Music

Elvis Presley Tom Parker: Was Colonel Tom Parker a bad manager? 'Not a Svengali'


Colonel Tom Parker has been the recipient of a great deal of anger from Elvis fans. Some feel Colonel Tom mishandled Elvis’ affairs, stopping him from touring and taking an exorbitant amount of his profits. However Todd Slaughter, the head of the Elvis fan club, had a different view of the late manager.

Speaking to Express.co.uk, he said Colonel Tom wasn’t who many depicted him to be.

He said: “Colonel is depicted as a Svengali character and, to be fair, most managers of popstars over the years have been more than a bit dodgy…

“Colonel Parker was possibly no different from that but he really did work hard for Elvis.

“Even when Elvis was on tour, he went to the next town, he made sure the radio, the TV were aware that Elvis was arriving.

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“He even put additional posters up, even if the venues were sold out, because what he was doing was selling Elvis.

“He was dedicated to promoting Elvis.”

According to Todd, a few managers of the time may have done some dodgy things, but clearly Colonel Tom is not quite the man many have thought.

He continued: “As far as the British fans were concerned, he was better than most managers were because he really did take time to meet the fans.

“To me, personally, he was very, very nice. So I saw a different sort of Colonel Parker from how many people possibly believed he behaved.

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“It was claimed he took 50 per cent of Elvis’ earnings which was not true. He took 25 per cent which, at that time, was the industry standard.”

Instead, Todd claimed Colonel Tom took a 50 per cent split of licensing and merchandise, rather than his earnings.

Loanne Parker, Colonel Tom’s widow, has similarly spoken out about how her husband was depicted.

She hopes Tom Hanks, who is playing Colonel Tom in the upcoming Elvis biopic, Elvis, will show the different sides of the manager, saying: “If Tom Hanks takes on a role, he makes it a good fit.

“He will be a good fit for Colonel, I have trust in his abilities.

“Every story has a hero and a villain, and the past stories that made Elvis a hero and that leaves only the Colonel to be a villain and both of them were heroes in their own right.

“I would like to see that clarified, and I have great faith in Tom’s ability and integrity and I just pray he wouldn’t do anything less than the truth.”





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