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Charlie Hodge - Guitar,Vocals ect.

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After meeting again in 1958, when both men were in the U.S. Army at Fort Hood, Texas, the two became friends; and the tenor singer subsequently became part of Presley's entourage, referred to as the "Memphis Mafia."

 

Hodge is said to have been with Presley in Germany when the latter met his future wife, Priscilla. Hodge would later be the stage manager and a musician of The Elvis Presley Show, when Presley returned to live performances after Elvis, his 1968 comeback special. During Presley's movie making years Charlie would sometimes perform with singer/musician Jimmy Wakely in Reno. He also performed with the famous singing cowboy Roy Rogers. He became known by the public for singing harmony for Elvis, handing Presley water and scarves onstage, but had many other tasks, such as laying out the song list Presley was to perform, and sometimes holding the microphone when Presley was playing the piano or guitar. Presley also put him in charge of presenting songs directly to Presley that he might want to record or perform, and many were recorded. Music companies contracted to give Elvis songs to record would refer to Charlie Hodge and bodyguard Red West, also a musician and song writer, as "The Imperial Council" because Elvis would look to them for their advice on songs presented for possible recording. Hodge was the only male singer to have recorded a duet with Elvis in 1960 entitled "I Will Be Home Again". Hodge can also be heard playing the piano in the recording, "Suppose". Hodge has a writers credit in the song "You'll Be Gone" in which he changed the orchestration to that of a Spanish style.

 

Hodge helped Elvis develop and build his vocal range to reach the higher notes in some of the powerful ballads Elvis would record and sing live. If during a concert Elvis wanted someone to sustain or hit a note he would turn to Hodge to do that for him.

 

When Elvis was needing to put a band together for his return to live performances he turned to Hodge for help. Hodge recommended James Burton, lead guitarist, after seeing him play in a small club. After The Imperials left the Elvis Show Hodge recommended using The Stamps Quartet.

 

Hodge lived for 17 years at Elvis' Memphis, Tennessee estate, Graceland, and also had rooms in all of Elvis's other homes away from Graceland which were personally decorated by Priscilla in his favorite color schemes. Hodge was often regarded as the kindest and most genuine member of the Memphis Mafia, with Presley's best interests at heart. Hodge was with Elvis to the very end and was with the guarded escort to bring Elvis and his mother Gladys remains back to Graceland for reburial. Hodge stayed at Graceland for a year afterward helping Vernon with any affairs of the estate.