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The Autobiography of Norman Johnson


“The Kid and the King” is a compelling story of a youngster who just happened to find himself on the edge of musical and political history. We learn, first hand, about Elvis Presley’s first years as a raw, unsophisticated singer who unintentionally combined Country, Rhythm and Blues, and Southern gospel music genres to form what became Rock and Roll.

Along the way The Kid finds himself in the career path of Jim Reeves and many other country icons. We learn how early “hillbilly” music became today’s dominant music of choice.

The Kid also bumps into political leaders who would change the course of history. In many instances, The Kid was right there to see it happen.

It is a true first-hand account of the currents that were swirling during the 1940’s, 50’s and 60’s that led us to where we are today in America. In a compelling way we discover that all these powerful people had their flaws, as did the author, but each in their own way dared to make their dreams come true. They dared to rock. There are few happy endings in this book, but there are a lot of happy glamorous times and incredible experiences that few mortals have a chance to watch.

In the end, they are all gone except The Kid’s hero, an aging cowboy movie star, in the worst of health, who enters his life one more time to give him one more thrill. The Kid was one lucky dude. Know what I mean Jellybean (As Elvis would say)?


Be there at the very instant Rock & Roll was born!! Learn why Col. Tom Parker hid his true identity and his criminal past from Elvis throughout his career.

Who was Elvis’ only leading lady to attend his funeral and why?

What famous gospel group turned down Elvis’ request for a job and two months later couldn’t hire him because he was such a big star?

“The King and the Kid” puts you inside Dallas from an insiders viewpoint the day of the Kennedy assassination!!

“I’d like to say that I learned very early in life that ‘without a song the day would never end. Without a song a man ain’t got a friend. Without a song, the road would never bend—without a song’ so I keep singing a song.”
From Elvis’ acceptance speech for the Ten Outstanding Young Men of the Nation Award, January 16, 1971.

“I’m sitting in the drive-thru lane and I’ve got my three girls in the back and this station came on and it’s playing “Jailhouse Rock,” and my girls are jumping up and down, going nuts. I’m looking at them and they’ve heard dad’s music all the time and I didn’t see that out of them. No one will ever touch Elvis!
Garth Brooks

“If life was fair, Elvis would be alive and all the impersonators would be dead.”
Johnny Carson

“So you’re an artis. Big deal! Elvis was an artist. But that didn’t stop him from volunteering for the military in time of service. And that’s why you’re a schmuck.”
Serendipity in “Dogma” 1999.

“It’s always been my dream to come to Madison Square Garden and be the warm-up act for Elvis.”
Sen. Al Gore, accepting the nomination for Vice-President at the 1992 Democratic National Convention, prior to Bill Clinton’s (A.K.A. “Elvis,” his security code name) acceptance of the presidential nomination.

All photographs used in this book are from the Norman Johnson private archives.

Each book contains the 78 minute audio CD, "A Discussion of the Life and Good Times of Norman Johnson" featuring Danny Merrell of KYKS 105 Radio interviewing Norman.

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