Top 5 Georgians Associated with Elvis

Local music enthusiast Ben Sandifer who in celebration on what would have been Elvis' 82nd birthday this week has presented us with the Top 5 Georgia boys associated with the King!

1. Felton Jarvis

He was Elvis’ favorite producer , both in the studio and on-stage, from 1966 to 1977. Jarvis was from Atlanta, and when he developed kidney disease, Elvis paid his medical bills and bought portable dialysis equipment so that Jarvis could continue working and touring with him.

2. Chips Moman 

A native of LaGrange, Moman owned one of the most in-demand Memphis recording facilities, American Studios. Since his departure from Sun Records, Elvis had been recording around the U.S, but decided to return to Memphis to record in the late 60’s. Moman co-produced “Suspicious Minds,” which became Elvis’ first number one record in over seven years. The sound board from this studio was in the Georgia Music Hall of Fame in Macon.

3. Mac Davis

He wrote “In The Ghetto,” “Don’t Cry Daddy” and “A Little Less Conversation.” These records were all part of a late 60’s comeback for Elvis, who had not been in the top 10 for over four years.  Mac Davis lived with his mother in Atlanta after he graduated from high school in Lubbock, TX. 

4. Bill Lavery 

Lavery was the manager of the Macon Coliseum and was friends with Elvis’ manager, Col. Tom Parker.  When Elvis launched his 1972 tour, he was only playing markets much bigger than Macon. As the story goes, Lavery convinced Parker to schedule two shows at the Macon Coliseum on April 15, 1972.  As a result of these two sellouts, Elvis performed three more times in Macon, between 1975 and 1977.

5. Chet Atkins

As a producer at RCA Studio B in Nashville, Atkins had a hand in the overall sound of some of Elvis’ earliest hits recorded there. When he was a teenager Atkins lived in Hamilton, GA, and often performed on radio in Columbus.

Honorable Mention

Joseph “Cotton” Carrier – the Georgia promoter who booked Elvis’ first Georgia concert,  December 2, 1955, at the Atlanta Sports Arena.

Emory Gordy, Jr. – bass player from Atlanta who recorded and performed live with Elvis in the later part of his career.

Ronnie Milsap – former Young Harris College student who played piano and sang back-up vocals on “Kentucky Rain.”

Jerry Reed – the Atlanta guitar player who wrote “Guitar Man” and played on this recording.