She accused Siegel of dissipating her wealth "through his reckless and negligent mismanagement and self-serving ambition.
She says he "put his own best interests ahead of her in order to put himself in proximity to [the investor] and his celebrity circle. Siegel fired back and filed his own lawsuit against Lisa Marie Presley. Siegel accused Presley of causing her own financial woes with crazy spending. The attorney says Siegel stuck by Lisa Marie over the years, but now has "stopped paying my clients and is now blaming them for her uncontrollable spending habits. According to documents filed by Siegel's company, Providence Financial Management, they claim "Sadly, since inheriting her father's estate in , she has twice squandered it.
The first time, she was rescued from insolvency by a deal she now calls fraudulent and self-serving. The firm says at the time of Elvis' alleged death in , his estate was in debt and on the verge of bankruptcy. Graceland was later turned into a huge tourist attraction and money maker.
Siegel says despite him rescuing her family's fortune from ruin, Lisa's "continuous, excessive spending and reliance on credit far exceeded what the Trust could pay her from income alone. So, too, is John Smith — he swears it. He also promises that John Smith is his real name. Smith, John D. In recent years, he's become better known — at least to people who will believe anything you tell them — as "the son of Elvis.
Ira Dee and his wife, Etta, also adopted John's two sisters from one of Zona Marie's previous marriages — a fact that doesn't seem at all unusual to Smith. Smith began singing as a toddler and performed in local hoot nights and a talent show called The Louisiana Hayride in his hometown of Shreveport. Later, he joined the live touring version of The Lawrence Welk Show. Although he was interested in a career in music from an early age and was an adopted relation of a world-famous rock star, he says it never occurred to him to ask if he might one day meet Elvis Presley and maybe chew the rag about getting ahead in the music biz.
And yet his singing voice and physical appearance were, he says, constantly being compared to Presley's.
You sound like him! Smith isn't keen on questions. He dodges requests for in-person interviews, consenting only to speak to New Times by phone. During a minute telephone conversation that takes place during a sound check at a bar gig in North Dakota, Smith sets the phone down often to go check his mic and his song list. Yet Smith has no problem with bending — or at least ignoring — the truth.
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In Let the Boy Sing , he writes about the thrill of recording and releasing an album in with top Nashville session musicians and vocals by the Jordanaires, Elvis' renowned background singers. Despite his claims that he also once had a recording deal with RCA Records, Smith's only other vinyl output appears to be a pair of Adonda singles, released in under the name Dennis Smith.
In his book, Smith refers to Adonda as "a subsidiary of Capitol Records. Nor is it true that Adonda owner Tyner also managed Elvis, another of Smith's claims.
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He also tells readers he's been inducted into the Cowboy Music Hall of Fame, although no such organization appears to exist. And there is, of course, a Country Music Hall of Fame, but Smith is not among its many esteemed honorees. After his indie singles flopped, Smith, then 19, apparently decided to try his hand at songwriting. A chance encounter with Kenny Rogers in a Nashville diner, he claims, led to a long series of hit records for which other people took writing credit. The only part of this story that Smith got right was the spelling of Kenny Rogers' name.
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The song he lays claim to is actually titled "There's an Old Man in Our Town," and while it's true that Kenny Rogers recorded it, the song was not the flip side of "You Decorated My Life," which was hardly one of Rogers' early hits. In fact, that song was Rogers' 20th consecutive Top 40 single and was released in — 20 years after the singer launched his successful recording career.
Smith claims he wrote the song when he was a young man toiling away as a songwriter for Capitol Records' Nashville division. But the song was published when Smith was only 10 years old, and was released not on Capitol or any of its subsidiaries, but on Jolly Roger Records, a label distributed by MGM Records. Smith also claims to have co-authored songs with the Gatlin Brothers and country band Restless Heart "I was privileged to be a part of writing one of their biggest hits, 'The Bluest Eyes in Texas,'" he writes in his book , among others.
But his name doesn't appear on any recording by these artists, neither of whom responded to e-mails and phone calls about their working relationship with John Smith. Asked about this, Smith just chuckles. Not true, according to pop music archivist Lisa Kurtz Sutton, who has produced hundreds of pop music anthologies and dozens of TV shows about the history of rock.
And that's because the recording industry is a union industry. It doesn't seem likely that a big, powerful union is going to look the other way while singers are putting their names on songs that some kid wrote. But if Let the Boy Sing is any indication, Smith can't be bothered with unions or copyright dates or published song credits. In his book, Smith writes at length about the song that proves conclusively that Elvis is really his daddy.
Rock historian Richie Unterberger doesn't think so. Unterberger, author of bestselling books about the Beatles, the Who, and Jimi Hendrix, says the song, penned by legendary songwriters Doc Pomus and Mort Shuman, originally was intended for singer Bobby Vee. It seems doubtful to me that Pomus and Shuman were commissioned to write the song by Elvis or his representatives.
The song eventually was recorded by singer Del Shannon, who'd recently had a hit with the now-classic "Runaway. No one else would've given a song to Del Shannon to sing if Elvis had commissioned it. Asked whether he's sure his famous father commissioned the song about his mom, Smith is adamant.
To the best of my knowledge, he did. I think Bo Diddley wrote that song for my daddy. When he's told that the song was written by Pomus and Shuman, he backpedals. Some of Smith's prevarications provide unintentional humor. At the time for me, it was a school.
School and I did not see eye to eye. I was thinking, school? In New York? They talk funny, and there is too much concrete. You can educate me all you want. I like being a hick.
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Most of the rest of the book is less amusing. Before it gets around to not delivering anything that might prove its premise, it makes a lot of promises it doesn't keep. But he never actually tells the tales he's teased us with.
I am tired, and I am going to bed. Elvis Presley Enterprises, Inc. EPE is the corporate entity that was created by the Elvis Presley Trust to conduct business and manage its assets. In February , Robert F. Sillerman and his then new media and entertainment company CKX, Inc. The pre-existing EPE management team remains in place and the company's operations, including the Graceland tour, continue uninterrupted, only with a much brighter future and wider global outreach made possible with the new partnership. She has made the mansion property and her father's personal effects permanently available for tours of Graceland and for use in all of EPE's operations.