TUPELO, Miss. (WCBI)- A former girlfriend of Elvis Presley shared some of her stories of life with the King of Rock and Roll during the Tupelo Elvis Festival.
Linda Thompson was featured in a segment called “Conversations,” where she recounted some of her experiences as Elvis’ girlfriend with thousands of fans.
When Linda Thompson visited Tupelo the first time, there wasn’t a lot of fanfare.
“I had an uncle, Uncle Adrian, who lived here he was a pharmacist, and I came down to visit my cousins, years and years ago.”
Things have changed a lot since then. Thompson began dating Elvis in 1972. As she has said, she was Miss Tennessee Universe and Elvis was Elvis. Thompson says Elvis would tell her stories about his time growing up in Tupelo.
“He talked about Tupelo a lot, he told me about his little, shotgun house, and the church where he went to church with his family, I’m thrilled to be here, to see the house where he was born, and observe the mantle where he told me an interesting story about what happened on the mantle the day he and Jesse Garon were born.”
Thompson dated Elvis from 1972 through 1976, traveling with him on concert tours, vacations, and living life at Graceland. Less than a year after her relationship with Elvis ended, Thompson got a phone call from Lisa Marie.
“I said, ‘hello’ and she said, ‘Linda,’ I said, hey, she said, ‘It’s Lisa’ I said I know who this is, you little goobernickel, it was a pet name Elvis and I had for her, she said, ‘My Daddy’s dead, my Daddy’s dead.” I can’t tell you what I felt, I said, no he’s not, she said one thing that brought it to reality, she said, he’s smothered in the carpet, and when she said that, I threw the phone, I thought, ok, he’s gone, that’s it, nobody checked on him.”
Since that dark day in August 1977, Thompson has made a name for herself as an actress and a songwriter, getting a Grammy nomination in 1993. She says Elvis would be proud of her success and accomplishments.
“I think first of all he would be proud of me in how I’ve tried to conduct my life in a way that’s always respected him and his memory, that’s first and foremost to me, I’m a fan, as much as anybody else is a fan, he was the love of my life, I adored him.”
Thompson says Elvis would be amazed at the talented tribute artists, and the fans who come to the festivals year after year.
“I think he would be so flattered, and staggered by how incredibly generous everybody has been to his memory, he loved the ETAs, even when he was alive, he’d see people growing sideburns, he’d say, ‘Honey, look at that guy over there, I wonder if he thinks he’s me.’
Thompson said she enjoyed her time in Tupelo and plans to return to the city that paved the way to Memphis for Elvis Aron Presley.
Linda Thompson received a key to the city from Tupelo Mayor Jason Shelton.