Grelun Landon, 80, a veteran music industry official and longtime head of West Coast publicity for RCA Records who was an early supporter and helped develop the career of Elvis Presley, died Monday in Ojai. The cause of death was not reported.
A native of Marion, Ohio, Landon graduated from USC with a major in journalism. In the 1950s, as vice president of Hill & Range Music in New York, he worked with many of the top stars of the Grand Ole Opry, including Hank Snow and Johnny Cash. He was among the first to recognize the dimensions of Presley’s talent and led a tour of New York City for the young singer.
Landon went to work for RCA Records, becoming the label’s liaison with Presley and his manager, Col. Tom Parker.
From 1971 to 1989, Landon was an active trustee of the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum.
In the 1970s, in cooperation with Parker, Landon arranged for RCA Records’ donation of Presley’s “solid gold” Cadillac Fleetwood 75 limousine to the museum’s collection.
With Irwin Stambler, Landon co-wrote “The Encyclopedia of Folk, Country and Western Music,” now in its third edition.