Tupelo native and Elvis enthusiast Roy Turner has been named Executive Director of the Elvis Presley Memorial Foundation to replace the retiring Dick Guyton. Elvis Presley Memorial Foundation Chairman Henry Dodge made the announcement today (Nov. 15).
“Roy’s unique combination of local experience and 40 years of bringing the Elvis story to the world make him invaluable in this role,” Dodge said. “And, his nearly 50 years of business experience as he rose to top management at Sunshine Mills make him even more qualified in his leadership role,” Dodge concluded.
Even while serving as plant manager of Sunshine Mills’ Tupelo operation and subsequently office manager, “I have contributed my time and research to bring the story of Elvis to the world with specific focus on his Tupelo roots,” Turner said.
An author, he wrote “Tupelo’s Own Elvis Presley” and was key to the writing of “Elvis and Gladys” by Elaine Dundy to whom she dedicated the book for his exceptional work. In Turner’s honor, Mrs. Dundy established a charitable trust through the CREATE Foundation to benefit the Tupelo community.
In 2006, Turner with Jim Palmer, as executive directors and producers of the film “Homecoming: Tupelo Welcomes Elvis,” premiered the film at the Tupelo Elvis Festival on the 50th anniversary of Elvis’ 1956 homecoming performance at the Mississippi-Alabama Fair and Dairy Show.
They later sold the concept of the show to the A&E Biography Channel. Turner and Palmer served as co-producers of “Elvis – Return to Tupelo” which was the title of the refilming of Turner’s “Homecoming” work. It later appeared on PBS television. Turner has continued to be active in the production and assistance to 10 different films and documentaries in addition to participating in talk shows and interviews as far away as Australia.
Turner is the member of the Northeast Mississippi Historical and Genealogy Society, Itawamba Historical Society, Friends of the Lee County Library, Tupelo Film Commission, Tupelo Film Festival, Tupelo Elvis Festival, Dancing with the King, Tupelo Elvis Fan Club and is trustee of the Elaine Dundy & Roy
Turner endowment for the Arts which supports programs to expose children to the arts.