Special Assignment

Memories of touring with Elvis Presley

CREATED Jan 29, 2014 - UPDATED: Jan 29, 2014

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MILWAUKEE - One of our own here at TODAY'S TMJ4 has a special connection to the legendary Elvis Presley.
Michele Fiore is a reporter here - she comes from a talented musical family. Her father was an orchestra leader, and her mom a singer.  Michele's mother, Mercia Fiore, actually worked with Elvis Presley. Her life story is about music, a legend, and most of all about love. 
Mercia shared her story with us. She recalls the day her agent got a call wanting a girl singer to open for Elvis Presley. Mercia got the job, and ultimately toured with Presley.  
At the time Elvis's style and suggestive moves were controversial but driving girls wild. Mercia recalls sending her parents a postcard assuring them Elvis was a nice guy. 
She reads from the postcard written in 1956. "Elvis was very sweet last night he was trying to make friends with me."  Mercia remembers the legend as kind and gentle. She says he would even applaud backstage as she sang.   
 One day, she felt sorry for a young girl who had camped outside to see the star. The girl begged her to get close to Elvis, promising to keep her distance. Well, she did not. 
Mercia exclaims. "As soon as she saw Elvis, she jumped on him like an animal. She pulled his hair, ripped his clothes!  I was so embarrassed I felt so bad for Elvis!"
But Elvis took it all in stride. Mercia smiles as she shares his reaction. "He came up to me afterward. He said, "I know you feel bad but it wasn't your fault, this is just the way it is for my life now. I'm not angry with you for this. It was just something that happened!"
Mercia does not believe that Elvis was trying to hit on her. She notes sweetly, "He was was being very polite and very nice." But during that time Mercia had fallen in love with Frank, a local orchestra leader and pianist. She chose to leave the tour.
Elvis was shocked and surprised but made one request to Mercia.  Elvis told her, " 'I want you to write and tell me about your life, what made you the way you are."
Years passed, Mercia was busy with her young family. But when Elvis died Mercia was moved to write the book "What Elvis Never Knew." She calls her book a legacy to Elvis.
And though Mercia left her job with the King, the music never stopped. That's because she was raising a family with the love of her life. Did she have any regrets about leaving a job with the King?
Mercia gets emotional when she replies, "No, because I have my blessed children, and my wonderful husband. I wouldn't change the anything in the world for him!"