News Item

Elvis’ Longtime Friend Bill Morris Featured in Memphis Magazine Article

March 28, 2012

Another Memphian known for his contributions to the city is being featured in the April issue of Memphis Magazine. Bill Morris, former Shelby County Sheriff, mayor, and close friend of Elvis, lays his life out in an article called "Taking Care of Business: The Bill Morris Scrapbook."

Memphis Magazine writer John Branston writes about Morris's childhood, friendship with Elvis, career, and years spent in politics. Morris shares photos from his personal collection including several of his time spent with Elvis.

Morris describes the fun and playful side of the man who brought rock 'n' roll to the forefront.

"Elvis was youthful and playful. We would shoot roman candles at each other and use garbage can lids to defend ourselves," said Morris.

Morris also describes Elvis as a giving man who often spent his fame and fortune helping others in Memphis and across the world.

"When he made his first money, he gave $50,000 to the city to distribute to charity. He wrote checks to St. Jude early on and lot of them," said Morris to Memphis Magazine. "I asked that the trauma center at The Med be named in his honor, because I thought it reflected another side of Elvis beyond his talents as a performer."

One picture features Bill Morris and Elvis' entourage at Graceland after receiving honorary deputy badges. Another photo is of Elvis, Priscilla, and Bill at the Jaycees Awards where Morris sponsored Elvis for the "Ten Outstanding Young Men" award given by the United States Junior Chamber of Commerce - the only award Elvis ever accepted in person.

After the awards show, as a token of their friendship, Elvis gave Bill and his wife, Ann, a "Taking Care of Business" and "Tender Love and Care" necklace. Bill Morris still wears the necklace to this day.

Bill Morris has been at the center of Memphis history for over 40 years and played a pivotal role in Memphis politics and law enforcement.

Read the entire article about Bill Morris in the April print edition of Memphis Magazine.