Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Elvis in Columbus, May 1956

On May 25, 1956, the day before the show, the Ohio State Journal wrote "There are many seats still available for both performances of the Elvis Presley show which will be presented at 7:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. this Saturday at the Veterans Memorial Building. Tickets may be obtained at Heaton's Music Store until 5:30 p.m. the day of the show. After that the box office at the Vets Memorial will be opened.  In addition to singer Elvis Presley, the show will feature Jackie Little; the Blue Moon Boys; the Flaims; Frankie Connors and Phil Maraquin."

The Columbus Dispatch wrote, "Elvis Presley, a "cool cat" in a Kelly green coat and Navy blue trousers, sent the crowd at Veterans Memorial Saturday night.
 Long hair flying, he bumped and rolled through half a dozen numbers amidst piercing screams from a house three quarters full. The audience was teenagers with a heavy sprinkling of adults.

The 160-pound six-footer from Tupelo, Miss., drew screams each time he gesticulated, or contorted his lanky body. His mouth was moving, but you couldn't prove he was singing above the near hysterical din.
 BESIDES THE green coat and navy blue trousers, he wore a dark blue shirt, red socks, and blue suede shoes.

It is alleged he mouthed one ditty urging people not to step on the latter. 
A light wood guitar dangled from the loose-jointed twenty-one year old's neck. He picked at it now and then, but relied largely on a raucous three-man combo to provide the beat."

The Columbus Citizen's theater editor wrote a somewhat lenient, if not more favorable, review than just about any written on that tour when he wrote, "Mr. Elvis Presley, a young gentleman from Memphis. Tenn., presented a voice recital last night at the Veterans Memorial.  About 2000 music lovers attended the first performance. A somewhat smaller number of folk music devotees were present at the second. THE ARTIST was tastefully attired in a Bright green jacket, crimson socks, a tan guitar, and black shirt, trousers and shoes.

No tie. This was somewhat of a departure from normal concert attire, but we mustn't be stuffy about such things, must we? "

Presley's Technique Wows the Womenfolk

By Clyde D. Moore

Elvis Presley, the guitar twanging boy wonder from Memphis, did something or other in the Veterans Memorial Saturday night, we're not exactly. sure what. The ex-truck driver with the hog calling technique had a lot of young females screaming hysterically at every gesture and body quiver. And of quivers, there were many, both suggestive and vulgar.

MR. PRESLEY carries a guitar held by a thong around his neck. Whether or not he can-play-the guitar was never clearly demonstrated. He stroked it frantically a few times, but the surrounding clamor was so great that we can't even vouch for the fact that the guitar had strings. A three-piece combo supplied the music.

ATTIRED in a bilious green jacket, navy blue trousers, red hose and blue suede shoes, and with his sun tanned guitar chastely draped across his seldom quiet abdomen, the patron of "Heartbreak Hotel"' manipulated himself in a series of bumps and grinds such as are usually associated with burlesque queens. He also has a tricky left foot which he flings nervously hither and yon, possibly a hangover from pedal pushing days. ·

There were times when one had the impression that Mr. Presley had been seized by a kingsize attack at St. Vitus Dance. But it was this motion rather than his singing, for one seldom heard his voice above the din, which made the females wild. Ever hear 1500 girls scream?

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