Charlie Hodge Biography

Charlie Hodge spent 17 years as a rhythm guitarist and backup singer in support of his Army buddy Elvis Presley. Born in Decatur, AL, on December 14, 1934, Hodge later graduated from the Stamp School of Music, performing in a gospel quartet alongside fellow student and future Christian music pioneer Bill Gaither. Hodge and his subsequent band, the Foggy River Boys, went on to some fame during their stint on country star Red Foley's ABC television variety series Ozark Jubilee, but in 1958 he was drafted to serve in the U.S. Army, befriending Presley during basic training in Fort Hood, TX. Their relationship continued in Germany, and when their tour of duty ended, in the spring of 1960 Presley invited Hodge to Memphis to work on his LP Elvis Is Back! Hodge remained an integral member of the so-called "Memphis Mafia" for close to two decades, even living on the grounds of Presley's Memphis mansion, Graceland. He was also a critical element of Presley's stage shows, handing the singer the scarves he tossed into the audience, and in 1968 he appeared alongside guitarist Scotty Moore, drummer D.J. Fontana, and bassist Alan Fortas during Presley's landmark NBC television comeback special. Hodge was present at Graceland at the time of Presley's August 16, 1977, death and in 1984 published a memoir, Me 'n' Elvis. After spending 15 years in support of Elvis impersonator Lou Vuto at the Pigeon Forge, TN, venue Memories Theater, Hodge died of lung cancer on March 3, 2006. ~ Jason Ankeny, Rovi

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