George Klein Passed Away Tuesday February 5th 2019
TV & Radio Personality Age 83 – Freind of Elvis Presley
A Tribute to A Good Man
February 5th marked the passing of a mild man. His name was George Klein. Though I only knew him on the periphery, he was best friends with a man I consider my idol, Elvis Presley. What made George a great man? Just knowing someone doesn’t necessarily make a man great. As I said, I didn’t know him, I knew of him. But if you look at a man’s friends, and what they say about him, you get closer to his greatness.
The accolades have been coming in over the last few days, and I have been listening to SIRIUS/XM Elvis Radio for two days. At times crying about the loss of a man, that I knew over the airwaves, and that barely knew me. I was lucky enough to meet him. His encouragement for people was exciting. I saw old tapes of his show where he promoted acts, just because he liked them. Some of them went on to greatness. James Brown (who was also one of Elvis’ dear friends), and Justin Timberlake, were two examples of people that he promoted. Because he cared about people. He even promised to help me, and I didn’t even know him, but for a short time.
I met George Klein for the first time two years ago. I came to him with an idea. I felt a book that described Elvis’ rise, and the effect not only he had in music, pop culture and the world as well, needed to be written. I said to George that I wanted to write a book that described in detail what Elvis Presley did to rise and how it happened. I wanted my book to state that not only did Elvis earn the title the King of Rock and Roll, but he truly deserved it. The book needed to conclude and prove beyond a shadow of a doubt why Elvis is and always will be The King of Rock and Roll. I described how I was going to discuss the steps Elvis had made to get to the pinnacle of greatness; that he truly ushered in Rock and Roll, almost single-handedly. I said to George that I wanted to document it so assuredly that there could be no doubt to the conclusion. I wanted the book to dispel any thought that Elvis “stole” the sound he created, or that anyone else could possibly lay claim to the title. I also wanted to make a statement that even though he did not write the music he sang, it was Elvis’ interpretation of what Rock and Roll should be that was his true gift to the world.
I know that I had described what he had already known, but he listened intensely anyway. I told him that I wanted to tell that story and that I wondered what he thought. George was generous, he told me I had an interesting theory. Then he asked me to put the headsets on, and we were going to go on the air to discuss it. While on SIRIUS/XM, George asked me to describe my idea. George than validated that a book like this had never been written, and encouraged me to get to it. That I had a story to tell. After the show, George spent an hour and a half of his own time, telling me his personal stories about Elvis. At one point in the conversation he said: “Frank, Elvis would have loved you!”. At that point, George made me feel like I could have been part of Elvis’ inner circle, which was the highest compliment anyone had ever given me.
As we were ready to leave that afternoon, George stated once more, that once I finished my book, he would do whatever he could to promote it. Because as he said: “Frank, this version of Elvis needs to be told!” George made me feel like I was his friend too.
That was all I needed. I was off to the races. I completed the book this last December, and I am currently looking for a publisher. My Agent feels that my concept is solid. Unfortunately, time was not on my side, he left us before I could show him the final product.
I am sorry George that I was not able to share the finished product with you. I know you would have been proud of what I produced. I learned after meeting you, why you were so loved among Elvis fans. You never tired promoting Elvis, you were a true friend who stood by him always. While you were not a trained writer, you are a trained storyteller. You were Elvis’ audio biographer. You were the storyteller who was around for each moment of Elvis’ iconic rise. In ancient times, people would sit by the fire and listen to your stories of the great Elvis. Now they can listen by the fire while you describe Elvis on the Radio. Preserved forever
George, you were there for the good times, as well as the sad times when it ended so abruptly. You were able to bring all of the people who knew Elvis together, because of the type of person you were. You came without any agenda but your love for your friend – Elvis Presley. You even brought those who moved away from Elvis, for one reason or another back to share their innermost thoughts and love for him. You were able to bring them in, and get their words and impressions on the air, and into posterity. Because they knew their thoughts were always safe with you. You were the one George, who held on to Elvis’ image with a soft but tight grip because you loved him so. You knew him like no other because no one else was there at every step. Elvis was your friend, and you honored that friendship to the very end. Your legacy, George was that of Elvis’ most faithful friend,. we know for sure that when you enter the next life, Elvis will be there with his arms extended welcoming you to heaven.
George – I wish you luck in your travels into heaven, a man like you should have no fears about what his fate is on the other side. I have heard and also experienced your generosity of spirit. I wish I knew you better, but others have confirmed it.
Thank you, George Klein, for telling us all of those stories, I never grew tired of them, and as long as there is Sirius/XM and Elvis Presley, we will be hearing them. I am sad you have left us George Klein – Thank you for your gift.