Posted by: Author | July 15, 2022

Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon? How About Elvis?

Absolum’s Grave Marker
Mallie’s parents

I’ve wanted to share this for a while and finally decided just to do it here on the old blog.  As some of you know, I am a huge history buff and that includes family history. I may share more tales of the old family if the urge hits. 🙂

We’ve all heard that everyone is separated from Kevin Bacon by six degrees (the game is actually for movies, but it happens in real life too). Mine is three degrees from Kevin. A friend’s daughter, who I’ve known since before she was born, took a week long acting workshop in NYC and Kevin’s daughter was in the same group and they know each other, so that is me within 3 degrees of Kevin.

Similarly, I’m within a few degrees of Elvis Presley in two ways. Let me take you through a bit of my family history to explain.

Absolum Phillips was born in 1816 and was quite prolific. He had 3 wives and 17 children (with two of them) over the course of his long life. His oldest son was John Wesley Phillips and was born in 1838. His mother was wife #1 of Absolum—she died in 1857.  In turn, John’s oldest son was William Wilson Phillips, born in 1866. William had a daughter named Mallie, born in 1894 who ended up being my great-grandmother. 

Absolum’s youngest son was named Charles Tucker Phillips and he was born 39 years after his oldest brother, in 1877—his mother was 41 when he was born and died within a year, whereupon, Absolum married wife #3.  Charles was the father of Sam Phillips, born 1923 (when his father was 46 years old). Sam founded and owned Sun Records and discovered Elvis. So, my great-grandmother was second cousin to Sam.

But it gets better. My great-grandmother’s sister was named Eva, born 1909. She married a man named Edgar Cochran and they moved from northern Alabama to Tupelo, Mississippi and when Elvis was a baby and toddler, Aunt Eva babysat him a few times as she was friends with his mother.

So, on the one hand, I’m two degrees from Elvis as I knew Eva and she knew baby Elvis and, on the other hand, I’m three degrees from Elvis as I knew my great-grandmother who was cousin to and knew Sam Phillips who knew Elvis. As they sing in that Disney ride, “It’s a Small World After All.”

How about you? Any close degrees of separation from someone famous?

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Responses

  1. Wow, that is crazy. I’ve actually never heard of the “six degrees from Kevin Bacon” thing. Might have to do some research…

    • LOL!  That Kevin Bacon thing is pretty fun.  Check it out for sure. 

  2. What fun! Yes, I know of the six degrees from….but three degrees is even better. I especially love the Elvis part!

    • Thanks. I love the Elvis part too. My sister has all Elvis’ movies and albums so love it too.

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