Things Overheard in an Early Elvis Presley Concert by People Who Never Liked Him

"Hillbilly Heartbreak." One of Elvis' early concerts.
"Hillbilly Heartbreak." One of Elvis' early concerts. | Source

It's your time, Elvis

This piece is solely about Elvis "The King" Presley. Not his parents, Vernon and Gladys Presley. Not his bodyguards who were known as the "Memphis Mafia." And certainly not the thousands of cheap Elvis impersonators which in my opinion, only, and this is just my estimation, 50 could do a decent rendering of one Elvis concert. And yes, sir, I am being very generous.

There was only one Elvis. Like every human being born, reborn, and being born. Each a significant piece of life's jigsaw puzzle, but some pieces just fit and attract more attention than others.

Elvis in concert at The Oakland Auditorium in late 1950's.
Elvis in concert at The Oakland Auditorium in late 1950's. | Source
Almost everywhere in the free world there are massive-amounts of Elvis souvenirs.
Almost everywhere in the free world there are massive-amounts of Elvis souvenirs. | Source
Elvis in Miami in 1965.
Elvis in Miami in 1965. | Source

Elvis' stardom: Fast and sure.

This fact can easily be proven when a 19-year old Elvis Presley, who some said was very nervous, sat foot on a public state on July 30, 1954, and like some users of overkill say, the rest was history. Or so it would seem. Some of the casual observer crowd argued that Presley's sudden-stardom was too easy, while member of the deep-rooted music establishment hardly saw his flash that swiftly grew to a thunderstorm. Such a metaphorical-reference to Elvis was the May 25, 1955 tornado that devastated the northern half of Tupelo, hs birthplace.

But now it was Elvis who was sweeping and taking the music kingdom by storm. Pardon the pun. But Presley's storm ran head-long into an obstacle: His style of music, a mixture of black blues mixed with the religious songs he was raised on was not going over with his following as his agent Scotty Moore ad thought. Presley had his first taste of racism as his central locale of doing shows was Tupelo and surrounding areas which was rich with the "whites only" mindset of its citizens.

Even noted radio stations shared the same thought: "This negro music will not be played over this station," one narrow-minded champion of bigotry said on a news camera as he began breaking Elvis' records for dramatic effect. The point was cheered by white conservative parents with kids who were banned from hearing Elvis Presley. It was okay for stars like Little Richard and Nat King Cole to have their stardom even if it were a limited-area, but a white kid from Tupelo singing his bluesy rock music with hints of black singers Elvis had liked as a kid was another thing. A dangerous thing.

A young Elvis Presley on the set of Young Love in 1953.
A young Elvis Presley on the set of Young Love in 1953. | Source
Big Mama Thornton, a black blues singer from 1965, was the first singer to release, "Hound Dog."
Big Mama Thornton, a black blues singer from 1965, was the first singer to release, "Hound Dog."

Elvis put in national spotlight

Enter Col. Tom Parker who was more like a rain maker of a manager and had the mouth and backbone to get Elvis noticed on a national level. When Elvis was seen on The Ed Sullivan Show with his "Hound Dog," song, which too was once released by a black lady blues singer, Big Mama Thornton in 1965, and with Elvis' pelvic-gyrations, Elvis was like a wildfire burning from coast-to-coast--giving censors fits and loved by the majority of teenagers who could squeeze next to a radio.

Elvis Presley, who honestly did not pay a lot of "sweating, begging, and working daylight to dark," dues, but allowed his "calling," to perform, he would say in later years, do more performing than begging people of all races to listen to his music.

Elvis' first hit, "That's All Right, Mama," produced by Sam Phillips on Sun records.
Elvis' first hit, "That's All Right, Mama," produced by Sam Phillips on Sun records.
Elvis on the set of Jailhouse Rock.
Elvis on the set of Jailhouse Rock. | Source
The Elvis Comeback in 1968 was heralded as THE most-watched television special of all-time.
The Elvis Comeback in 1968 was heralded as THE most-watched television special of all-time. | Source
Elvis' dining room in his mansion in Graceland.
Elvis' dining room in his mansion in Graceland. | Source
Elvis Presley's birthplace in Tupelo, Miss.
Elvis Presley's birthplace in Tupelo, Miss. | Source

Let's travel back in time

Now on another honest level, let's go back in time to one of Elvis' early concerts before he was big in the music business. As he walked on stage and started his hips swaying and swinging, the girls went nuts. Then he grabbed the single microphone and with one yell and grunt, said, "You ain't nuttin but a hound-dog . . ." the auditorium was near to exploding from all of the screams and yells at not as much his songs, but how (he) presented him.

I am certain that there were a handful of "Anti-Elvis Presley" people in that audience. They came there for one reason: To find fault with Elvis and get information on how he might be stopped before his "shady" influence hurt a lot innocent kids.

These are just some of the

Things Overheard in an Early Elvis Presley Concert by People Who Never Liked Him

  • "What's wrong with that boy? Looks like he's got bees in this britches!"
  • "Thangs like that troublemaker never end good."
  • "That Elvis. Just another rock and roller gettin' leading teens down the road to Hell."
  • "Does he not believe in combing his hair?"
  • "Just what in tarnation is wrong with his upper lip?"
  • "Look at these teen girls--eating up his swoonin' like a herd of hungry hawgs."
  • "No record label would ever sign such an animal as Elvis!"
  • "His pants seem a bit too big."
  • "I bet he is doing this show for nothing."
  • "Hey, what did he say was "Alright," mama?"
  • "Such a disgrace--them girls throwing their panties at him!"
  • "I thank this Elvis fella is the pure devil in disguise."
  • "Mama's and daddies had better get control of their kids . . .now!"
  • "Look! That girl got on stage and she's trying to take his clothes off!"
  • "Do we not have laws to protect our decency anymore?'
  • "He can't sang a note 'less'n he shakes like a rattlesnake havin' a seizure."
  • "What's he sangin', a Gospel song? Pure blasphemy. I tell you."
  • "That one girl over there just fell-out in the floor. That boy needs arrestin'!"
  • "Wonder if his mama and daddy knows he is doing this ugly stuff?"
  • "Well, one good thing about Elvis. At least he don't do drugs."

And the rest is . . .well, you know.

And now, Elvis singing "The Hawaiian Wedding Song," from the film, Blue Hawaii

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Comments 4 comments

Kristen Howe profile image

Kristen Howe 19 months ago from Northeast Ohio

Kenneth, this was a great hub on Elvis. There was some known facts I didn't know about him, especially those overheard saying about him. My mother was a fan of him and his music before she died last year. Voted up for interesting!


whonunuwho profile image

whonunuwho 19 months ago from United States

Yep, my friend...Elvis became a legend and you know...we all have to have a few in our day, don't we. We help create legends in our minds first and then on the stage...many getting a jump start on the Sullivan Show. Nice work Kenneth. whonu


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 19 months ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

Hi, Kristen,

Thank you kindly for the sweet comment.

And we will never know ALL of the hidden-facts about Elvis. I wish I had known what was on his mind in his final hours of life.

Come back to visit me anytime.


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 19 months ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

whonunuwho,

You are a very wise person. In our minds then in public. Yes, that was how Elvis was made, kept, and would have still been here if somehow his physical pain had not led him to the ugly world of prescription drugs.

Rest in Peace, Elvis.

And whonunuwho, come back anytime.

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