Lamar Fike, an enduring member of Elvis Presley’s so-called “Memphis Mafia,” as well as a Music Row businessman, has died in Arlington, Texas.
Mr. Fike was 75 years old. Born in Cleveland, Mississippi on Nov. 11, 1935, he was briefly a radio disc jockey at KEBE in Jacksonville, FL. He joined Presley’s inner circle in 1957. After Red West, he was the longest tenured of the Memphis Mafia members.
He remained by Presley’s side during the star’s Army service in Germany. Following their return, he became Presley’s tour manager.
Beginning in 1961, he alternated between being in Presley’s camp and serving as the road manager for Brenda Lee. In 1963, Mr. Fike moved to Nashville to run the Hill and Range Publishing office. He continued in this capacity until 1972.
He brought Presley such songs as “Kentucky Rain,” “Indescribably Blue” and “It Hurts Me.”
When Presley began starring in Las Vegas, Mr. Fike became his lighting director. He remained by Presley’s side up until the star’s death in 1977.
In later years, Lamar Fike returned to Nashville to work as an assistant to record producer and label executive Jimmy Bowen, most notably during Bowen’s tenure as the head of Capitol Records, 1989-1995.
Mr. Fike was the co-author of the 2005 book Elvis and the Memphis Mafia. He also appeared in the documentaries The Elvis Mob (2004) and All the King’s Men (1997). At the time of his death, he was reportedly writing his memoir, Fike: An Uncommon Journey.
Mr. Fike had been hospitalized for lymphoma, on and off, since last October. He died Friday, January 21, according to fellow Memphis Mafia member Marty Lacker. The Brown, Owen, Brumley Funeral Home in Ft. Worth, Texas is handing the funeral arrangements. Mr. Fike wished to be cremated. According to Lacker, a memorial service will be held in Mart, Texas at a date to be announced later.
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