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I would sell 2 million records, a million went to teenagers and a million went to the adults. So, when The Beatles became so popular, I lost a million to the teenagers, but I was still selling a million to the adults.
I was smart, to tell you the truth. I'm not really bright, but I'm not stupid.
I was a schooled musician. When I made 'Blue Velvet', I told everyone what to do. I was an arranger. I learned music in school I told the band to play this. I told the guitar to do that.
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.
Thinking Of Him
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