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September 4, 2023

Elvis Presley and Mary Selph Cruising the Streets of Memphis, 1972

Elvis Presley and Mary ‘Kathleen’ Selph riding his 1971 Harley-Davidson FLH Electra-Glide motorcycle in Memphis at the corner of South Parkway East and Elvis Presley Boulevard on June 30,1972.

Mary’s identity was not known in the pictures until her mother, Peggy Selph Cannon, came forward in January 2000 to say it was her daughter.

“I just didn’t want her to go on as an unidentified woman,” says the mother, Peggy Selph Cannon of Bartlett, Tennessee, after the photograph appeared in a special New Year’s photo edition of the Memphis newspaper, The Commercial Appeal on Jan. 1, 2000.

Cannon says her daughter, Kathleen ‘Kathy’ Selph, then 20, was being driven home by Elvis on the back of his 1971 Harley-Davidson FLH when the picture was shot by a photographer for The Commercial Appeal in June 1972. A neighbor showed her the photograph in the newspaper that week, and Cannon says she ‘reprimanded’ her daughter for dating a married man. That’s when she learned that Elvis and Priscilla Presley had separated.

Kathy had been working as a dancer and singer at the old Whirlaway Club, where according to her brother, Steve, “A member of Elvis’s Memphis Mafia noticed she resembled Priscilla.” He stated that his sister and Elvis were then introduced and that they dated for a while.

Sadly, Kathy Selph was killed in a car accident on July 18, 1972 less than a month after the photograph was taken. “There was a real nice spray of flowers at her funeral from the Presley family. And there was a huge orchid at the funeral. I always felt it came from Elvis,” said Cannon.


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