Monday, August 20, 2007

Elvis and NoHo

Last week was the 30th anniversary of the death of Elvis Presley (yes we realize some of you out there think he is still alive) and it gave me a moment to reflect on Elvis' own NoHo connection.

You can read here about where I was when Elvis died, and other semi-related issues.

Nudie Cohn was a Ukrainian immigrant who emigrated to the US almost a 100 years ago. Cohn eventually settled in North Hollywood in 1947. With help from western bandleader Tex Williams, Nudie got his business going. Nudie and his wife Bobbie sewed costumes for a number of entertainers, including the famous gold lame suit Elvis bought for $10,000 in 1957.

The original Nudie shop was located on Victory and Vineland. In 1963 Nudie moved to the famous 5015 Lankershim Boulevard location (now a furniture store).

The list of Nudie's clients was legendary - as was Nudie himself. I had the opportunity to meet Nudie several times as a child when my father, then a country music songwriter, took me to the shop including during live remotes for country powerhouse KLAC radio.

Nudie created several suits for Elvis - right here in NoHo - and developed a friendship with Elvis' manager, Colonel Tom Parker who visited the store often.

Nudie died in 1984 and his wife Bobbie and grandaughter Jamie kept the store going for another ten years before Bobbie decided it was time to close down. The Nudie tradition is kept alive somewhat by Jamie's father and Nudie protege Manuel Cuevas who eventually moved his NoHo based operation to Nashville.

Incidentally though Nudie charged Elvis ten grand for that suit that The King apparently didn't care for and only wore twice, the cost to make it was about $50.

(Nudie related photos from

1 comment:

Mr. Footprint said...

in 1944, I attended Fair Ave School and we had Monty Montana, Roy & Dale Evans & "Smokey Jo Rogers" (Smoke that cigarette) come & visit us. "Smokey's" daughter was in my class - any connection to your Dad?