Elvis Presley’s Cousin Remembers Growing Up Alongside Lisa Marie at Graceland

by Samantha Whidden
(Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Decades after departing from Graceland, Elvis Presley’s cousin Danny Smith is reflecting on his time at the music legend’s famous home. 

During his recent YouTube video, Lisa Marie’s childhood friend and Billy Smith’s son share what Elvis Presley’s daughter was like at Graceland. “She loved to have her way. She got it a lot of times,” Smith explained. He also stated that Lisa Marie loved to be bossy and was that way a lot of times.

“We all loved each other, but, hell, we all wanted our own way,” Smith continues. “But it all kind of worked out. Let’s just say we knew how to work each other.”

Smith states that he and Lisa Marie had some “damn good times” at Graceland the memories will always be in his heart. Graceland was built in 1939. According to the website, it was originally owned by the S.E. Toof family. The land had been part of the family for generations and was named after one of the female relatives, Grace. Presley purchased the home for $100,000 in 1957 when he was just 22 years old.

Lisa Marie inherited the home after her famous father unexpectedly passed away from a heart attack in 1977. It was opened to the public as a museum in June 1982. It was eventually listed in the National Register of Historic Places in November 1991. The estate actually became the first site related to rock and roll to be entered into the register. 

Lisa Marie Opens Up About Her Upbringing at Graceland 

During a 2013 interview with CBS’ The Talk, Lisa Marie revealed what it was like growing up in her father’s Graceland home. “He and I spent a lot of time together upstairs. The upper part of Graceland is basically his room and my room. That’s when I got the with him.”

When asked if her father was strict while she was at Graceland, Lisa Marie stated he was definitely not strict. But her mother Priscilla definitely was. “My mum was totally the opposite. She was really strict.”

While reflecting about her father living and working at night, Lisa Marie explained that she would be up to all kinds of mischief around the Graceland estate during the day. “He would sleep all day. So me and my friends pretty much had the run of Graceland. And I knew that nobody was going to tell me what to do. Because they would get fired. I was, truly a terror to be honest.”

In regards to what traits she inherited from her famous father, Lisa Marie added, “His personality and intensity levels I can emulate pretty well.”