One of Elvis’ early bodyguards Earl "The Pearl" Watson, now 88, recently regaled customers with stories of the rock-n-roll legend.
He signed and sold copies of his book "Earl: The Hollywood Knickerbocker Hotel’s Doorman to the Stars" while chatting and posing for photos with diners. Watson is renowned in his own right, rubbing elbows with numerous movie stars, entertainers and athletes during his 16-year stint as doorman at the landmark hotel which closed in the early 1970’s. He’s also a decorated World War II veteran who participated in the D-Day Invasion. But the popular topic with the crowd, of course, was his experience with the late "King of Rock and Roll" in Presley’s early years of stardom.
"I saved his life once," Watson recounted with a laugh in sharing a story of a public outing in Los Angeles. His longtime friendship and acquaintance with Col. Parker, dating back to Parker’s days representing singer Eddy Arnold, set the stage for the job guarding Presley during concert appearances in the area in 1956 and ‘57.
Earl also shared about meeting Presley’s parents, Vernon and Gladys, and also shared about Presley’s dynamic personality and stage presence with his fans. He said one of his most cherished possessions is an autographed color photograph of Presley decked in a distinctive green jacket. Parker told Watson that this was the first color photograph that Presley had ever had done.
Presley also specifically called Watson to have him visit on set at Paramount Studios in Hollywood while Presley was filming the movie "GI Blues" in 1960. Watson said he also had the privilege of attending Presley’s final show in Las Vegas before the Elvis' passing on August 16th 1977.
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source: Elvis Information Network