Elvis Presley: June Juanico recalls his 'proposal' to her
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Elvis Presley had his Memphis Mafia around him as his inner circle, but the star was particularly close to his cousin on his mother’s side when it came to secrets. Billy Smith grew up with The King and knew him before he was famous. And it was in 1967 that Elvis suggested they make a personal pledge between the two of them.
Billy remembers making the pledge with Elvis Presley not long after The King had suffered a concussion, after slipping in the bathtub and hitting his head.
Both took place at The King’s Los Angeles home of 10550 Rocca Place in Bel Air.
Speaking on the Memphis Mafia YouTube channel, Billy said: “I was staying in the room with him and there was something he had told about me as a kid.”
As boys, the pair had made a previous pledge of confidentiality concerning a mystery incident they were involved in that Elvis later told someone else.
Billy had been hurt by this and told the King how he wouldn’t tell anyone any really deep stuff that the star had shared with him. Elvis replied: “You’re right I shouldn’t have.”
Then, a couple of days later Elvis came up with The Pledge, which Billy described as “the bond between us”.
The King’s cousin shared: “From there on we lived by the pledge.” This means there are secrets about The King that Billy will take to his grave.
He added: “Still today there’s certain things I will not tell. Not that it was anything bad or anything but some things you just do not talk about in your personal life expect to people that were really close.”
Billy said: “I would have died before I broke that because that meant to me… God… so much.
Speaking with Elvis Information Network at another time, the King’s cousin said: “He decided to prove to me that it would never happen again, and that’s how the pledge came about.
“Now it was a known fact among the guys that Elvis couldn’t keep a secret.
“But if it was really important, he did. He never betrayed me again. Nor I him.”
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Billy continued: “I don’t know where it came from or if Elvis just made it up. But he knew it from memory, and we went over it several times so I could memorise it.
“Afterwards we both cried like crazy and I’ll remember it as long as I live.”
The first couple of verses of the pledge went: “It’s just a simple word, you see, to get inside you need no key. For we who know, know it well, and you who don’t can never tell.
“As I place my hand upon your heart, and you place yours on mine.From this day forward, our minds, our souls, our hearts will intertwine.”
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