gianmarc manzione


“605 Oak Hill drive. Killeen, Texas. July, 1958.”

- Elvis meets young DJ, Rocky Frisco aka Rocky Curtiss, from KOME radio station back in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

- The meeting with, not yet, legendary Rocky Frisco.
By Gianmarc Manzione

Would you mind recounting for us the “infamous bike-ride to Texas” and your “interview with Elvis” in 1958, when you were known as “Rocky Curtiss”?

Actually “Rocky Curtiss.” I took that last name from the Curtiss Wright Aircraft Company, where my father was once a test pilot. I was working for radio station KOME in 1958 (Kovering Oklahoma’s Magic Empire) when the station manager and I concocted the publicity stunt. I pedalled a Schwinn bike from Tulsa to Killeen, Texas, to do the interview.

It took me seven days of cloudless skies and Summer heat to get there. We didn’t know beans about sunscreen or skin cancer back then. I was burned really badly. Some of the scars didn’t fade for years.
Elvis was charming and friendly. He had hired a photographer to come from Temple to shoot pictures of us together, one of the most thoughtful gestures I ever experienced. In the days before the interview, I spent some afternoons with Gladys, eating cookies and listening to stories about Elvis when he was a baby. She was a wonderful woman and a great mother.
Gladys died about three months later and I have always thought that was when Elvis lost his life’s anchor. She didn’t care about the money or the fame, she just wanted her boy to be happy and stay
right with God.
Strange fact, part of the Schwinn racer fender elvis is holding in the original picture appears on the canvas.
Source Elvis Collectors