Tenn. legislature honors Memphis’ Jerry Schilling, friend of Elvis, manager of The Beach Boys

Jerry Schilling (Right: Jerry Schilling & Elvis, 1972)
Jerry Schilling (Right: Jerry Schilling & Elvis, 1972)(Tennessee Senate Democratic Caucus)
Published: Apr. 27, 2023 at 4:30 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - The Tennessee General Assembly is recognizing Jerry Schilling this session with an official resolution touting his accomplishments.

“It’s only appropriate that the state of Tennessee honor one of its sons for his great and many contributions to the arts and entertainment world,” said Sen. London Lamar, D-Memphis, who sponsored the resolution.

Schilling, a son of Memphis and former member of the Memphis Mafia, was one of Elvis Presley’s most trusted friends.

A loyal and forever “rock” to both Elvis’ ex-wife and to his daughter, Schilling has been captured for decades in innumerable photos as the constant companion of both Priscilla and Lisa Marie.

“Jerry is truly a Tennessean for all seasons and he embodies the perseverance that every Memphian feels in their heart,” said resolution co-sponsor Sen. Sara Kyle, D-Memphis. “We’re grateful for his many contributions and all he’s done to showcase and represent the City of Memphis.”

As Priscilla’s escort at 2022′s Met Gala and the Cannes Film Festival, Schilling was also the one Lisa Marie turned to when she needed a steady arm to support her at The Golden Globes. Little did the world know she would tragically and suddenly die just two days later.

Meeting Elvis when he was just 12 years old at a touch football game in Memphis, Schilling was the youngest of the King’s rough-and-tumble collection of friends — and the first to leave him for his own career and his own fame.

He found it, almost immediately landing the position of manager of The Beach Boys — a gig he holds to this day.

Additionally, Schilling has served as producer or executive producer or technical advisor on innumerable film and television projects, including Orion’s Great Balls of Fire!, Amazon’s Elvis & Nixon, and most recently, HBO’s Elvis Presley: The Searcher.

Schilling’s hometown of Memphis also honored him with his own day: “Jerry Schilling Day” — first celebrated June 21, 1990.  Recently, a flag flew over the nation’s capitol in his honor on his birthday at the request of The Honorable Tim Burchett, a member of Congress representing East Tennessee.

Schilling, now 81, is now a consulting producer on a soon-to-be-released documentary on The Beach Boys.

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