Was Elvis Presley a narc? Music's Greatest Mysteries aims to reveal all

Elvis Presley meeting President Nixon
(Image credit: AXS TV)

AXS TV's new series Music's Greatest Mysteries kicked off last month, and the next episode hope to get to the bottom of one of music's great mysteries: did President Richard Nixon enlist Elvis Presley and make him a federal agent in the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs?

The odd couple originally met in the Oval Office on December 21, 1970, after Presley had written to Nixon after completing what he called, "an in-depth study of drug abuse and Communist brainwashing techniques."

"I am Elvis Presley and admire you and have great respect for your office," wrote the King of Rock'N'Roll. "I talked to Vice President Agnew in Palm Springs three weeks ago and expressed my concern for our country. 

"The drug culture, the hippie elements, the SDS, Black Panthers, etc. do not consider me as their enemy or as they call it the establishment. I call it America and I love it. Sir, I can and will be of any service that I can to help the country out. I have no concern or motives other than helping the country out.

"So I wish not to be given a title or an appointed position," Presley continued. "I can and will do more good if I were made a Federal Agent at Large and I will help out by doing it my way through my communications with people of all ages. First and foremost, I am an entertainer, but all I need is the Federal credentials."

No transcript of Nixon and Presley's conversation was ever made public, allowing the meeting's conclusions to become the basis of much speculation (and a 2016 comedy film, Elvis & Nixon). 

Now, Music's Greatest Mysteries aims to get to the bottom of it. The show will be broadcast on AXS TV this coming Sunday December 13 at 9 p.m. Eastern / 6 p.m. Pacific, and will also examine the allegations of backmasking on Led Zeppelin's Stairway To Heaven, talk to Styx's Tommy Shaw about accusations his band were devil worshippers, and explore Aerosmith's close calls with death. 

Other episodes of Music's Greatest Mysteries look at the death of Sid Vicious, what happened to Gram Parsons after his death, and the relationship between the Beach Boys and Charles Manson. 

Fraser Lewry

Online Editor at Louder/Classic Rock magazine since 2014. 37 years in music industry, online for 24. Also bylines for: Metal Hammer, Prog Magazine, The Word Magazine, The Guardian, The New Statesman, Saga, Music365. Former Head of Music at Xfm Radio, A&R at Fiction Records, early blogger, ex-roadie, published author. Once appeared in a Cure video dressed as a cowboy, and thinks any situation can be improved by the introduction of cats. Favourite Serbian trumpeter: Dejan Petrović.