George Klein, the deep-voiced radio persona who grew to become associates with Elvis Presley in highschool and stayed near the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll all through his profession, has died. He was 83.
Presley’s former spouse, Priscilla Presley, instructed The Associated Press that Klein died Tuesday at hospice in Memphis, Tennessee. Priscilla Presley stated Klein had been affected by sickness, together with pneumonia, for about two weeks. She stated she had been in fixed contact with Klein and Presley’s different shut associates, together with Jerry Schilling and Marian Justice Cocke, whereas Klein was in poor health.
Klein met Elvis Presley in 1948 at Humes High School in Memphis they usually have been shut associates till the rock ‘n’ roll icon died in 1977. Klein was a part of Presley’s entourage, referred to as the “Memphis Mafia,” and loved telling tales in regards to the occasions he and Presley spent collectively.
Priscilla Presley stated her former husband preferred Klein’s outgoing persona, his loyalty, and his humorousness. She known as their friendship a “man’s factor,” with their very own inside jokes and “their very own language.”
Elvis Presley used to affectionately name Klein “GK.”
“Their friendship was golden, actually golden,” she stated in a cellphone interview from Los Angeles on Tuesday night time. “I don’t assume I’ve ever heard George say something dangerous about anyone.”
Presley served as Klein’s finest man, and Klein was a pallbearer at Presley’s funeral. Klein appeared in his pal’s movie, “Jailhouse Rock.” When Presley was posthumously inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1986, Klein made the acceptance speech.
“Personally, Elvis was an incredible pal to me,” Klein stated within the speech. “You know, I by no means noticed Elvis refuse an autograph. I by no means noticed Elvis refuse a handshake. I by no means noticed Elvis refuse to take an image with anybody.”
Klein hosted a radio present that includes Presley’s music on Sirius XM. He had additionally hosted radio and tv reveals in Memphis relationship to the 1960s. Klein was identified all through town, talking at charity occasions for no pay, Priscilla Presley stated.
University of Kentucky basketball coach John Calipari, a former head coach on the University of Memphis, stated on Twitter that he would discuss basketball with Klein earlier than and after video games.
“He has been an unbelievable ambassador for town, for Graceland, for Elvis Presley and his household,” Calipari wrote.
In current years, a number of associates of Elvis Presley — Scotty Moore, Red West, D.J. Fontana — have died. Priscilla Presley stated she has considered that, and calls it “a actuality verify.”
“It hits dwelling,” she stated. “He’s the final of our historical past, in some ways.”
Funeral preparations haven’t been launched.