Remembering Elvis' Musical Director Joe Guercio

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Remembering Elvis' Musical Director Joe Guercio

Joe Guercio, who served as Elvis' musical director and conductor for his concerts from 1970 through the summer of 1977, died on Sunday in Nashville. He was 87.

Joe led the orchestra for Elvis' iconic "Aloha from Hawaii" special in 1973.

Joe is credited with creating the iconic six-note theme that heralded Elvis' entrance onstage. It was also his idea to use the "Theme from 2001: A Space Odyssey" as Elvis' stage entrances and bows.

In 1997, Joe became the orchestra leader for the stage production "Elvis: In Concert," a touring show that featured Elvis' voice and image backed by live musicians. 

“I am so sorry to hear about the passing of Joe Guercio,” Priscilla Presley said. “He was a close friend and associate who will be greatly missed by us all. I was fortunate to see him at Graceland a few months ago, and as only Joe could do, he had us all laughing with him at his stories. His musical talent was unsurpassed. Elvis loved working with him. We have all lost a great man and a true gentleman. My heart goes out to his beloved family.”

“All of us at Graceland and Elvis Presley Enterprises are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Joe Guercio,” said CEO of Elvis Presley Enterprises, Jack Soden. “He was a dear friend and loved by all. Joe not only entertained millions as an incredibly talented musical director, but also entertained all that knew him with his wonderful sense of humor. The world has lost a great man, and we all have lost a special friend.”

Joe also worked with the likes of Barbara Streisand, Gladys Knight, Patti Page, Diana Ross, Jim Nabors and more.

Posted by Elvis Presley's Graceland at 5:44 PM
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