Rock ‘n Roll’s Roots Run Almost As Deep As Country in the History of Music City USA.
NASHVILLE, Tennessee — Arguably, many of the biggest entertainment deals of the 20th century took place in a fairly modest stone house in a Nashville suburb that served as home/office for Elvis’ infamous manager Colonel Tom Parker.
While audiences around the world associate the ‘Music City’ moniker with country music, one of Nashville’s best kept secrets, in the suburb of Madison, stands as an understated testament to the high-flying rock ‘n roll business deals of the 50’s, 60’s & 70’s. Today, interested buyers — some from as far away as Denmark — are lining up to see if they can tap into Parker’s Mojo as the home / office is now for sale.
Colonel Tom Parker – known as the business brain behind the Elvis Presley phenomenon – wielded his own brand of power management when it came to pushing rock n roll to the forefront of pop culture. From his office (or perhaps another room in his 4,000 sq. foot home), the man known simply as “the Colonel” was an industry trailblazer in driving hard bargains with all who sought to associate their film studio, television network, theater or any other entertainment venue with his most sought-after client, the “King of Rock n Roll”.
While the Grand Ole Opry was being beamed into countless homes across the nation’s airwaves, Colonel Parker was busy exploring and exploiting both national and international media platforms – all from his small basement office – that would present the Tupelo sensation to millions of hungry fans.
One iconic media outlet, the renowned Ed Sullivan show on CBS, proved to be quite a coup for not only the young Presley, but also the masterful negotiating Parker. As told by attorney Steve North, current owner of the former Parker home/office, the Colonel had repeatedly made overtures to the Sullivan show – to no avail – to arrange a guest appearance for Elvis. Then, suddenly, and much to Parker’s surprise, Sullivan himself called and offered a prime performance spot for the young rock ‘n roller on an upcoming show. According to North’s re-telling of the story, after considerable discussion of the scheduling particulars, Sullivan proudly stated that he (and his CBS bosses) were prepared to pay Elvis “far more than any other performer had ever been paid for appearing on the show!” “Colonel, how does $50,000 dollars sound?” Sullivan asked – fully expecting an immediate confirmation from Parker. “Well, “that sounds pretty good to me,” the Colonel responded after a long pause, “but what about my boy?”
Whether fact, fiction or perhaps a little of both, the story illustrates Parker’s well-known reputation for wheeling and dealing. His wrangling of variety show host Ed Sullivan served as a template for similarly lucrative deals throughout the next 30+ years for not only Elvis, but also other artist business managers – in both the Country and Rock n Roll genres` – who sought to emulate the Colonel’s managerial moxie.
It was here in late night music, television, film and merchandise meetings that Elvis found shelter from the publicity storm that awaited him whenever he attempted to venture out into public life. According to Tom Diskin, Col. Parker’s long-time close friend and associate, on multiple occasions Elvis would shower and sleep – sometimes after a night on the town – in the virtually unchanged combination home/office that sits on the now busy Gallatin Pike thoroughfare in Nashville suburb, Madison TN.
The stately stone-veneer building still retains the original 1950’s charm during the time Elvis rose from regional to international stardom to become the greatest selling recording artist of all time. From the management decisions executed by Col Tom Parker, Elvis would go on to sell over a billion records worldwide. “It is hard to fathom,” stated Stephen Shutts, Rockology, LLC president and Col.Parker office sales agent, “that one man’s career – which literally changed the course of music and pop culture around the world – was directed within the walls of this unassuming but no-less historic home-office.”
Colonel Tom Parker’s home – office is located at 1215 Gallatin Pike in Madison. The property is being showcased with strict financial criteria. Private tours will be available to a select qualified few during the duration of the sale. The property is zoned for multiple use.