When Elvis was too unwell to be a Graceland guard, he cared after his illiterate uncle.
Elvis Presley’s first Graceland guard was his illiterate uncle Travis Smith, whom The King watched after until his death when he became ill. In a recent video interview, Memphis Mafia member Billy Smith, Travis’ son and Elvis’ cousin, revealed the moving story.
When Elvis Presley rose to fame, he required security and hired Travis Smith, the brother of his mother Gladys, as his first Graceland guard. From their early years, the King’s uncle and mother were close, and the Presley and Smith families traveled from Tupelo, Mississippi to Memphis, Tennessee together. They shared a house in their new hometown, with the Presleys downstairs and the Smiths upstairs.
In the most recent YouTube episode of Memphis Mafia Kid, Travis’ son Billy Smith, Elvis’ cousin and a Memphis Mafia member, revealed his father’s story.
He described how his father worked for the Precision Tool Company in Memphis and purchased a 1951 Chevrolet in which Elvis passed his driver’s test.
When The King became popular in 1956, the family relocated to Audubon Drive, where Travis was hired as a security guard.
Elvis’ uncle, who was well-liked by the public, would crowd control the fans and ensure that they did not trespass on the lawns of his neighbors.
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“Elvis had a lot of faith in him, so he kept him on,” Billy explained. Elvis was quite concerned about Daddy.” “He had a lot of regard for him,” his wife Jo stated.
The King purchased Graceland in 1957 and relocated his family to the walled estate, where Travis served as the first guard.
He’d dress in a uniform consisting of a shirt with an E and a P emblazoned on each side of his breast, a cap, and dark blue trousers.
While Elvis’ uncle drove a three-wheeled golf cart around Graceland that had to be recharged every six hours.
Travis would occasionally offer people rides and even let them inside Graceland’s gates.
However, according to his son, if any of them attempted to flee the mansion, he would be furious.
Travis was illiterate, and when fans at Graceland’s gates approached him about it, he said he didn’t know. “Brinkwire News in Condensed Form.”