Let’s begin with the King, since he more or less introduced the entourage tradition in the past century. Elvis’ crew of longtime friends, cousins, and confidantes was known as the Memphis Mafia — a name given to them by the press around 1960, as they often dressed in dark suits and sunglasses.
Some of the crew were employees with specific roles, such as security or logistics planners who helped, to use their favorite term, “TCB” (take care of business). None were paid more than $500 a week, according to the book “Elvis, The #1 Hits: The Secret History of the Classics.” Unsalaried others helped TC of other B, acting as yes men, drug connections, and finders of women for Elvis (not such a difficult task). In return, they received cars and other goods as gifts, in addition to basking in the appreciation of Elvis.
Pictured here around Elvis, showing off the badges they just received from former Sheriff Roy Nixon at Graceland on Dec. 21, 1970, in Memphis (L-R, standing): Billy Smith, former Sheriff Bill Morris, Lamar Fike, Jerry Schilling, Sheriff Roy Nixon, Vernon Presley, Charlie Hodge, Sonny West, George Klein, Marty Lacker. (L-R, front) Dr. George Nichopoulos, Elvis Presley, Red West.