Saturday, August 13, 2011

The day the sheriff told Charlie Trainor to stop shooting Elvis

Fifty years ago today - on Aug. 13, 1961 - Miami News photographer Charlie Trainor and News reporter John Keasler were up in Yankeetown, Fla. chasing Elvis Presley who was filming a movie.

(Exactly five years and 10 days earlier - on Aug. 3, 1956 - Charlie had taken one of the most enduring images ever of a young Elvis.)

The movie company hired a deputy sheriff to keep away pesky photographers and reporters.

The sheriff threatened to put Charlie in jail if he took a picture.

What the sheriff didn't know was that a surefire way to get Charlie to take a picture was to tell him he couldn't.

Then the movie company press agent tried to keep Charlie from taking a picture.

Charlie hadn't come all the way up from Miami just to let some short guy in a pith helmet tell him he couldn't take a picture.

Then it was John Keasler's turn. Apparently, by this time, the movie people had given up on these two from Miami.

Keasler got an "interview" with Elvis.

Charlie Trainor died in 1987 at the age of 59. He was the greatest news photographer to ever work in this town.

(Next Thursday, some of Charlie's greatest and best-known images go on display at the Perfect Exposure Gallery in Los Angeles.)

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