June 5, 1956
“Son, the thing you’ve got to know about making it in this business is that you’ve got to get yourself noticed. If people don’t remember you, you’ll find yourself out of the business so fast it’ll make your head spin.”
Milton Berle paused and puffed his Maduro cigar a couple of times.
“I was brought up in vaudeville, son, where you have maybe ten minutes to do your act. That’s a lot of time—time to read the audience, time to make adjustments. You don’t have that kind of time on my show. You’ve got three minutes. You’ve got to come out with your best right off the bat.
“Now, I’ve watched your band rehearse several times. You’ve got some good musicians there. But you… you’ve got a terrific voice but you’re only a passable guitar player. Ditch the guitar and focus on your singing, and don’t just stand there at the mic. Millions of people watch my show every week. Get yourself noticed, kid.”
Elvis stood and shook Milton’s hand. “I appreciate the advice, Mr. Berle. Thank you, thank you very much.”