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Died On This Date (January 21, 1997) Col. Tom Parker / Managed Elvis Presley

Posted by themusicsover on January 21, 2010

Tom Parker (Born Andreas van Kuijk)
June 26, 1909 – January 21, 1997

The Colonel and The King

Col. Tom Parker is best remembered as the larger-than-life manager who ran Elvis Presley’s career for many years.  Parker’s entertainment career began during the late ’40s when he promoted records by the likes of Eddy Arnold and Hank Snow.  He began managing Presley in August of 1955, and just three months later, brokered a deal where RCA Records purchased Sun Records, launching a relationship between the label and the artist that continues to this day.  Parker was seen more than just an artist manager for Presley in that he oversaw every aspect of his career and in doing so, secured an astronomical commission rate that reached as high as 50% during a time when 10% was the norm.  But to his credit, he DID create an international superstar out of Presley.  After Elvis passed away in 1977, Parker sold his masters of Presley’s recordings to RCA and moved to Las Vegas to work as an entertainment consultant for the Hilton.  Col. Tom Parker, age 87, died of a stroke on January 21, 1997.

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