Aug 15, 2019
By Gene Stevens
It was a special thrill for me to recently interview Sam Thompson at the Collingwood ElvisFest the last weekend of July. Zoomer Radio has been a long-time media sponsor for the world’s largest annual gathering of ‘Elvis Tribute Artists’ at Collingwood. I’ve been going there for many years – in fact, it’s where I met girlfriend Trudy ten years ago. This was the first time I pulled format station duty, staffing our Zoomer Tent, with the assignment to interview some ‘Elvi’. That was Saturday afternoon, and I did indeed meet and chat with two former Festival champions: Ontario’s Peter Paquette, and South Carolina’s Austin Irby.
My surprise guest, who I wasn’t expecting, was Sam Thompson – a close friend and confidante, and later bodyguard to Elvis. Sam’s sister Linda, was Elvis’ long-time girlfriend, living at Graceland with him for four years in the 70s. Sam was a former Memphis police officer and, as a family man, trusted by Elvis to look after daughter Lisa-Marie whenever she was visiting. You can imagine what stories Sam can tell about his life with Elvis, as well as his sister Linda’s later career as a songwriter, married to Canadian super-producer David Foster. Well, you don’t have to imagine – just tune in this Sunday August 18th to ‘Vintage Favourites’ and catch some amazing, intimate, and candid stories of The King.
You’ll enrich your knowledge of, and appreciation for, Elvis – as Sam reveals some of his hopes and fears, and describes the events of that terrible day in August 1977, when he died. Please join me for ‘Remembering Elvis’ – a special edition of ‘Vintage Favourites’. The show starts, as always, with ‘The Fabulous Fifties – and Beyond’, from 2-3pm., then spotlights the next in our year-long feature on ‘the greatest groups of our time – in alphabetical order’ – the folk superstars Peter, Paul and Mary. Then, around 3:15, I’ll begin the segment with Sam Thompson. ‘TCB’ – ‘take care of business’, and don’t miss this one.