MARION KEISKER (By Shaun Mather)
Born 23 September 1917, Memphis, Tennessee
Probably the most important secretary in the world. I know there's some people who think her role in the discovery of Elvis (and therefore the future of rock 'n' roll) has been overlooked, but I think the very fact that she's being covered on our BTBWY series shows that her role is appreciated. Let's face it, besides the Elvis episode, what else did she contribute. When others like Jack Clement left Sun they went on to careers in music elsewhere. If Marion Keisker was so instrumental, why didn't she find someone else, or set up her own studio in town. In my opinion she did what a good secretary should do - she looked after the boss's affairs when he was out of town and made a note of Elvis' address.
Her conversation with Elvis during the first meeting, when he called in to record a record for his mother, is well documented. She recalled the moment thus : "It was a busy Saturday afternoon. The office was full of people wanting to make personal records. He came in, said he wanted to make a record. I told him he'd have to wait and he said OK. He sat down. While he was waiting, we had a conversation. He said he was a singer. I said, "What kind of singer are you?" He said, "I sing all kinds." I said,"Who do you sound like?" He said,"I don't sound like nobody.""
Allegedly, when Sam came across a new song, "Without You", it was Marion who suggested that he try that Elvis fella. It was an inspired thought and has ensured that she has forever maintained a place in the history books.
Recommended listening, That's When Your Heartaches Begin and My Happiness - Elvis.
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