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CNN LARRY KING LIVE
Live from Graceland
Aired August 15, 2007 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LARRY KING, HOST: It's the eve of the 30th anniversary of the death of Elvis Presley and I'm privileged to be about to host one hour with Priscilla Presley, as we enter the gates of Graceland into Graceland itself.
We'll give you a complete tour, as we look at the phenomenon that remains Elvis Presley.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ELVIS PRESLEY (SINGING): The warren threw a party in the county jail. The prison band was there, there began to wail.
You ain't nothing but a hound dog crying all the time.
It's all right now mama.
I'm all shook up.
Viva Las Vegas.
Little sister, don't you do what your big sister done.
Return to sender.
It's now or never.
Well, I quit my job down at the car wash.
I'm just a hunk, a hunk of burning love.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: We made it.
I'm at Graceland.
Let's go in.
PRISCILLA PRESLEY: Hello, Larry King.
KING: Hello, Priscilla, dear.
P. PRESLEY: How are you?
KING: Thank you for having us.
P. PRESLEY: Well, welcome to Graceland.
KING: Thank you so much.
P. PRESLEY: Sure.
Shall we start in the living room?
Let's go in.
P. PRESLEY: All right, great.
KING: White was big.
P. PRESLEY: White was very big, very popular, and still is today.
He was quite the classic decorator, wasn't he?
And this is still very popular.
KING: Did you have anything to do with all of his building and everything?
P. PRESLEY: No, not here. Not here at all. This was actually exactly the way it was when I arrived at Graceland. And there was a woman named Helen Cooper, who was a decorator that his mother really liked. And this is what they chose and this is what Elvis felt really comfortable in.
KING: Now, as I understand, he redecorated it several times.
P. PRESLEY: Well, he didn't redecorate this area that much. It was more downstairs that he decorated. And he did do a little bit, after I left, actually, he redid it into a red color. He did not like it that much at all, so that's why we went and put it back to the original, the way he always loved it and the way he lived with it when he was (INAUDIBLE).
KING: Now, help me, was his funeral held right here?
P. PRESLEY: Yes.
It was right here.
KING: Right here?
P. PRESLEY: Yes. We are basically sitting where the casket was.
KING: So this was very private?
P. PRESLEY: Yes.
KING: Family only? P. PRESLEY: Family and very close friends, absolutely.
KING: Is it -- I don't want to put words in your mouth -- what's it like for you to -- to be here?
P. PRESLEY: Very surreal. I mean it's interesting because when you're here, it's like you you're right back in that time period. It's like nothing ever happened. It's like Elvis is here. You feel his spirit. And everyone that's ever come here says the same thing.
There is -- this was very much a part of Elvis. I mean, this home represented who he was and what he did, the games he played, the music he played, the laughter that he had, the great times; the bad times, too. It was -- it represented who Elvis was.
KING: Now outside is the meditation garden and Elvis' final resting place. We visited there earlier.
P. PRESLEY: Yes.
KING: That's very -- impressive, I guess, is the word.
P. PRESLEY: It is impressive. It's, you know, Elvis always wanted a meditation garden. That's what it was originally. He would go out there and he just -- he wanted a place where he could just get away. He would come from L.A and when he came to Graceland he just wanted to be, you know, at peace and get away from Hollywood.
And he'd go out and be in the meditation garden.
KING: And buried there is his mother, Gladys; his father, Vernon; his paternal grandmother, Minnie Mae Hood; and the little boy that was born with him, right?
P. PRESLEY: Well, you know, he was a twin. And the, you know, part of that -- you know, Elvis always searched for his -- for his brother -- not always, but wanted to take him and find him, actually. And I don't, to be honest with you, I don't think we ever -- we ever located the presence of that child.
I think he, at one time, thought about doing it. There was no gravesite. There was no marker at all, so it never happened, no.
KING: Now, during this show, by the way, faithful fans are going to be holding their annual candlelight tribute, and we'll be showing that...
P. PRESLEY: The vigil.
KING: That's -- they do it every year?
P. PRESLEY: Yes. An estimated, about 50,000 will be here.
KING: Elvis' untimely passing three decades ago this week was a shock to the family, his friends and millions of fans around the world. We'll take a moment now and look back and remember.
(BEGIN VIDEO TAPE)
E. PRESLEY (SINGING): Sad...
KING (voice-over): Thirty years ago tomorrow, August 16, 1977, Elvis Presley's body was found in his Graceland bathroom.
E. PRESLEY (SINGING): I'm hurt.
KING: An icon was gone. The world was shocked. Like with JFK's assassination, we remember where we were when we heard the news.
E. PRESLEY (SINGING): Oh...
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I just can't believe he's dead.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There's nobody else like him. There won't ever be anybody else like him as far as I'm concerned.
KING: Millions mourned. Vigils were held around the world. And here at Graceland, thousands of fans and a media circus descended and gathered, where Elvis lay in state for two days before his burial.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And there, the hearse carrying the body of Elvis Presley, which was such a powerhouse of movement on the stage, now stilled by death, leaves Graceland mansion for the last time.
E. PRESLEY (SINGING): Love me all...
KING: President Jimmy Carter issued a statement to the nation: "With Elvis Presley a part of our country died, as well."
E. PRESLEY (SINGING): You'll remember, too.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Whether you're black or white, from Moscow, London or Memphis, Elvis Presley will still be the king of rock and roll to me.
KING: Elvis was dead at age 42.
E. PRESLEY (SINGING): I'll remember you.
(END VIDEO TAPE)
KING: Over 50,000 fans, estimated, have already gathered here at Graceland to pay part and pay tribute to a man who died 30 years ago tomorrow.
Hard to believe, isn't it?
P. PRESLEY: It is hard to believe. Thirty years.
KING: You got a phone call, right?
P. PRESLEY: I got a phone call, yes, from Joe Esposito.
KING: You in Los Angeles?
P. PRESLEY: I was in Los Angeles. I...
KING: How long had you been divorced?
P. PRESLEY: Oh, my gosh, five years.
KING: But there was still a tie, right?
P. PRESLEY: Oh, yes, absolutely. Absolutely. We were very, very close friends, very close. You'd never even know we were divorced, really.
KING: How shocked were you knowing he had obviously some, obviously, physical difficulties?
P. PRESLEY: Ask that question again.
What is it?
KING: How shocked were you?
P. PRESLEY: It was hard to believe because you just never ever expected it to happen, not with him. I think for all of us who were close to him, we just never thought that could happen. He was, you know, he always -- even when he was sick, he would pop out of it. He'd sometimes go to the hospital just to check in, to rest and recuperate, get away from everybody. Or he'd, you know, be sick and you'd think oh, my gosh, you know, what does he have?
And he'd pop out of it in a few days. And just -- he just -- you just never thought it was going to happen.
KING: When we return with the wonderful Priscilla Presley, through her eyes we'll take a look back at some very personal memories.
We're at Graceland.
Don't go away.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
E. PRESLEY: You'll never know how happy I am to be here. Somebody asked me this morning, what did I miss about Memphis? And I said everything.
(SINGING): For Dixieland, I was born early one frosty morn, look away, look away, look away...
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
E. PRESLEY: You're not a dream, you're not an angel, you're a woman. I'm not a king, just a man, take my hand. We'll make a space in this life that we planned. And here we'll stay until it's time for you to go.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: As we come back with Priscilla Presley here at Graceland, what you see there is torches starting to be lit. That's the eternal flame. They take that and light others and then eventually everybody lights it from one to another.
P. PRESLEY: Right.
KING: And all the people wound up marking a vigil around the gravesite.
P. PRESLEY: That's right.
KING: You told it many times.
How did you meet Elvis?
P. PRESLEY: Oh, gosh.
KING: Were you a tiny tyke.
P. PRESLEY: Yes. It's a long time right now, that's for sure. When I was 14-years-old -- I have told it many times, and I think people get tired of hearing it. But I will do it.
KING: Well, do it quickly.
P. PRESLEY: OK.
I met him when I was 14. I was in Germany and he was stationed in Germany. And I was invited to go visit with him. I was actually, I was at the Eagles Club, which was a place that military families had gone to, you know, eat lunch, you know, have entertainment. And I was writing home letters to all my friends, missing them very much. And there was a guy and his wife that were there. And he intro -- he said -- he introduced himself and asked me, you know, what I was doing there, how long I had been there.
I had just -- oh, my goodness, it was only three weeks that I -- I had just gotten there. He asked me if I wanted to visit Elvis and did I like him. And I said yes. And I'm saying this very quickly to get it over with.
I said I have to, you know, ask my parents, never, ever thinking that, you know, I would meet him. And...
KING: Did you fall in love at 14? Or was it at 14...
P. PRESLEY: It was hard not to fall in love. I didn't -- you know, when I met Elvis, it was a very, very different Elvis, you know?
He was very vulnerable, missing home very, very much. Missing Graceland. He had just lost his mother. In the Army, just devastated because he really never got to mourn, you know, the loss of his mother. So he was at a very -- a foreign country and not being able to...
KING: An amazing courtship, though.
Now, we have some things here.
What is this?
P. PRESLEY: Well, this is his billfold. This is what he carried with him.
KING: An old-fashioned wallet.
P. PRESLEY: Not in his pocket, but he carried this in his black kit. Yes, I guess it is old-fashioned now.
KING: In his what?
P. PRESLEY: It's 30 years ago.
KING: He carried it in his what?
P. PRESLEY: That's pretty updated.
He carried this in his kit that he used to have all of his personal items that he'd carry with him.
KING: And that's the actual wallet?
P. PRESLEY: This is it. This is the actual wallet. This is the actual cards that he had in it. He had a picture of his daughter and himself. I had had a photographer come to the house and these were our personal photos. And badge -- this is all cards from either the policemen or narcotic badges. My goodness, sheriff, police department...
KING: Got money in there, too?
P. PRESLEY: Elvis hardly had any money. He hardly ever carried any money.
KING: No kidding?
P. PRESLEY: No. No. He would always have someone around him.
KING: What's the glasses?
P. PRESLEY: The glasses, these are his trademark glasses here. This has "TCB" on the side. He would go to a place at that time, it was called Optique Boutique, and have all of his glasses made.
P. PRESLEY: No, in Los Angeles, right on Sunset Boulevard. That was his trademark. This is all of his...
KING: There are sunglasses.
P. PRESLEY: These are. These are sunglasses. And he had many of these, many of these in different colors.
KING: He wore them on stage, too?
P. PRESLEY: Yes, all the time.
KING: What's the pendant?
P. PRESLEY: The pendant is a gift that I gave him, actually, in 1967, I believe. It was from our favorite jeweler at the time, Harry Levitch. It's a calendar in the back marking his birthday with a ruby and diamonds on the side. You know, Elvis did like a lot of flash. He loved jewelry and he liked getting jewelry. He was more of a giver, though. He loved giving gifts more than he did receiving gifts. So this is another (INAUDIBLE).
KING: Does the card mean anything?
P. PRESLEY: The card does. The card is actually the first card that was ever given with Lisa on it. It's -- usually our cards were "Elvis, Priscilla" and this is "Elvis, Priscilla and Lisa." So it means a lot.
KING: She was born?
P. PRESLEY: She was just born and it was her first year. So this is the first card that we sent out to all the fans.
KING: We have an e-mail question from Wayne in Santa Fe, New Mexico: "What do you miss most about Elvis?"
P. PRESLEY: Oh, my gosh.
What is there not to miss?
Elvis epitomized charm, charisma. But I think his laughter. Elvis had the most contagious laughter. He just -- once he started laughing, that was it. Everyone would start laughing. And sometimes it was uncontrollable. He couldn't stop.
And he laughed over the silliest things, you know?
He just -- he just had a great sense of humor. He loved to have fun. He loved to play games.
KING: You still love him.
P. PRESLEY: Well, of course. I mean -- I mean it's -- he was a hard person not to love. KING: Did you love him the day you divorced him?
P. PRESLEY: Absolutely. Absolutely. I didn't -- we didn't get divorced because I didn't love him. You know, sometimes people grow apart and more in different lifestyles. It was a lifestyle that was very difficult to live for a woman. Very difficult.
KING: I'll bet.
P. PRESLEY: It wasn't because I didn't care or I didn't love him. If anything, I did love him more than I can even imagine. But that was a very difficult decision. But he was always in my life and it wasn't as if we were divorced at all.
KING: Did you watch him work a lot?
P. PRESLEY: I did. I watched him work.
KING: When you were married, I mean, go to Vegas and...
P. PRESLEY: I did. I went to Vegas and went to the shows. Women weren't allowed to go at that time a lot. The wives weren't allowed to go a lot. We were opening and closing a lot in the middle, the special occasions. But when Elvis worked, it wasn't really to have, you know, he didn't like to have to worry about people on the set or me coming in. It was hard. It was difficult to come in.
KING: And he worked hard.
P. PRESLEY: He worked very hard. My goodness.
KING: When we come back, a look at the legacy of Elvis Presley on this, the eve of the 30th anniversary of his death.
We're at Graceland with Priscilla.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And he started to drive those girls nuts by shaking and jumping and laying all over the stage, you know, what I mean?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right.
And do you think that's bad?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, it's kind of crazy.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
E. PRESLEY (SINGING): One, two, three, four. We've got to patch it up baby, patch it up, baby. Sing it, George. We can patch it up, baby. Patch it up with a whole lot of love.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
E. PRESLEY (SINGING): You ain't nothing but a hound dog, crying all the time. You ain't nothing but a hound dog, crying all the time. Well, you ain't never caught a rabbit and you ain't no friend of mine. Well, they said you was high class, well, that was just a lie. You know, they said you was...
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: We're back at Graceland.
There's that incredible crowd here on the eve of the 30th anniversary of the death of Elvis. And we're with his ex-wife and widow, Priscilla.
I guess you're both, right?
P. PRESLEY: Gosh, I never thought about that. I don't know...
KING: You are.
P. PRESLEY: I don't know -- (INAUDIBLE).
KING: I've got it. I declare it. All right, three decades since his death.
Why does his influence endure -- in fact, grow?
P. PRESLEY: Oh, my gosh. I think that, you know, the more that I -- there's -- Elvis had so much to give, you know?
Not only talent, but his passion, his compassion, his generosity. I don't know if we'll ever see anything like it again, you know?
And it's growing. We have, now, kids who are 6, 7, 8, 9, into their 13s and are into their teens and really discovering who Elvis is today. And it's spreading.
Like our -- our visitorship is enormous with young kids now. So obviously he had something that is certainly -- people have certainly been able to attach themselves to.
KING: And this place is going to grow, right?
I mean they're adding a hotel, right?
P. PRESLEY: Yes. Yes. We have big plans to be able to expand and to be able to make it a lot better for visitors. We have -- in fact, I'm very excited about what's happening.
KING: A big corporation buy into it, is that...
P. PRESLEY: Well, yes, partnered. Partnered with us. And basically...
KING: And you still retain, it, right?
P. PRESLEY: Yes. Absolutely.
KING: So your financial...
P. PRESLEY: We were still very much involved in the plans and it's actually everything that we wanted to do. You know, it just gives us the resources and the networking to be able to get it done. You know, we were a private company for so long. We took it to as far as we can go.
KING: It's going to be amazing.
It's hard to sum up Elvis Presley's impact, but if you look and listen, here's a sense of his incredible legacy.
(BEGIN VIDEO TAPE)
E. PRESLEY (SINGING): Well, since my baby left me, well, I found a new place to dwell, well, it's down the end of Lonely Street at Heartbreak Hotel. And I've been so lonely baby...
KING (voice-over): He's called "The King."
And for once, the hype hits the mark.
E. PRESLEY (SINGING): I'll be so lonely I could die.
KING: Elvis Erin Presley grew up with gospel and the blues.
E. PRESLEY (SINGING): You tell me where does I go to the lord?
KING: He got his start as a country act.
(on camera): Did you realize his greatness then?
MARLON BRANDO: I think so. I think everybody that saw him perform did. Yes.
KING (voice-over): Then helped blast open the doors to the rock and roll revolution.
E. PRESLEY (SINGING): You ain't never caught a rabbit and you ain't no friend of mine.
BONO: Elvis Presley is like the big bang of rock and roll. It all -- it all came from there. E. PRESLEY (SINGING): A one night hard man (ph).
KING: His sound hard to categorize.
E. PRESLEY (SINGING): Is what I'm now...
KING: His onstage persona -- the sweat, the swivel, the sex, impossible to contain.
JOHN LENNON: You know, you went to see those movies with Elvis or somebody in it, when we were still in Liverpool, and they'd all scream when he came on the screen. So we thought, that's a good job.
KING: His influence on music and culture original and enduring.
BILL CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES (SINGING): you know I can be found...
That's all I can do.
E. PRESLEY (SINGING): Sitting home all alone.
We're caught in a trap. I can't walk out...
KING: James Brown said he wasn't just an Elvis friend, he was Elvis' brother.
Bob Dylan claimed that hearing Elvis for the first time was like busting of out of jail.
E. PRESLEY (SINGING): Let's rock. Everybody, let's rock.
KING: It's estimated that Elvis Presley has sold more than one billion records. That's more than anybody ever. And he's still selling, still singing, still in our lives.
E. PRESLEY (SINGING): I'm just a hunk, a hunk of burning love. I'm just a hunk, a hunk of burning love.
KING: We're back with Priscilla.
An e-mail from Patla (ph) in Newport Beach, California: "Was it difficult when people said that Elvis wasn't really dead, when there were stories about him being spotted in places? Did you have a tough time explaining it to your daughter?"
P. PRESLEY: No. No, I didn't. I mean, obviously, we knew he was. He was right here and Lisa saw him, so it wasn't like she didn't know. No. No. It wasn't. It was just, I think basically people who wished it were true and thought they saw him or, you know, hoped.
KING: Was it a challenge?
Do you feel that it's a challenge to share him with his fans?
P. PRESLEY: Oh my gosh, that's a challenge. I just spoke about that, actually last night. It's a challenge to speak about him in that people want to know so much about him and it's never enough.
And you question how much is enough?
How much do you give?
You know, Elvis was a very, very private person. When he left Hollywood, this is where he would come to get away from everything. He shared with his very close friends and family who he was more than anyone else.
His fans have always been his biggest supporters and they have always been there with him 100 percent. So they, I feel, you know, I like, you know, sharing as much as I can. But there's still a lot I don't share and really feel I can't because there's a line that one has to, you know, has to say that's it. I have to give him the respect that he always wanted as far as his privacy.
KING: So this was a place he came to?
P. PRESLEY: Absolutely.
KING: To get away from?
P. PRESLEY: That's exactly right.
KING: An e-mail from Michelle in Corona, California: "I attended the official Elvis auction at the MGM in Las Vegas in 1999. It was to benefit Presley Place in Memphis. Can we expect more auctions from the archives?"
P. PRESLEY: Oh, that's a difficult question. I, you know, the archives are very, very special. They're very unique to us. And, I mean, it's really our -- it's his legacy and things that are obviously his. And we don't have -- we have a lot of things, you know, in the archives. But it's a very specialized -- oh, my gosh. If it's an auction, it would have to be something very special to us. But we'd have to have a few of them and not give away what we do have. It's difficult.
KING: Are you amazed at all the things that people leave by the grave?
P. PRESLEY: I know.
KING: From all over the world.
P. PRESLEY: All over the world, yes. Absolutely. And it takes a while, you know, to sift through and go through all of those things. But those are -- those are things that mean a lot to those people. And when you go through it and you look around and you see how important he was to them, pictures that they leave, artifacts, pieces of cloth, it's -- flowers, oh, my gosh, it goes on and on.
KING: You know, Priscilla, most people in the normal situation, they get divorced and they go on with their lives.
You will always be a Presley.
P. PRESLEY: Yes.
KING: How does that hit you?
In other words, does anybody look at you, no matter where you go, what you are in life, how you succeed, the wonderful movies you make, Elvis' wife.
P. PRESLEY: Right. It's the same thing that Lisa has to carry with her, too, and her grandchildren -- and her children and my grandchildren.
KING: It's not easy.
P. PRESLEY: No. It isn't easy. And yet it isn't difficult. It's something that I think you just accept. You accept it now.
Probably more difficult in the beginning because you -- you're working. You have a career and people would, you know, want to talk about Elvis or, you know, have a curiosity about who he was or they'd recognize you and want to ask questions and know again more about him. And I think that's just something you just learn to accept.
KING: Priscilla Presley will take us on a tour of this amazing house, right after this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
E. PRESLEY (SINGING): Little sister don't you kiss me, little sister don't you kiss me once or twice and say it's fairly nice and then you run. Little sister don't you do what your big sister done.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, MUSIC PLAYING, "ONE NIGHT")
E. PRESLEY (singing): Always lived very quiet life, I ain't never did her wrong. Now I know that life without you has been too lonely too long.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: As we come back, there's a helicopter shot over Graceland. As you see, all the lights have been lit on this candlelight vigil on this eve of the 30th anniversary of the death of Elvis Presley. We are now going to -- we'll stand up now, you and I, and we're across the foyer from the living room in the dining room. This decor has, I'm told, evolved over the year. An eight-foot table used for poker games as well as meals. A lot of Christmas celebrations. P. PRESLEY: A lot of Christmas. We had our Christmas tree right here, a beautiful Christmas tree. And that was actually something that meant a lot to me, as everyone participating and putting all the bulbs and the tinsel and the decorations on the tree. And I would have the guys all participate and I would call Elvis to come on in and finish up the tree.
And I'd say, you know, when you put the tinsel on, you do it very delicately, one by one so that looks like icicles, right? So he'd go, OK, I got it. You want it to look like icicles, right? And I'd go, yes. So he'd come back here and he'd take a box of tinsels, him and a couple of the guys. And they would roll them up in little balls and they would throw them on the tree so it looks like snowballs instead of icicles. So I would be so up set because it didn't look perfect.
KING: Was -- this Aladdin Hotel and Country Club Champagne.
P. PRESLEY: Yes. This is when we were married. We were married at the Aladdin Hotel and Milton Prell owned the hotel at the time. And this was his own wife in the Aladdin. This was a gift to my parents actually, and it says here this is from Elvis, May 1st, 1967, and it says: "The first time Mr. and Mrs. Elvis Presley, to Anna and Paul Beaulieu.
KING: And you always here at Graceland have a big staff?
P. PRESLEY: Yes, we did. We had a staff, in fact...
KING: This is not a huge house. It's a nice-sized house.
P. PRESLEY: It's nice-sized house. But you have to remember, when we bought it in 1957, this was an incredible home. It was a mansion and like a plantation.
KING: What did it cost?
P. PRESLEY: What did it cost? About $100,000, very expensive.
KING: Let's head for the kitchen.
P. PRESLEY: We had some great meals here. This was really the focus of all of our gatherings.
KING: And a good cook?
P. PRESLEY: Oh, my goodness, yes. Good southern meals, absolutely.
KING: I love this kitchen, this is -- for its time.
P. PRESLEY: For its time.
KING: This is an incredible kitchen.
P. PRESLEY: And this was an actual working kitchen. I mean, this place was packed all the time. We had cooks full time cooking all the time. This is the actual stove. This is the actual frying pan, this was used. And you could see it's...
KING: I love the gold refrigerator, remember those?
P. PRESLEY: Boy, isn't that the period? Look at that, that's the original refrigerator. We had a huge freezer over here and storage freezer in the back filled with all kinds of meats and vegetables, and my gosh, potatoes. Had a big section for potatoes. We had Paulene (ph)...
KING: Did you cook?
P. PRESLEY: I didn't cook, no, no, I didn't cook. It was too many people for me.
KING: Stained glass overhead fixture.
P. PRESLEY: Stained glass, that's right. You know, this is the heart, this was the room that had all the heart in it. We would sit right down here, there were chairs right around this area. Elvis would sit here. And we'd sit around and have our breakfast cooked, until then later on we had a table put in here and we started having it down there and he'd have his coffee in the morning.
Walking down these stairs right here you could smell the bacon and the eggs and whatever, the biscuits, corn bread.
KING: Was he a kitchen person?
P. PRESLEY: Yes. This kitchen was a big place and a lot of stuff going on. And, you know, we have cameras right over here and you can see the property all around and he would sit there and see the gate open and close and somebody would be driving in. He'd want to know who it was. He had his red phones over here to the side. That was...
KING: That phone.
P. PRESLEY: Yes. But those were his phones over there. That was basically who was coming in, and he would, you know, use it all the time to find out where everyone was.
KING: Can opener from 1836.
P. PRESLEY: This is all original things right here. We've kept everything.
KING: We're now heading to an extraordinary room in this house at Graceland, the Jungle Room. Wait until you see it. Don't go away.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, MUSIC PLAYING, "ALL SHOOK UP")
E. PRESLEY (singing): Well, bless my soul, what's a-wrong with me? I'm itching like a man on a fuzzy tree. My friends say I'm actin' white (ph) as a bug, I'm in love, I'm all shook up. Well, my hands are shaking and my knees are weak, I can't seem to stand on my own two feet. Who do you think when you have such luck, I'm in love.
(speaking): You can't say big ass on this (INAUDIBLE).
(singing): I'm all shook up, I'm all shook up.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, MUSIC PLAYING, "IT'S NOW OR NEVER")
E. PRESLEY: It's now or never...
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: The vigil continues outside. It will go on all night long and we're now in the Jungle Room with Priscilla.
Explain this, Jungle Room. Why?
P. PRESLEY: I'm still trying to get it. I still don't get it. This is really a cute story. This was originally an outdoor patio and it was screened in at one time, and then we didn't really quite know what to do with it and then the furniture started coming in.
We, you know, had seating arrangements but it just never quite fit. And one time Elvis went downtown, saw this furniture in a furniture store, in a window display. He went by, and he just bought it as is, and he just -- you know, he started piece by piece. He went and said oh, my gosh, this is really great, it came in here and it was all placed as is.
KING: What did you think?
P. PRESLEY: Oh, I wasn't here at the time. This was in 1974.
KING: And you were gone?
P. PRESLEY: No, no, no. This -- are you kidding, this wouldn't be here if I was here.
KING: Because this is a weird room.
P. PRESLEY: This seems to be one of the most popular rooms and it gets all the attention.
KING: Tell me about the waterfall.
P. PRESLEY: The waterfall was actually -- my goodness, this was built, I forgot, some time in the late '60s. And this was a beautiful idea, great idea and it used to come down gushing, beautiful sound, except it flooded everything. It never worked. The whole room would get flooded. So it never worked.
So what he did was he put a television set right in front of it. Obviously it works now. It has been fixed. But it took years.
KING: Interior design was not his talent.
P. PRESLEY: Not really, no, no, not really. But you know what? It's a man's room. He loved it. He relaxed, he put his feet on the table and watched television.
KING: Teddy bear, guitar, everywhere. By the way...
P. PRESLEY: That's -- go ahead.
KING: Did he have a surprise party in here for you?
P. PRESLEY: Yes, he did. He had a big birthday party for me, a total surprise. He actually said we were going to the movie, and get dressed up and were going to go and all of sudden we came out here and there was a room full of people. And he had a big birthday party for me, yes.
KING: All right. What is this?
P. PRESLEY: You know, this is something that we had, one of the first portable telephones. This was actually in 1966, I believe, and if I'm -- I think it is. And we...
KING: You walked around carrying this.
P. PRESLEY: We -- yes. This is like a James Bond telephone. He actually used it. He wrote these instructions on how to work it himself. He was so proud of this phone. I mean, this is something that nobody had. Elvis loved having things that nobody had. This is straight out of a James Bond movie.
KING: We have a cigarette case here, too.
P. PRESLEY: We have a cigarette holder. This is one of the first presents that I actually got him in 1962 for Christmas.
KING: Did he smoke?
P. PRESLEY: Yes, he smoked. Listen to the song. Does it still work? I don't think it's on. It used to work. What happened? Ah.
(MUSIC PLAYING, "SURRENDER")
P. PRESLEY: Do you hear the song? Do you know it? Does it ring a bell? "Surrender."
KING: "Surrender," yes.
P. PRESLEY: That's the song. I found this cigarette box with that song on it and he sung it.
KING: We're going now to your -- I guess, your mother-in-law and father-in-law's bedroom.
P. PRESLEY: Yes, yes. We're going into the room that Gladys Presley and Vernon stayed in while they lived here at Graceland. This was the downstairs room.
KING: Gladys died here, right?
P. PRESLEY: Gladys died, yes, here. And this was actually a room that we spent a lot of time in. Elvis would come in here. Spend a lot of time with her and him and then when she passed, his grandmother came and lived here and we spent many, many, many nights here.
But this is where they basically stayed the whole time, and this dress is a dress that Gladys wore when Elvis was first inducted into the Army, black velvet. He bought it for her in New York and he gave it to her and he is -- we still have that. We actually found this upstairs in the ethic though her clothes.
These are some of her other clothes actually that I discovered in the attic when I just went through looking through a lot of the boxes upstairs. These are all the dresses that she wore. And as you can see, she was a very simple woman.
KING: Very, yes. You know, she didn't like extravagance. She didn't wear a lot of jewelry. She just, you know, these were her favorite little dresses. It tells you a lot about her, doesn't it?
KING: It sure does. His relationship with her was extraordinary, right?
P. PRESLEY: Oh, my gosh, yes.
KING: I mean, it was really tight.
P. PRESLEY: Yes, they were very tight. You know, they -- he depended on her for her -- you know, her ideas, her opinions. He babied her. She watched out after him. It was a very unique, extraordinary relationship, and a lot of love there.
KING: Lots more to come from Graceland on the eve of the 30th anniversary of the death of Elvis Presley, who would have been 72 (INAUDIBLE).
P. PRESLEY: It's hard to believe.
KING: Elvis would have been 72. We'll be right back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, MUSIC PLAYING, "A LITTLE LESS CONVERSATION")
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Here's Elvis Presley.
(CHEERING & SCREAMING)
E. PRESLEY (singing): A little less conversation, a little more action, please. All this aggravation ain't satisfactioning me. A little more bite and a little less bark. A little less fight and a little more spark. Close your mouth and open up your heart, baby, satisfy me. Satisfy me, baby.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening, everyone. I'm Anderson Cooper. At the top of the hour on "360," in about 14 minutes, two breaking stories. Sounds of hope tonight in the mine in Utah where six men have been trapped for nine days. Where are the sounds coming from and could the miners really be alive? We'll talk with the president of the mine and find out latest on the rescue operation.
And in Lima, the capital of Peru, damage assessment under way. A powerful earthquake has struck the capital. Seven million people live in that capital. There are early reports of limited fatalities. Those numbers could rise. We're just now starting to get our first pictures of the area. It's a fast-moving story. We'll bring you the latest. A busy night is beginning at top of the hour on "360."
KING: We're back and you see more vigil shots. This vigil goes on all night. In fact into the -- what, 10:00, 10:30 in the morning.
Where are we now, Priscilla? What room is this?
P. PRESLEY: This is -- actually, this is down in the basement and it is more of a hangout room. This is where all the guys would hang out. This is actually where actually in the early days, like in the -- you know, when he first got Graceland, this was a little soda fountain here and he had all the Coca-Colas and Pepsis and ice cream and everything else you can think of, which was a -- you know, a nice little hangout room I think for not just the guys but for the girls, too.
KING: And records. Wow, what a shock that is.
P. PRESLEY: Lots of records. Lots of records. These -- this is what Elvis would really come down here for, is listening to the records. Obviously 45s, and if you go through them, it's all of his favorite singers, all the people he liked...
KING: He liked Mario Lanza.
P. PRESLEY: He loved Mario Lanza. In fact, that was one of the conversations we had when I was a kid and met him in Germany, was the fact that I loved Mario Lanza. My mother and father would play him all the time, all the operas. And he couldn't believe that I, at 14, enjoyed his singing.
KING: And of course, television.
P. PRESLEY: Three television sets. This way he could come down... KING: That's all they were.
P. PRESLEY: He can watch the -- you know, the reason why he did this is he could watch -- he loves football -- or loved football, and he would be able to watch all three stations.
KING: And all 45s, a 45 folks, this actually existed once. This is called a 45, played at 45 rpm.
P. PRESLEY: That's right.
KING: There was 45, 78 and 33 1/3.
P. PRESLEY: That's right. Very good, Larry. You remember that.
KING: I know, I was a disc jockey once.
P. PRESLEY: And that's all through a jukebox, and that's a pretty neat one, isn't it?
KING: What's that on the wall? A lightning bolt.
P. PRESLEY: That is a TCB lightning bolt. That was something that he actually gave to all the guys at TCB, meaning "taking care of business." And that was something that he gave as a personal inside, you know, the group, that was a necklace that he had made up for them.
KING: So he spent a lot of time in that room.
P. PRESLEY: He spent, yes, pretty good time in there. This is the pool room. And this is -- as you can see, it's a pretty wild room, very colorful.
KING: All this drapery.
P. PRESLEY: Yes.
KING: Look at the ceiling.
P. PRESLEY: That was -- you know...
P. PRESLEY: Actually, this was done in about '73, '74. This was after me. This was -- it wasn't like this when I was here. But this was a room that everyone used to play pool. Elvis would come down here every once in a while. He loved games.
And if you look here, we put this up because this is one of the fun games that we used to play that...
P. PRESLEY: ... we used to get into. Yes. We played this at Colonel Parker's house. And we were in Palm Springs one time. And Marie, his wife, loved to play Yahtzee. So we would sit down and play and she was one that had to win. You know, you just never beat her. So Elvis, when we went on trip cross country, bought this game and this is what we played most of the time.
And believe it or not, he would not let you beat him. He cheated all the time so you could never beat Elvis at Yahtzee.
KING: Did he shoot pool, too?
P. PRESLEY: He did shoot pool. Yes. He loved to play pool. He was a pretty good pool player.
KING: When we come back, in our remaining moments, we're going to show you -- well, we can't show you. We'll tell you the place of a pretty private place in this house and why we can't show it to you when we come back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, MUSIC PLAYING, "JAILHOUSE ROCK")
E. PRESLEY (singing): The band was jumpin' and the joint began to swing. You should have heard those knocked out jailbirds sing.
Let's rock, everybody let's rock, everybody in the whole cell block was dancing to the jailhouse rock.
(MUSIC PLAYING, "VIVA LAS VEGAS")
E. PRESLEY: Bright light city gonna set my soul, gonna set my soul on fire.
(speaking): If I'd know you gals are so downright good-looking I'd have been up here a long time ago.
You know what you did? Nothing, nothing.
(singing): There's a thousand pretty women waitin' out there, and they're all livin' the devil may care, and I'm just the devil with love to spare.
Viva Las Vegas! Viva Las Vegas!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING (voice-over): We'd like to say thank you, thank you very much, to the following, for the Elvis music and video featured in tonight's show. Warner Home Video which in conjunction with Paramount Home Entertainment released special edition DVDs of 16 Elvis movies last week. Image Entertainment for the DVD box set "Elvis: The Ed Sullivan Years." And Sony BMG Music for the "Elvis Hitstory" three-CD box set, and the "Viva Las Vegas: Best of the Vegas Years" CD.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) KING: We're back, and we're in the remaining moments. Not much time left with Priscilla Presley at Graceland. We're in the foyer of the house. Special guests were received here, right?
P. PRESLEY: Yes. Absolutely. As soon as you come in the front door. And Elvis liked bringing people into the front door whenever he had a guest. There wasn't a whole lot of people that he had as guests here, but people who did come here, you know, he liked them...
KING: He greeted them.
P. PRESLEY: ... to come in the front. Yes, he would come in -- you know, especially because he was...
KING: He did karate demonstrations?
P. PRESLEY: He did, right here in the front. Right in this area.
KING: And you brought your pony in here.
P. PRESLEY: My pony?
P. PRESLEY: He brought a few things I'm sure in here, but he...
KING: Let's not get into that.
KING: All right.
P. PRESLEY: You've got a bad mind.
KING: I didn't say anything. Anyway, why is this part of Graceland private, up those stairs?
P. PRESLEY: This is Elvis' private quarters going up to the staircase to his room and his private office, Lisa's bedroom and his -- it used to be a bedroom but it turned into his own personal walk-in closet.
KING: And that's never open to...
P. PRESLEY: No, never open to the public, no. We're keeping it very private because that was his...
KING: And he died over here, right.
P. PRESLEY: Yes.
KING: The bathroom was above this part of the foyer. P. PRESLEY: That's right. That's right. So it will remain very private because that was his private sanctuary. This is where he wanted to go to be left alone.
KING: Does Lisa ever have a desire to go up?
P. PRESLEY: Lisa goes up every once in a while.
KING: Well, she can go up, right?
P. PRESLEY: We -- oh yes. The family, you know, we go up. But it's really not open at all to the public, and it's just sacred and that's the way we want to keep it.
KING: So looking back at all of this, we just have about a minute-and-a-half left, what's your reflections on...
P. PRESLEY: You know, I can stand right here and tell you everything. You know, I used to run over to the curtains and look outside when Elvis would come home. He had a huge bus that he traveled back and forth to Los Angeles in. That's how he traveled because he was afraid of flying there for a while.
And I remember we'd be on the phone and he would tell me how far he was before he drove up to the front gates of Graceland. And I used to run to the window every few minutes to see if he was coming up the drive. And I'd run to grandma's room to have her come out and watch and we'd have a reception here when he came in.
And the thing that always amazed me was how the fans knew before we even knew when he was driving through those gates. They just -- you know, they just had a little network that went on during that time.
KING: He had a fear of flying once?
P. PRESLEY: He did. He had a fear of flying, and his mother didn't really want him flying either. She just...
KING: So he stopped for a while?
P. PRESLEY: He stopped, absolutely. But then he got over that. But we traveled on this big, big Greyhound bus that was customized for him.
KING: Because he had his own plane, I assume -- two planes.
P. PRESLEY: He had his own 737, absolutely.
KING: You've been a marvelous hostess.
P. PRESLEY: Thank you so much.
KING: You're a great lady.
P. PRESLEY: Thank you, thank you very much. (KISS)
KING: Thank you. Thank you for everything.
P. PRESLEY: Thank you.
KING: What history. What a life you've had.
P. PRESLEY: Wow, thanks. This is the fastest hour I think I ever had.
KING: Thank you.
P. PRESLEY: Thanks, Larry
KING: Bye. Bye Graceland. Thanks so much.
P. PRESLEY: Thanks so much. Bye-bye.
KING: Bye, doll.
(MUSIC PLAYING, "IF I CAN DREAM")
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