TUPELO – “The Elvis Presley Trail” starts in a two-room shack, so that’s where a team from the British Broadcasting Corp. started Thursday.
“We will go to Memphis; we will go to Nashville; we will go to Las Vegas; and we will go to California,” said Michael Freedland, author of more than 35 books. “The trail starts in Tupelo.”
Several years ago, Freedland pitched an idea to do a radio series that followed the lives of celebrities. The plan was to steer clear of talking heads usually found in biographical shows.
“Stars are off limits,” Freedland said. “We’re talking to people who knew the people.”
Past shows have featured Bing Crosby, Bob Hope, Frank Sinatra and Judy Garland. Now, they’re working on “The Elvis Presley Trail.”
Freedland and his producer, Neil Rosser, began their interviews in the kitchen of Elvis’ birthplace, talking with Dick Guyton, executive director of the Elvis Presley Memorial Foundation.
A pair of fans from Illinois, Sherri and Lois Hathaway, were pulled into the conversation because the interview coincided with their yearly “pilgrimage” to Memphis and Tupelo.
In talking about Elvis’ music, Sherri Hathaway said, “It gives me goosebumps.”
Freedland also interviewed Elvis’ childhood friends Guy Harris, James Ausborn, Sybil Presley Clark and Azalea Smith Moore on Thursday afternoon.
The pair have a packed schedule with more interviews today, as well as visits to Elvis’ Tupelo landmarks.
“The ‘Trails’ always seem to bring out people with stories to tell from a long time ago,” Rosser said.
“In doing this series, you find origins are very important,” Freedland said. “They’re guided by their origins. That’s why Tupelo is so important.”
Contact M. Scott Morris at (662) 678-1589 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
M. Scott Morris/NEMS Daily Journal