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When the beach was young: Elvis! The King performed in Daytona Beach in the 1950s

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Elvis in Daytona Beach, August 9, 1956
Photo by Bill Fergusson

The Fifties saw the king of rock-and-roll, Elvis Presley, come to Daytona Beach for a one-night performance at Peabody Auditorium. While here, Elvis stayed at the Copacabana Beach Motel on the corner of Silver Beach Boulevard and S. Atlantic Avenue. The motel stands today as a testament to his Fifties visit and remains virtually unchanged from that famous night when Elvis was their guest.

Present management is very aware of their claim to fame.

Elvis at Daytona Beach, August 9, 1956
Elvis at Daytona Beach, August 9, 1956

The Peabody Auditorium was packed with teenage girls and their mothers, grandmothers, aunts and cousins to see Elvis do his gyrations, which had become a part of his mystique in spellbinding his predominately female audiences. Oh, there were a few males in any audience, hoping to learn just what it was Elvis had that 'drove women nuts'. What they learned that evening is that Elvis had a certain charisma that simply could not be imitated. 'One, Two, Three O'clock Rock', sung by Bill Haley and the Comets, was one of the most recognizable rock-and-roll hits, circa 1954. This favorite brought with it a whole new sound in music, heralding the arrival of rock-and-roll. Reminiscent of that day, The Ice Cream Shoppe at the intersection of Old Kings Road and Flomich Avenue (at Nova and Flomich,) contains memorabilia of the Fifties.

From its old gas pumps (restored), to five-cent Coca Cola machines, to replicas of '55 and '57 Chevies, the shoppe boasts virtually everything in its decor dating back to that magical era.

When's the last time you saw a brown root beer bottle? How about a greeting card with the late Roy Rogers depicted in his heyday? Would you care to see a picture of Elvis as he appeared in Daytona Beach that fabulous night in the mid-Fifties? How about a photo of Elvis (recently given to the shoppe owners) as he appeared in his very last concert? You just may run into some familiar classmates from the Fifties when you visit the Ice Cream Shoppe. A local Gold Wing (comprised mostly of folks in their fifties) motorcycle club drops by now and then en masse to socialize and 'scoop up' some banana splits or their favorite ice cream soda. A strawberry ice cream soda with delicious vanilla ice cream....ymmmmmmm.

Stop by and see this treasure trove of Fifties memorabilia. If you just happen to want some ice cream, a sundae or soda, hot dog with chili or an ice-cold Coke, they'll gladly serve you.

Enjoy this step back in time to the day Elvis made his visit to The World's Most Famous Beach.

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