Monday, July 16, 2007

Immigrant of the Day: Colonel Tom Parker

Bookcoversm "Colonel" Tom Parker (born Andreas Cornelius van Kuijk on June 26,220pxelvis_presley_1970  1909–January 21, 1997), was best known as the manager of Elvis Presley.  Parker was born in Breda, Netherlands.

Parker's involvement in the music industry began as a music promoter in the late 1940s, working with country music stars Minnie Pearl, Hank Snow, and Eddy Arnold, as well as film star Tom Mix. He received the honorary title of "Colonel" in 1948 from Governor Jimmie Davis of Louisiana in return for work he did on Davis' election campaign.

In August 1955, Parker became the manager of Elvis Presley.  In November, he convinced RCA Records to buy Presley out from Sun Records for $35,000, a sizable sum in those days.  With his first RCA single, "Heartbreak Hotel," Presley became a star.

After Presley's death in 1977, Parker became embroiled in legal disputes with the singer's estate and with his ex-wife, Priscilla Presley. The continuing interest in Presley's enduring legend provoked Parker to remark in 1993, "I don't think I exploited Elvis as much as he's being exploited today."

As Presley's fame grew, people became interested in Parker as well.  For a time, he claimed to have been born in West Virginia, and to have run away at an early age to join the circus. The truth about his early years was revealed when his family in the Netherlands recognized him in photographs of Parker standing next to Elvis.  In a lawsuit in 1982, Parker admitted that he was a Dutch citizen.

The truth is that Parker left the Netherlands at about the age of 18, joined the United States Army, changed his name to Tom Parker, and later became part of the circus world.  In the 1940s, he also worked as a dogcatcher and a pet cemetery proprietor in Tampa, Florida in the 1940s.

Some have speculated that the reason that Presley never performed abroad was that Parker was worried that, as a noncitizen, he would not have been able to acquire a U.S. passport and risked deportation if he filed a naturalization petition. 

Parker died on January 21, 1997 of a stroke, in Las Vegas, Nevada, at the age of 87.

KJ

https://lawprofessors.typepad.com/immigration/2007/07/immigrant-of-10.html

| Permalink

TrackBack URL for this entry:

https://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d8341bfae553ef00e008d91c408834

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Immigrant of the Day: Colonel Tom Parker:

Comments

O.K. Tom Parker was born Dutch that I can
agree with, if he confessed that himself,
it must be so.

Tom Parker took the flight to Switzerland
with an attache bag(what was it inside of
that one???) and why did he go to
Switserland) just after Elvis death
(same day or the day after),
how was he able to do that
suddenly then and return safe to the
U.S.A. if he did not have a valid U.S. passport?????

- maybe he used a Dutch passort or whatever
- well, I don't know, but he did it,
that is for sure.
Check that up, but buddies, not via
internet(you can try but you will become
surprised, because, all facts about it, is
suprisingly gone - internet has no
information about that????) I don't know
why, and I don't understand anything???

No, I think it was more a marketing
strategy anyway, you know what you can't
reach, meet, get glimse of, interview,
take photos of,
of them, people which wanted to see Elvis
had to go to U.S.A. and I think it is
totally ok, I agree with President
Jimmy Carter which said about "Elvis
was a part of America like Coca Cola"

Posted by: I want to remail annonumous. | Oct 18, 2007 9:28:43 AM

O.K. Tom Parker was born Dutch that I can
agree with, if he confessed that himself,
it must be so.

Tom Parker took the flight to Switzerland
with an attache bag(what was it inside of
that one???) and why did he go to
Switserland) just after Elvis death
(same day or the day after),
how was he able to do that
suddenly then and return safe to the
U.S.A. if he did not have a valid U.S. passport?????

- maybe he used a Dutch passort or whatever
- well, I don't know, but he did it,
that is for sure.
Check that up, but buddies, not via
internet(you can try but you will become
surprised, because, all facts about it, is
suprisingly gone - internet has no
information about that????) I don't know
why, and I don't understand anything???

No, I think it was more a marketing
strategy anyway, you know what you can't
reach, meet, get glimse of, interview,
take photos of,
of them, people which wanted to see Elvis
had to go to U.S.A. and I think it is
totally ok, I agree with President
Jimmy Carter which said about "Elvis
was a part of America like Coca Cola"

Posted by: Andreas Zwagg. | Oct 18, 2007 9:31:45 AM

Post a comment