HomeEntertainmentElvis Presley’s Cousin Opened Up About the King’s Trust: ‘He Picked the People He Wanted’

Elvis Presley’s Cousin Opened Up About the King’s Trust: ‘He Picked the People He Wanted’

by Madison Miller
Photo by: Bettmann / Contributor / via Getty Images

For someone with an astounding level of fame, fortune, and attention, Elvis Presley was careful who he let into his high-profile life.

From about 1954 to his death in 1977, Presley had a swarm of fans and media flocking to the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll. During his time of fame, Presley had starred in countless Hollywood films and had become one of the all-time best-selling solo artists ever.

Presley and Memphis Mafia

He was infamous for his close-knit groups of family and friends which he donned the Memphis Mafia. He even had several of his closest allies live with him and his family in the Graceland mansion. His Memphis Mafia served as his bodyguards as well. These were people he quite literally trusted with his life.

Elvis Presley’s cousin, Billy Smith, opened up in a recent video on the Memphis Mafia YouTube channel to explain what it was like to be a part of the “Suspicious Minds” singer’s inner circle. There was a longstanding rumor that those in his entourage were forced to sign confidentiality agreements.

Apparently, Elvis and his father were never quite that strict. Presley instead relied on something very specific to select the people close to him — trust.

“Elvis and Vernon were not that strict. Elvis picked people he wanted … He knew who he could trust. If you broke that trust somehow or another it didn’t take long to get back to him and you were [throws thumb over his shoulder] … But believe it or not, most of the ones he chose – except for maybe two or three over the years – were still there and extremely trustworthy,” Smith said.

Despite certain temptations, the Memphis Mafia still always had The King’s back. As Billy Smith said, “We all pretty much had the same goal in mind which was take care of Elvis and his needs.” It was a pretty sweet deal, after all. This group of men got to spend time with Elvis, who was constantly at concerts, movie sets, and other high-profile events. They also had fun experiences over at Graceland. In addition to the perks of money and fame, Presley was pretty fun to be around.

Tom Jones Funny Elvis Presley Story

The “Hound Dog” singer was known for his humor, charm, and overall irreplaceable charisma. Popular artist Tom Jones once recalled an entertaining experience he had with The King.

“I’m in the shower and I’m washing my hair and it’s a big shower and I can hear Elvis Presley’s voice. I’m thinking I must be going nuts because I can hear Elvis Presley’s voice in the shower. I open my eyes and the door was right there on the left-hand side. And there’s Elvis leaning over the door singing the song to me. I said, ‘Well Elvis look, it sounds great, but can I just get out of the shower?’” Tom Jones said on “The Kelly Clarkson Show.”

The two met in 1965 at the Paramount film stage. Presley was there to film “Paradise Hawaiian Style” and the two would quickly become fast friends all the way up until Presley’s unexpected death.