Although he was actually dating and (according to her) engaged to Ginger Alden when he died in August 1977, they had only been together for seven months. Before that, The King spent four and a half years with Linda, and they remained close to the end. She was the first person little Lisa Marie Presley called on the night Elvis died and she has faithfully guarded his memory and legacy for 45 years. She said: “We lived together at Graceland, in California, and on the road touring. We held each other’s hearts, shared secrets, laughed and loved deeply. That’s someone you never forget… May God rest his beautiful soul.”
Elvis’ cousin Billy Smith, who grew up with him at Graceland, and his wife Jo always pay tribute to The King’s relationship with Linda. They said on his Memphis Mafia Kid YouTube channel: “She nurtured him, took care of him and went out of her way to do things for him, we saw that. She was so beautiful and still is, but she blended with everybody, everybody liked her, she was so friendly and so outgoing.”
Jo added: “Elvis said to us, ‘If I ever call her and say I need her, she’s there.’ We will never forget him saying that and it was true, she was, she was always there. When they parted, they parted as friends… I know he loved her.”
Linda was recently interviewed by Sheri, the daughter of Memphis Mafia member Marty Lacker. You can watch it below.
And then she said something rather extraordinary: “If anybody could maintain their energy. It wouldn’t be Houdini who could come back, it would be Elvis.”
She also explained how her love for him has endured: “He was an incredible human being and I feel incredibly lucky to have got to know him so deeply and love him so greatly and it’s lasted to this day.”
Linda also acknowledged the fact that her boyfriend was notorious for pursuing numerous women throughout his life, while he was also in long-term relationships – but she explained how she was able to accept and understand it.
Linda said: “He loved women. Sometimes too much. And I had to indulge him sometimes.
“I didn’t have to, I chose to, because, above all, we were best friends. We were lovers, kindred spirits, for sure. We understood each other.”
Linda was one of Elvis’ few partners who grew very close to his tight-knit band of companions, The Memphis Mafia. She hit back at claims (including from Lisa Marie, herself) that some of them had used Elvis, or were not sincere in their love for him.
She said: “Those guys adored him, they built their lives around him and I felt honoured to be included in that elite group of men that considered themselves a brotherhood.”
Linda added: “I really felt like one of the guys, I went on every single tour, I went to Vegas every time he played there, so I really got to know all these guys really well.”
The Mafia were famously dismissive of Ginger as an opportunist, but it is telling that the surviving members like Elvis’ cousin Billy still talk highly of Linda to this day.
Perhaps because Linda, in her own words, “loved him without any agenda or ulterior motive.”