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Colonel Tom's secret club

Above all things. Colonel Tom Parker loved "playing the game". By nature he was a practical joker and would happily spend $10 to con you out of $1.

His most famous and long-standing joke was his own private club named The Snowmen's League of America, which was a pun on the real-life Showmen's League of America, a fraternal organisation for carnival, circus and outdoor entertainers which Parker himself joined just after the war.

The pun centred on the word "Snow" which in common slang meant to pull the wool over someone's eyes or to pull a fast one without the victim realising, skills at which Parker was very adept, especially if it involved money.

Although the private club was "imaginary", Parker spared no expense. He printed up membership cards, rule books and stationery: it was a joke that he took very seriously.

Membership of the Snowmen's League was strictly by invitation only and it indicated that you had gained Parker's respect or professional admiration. Presley was a member, so too were several famous politicians and numerous celebrities. Mae Boren Axton was also welcomed to the club and was one of its few female members.

Ironically, Parker's greatest ever scam was to cheat his business partner out of a share of Presley's contract in 1956.

The name of the business partner?

Hank Snow.

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