.

John Wilkinson, Rhythm Guitarist for Elvis, Dead at 67

Performed with Presley more than a thousand times

Elvis Presley during a performance at Honolulu International Center in Honolulu, Hawaii.
Gary Null/NBCU Photo Bank
January 12, 2013 5:27 PM ET

John Wilkinson, a guitar player who accompanied Elvis Presley for more than a thousand shows as a member of the TCB Band, died on Friday at the age of 67 after a long battle with cancer, the Associated Press reports.

Wilkinson grew up in Springfield, Missouri, watching Presley perform on television. In 1955, when he was ten years old, Wilkinson snuck into the star's dressing room before a concert at Springfield's Shrine Mosque and berated the King for his musicianship. "You can't play guitar worth a damn," the boy said.

The 100 Greatest Artists of All Time: Elvis Presley

Wilkinson went on to become an accomplished guitarist, playing in folk groups such as the Kingston Trio and the New Christy Minstrels. Some 13 years after that first meeting in the dressing room, Presley asked Wilkinson to join his backup group, the TCB Band, after seeing the 23-year-old play on television. Over the next nine years, Wilkinson played rhythm guitar for Presley in 1,200 shows, remaining in the TBC Band until the singer's death in 1977.

In a statement expressing their sympathy to Wilkinson's family, Priscilla and Lisa Marie Presley said that "John and the beautiful music he made with Elvis will live forever in our hearts."

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

prev
Music Main Next

blog comments powered by Disqus
Around the Web
Powered By ZergNet
Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.

X

We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

Song Stories

“Madame George”

Van Morrison | 1968

One of the first stream-of-consciousness epics to make it onto a Van Morrison record, his drawn-out farewell to the eccentric "Madame George" lasted nearly 10 minutes, combining ingredients from folk, jazz and classical music. The character that gave the song its title provoked speculation that it was about a drag queen, though Morrison denied this in Rolling Stone. "If you see it as a male or a female or whatever, it's your trip," he remarked. "I see it as a ... a Swiss cheese sandwich. Something like that."

More Song Stories entries »
 
www.expandtheroom.com