Elvis' Inspiration Freddie Bell Dies
ELVIS PRESLEY's musical icon FREDDIE BELL has died of cancer. He was 76. Las Vegas singer Bell was a close friend of Presley and his versions of Hound Dog and Giddy Up A Ding Dong, inspired the star to cover the songs. Bell was hailed as one of the greatest lounge acts of the 1950s and first met Presley when the Love Me Tender hitmaker came to the Nevada gambling Mecca to make a name for himself as a singer. Presley, who died in 1977, took inspiration from Bell's upbeat cover songs and outrageous dance moves and the pair became friends - remaining close throughout the star's lifetime. Bell also turned his hand to acting and starred in a number if films throughout his career including 1956's Rock Around The Clock. Bell's publicist, Norm Johnson, paid tribute to the singer and revealed he counted some of the biggest music stars of the past amongst his fans. He says, "Freddie was very, very close to Frank Sinatra. That was one of his compadres. Whenever they were in any town performing, Frank would show up, or Freddie would go to see him." Bell passed away in a Las Vegas hospital on Sunday (10Feb08) as a result of complications from cancer.