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I saw an Elvis Presley movie Jailhouse Rock, where he gets out of jail and makes his own records and takes them to the radio stations himself. And then, he puts records in the store. After seeing that, I made records an put them in stores.
I remember Mick Jagger asking me 'hey, how do you guys feel about us coming over here and taking all the play from you guys?' I said 'Well, in a way, you have eliminated all my competition.
I played Big Band jazz music. I wasn't into rock and roll. I was just there because it was a living. I surprised everyone. I'm still surprising people.
I must tell you, to get started today must be very difficult 'cause whatever it takes today is very tough. They have to invest a million dollars in a video just to see if you have a hit record.
I had been on tour with people like Roy Orbison. I knew Bobby Darin, Sam Cooke. So many great performers.
I had a big troupe, a big army and it was a lot of fun. And, after 10 years of that, I just decided that I wanted to travel and do special dates. I go to Las Vegas these days.
I did have a big following in the upper New York area. I was at the New York State Fair a few times over the years. I have areas that I say are my areas.
Hey, we've all been to high school We've seen the in-crowds. Most of us have been in the outer crowds, the people who weren't in. Although I was never in, I was selling records and was very happy.
Everything they say about Elvis today is true. He was just one great guy. He wasn't jealous of anyone. I would say Elvis was really someone special when you add it all up.
Everybody goes through a stage where you have it. And, all of a sudden, you don't have it anymore. You get older and the audience gets younger.
As far as critics, I'm not a hip guy. I was never on drugs. Nobody ever felt sorry for me 'cause I went straight or found God. I always had God. I've always like, played by the rules.
All my songs were solo voices. Just me singing. In fact, that was the gimmick - no gimmick. Just singing straight with not too much background.
All around as a person, on right decisions, on holding your money, on doing your trade, a good education is a must. I don't think I would've done as good without an education.
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