George Hamilton, Hollywood's poster boy for fun in the sun, was born in Memphis, and Colonel Tom Parker, Elvis' idiosyncratic manager, was the best man at his wedding.
Here's what Hamilton, who's appearing in La Cage aux Folles at the Orpheum this week, had to say about his first meeting with Parker: "The Colonel said he already had the right deal for me. 'See these elephants?' he asked. And there were literally 1,000 elephants there. They were made of paper maché or something. With fuzzy things. It was all Carnival stuff. I'd never seen anything like it. Anyway, he said, 'All of these elephants are all being sold today, and you are the lucky buyer. You're going to get all of these elephants here for just over $1,000.
"I sat there thinking this man was crazy. Then I said okay. He said, 'We've got a deal. It's the first deal you've made with me, and I'll buy you lunch out of the profits.'
"So we ate lunch. It was all heavy Southern food. And while we were eating, people packed these elephants in boxes, and it settled in that I had to give Col. Tom a thousand dollars for elephants. What the hell was I going to do with elephants?
"I called my brother, who was a decorator, and said, 'Hey, I bought all of these elephants from Tom Parker. That's Elvis's manager, you see. [My brother] actually managed to place every single one of those elephants in the condominiums he was working on [in Palm Springs]. I doubled my money. So I went back to the Colonel and asked him if he had any more of those elephants to sell.
"Col. Tom said, 'Now you're worthy to sit down and talk business with me.' And we became the best friends."