It’s no secret the King had his share of female consorts, some high profile, some relatively unknown. Like the rest of you, I’ve read accounts and tales, firsthand and hearsay, all taken with a nod of the head and a grain of salt. After all, no matter who it is and with what degree of credibility, they all remain a one sided half of the whole story.
Some of the women are well liked by the fans, others vilified. Most all are polarizing. There are shreds of truth in every fanciful fairytale but not every story earns a happily ever after.
The collage application on my photo app only allows for six photos. If the truth be told, surrounding our man with many other key life female players could have been included. Elvis loved women and women loved Elvis. What’s not to love?
Some of the woman made for a good match, others were not well suited from the get go. If you start with Dixie Locke and June Juanico, both girls seemed to blend in with his style and preference. They were local southern belles with an appropriate and well adjusted sense of self and an intense connection to their roots, a charm innate by their upbringing with an understanding of the 50’s division of the sexes. Life and love had it’s own set of established markers deep in the heart of mid century Dixie.
As the Elvis momentum grew nationally, so did the boy to man internally. Did he outgrow the sweet southern girls or did they simply grow impatient? It was a day and time when courtships didn’t go on forever. Both have told their stories with class and elegance rather than salacious gossip. Perhaps the nature of the “beast in me” moved him to move on. We know his life and that of his immediate family and established surroundings took off like machine gun fire in the fifties and in his defense, keeping up with it required full time attention.
Entering the Presley portrait in 1957, Anita Wood – petite, pretty, blonde, southern, charming, a class act in her own right. She had celebrity status and was a stunning mirrored reflection to his dark haired handsomeness. She was in many ways the one who got away, a woman who staunchly refused to knowingly share him with others. I don’t blame her, as heart wrenching as it must have been. After she discovered his intense relationship with a very young Priscilla in Germany, she made the choice for him – at least that is the short version of that abrupt ending. Certainly considerable heartache was involved. Deception, unanswered questions, and outright lies always lead to a broken heart, something as relevant today as it was in 1962. She walked away from the prince so many others dreamed of, but her self respect neatly accompanies her the rest of her life.
Others were major players, of course Priscilla, the ex wife/widow/EPE spokeswoman (yes, I know she is not his widow), mother of his child. There’s no need to retell that story.
Ann Margret, his Viva Las Vegas co-star, according to Joe Esposito, the female version of Elvis, is also one who has been tight lipped about their relationship and that is to be respected. Her silence tells more than her words ever could.
Linda Thompson stayed gracefully suited up in the game for a very long period and she is generally well thought of among fans and family. Her sweet nature showed a genuineness and deep devotion, but time and impatience wore out her welcome in the end.
There were many others through the years, often overlapping one another, leading ladies, short time friends and long time lovers, dependable caregivers and nurturing companions. All filled a portion of a need for a time, emotionally, spiritually, and physically. None seemed a suitable fit for embodying all that was necessary to fill the Elvis emptiness. Is it possible his void was never to be fully occupied? An unconditional love could have done the trick, but the fame of being Elvis masked the ability to discern one.
Bringing up the rear is 20 year old Ginger Alden, a local Memphis beauty who caught his eye but was two decades behind him in life experience. Regardless of her motives or intensity of feelings, that span, especially when pared with his super star status, nocturnal life style and presumed health issues, would be large shoes to fill. I would venture very few barely out of their teens young women could have appropriate compatibility with a 42 year old adult man. She is noted because she was the last in the long chorus line.
Although some of the girlfriends are acknowledged by EPE, it seems the latter ones especially, get little, if any recognition. It’s unfair. They are all part of his story, like them, love them, or loathe them.
These women are all still alive. If there was to be a round table discussion, reasonably moderated, not for glory or ego or self promotion, think how incredibly fascinating and telling the results would be. Although she is his daughter, I would add Lisa Marie to the mix as well. Imagine the insights, not for comparative purposes, but for opening up a broad base of perception and comprehension into the true personality of Elvis Presley.
It’s been 42 years now. No one should need to one up the other, no one is required to outdo anyone else, a pecking order isn’t necessary, but collectively and individually these ladies could paint a fascinating personality portrait of the Presley they each knew and how they overlap. Placing egos aside, the imagination and the truth could join together to create a stunning conception and birth a solid understanding without all the assorted half versions of the truth we’ve come to hear so often.
Is this relevant and would it monumentally change anything? Unlikely. But it would show a tremendous amount of respect and character for all parties involved. Will it ever happen? Again, most likely not. Sadly, as time marches forward, the stories will soon all be lost, the fallacies will continue, and supposition will continue to reign supreme.