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Sonny West, RIP

Nashville–Delbert B. “Sonny” West Jr., one of the original members of Elvis’ “Memphis Mafia” died here of cancer May 24. He was 78. West became close with Elvis thanks, in part, to his cousin, Red West (Red went to high school with Elvis and worked with him from the beginning of his career). Sonny West was considered Elvis’ Head of Security. He toured throughout the United States with Elvis and even appeared in several of his films.

MSTies will remember his role as Snake in the movie in episode 209- THE HELLCATS.

His hometown paper, the Hendersonville Standard, has a complete retrospective.

Thanks to Timmy for the heads up.

6 Replies to “Sonny West, RIP”

  1. jay says:

    In 1965 Elvis Presley’s first cousin was my school bus driver. He did not like talking about it and he didn’t make any money off of the kinship to my knowledge. He did run our bus into a propane truck going around a blind curve on a narrow country road killing the truck driver. Sonny West had no connection to this. It’s just another 6 degrees of separation story.

       0 likes

  2. jay says:

    jay:
    In 1965 Elvis Presley’s first cousin was my school bus driver.He did not like talking about it and he didn’t make any money off of the kinship to my knowledge.He did run our bus into a propane truck going around a blind curve on a narrow country road killing the truck driver.Sonny West had no connection to this.It’s just another 6 degrees of separation story. RIP Sonny.

       5 likes

  3. DarkGrandmaofDeath says:

    Wow, Jay! I hope there were no students on the bus when that happened!

    As to Sonny West, it sounds like he had a lot going for him, most importantly his family. I mean, how great is it that he and his wife were married for 47 years? His passing is sad but what a good life he seems to have had!

    Hellcats, however, is still a terrible movie, sticky and stinky and icky. (Naturally I love the MSTed version; I will watch it in Mr. West’s honor tomorrow.)

       3 likes

  4. jay says:

    DarkGrandmaofDeath:
    Wow, Jay!I hope there were no students on the bus when that happened!

    It was close to the end of the rural bus run and all that were left in the bus were me, my little brother, and three other kids; two girls and a boy. All of us were elementary students. In those days the bus seats had tubular steel bars across the top of the seat backs and they really smarted when we fetched up against them in the collision. The worst injury on the bus was a split lip, but one of the propane tank valves on the delivery truck had cracked and was sending gas out with a high pitched whistle. We all got out and had to file past the cab of the truck with the dead driver inside in order to get to a safe distance. It wasn’t Hollywood. No explosion. Thank goodness. My brother and I didn’t have to ride the bus for the rest of the year. That’s the story.

       2 likes

  5. new cornjob says:

    wasn’t he the one played by “booger” of revenge of the nerds-fame in the hbo “elvis meets nixon”? he had to fly back and forth cross-country to try to catch up to elvis “gone rogue”… had no idea he was in “hellcats,” good excuse to watch that one again! (i have a sick affection for that trilogy of hellcats, sidehackers and wild rebels) … RIP to an obviously one-of-a-kind dude living a one-of-a-kind life.

       1 likes

  6. DarkGrandmaofDeath says:

    jay: It was close to the end of the rural bus run and all that were left in the bus were me, my little brother, and three other kids; two girls and a boy.All of us were elementary students.In those days the bus seats had tubular steel bars across the top of the seat backs and they really smarted when we fetched up against them in the collision.The worst injury on the bus was a split lip, but one of the propane tank valves on the delivery truck had cracked and was sending gas out with a high pitched whistle.We all got out and had to file past the cab of the truck with the dead driver inside in order to get to a safe distance.It wasn’t Hollywood.No explosion.Thank goodness.My brother and I didn’t have to ride the bus for the rest of the year.That’s the story.

    Oh. My. Lord. That sounds like some trauma-fodder!

       2 likes

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