Capacity crowd at Augusta´s Bell Auditorium "goes wild" as entertainer Elvis Presley performs.
Bell Auditorium rocks
as Elvis Presley rolls
Makes quick getaway.
Elvis Presley (so hep me, one "a" please), bounced onto the stage of Bell Auditorium last night like a hungry panther, and brought shrieks from some 6,000 teen-age throats.
Wearing a flaming red jacket, the hottest thing in music today groaned, twitched and swung his hips to the "delight" of a noisy mob who surged towards the stage as he finished his final number, "Hound Dog."
Presley sang eight numbers, all big hits with the "cats" today. The screams started echoing with the first notes of "Heartbreak Hotel," his biggest-selling record.
Moving from one side of the stage to the other, and dragging or pulling a microphone, Presley played to two audiences at the same time. Bell Auditorium was packed, as well as the Music Hall on the other side of the stage.
The revivalistic tempo accelerated as the Memphis, Tenn., boy went from "Hotel" to "Long, Tall Sally," "I Was the One," "Baby Let´s Play House," "I Want You, I Need You, I Love You," I´ve Got a Woman" and "Blue Suede Shoes."
Dragging the mike to the side of the stage, the 21-year-old sensation edged his way off the stage with his last note and ran to a waiting taxi at the stage door.
Before the crowd knew what had happened, Presley had been safely escorted away. The faces of many young things (mostly girls) showed disappointment when they missed getting a closer look at their idol.
One young lady with bright brown eyes, however, pulled a trick over everyone.
Letter in Spanish
While Presley was waiting in the wings, she stole up to him and handed him a letter. "It´s in Spanish, but I don´t know how to write in English," the pretty senorita said. Presley took the letter and promised to write.
When asked what he thought of his rapid rise to fame, Presley, who denies being a "country boy," said: "I haven´t had time to think about it. It´s what I´m striving for."
About girls. No, he hasn´t anyone special.
While talking, Presley moves about almost constantly.
He is perpetual motion even when talking. He can´t stand still, appears high strung and nervous. If a girl comes up, he immediately throws his arms around her.
The "atomic-powered singer" says he never lived in the country in his life, but has picked cotton, driven a tractor and a truck. Motorcycling is his favorite hobby.
Right now, he is proud of a new white Eldorado Cadillac, the fourth Cadillac he now owns. Others, equally powerful, are pink, blue and yellow.
When he arrived at the stage door last night, he looked like he needed a haircut, but his getup is the fad with the teens. He wore big, sloppy sport shoes, brown pants and a dark-colored sport shirt.
"Just go crazy"
Of his music experience, the Hollywood-bound kid says he doesn´t know a flat from a sharp.
"In my kind of music you just get out there and go cazy." When does he rehearse? "I haven´t rehearsed since I´ve been in the business."
Presley attributes his rise to getting a record contract with RCA recording studio. The firm put "Hotel" on wax and he has been zooming in popularity ever since. This Sunday night, he will be a guest on the Steve Allen show over the NBC-TV network.
The Tennessean carries a guitar with him everywhere he goes, but his promotion man says he plays "just a little by ear, and battles with a piano." The publicist says Presley "isn´t happy" and is always "searching."
Presley, however, has clean habits. He doesn´t smoke or drink and gets between five and six hours sleep every night.
"I have a hard time going to sleep," he said, shifting from one foot to another and quickly turning off an exposed light bulb shining in his face. He phones his mother four or five times a week.
Recently, he bought a new home for his parents in Memphis and is busy putting in a swimming pool.
Presley´s future looks bright. He already has a seven-year contract with Paramount studios, will record his latest hit "Hound Dog" next week, and will appear frequently as a guest artist on TV.
Success hasn´t gone to his head. "I´ve been too busy to think about it." And, he means it.
Whether people like him or not - some do and some dont - the "rock and roll" boy averages 2,000 fan letters a day, has thousands of youngsters in a fan club (write Presley, Madison, Tenn.) and recently, during an engagement at Las Vegas, Nev., pulled down $12,500 a week for his hip-swinging and groaning.
All of his success has come to a good-natured guy who admits he can´t sing "worth a hoot."
Copyright: Augusta, S.C. Chronicle, June 28, 1956
Photo 2 & 3 above: Elvis with singers Mercia Carr (left) and Margie Walker (right)
The Ramblin´ Rose
By Rosemary Ram
I didn´t think that I was going to be able to find enough energy to write this column for today! Not after Augusta several nights ago - and Elvis Presley!! WOW!
My story is really quite simple. I don´t exactly remember everything after I was scraped up off the floor. The four thousand and five hundred some odd of the mob probably thought I was the rug. From the time Elvis stepped out onto the stage until the police escorted him off the noise was so great one would think that an announcement had just been made that all schools in the state had just burned down! (Wishful thinking??)
And for this I paid two dollars to sit in the aisle??
I´m glad Augusta supported him so well! Boy! He sure needed a haircut! I understand a certain group passed a hat around for collection! (I know Mr. Elvis cried all the way to the bank!)
All the members of the "cast" (?) had one slit in the back of their fire engine red coats. Elvis, of course, had two slits in his jacket. Personally, the way he wiggled and "shook" me thinks twenty would not had been too many! The singing (?) was drowned out by the roar of the crowd whenever E. Presley "moved" while dragging the "mike" and his "ge-tar" with him.
Some of his selections included such old time favorites that grandmother would sure to recognize which were "Long Tall Salley," "Nothing But A Hound Dog," "I Was The One," "Heartbreak Hotel" and other charming nostalgic ballads that will live forever.
When Elvis P. finished the applaud was so deafening one could hardly distinguish whether they wanted Presley to go on or off! Don´t mind me! I´m bitter because I had to sit in the last row!
Some of the long-hair "music lovers" from Aiken seen were Dick Thompson, Dug Garvin, Babs and Lou Megaro, David Arnold, Joe Stevens, and Wendy Rivenbark.
"ROLL OVER BEETHOVEN TELL TCHAIKOVSKY THE NEWS"
Copyright: Aiken, S.C. Standard & Review, June 29, 1956