Quincy Jones on Not Working With Elvis Presley: He Was a Racist

Quincy Jones recently sat down with The Hollywood Reporter and spoke about various topics, including why he never worked with Elvis Presley. While many consider the deceased musician a legend, Quincy made it clear he wasn’t feeling Presley due to him being racist.

Jones was asked if he would have ever worked with Presley and said, “No. I wouldn’t work with him.” He continued, saying, “I was writing for Tommy Dorsey, oh God, back then in the ’50s. And Elvis came in, and Tommy said, “‘ don’t want to play with him.’ He was a racist mother — I’m going to shut up now. But every time I saw Elvis, he was being coached by [“Don’t Be Cruel” songwriter] Otis Blackwell, telling him how to sing.”

Jones also talked about the time he spent with Billie Holiday, noting she was one reason he stayed away from heroin. Jones said, “ Oh my God, stay away from heroin,” said Jones. “She could barely get to the stage, man. She could barely walk on the stage, but Bobby Tucker was like my brother. He eventually became the music director for Billie. When she came out, we were so awestruck by her, we forgot to play the horn.”

Source: The Hollywood Reporter

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