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Elvis Presley Guitarist Dies After Battle With Cancer

John Wilkinson, a guitarist who performed with Elvis Presley, died after a long battle with cancer on Friday at the age of 67.

The rhythm guitarist and singer passed away in his Springfield home while listening to Elvis Presley songs, according to Springfield News-Leader.

Wilkinson performed with Presley at more than 1,000 shows. He was hired 12 years after he had directly criticized Presley's guitar playing. Presley had asked him to join the TCB Band, at the time not knowing he was the one who had criticized him more than a decade ago.

"He was honestly one of the best acoustic guitar players I'd ever heard," family friend and spokesman Gary Ellison told AP.

After suffering a stroke in 1989, Wilkinson could no longer play the guitar. But he continued to perform as a singer.

Wilkinson is survived by his wife, Terry.

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