What Does Elvis Presley's 'T.C.B.' Stand For?

'Taking Care of Business' was The King's mantra

 Photo by Sion Touhig/Getty Images

You might have heard of the term "T.C.B." and have no idea what it stands for or why it's connected to Elvis Presley. The initials T.C.B. stand for "Taking Care of Business," which is what Presley called his band. The letters appear as a logo or emblem, along with a lightning bolt, which means "taking care of business in a flash." This emblem was used in several pieces of Presley's custom jewelry, including his famous T.C.B. ring and necklace. "Taking Care of Business" was a mantra and a point of pride for Presley and his entourage, known as the Memphis Mafia.

Presley returned to live performing in 1969 after a decade spent mostly making movies. His return came during the “68 Comeback Special.” Along with backup singers and other show members, the large backing band that would follow Presley on his 1970s string of tours, including stints in Las Vegas, would become known as the TCB Band.

The TCB Band

The members of the TCB Band included Glen D. Hardin on piano, James Burton on guitar, Ronnie Tutt on drums, and Jerry Scheff on bass. These musicians were along for the ride with Presley from his triumphant return to the stage in Las Vegas until his death at Graceland on Aug. 16, 1977, just before they were set to go out on tour.

The Memphis Mafia was what some people might call Presley's “yes men,” but in reality, many of them were friends from his high school days, growing up in the Memphis projects, as well as his stint in the U.S. Army.

The media came up with the name “Memphis Mafia,” a group known to cruise the city wearing black suits and dark sunglasses. Some reports say Presley liked the name, while others have said he wasn’t fond of the connection to the mob.

Either way, the group adopted T.C.B. as their symbol. It's even painted on the Lisa Marie airplane, which is available for tours at Graceland.

T.C.B. in Music

The song “Taking Care of Business” was written by Randy Bachman, who also sang the song. However, the song and Presley's use of the saying don’t appear to be connected. Aretha Franklin also alluded to it in her cover of the song “Respect,” where she sang, “Take care, TCB.”

 

Updated by Holly Whitfield July 2017