Mickey was an Elvis fan
I knew Mickey Rooney and had seen him over the years, but what I didn't know until our last visit is that Mickey was an Elvis fan!
Mickey was surprised to learn that I was kin to Elvis, and I, in turn, was surprised to learn that Mickey's late son, Timmy Rooney, was a student of karate with Elvis while the latter was living in California.
Timmy Rooney died following a five year battle with dermatomyositis on September 24, 2006. His career as a child actor included films and TV shows but only after a miraculous recovery from childhood polio, which had left him paralyzed for two years. He and older brother, Mickey Rooney Jr. were two of Disney's original Mouseketeers in TV's, "The Mickey Mouse Club".
Mickey Rooney, Jr., now a Minister in Hemet, CA, was also a bass player in Willie Nelson's band. These two boys, along with their brother, Teddy, were a big part of the sixties generation while Elvis was out in Hollywood making all those wonderful musicals.
I had mentioned to Mickey that I believe Elvis was a fan of Judy Garland, whom Mickey could barely speak of without tearing up. The question was if Elvis and Judy ever performed together, and the only answer I can give is that they may have rehearsed, or not, as Judy was slated to appear on Elvis' 1969 television event, and he was slated to appear on the Judy Garland show. No definite proof of either is obtainable and these stories are considered here as mere accusations of what might have been. Elvis did enjoy the "Wizard of Oz" and loved the song, "Over the Rainbow," as sung by Judy. Not many fans may know this, but Elvis tried his hand at "Over the Rainbow," though it was a brief version and never publically recorded.
Did Elvis and Judy ever meet? I am not quite sure of that, either, however, Elvis did meet Judy's fifth and final husband, Mickey Deems, when Deems managed the then famouse New York Discoteque, "Jillys." Elvis promised something to Deems in the way of memorabilia for a museum Deems was opening, and gladly contributed a pair of Mardi Gras Mask cufflinks to the entreprenuer. I was privy to viewing these same cufflinks by the owner who now has them in her collection.
As for Mickey Rooney, yes; he was an Elvis fan. And I was even able to tempt Mickey with an Elvis' family recipe for potato salad, and a few others, which I am sure he looked forward to trying. And Mickey didn't forget! Here is an excerpt from an email I received from Mickey and his then wife, Jan:
"SORRY I HAVE TO RUN..WILL CATCH UP ASAP WE WILL BE BACK SOMETIME IN JANUARY. PLEASE KEEP IN TOUCH.
P.S. WOULD STILL LOVE TO HAVE SOME OF THOSE ELVIS RECEIPES!! YUMMY!! THANK SO MUCH. HAVE A VERY HAPPY THANKSGIVING AND A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS XXOO"
The legend, Mickey Rooney, is gone, too, now, and he will be missed. Such are the memories, as these, that make up the stories for this website, and a continued, loving tribute to Elvis.