Boren Axton (1965 article)

Post by 1Sixstring »

drjohncarpenter wrote:
George Smith wrote:This is wonderful, thank you!

Who is Charley Neal? The baseball player?
Reading through the article, my guess is Elvis actually said Charlie Hodge. The interview appears to be circa July-August 1965, and Elvis' association with anyone from the Sun days was long gone. And I do not believe Bob Neal had a son named Charley.

Mae also writes that Elvis calls cousin Gene Smith another of his "closest" friends, but this cannot be correct, as Gene had been banished from the inner circle perhaps two years before. Presley likely said cousin Billy Smith.

The article is a puff piece, with other inaccuracies, but it is interesting to read how many times Presley and Axton touched base after 1955, especially when Elvis was anywhere near Florida. It's too bad we don't know more about the relationship, and Mae's role in the creation of the landmark single that is "Heartbreak Hotel."

Also, I believe the article offers an previously-unseen Wertheimer shot from Richmond in June 1956:

580630_Mosque_Richmond.JPG
Thanks for the upload, The fool.
I agree with all observations here, I even noted that since the year being 1965 I immediate thought maybe it was supposed to say Charlie Hodge also, same as you. But due to her inaccuracies that you noted I wondered if maybe, just possibly she either had the time frequence out of order in here piece (mixing up the 2 seperate interviews) since she referenced the 1st interview from early in Elvis' career, that (1954-55 timeframe) would be the time frame he would be referencing Charley Neil.
http://50sspirit.blogspot.com/2013/07/july-1955-elvis-with-charlie-neal-bob.html

(I'm not saying this is proof positive, but it's where I found that reference) When I just did another search, I saw another source referencing Bob Neal son Charley...granted he's not mentioned in anything I've ever read before from those early years.
This makes me think, if these sources prove there was a Charley Elvis told her was a friend he said this in her 1st interview with him. Or he did say Charlie Hodge and she just messed up and printed Charley Neal.
Plausible??
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Re: Elvis Revisited by Mae Boren Axton (1965 article)

Post by rjm »

drjohncarpenter wrote:
George Smith wrote:This is wonderful, thank you!

Who is Charley Neal? The baseball player?
Reading through the article, my guess is Elvis actually said Charlie Hodge. The interview appears to be circa July-August 1965, and Elvis' association with anyone from the Sun days was long gone. And I do not believe Bob Neal had a son named Charley.

Mae also writes that Elvis calls cousin Gene Smith another of his "closest" friends, but this cannot be correct, as Gene had been banished from the inner circle perhaps two years before. Presley likely said cousin Billy Smith.

The article is a puff piece, with other inaccuracies, but it is interesting to read how many times Presley and Axton touched base after 1955, especially when Elvis was anywhere near Florida. It's too bad we don't know more about the relationship, and Mae's role in the creation of the landmark single that is "Heartbreak Hotel."

Also, I believe the article offers an previously-unseen Wertheimer shot from Richmond in June 1956:

580630_Mosque_Richmond.JPG
Thanks for the upload, The fool.
Yes, we definitely yearn to know more about this relationship, and Mae's role in "Heartbreak Hotel."

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Re: Elvis Revisited by Mae Boren Axton (1965 article)

Post by Mister Moon »

George Smith wrote:This is wonderful, thank you!

Who is Charley Neal? The baseball player?
Sorry I didn't answer sooner. I thought you were kidding.

Please see the following thread. In it, "Mississippi" mentions Charlie Neal, supposedly Bob Neal's son.

http://www.elvis-collectors.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=48605

I have also googled the thing, but I can't find anywhere else where this is mentioned.
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Re: Elvis Revisited by Mae Boren Axton (1965 article)

Post by George Smith »

Mister Moon wrote:
George Smith wrote:This is wonderful, thank you!

Who is Charley Neal? The baseball player?


Sorry I didn't answer sooner. I thought you were kidding.

Please see the following thread. In it, "Mississippi" mentions Charlie Neal, supposedly Bob Neal's son.

http://www.elvis-collectors.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=48605

I have also googled the thing, but I can't find anywhere else where this is mentioned.

Thanks for the response.

I'm far from being the world's greatest authority on Elvis Presley but this is the first time I've heard of a mid-60s close friendship with Bob Neal's son?

Must be an error as noted above, surely?

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Re: Elvis Revisited by Mae Boren Axton (1965 article)

Post by 1Sixstring »

George Smith wrote:
Mister Moon wrote:
George Smith wrote:This is wonderful, thank you!

Who is Charley Neal? The baseball player?


Sorry I didn't answer sooner. I thought you were kidding.

Please see the following thread. In it, "Mississippi" mentions Charlie Neal, supposedly Bob Neal's son.

http://www.elvis-collectors.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=48605

I have also googled the thing, but I can't find anywhere else where this is mentioned.

Thanks for the response.

I'm far from being the world's greatest authority on Elvis Presley but this is the first time I've heard of a mid-60s close friendship with Bob Neal's son?

Must be an error as noted above, surely?
Hi George, you and Mister Moon may have missed it further up the thread but I tried answering you as well. I also responded to Docs comments adding a link. You'll see the link on my second reply referencing a different website. They make reference to Bob Neal having a son named Charley. Between Mister Moon and myself, those are 2 references to this guy Charley Neal being a friend if Elvis' in the early days. But I'm with you, he seems a bit of a mystery as there aren't many mentions of him in anything I have read in the past. Maybe someone else here will be able to dig something up.

Mister Moon

Re: Elvis Revisited by Mae Boren Axton (1965 article)

Post by Mister Moon »

I missed your post, 1Sixstring, sorry.

I have checked the link you provided, and they definitely lifted that photo, and its caption, from FECC.

If you download the photo from both links, you'll see they have the exact same size (151 KB) and dimensions (698 x 741 pixels). And the caption is exactly the same as given by "Mississippi" in the relevant post, nearly four years earlier.

But I'm sure we will be able to dig up more information on the subject.

Thanks !
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Re: Elvis Revisited by Mae Boren Axton (1965 article)

Post by drjohncarpenter »

Mister Moon wrote:I missed your post, 1Sixstring, sorry.

I have checked the link you provided, and they definitely lifted that photo, and its caption, from FECC.

If you download the photo from both links, you'll see they have the exact same size (151 KB) and dimensions (698 x 741 pixels). And the caption is exactly the same as given by "Mississippi" in the relevant post, nearly four years earlier.

But I'm sure we will be able to dig up more information on the subject.

Thanks !
The photo on that blog is of Elvis with Bob Neal's oldest son, Sonny Neal. It was taken in July 1955 at McKellar Lake in Memphis. Sonny's dad was Bob Neal, legendary Memphis DJ, and Elvis' first true manager. Elvis' relationship with Sonny was mostly during the time Bob Neal worked for Presley.

Sonny went on to be Charlie's Rich's manager in the mid-seventies, and also worked with the William Morris Agency for acts like Connie Smith, Conway Twitty, Crystal Gayle, Jerry Reed, and Ray Stevens. He passed away on June 10, 2007 at the age of 68.

Again, the summer 1965 friendships referenced in the Axton article are far more likely to be Billy Smith, Red West and Charlie Hodge.
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Re: Elvis Revisited by Mae Boren Axton (1965 article)

Post by 1Sixstring »

Thank you Mister Moon. I would not have known or thought to double check photo by download. So that cancels my link out. Thanks again for info.


And thank you Doc for the above info also. Definitely helps clear some things up.

Mister Moon

Re: Elvis Revisited by Mae Boren Axton (1965 article)

Post by Mister Moon »

drjohncarpenter wrote: The photo on that blog is of Elvis with Bob Neal's oldest son, Sonny Neal. It was taken in July 1955 at McKellar Lake in Memphis. Sonny's dad was Bob Neal, legendary Memphis DJ, and Elvis' first true manager. Elvis' relationship with Sonny was mostly during the time Bob Neal worked for Presley.
Thanks for this information, Doc.

Indeed, Sonny is mentioned twice in Guralnick's "Last Train To Memphis".

Knowing this, I've been able to find a different version of that photo with Elvis. It's less cropped on the sides, more cropped on top and bottom, and a bit clearer :
550700 - Sonny Neal - McKellar Lake.JPG
This being out of the way, I think it still would be interesting to know if there was a Charley / Charlie Neal. The name is quoted in Axton's article and in "Mississippi"'s post in the above mentioned FECC thread - two apparently unconnected sources.

Could it be that Bob Neal had a son named Charley / Charlie ?
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Re: Elvis Revisited by Mae Boren Axton (1965 article)

Post by drjohncarpenter »

Mister Moon wrote:Could it be that Bob Neal had a son named Charley / Charlie ?
If he did, he did not associate with Elvis.
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Re: Elvis Revisited by Mae Boren Axton (1965 article)

Post by Mister Moon »

drjohncarpenter wrote:
Mister Moon wrote:Could it be that Bob Neal had a son named Charley / Charlie ?
If he did, he did not associate with Elvis.
So Mae's quote is definitely ruled out as being a mistake ?

How can we know for sure ?
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Re: Elvis Revisited by Mae Boren Axton (1965 article)

Post by drjohncarpenter »

Mister Moon wrote:
drjohncarpenter wrote:
Mister Moon wrote:Could it be that Bob Neal had a son named Charley / Charlie ?
If he did, he did not associate with Elvis.
So Mae's quote is definitely ruled out as being a mistake ?

How can we know for sure ?
Well, Mae and Elvis are dead. So that's a problem.

However, given all the known facts, as presented in this topic, and given the mistakes noted in Axton's article, we can be fairly confident the above conclusions are true and correct.
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Re: Elvis Revisited by Mae Boren Axton (1965 article)

Post by Mister Moon »

drjohncarpenter wrote:
Mister Moon wrote:
drjohncarpenter wrote:
Mister Moon wrote:Could it be that Bob Neal had a son named Charley / Charlie ?
If he did, he did not associate with Elvis.
So Mae's quote is definitely ruled out as being a mistake ?

How can we know for sure ?
Well, Mae and Elvis are dead. So that's a problem.

However, given all the known facts, as presented in this topic, and given the mistakes noted in Axton's article, we can be fairly confident the above conclusions are true and correct.
There must be somebody on this planet who knows which were the names of Bob Neal's children. This is what I would like to know. Not an earth-shattering matter, but now that we're at it, it would be nice to learn about it.
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Re: Elvis Revisited by Mae Boren Axton (1965 article)

Post by drjohncarpenter »

Mister Moon wrote:
drjohncarpenter wrote:
Mister Moon wrote:
drjohncarpenter wrote:
Mister Moon wrote:Could it be that Bob Neal had a son named Charley / Charlie ?
If he did, he did not associate with Elvis.
So Mae's quote is definitely ruled out as being a mistake ?

How can we know for sure ?
Well, Mae and Elvis are dead. So that's a problem.

However, given all the known facts, as presented in this topic, and given the mistakes noted in Axton's article, we can be fairly confident the above conclusions are true and correct.
There must be somebody on this planet who knows which were the names of Bob Neal's children. This is what I would like to know. Not an earth-shattering matter, but now that we're at it, it would be nice to learn about it.
Tell me what would be the point of this information? The article and interview are from 1965.

Elvis did not have friendships with people from the Sun period any more, save professional exceptions like Scotty Moore.
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Re: Elvis Revisited by Mae Boren Axton (1965 article)

Post by Mister Moon »

drjohncarpenter wrote:
Mister Moon wrote:
drjohncarpenter wrote:
Mister Moon wrote:
drjohncarpenter wrote:
Mister Moon wrote:Could it be that Bob Neal had a son named Charley / Charlie ?
If he did, he did not associate with Elvis.
So Mae's quote is definitely ruled out as being a mistake ?

How can we know for sure ?
Well, Mae and Elvis are dead. So that's a problem.

However, given all the known facts, as presented in this topic, and given the mistakes noted in Axton's article, we can be fairly confident the above conclusions are true and correct.
There must be somebody on this planet who knows which were the names of Bob Neal's children. This is what I would like to know. Not an earth-shattering matter, but now that we're at it, it would be nice to learn about it.
Tell me what would be the point of this information? The article and interview are from 1965.

Elvis did not have friendships with people from the Sun period any more, save professional exceptions like Scotty Moore.
We can't rule out the possibility that Bob Neal had a son named Charley / Charlie, who may have been among Elvis' friends in that period. That's all.
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Re: Elvis Revisited by Mae Boren Axton (1965 article)

Post by Jove »

I got this from an ex-member.
630629 The Music Reporter - Nashville.jpg
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Re: Elvis Revisited by Mae Boren Axton (1965 article)

Post by EPA4368 »

Article is reminiscing because not much to talk about with Elvis' music back in '65.

Wonder if it was Parker's idea to put "Kissin' Cousins" under Songs Hits?
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Re: Elvis Revisited by Mae Boren Axton (1965 article)

Post by George Smith »

Thanks for this update, Jove, much appreciated.

My current feeling is that Mae was certainly not above dropping names into written interviews as a form of subliminal publicity: this was certainly the case with Glenn Reeves in 1956, for example.

She was friendly with Bob and may have mentioned Neal Jr as a favour (perhaps he was starting up in a business at the time).

Whether this was done with Elvis' consent is an unanswered question.

Just my opinion.

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