As the power behind Elvis’ throne, Colonel Tom Parker was one of rock’s most elusive figures, and EW contributor Alanna Nash spent five years chasing his shadow for The Colonel: The Extraordinary Story of Colonel Tom Parker and Elvis Presley (Simon & Schuster, $25). Nash details his childhood as Andreas Cornelis van Kuijk in the Netherlands, from which he may have fled in 1929 to escape a murder rap. Arriving in the U.S. and taking a new name, he worked as a carny and learned to fleece an unsuspecting public (he later wrangled a 50 percent commission from Elvis). Parker humiliated flunkies, refused any offers that might challenge Elvis artistically, and ignored the singer’s obvious drug problem. Parker was a hustler and control freak – and thanks to Nash’s portrait, he’s no longer such a mystery.
Posted July 18 2003 — 12:00 AM EDT
- Cannes to showcase John Malkovich movie no one will see for 100 years
- Jimmy Fallon's Donald Trump calls 'Barack Obama'
- George Clooney and Julia Roberts join Gwen Stefani for Carpool Karaoke
- Exclusive: Veronica Roth announces next book, 'Carve the Mark'
- 'Survivor' host Jeff Probst on possibility of a final two
- The Property Bros. try to make Broadway dreams come true in spoof
- Young Broadway fan honors Tony nominees with adorable Lego recreations