The Elvis Legends



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Elvis and the "Catfish" incident (July 20, 1975)

I was in attendance at one of Elvis'the two performances that night of July 20, 1975 and well remember the so-called "Catfish Incident." I do not remember, however, anyone walking off the stage except one of the members of the vocal backup group, The Sweet Inspirations. Almost immediately after she walked off, Elvis coaxed her back onstage, and when she returned, he removed one of the diamond-studded rings on his hand and gave it to her. I don't remember Elvis being at all hostile to anyone. He simply cracked what he thought was a funny remark about the vocal group eating catfish because he smelled green peppers and onions. No one who knew Elvis ever thought he was racist. In fact, he had many black singers/musicians whom he admired, and he was admired by them. He grew up beside blacks when he was a kid and went to many of their gospel performances. He always attributed his success, in part, to the influence of black gospel and blues music.

Robert Gibson Corder, Ph.D., Richmond, VA more than 1 year ago

Robert Gibson Corder, Ph.D., Richmond, VA

"No one who knew Elvis ever thought he was racist"
This isn't true. Read some of the biographies by members of the entourage and you will uncover that Elvis had some deeply-ingrained southern attitudes to black men sleeping with white women. Elvis never behaved racist in the typical sense where he believed one race was better than another, but he had a backward attitude to interracial relationships because of ethnicity. It's true to say that Elvis revered black artists, was happy to foster their careers where possible and enjoyed working and playing with people irrespective of race. But he wasn’t averse to racial stereotyping and was against interracial relationships.
Like an unfortunate number of people in America today, Elvis's problem also seemed to stem from feeling threatened at times by black men.

Kel Varnsen 122 days ago

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