George Klein , the famed Memphis DJ who was president of Elvis Presley 's graduating high school class, died Tuesday. He was 83 and has been in declining health since the first of the year.
They became friends in the eighth grade at Humes High, and Elvis was the first man at Klein's wedding. Sadly, George returned the favor by serving as one of Presley's pallbearers.
He published his memoir, Elvis, My Best Man , in 2011. In recent years, he'd hosted a weekly show on SiriusXM's Presley channel. ( WHBQ TV )
From 2011: George Klein talked about first meeting Elvis Presley: "I met Elvis in the eighth grade, 1948, Humes High School in North Memphis, a real rough area. And ironically and coincidentally, were in the exact same music classes. One day, it's Christmastime approaching, and the teacher says, 'We're not going to study music next week. We're going do Christmas Carols.' And Elvis said, 'Can I bring my guitar to school and sing?'"
Klein recalled realizing Elvis Presley was a special talent: "And lo and behold, he brought his guitar to school next week, and he sang two songs. He sang 'Cold, Cold Icy Fingers' and 'Old Shep,' which he later recorded. Just blown away, 'cause I'd never seen a 12-year-old play a guitar. much less get up in front of a class and sing. And periodically, he would bring his guitar to classes the rest of the years, and sing at class functions and parties. And then our senior year, he won our talent show. And that's when I thought he had something."