By Steve Bowers
Memphis – News during Elvis’ week includes more than the activities at Graceland. During the week conflicts have become public over the rights to “Memphis Mafia,” the Ricky Nelson Estate confirms that it is turning to Elvis Presley Enterprises for its expertise and Garth Brooks wants a home operation similar to Graceland.
First the agreement: Ricky Nelson’s four children have turned to Elvis Presley Enterprises for the marketing and licensing of Ricky Nelson’s name and image. An Associated Press story released August 14, 2000 declares that Nelson is the first client artist for EP Enterprises other than Elvis and that Nelson is the only artist with which they contemplate an agreement.
Nelson’s estate was tied up for years after his December 31, 1985 death.
His twin sons now perform songs from their father’s era (See Nelson’s article at rockabillytennessee.com)
Meanwhile on the “home front” the Commercial Appeal’s Bill Ellis hit with a front page story August 14, 2000 reporting that five Memphis Mafia members (Marty Lacker, Lamar Fite, Sonny West, Red West, Presley cousin Billy (and “New York entertainment entrepreneur George Tan”) are threatening legal action against George Klein and others who use the term “Memphis Mafia.”
According to Ellis, George Klein has held a Memphis Mafia Reunion show at Alfred’s on Beale Street for the past nine years that has featured other Elvis’ associates such as D. J. Fontana, Scotty Moore, Jerry Schilling, Richard Davis and others.
Ellis quotes Tan, who speaking of Klein, declared, “We (Memphis Mafia) have to protect our property. And what right does someone have to use it.”
The quintet has incorporated and protected the name and plans to issue their own official merchandise.
The Memphis Mafia official web site is The Ellis’ article is featured on the CA website www.gomemphis.com.
Ellis’ can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Where does all this leave Charlie Hodge? “
Finally, in Nashville neighbors are being surveyed and the legal work for zoning changes is underway to make the Garth Brooks’ Davidson County, Tennessee property (residence for a decade) a museum similar in approach to Graceland.