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John Wilkinson, guitarist for Elvis Presley, dead at 67

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Legendary rhythm guitar player John Wilkinson passed away at this home is Missouri Friday at the age of 67. Best known for performing with Elvis Presley, Wilkinson had been battling cancer at the time of his death.

Wilkinson first crossed paths with Presley when he was just 10 years old. According to legend the young Wilkinson met the singer in his dressing room before a show in Springfield and told him, “You can’t play guitar worth a damn.”

Wilkinson went on to make a name for himself in the music industry playing with acts like The New Christy Minstrels and at the age of 23 sought out Elvis once again and asked to join his TCB Band. The two went on to play over 1,200 shows together until Elvis’s passing in 1977.

Priscilla and Lisa Marie Presley issued a statement offering their “deepest sympathy” for Wilkinson’s family saying, “John and the beautiful music he made with Elvis will live forever in our hearts.”

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