PLEASE FIND BELOW A FEW WORDS FROM JOE ESPOSITO
CHARLIE HAD THE UTMOST LOVE AND ADMIRATION FOR
THANK YOU, JOE, FOR BEING CHARLIE'S FRIEND !!!!!!!
I personally would like to take a moment and share with you a letter
I wrote with the help of Singer/Songwriter Joe Russo.
During the course of our life times, we meet many people. Some we
Grow to consider "friends". Even as friends, these relationships tend to
drastically change over the years, grow distant or even separate.
In his lifetime, Elvis Presley met thousands of people, but only a small
group could truly consider themselves his "friends". The definition of
a "friend" is; "one who knows, likes, and trusts...a supporter, sympathizer"
Charlie Hodge was such a friend to Elvis.
They were brought together during Elvis' stint in the army, and they
remained the closest of friends until the day Elvis died. Elvis' time
in the army was challenging and difficult. The success he worked so hard for
was suddenly snatched from him. He found himself overseas, away from his
family and uncertain of the future of his career. Much worse, he lost his
beloved Mother, the closest person in the world to him, during this already
lonely experience. It was Charlie that comforted a grieving Elvis during these tragic lonely days away from home. He lifted his spirits, helped make
him smile and was there for him at the darkest moments. Elvis never, ever
forgot Charlie's kindness. Together, they defined the term friendship.
It is impossible to consider any moment of Elvis' career without
Charlie's presence. He was there at Elvis' side for everything. He was
An extra in the movies, he was his musical sounding board, he harmonized
On record, he played piano and sang gospel until the wee hours, he lived.
And had his own room at Graceland, he was on stage assisting and performing with Elvis at literally every concert he gave between 1969 and 1977. He was a constant companion, confidant and support system.
When Elvis passed away, Charlie was devastated. He was asked to move
Out of Graceland and the only world Charlie ever knew for almost twenty
Years was suddenly swept out from under him. The years immediately following Elvis' death were hard on Charlie, and he struggled a long time to come to terms with his loss, but he remains one of the few who remained loyal to Elvis and his memory. Charlie never said an unkind word, only positive stories and glowing remarks about his friend, Elvis.
What more could any friend ask for?
Eventually, Charlie turned himself around, finding a new love and
Settling down. He was always accessible to the fans and was always generous with his time and energy. It is no wonder Elvis had him by his side for all those years. Charlie proved he was worthy of Elvis' eternal friendship.
Now Charlie has joined Elvis. They are surely reunited and having laughs
together, just as they did when they were together on and offstage.
Charlie, thank you for being there for Elvis, me and everyone who's life
you have touched. Thank you.