|Inside Lauderdale Courts 2011|
|Elvis Presley Story 1956|
Six years later Elvis allowed the Memphis premiere of his first movie, Love Me Tender to take place at Loews State. Mr. Groom was still the manager. (See my blog about Loews State).
It is difficult to arrange the precise order of workplaces for accounts of Elvis' life disagree. To the best of our knowledge, this is the order of Elvis' employers for the next few years.
Precision Tool, 1132 Kansas Street, Mclemore and Kanas. Elvis went to work here because his father, several of his uncles and cousins already had jobs here. Precision Tool was a military contractor during the Korean War. The company manufactured nickle plated artillery shells. They worked in an assembly line and had to meet a quota. Gene Smith said that he and Elvis started there in June 1951, and worked the morning shift. Elvis would have been sixteen. One story has it that Elvis was let go because he was too young. But he would also work there in 1952 and 1953, verified by the his income tax form and pay stub shown above. Precision Tool was a hot and dangerous place to work. Robert Smith, Gene's brother, was scalded to death at Precision Tool in 1969.Marl Metal, 208 Georgia Avenue. This company manufactured metal and plastic furniture. This photo from a high school annual displays the company's breakfast room furniture. Elvis worked a shift from 3 PM to 11 PM during the school term. He would miss a lot of school activities to work jobs like this. He was also missing his rest. One of his teachers told his parents that he was falling asleep in class. Gladys forced him to quit this job.
During the summer, Elvis would have no such difficulty working the late shift. It seems likely that Elvis returned to Precision Tool.
The job was a temporary and Elvis returned to the Employment Security Office. He made it clear to his case worker that he want to keep his hands clean on his next job.
Another client, Crown Electric, needed a delivery driver. James and Gladys Tipler were electrical contractors who recently opened their business. They were told that Elvis was a good boy, and not to put off by his hair and clothing style.
Graphics at Lauderdale Courts created by the management of Uptown Square with the assistance of Elvis Presley Enterprises. Photo of the graphics board by Sue Mack.
For more information about Uptown Square and Lauderdale Courts please visit their website at Lauderdale Courts
Memphis Elvis Style. Mike Freeman and Cindy Hazen. John F Blair, Publisher. Winston-Salem, NC. 1997.
The Real Elvis Good Old Boy. Vince Staten. Media Ventures. Dayton, OH. 1978.
Elvis' Man Friday. Gene Smith. Light of Day Publishing. Nashville, TN. 1994.
Early Elvis the Humes Years. Bill Burk. Red Oak Press. Memphis, TN. 1990.