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New memoir shows the human side of Elvis

When he was 12, Jerry Schilling couldn't believe the voice he heard on the radio singing That's All Right" belonged to a teenager from his own north Memphis neighbourhood

india Updated: Aug 21, 2006 13:16 IST

When he was 12, Jerry Schilling couldn't believe the voice he heard on the radio singing

That's All Right"

belonged to a teenager from his own north Memphis neighbourhood.

A few days after hearing the song, he was playing a pickup football game, and the quarterback on his team was the same kid from the neighbourhood, 19-year-old Elvis Presley.

"We went into a huddle, and I said, 'Wow, that's the guy with a song on the radio!'" Schilling told AP.

Schilling has written a new memoir about his 23-year friendship with Presley, but he didn't use the book to convince anyone that his childhood friend was a great performer or a rock 'n' roll legend.

Instead, Me and a Guy Named Elvis, written with Chuck Crisafulli, shows Presley's more human side, the intelligent and passionate man who struggled with drug abuse and was frustrated with his mediocre Hollywood movies.

After Presley's death in 1977, Schilling, who still lives in the Hollywood Hills, California, home that Elvis bought for him, worked for Elvis Presley Enterprises and produced documentaries and TV specials about the performer.

But Schilling had always said he wasn't interested in writing an Elvis book, as other members of the inner circle had done. He changed his mind only when Schilling's wife, Cindy, urged him to tell the story.

Schilling worked with Crisafulli, an entertainment journalist who has written several books. Publisher Gotham, an imprint of the Penguin Group, said that the pair wrote the book side by side over the course of three years and it was a very successful collaboration.