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Elvis Presley : Mosque Theater, Richmond, Va : June 30, 1956

This is familiar ground to Elvis; earlier in the year he'd rocked the state capital's Mosque Theatre twice.

On arriving back in New York, Elvis and his two cousins Junior and Gene Smith take a taxi ride to the Hotel Jefferson. Here he'll have time to rest and prepare for the two concerts scheduled for 5pm and 8pm.

Wertheimer, 'having a foot in the door', decided to take advantage of the opportunity to shoot Elvis again.

On his own, took a train to Richmond to photograph Elvis' two shows at the Mosque Theater.

When asked, what was it about Elvis that made him decide to follow and observe him as a photojournalist, and not for hire? Wertheimer replied that Elvis 'permitted closeness and he made the girls cry'.

'It was a remarkable phenomenon'.

After checking in, Elvis and his cousins go up to their rooms to relax and store away his concert clothes. In the early afternoon, Elvis changes clothes and goes downstairs for a quick snack. Waiting for him is a young lady he'd met while visiting Richmond back in March. All dressed up and excited, she joins Elvis in the coffee shop.

Elvis Presley Video Alfred Wertheimer talks about Photographing Elvis Presley at 21 New page link (08:17) In this video interview photographer Alfred Wertheimer talks about photographing on this day at the Mosque Theater.

Video courtesy Elvis Presley Video Elvis Presley Video Central New page link

Wertheimer's photographs of Elvis in Richmond taken on June 30 are amazing. His picture (Above) of Elvis with a young woman he had just met, sitting at the Jefferson Hotel lunch counter, called Grilled Cheese 20 cents is a classic look at 1950s America.
Elvis with a young woman he had just met, sitting at the Jefferson Hotel lunch counter - June 30, 1956

Wertheimer's photographs of Elvis in Richmond taken on June 30 are amazing. His picture of Elvis with a young woman, sitting at the Jefferson Hotel lunch counter is a classic look at 1950s America.

At 4.30 pm, Elvis, his cousins and the Richmond Rose take a taxi ride to the Mosque Theatre.

According to Alfred Wertheimer, Elvis arrived at the rear entrance of the Mosque Theatre. 'I had expected Elvis to march directly up the backstage ramp, it was only twenty minutes to showtime, but instead, he laid back and held court with a the few young ladies who had gathered, all primly dressed in their Sunday best and ready with their Brownie cameras. For someone who was moving up pretty fast he never seemed to be in a rush'.

'He always had time for the fans'.

Fans backstage at the Mosque - June 30, 1956
Fans backstage at the Mosque - June 30, 1956

Warming up with the Jordanaires amidst the screams of girls outside - June 30, 1956
Warming up with the Jordanaires amidst the screams of girls outside - June 30, 1956 Elvis tries to concentrate on rehearsal of some of his songs he will perform with the Jordanaires, his backup vocal group, finding it hard to do so because of the screaming of his fans outside the window. He finally went to the window and asked them to be quiet. After his request they were silent. (Mosque Theater, Richmond, Va)

'Backstage, musicians unpacked their instruments, reporters milled around looking for an opportunity, and young wives and mothers sat against the wall drinking Pepsi and smoking cigarettes.

On stage, under the beam of spotlights, a small brass band rehearsed.

The stage was a shallow blond floor separated from the audience by a think fading red curtain. Elvis wandered around the stage, feeling its size like builder inspecting a piece of land. When he finished his survey he nodded to his musicians in the wings and proceeded toward what could be called the green room'.

They relax by harmonizing on some gospel songs. They have to quit because Elvis can't hear his backing vocals because of the screaming of the fans. While the support acts try to entertain the packed theatre, Elvis has other things to worry about - such as heating up his Richmond babe ...

Elvis Presley : The Kiss

Wertheimer's 'fly on the wall' approach to photography is dramatically illustrated in a masterpiece image taken that hot summer day called The Kiss. Photographed in low light at the end of a long, narrow passageway under the fire stairs, The Kiss captures the beauty, style, and sex appeal of the young man from Memphis.

Sneaking a kiss moments before going onstage - June 30, 1956
Sneaking a kiss moments before going onstage : June 30, 1956

Elvis News Weithiemer's Elvis Presley Mystery Kisser Identity Revealed

Photographed in low light at the end of a long, narrow passageway under the fire stairs.

The Kiss captures the beauty, style, and sex appeal of the young man from Memphis.

The act onstage was a square dance troupe. Colonel Parker would hire acts out of various country and western circuits or variety shows and package them with Elvis when he toured the South.

They got little or no billing. On this night the colonel hired Doris and Lee Strom, a dancing team; the Fliam Brothers, musical comedians; and Phil Marquin, a magician.

Elvis was crouched in the wings watching the procession of acts.

Elvis Presley - Waiting in the wings of the Mosque stage - June 30, 1956
Elvis Presley - Waiting in the wings of the Mosque stage - June 30, 1956

After the magician went through his tricks, the curtain closed, the applause fell away and quickly the shouts of 'Where's Elvis?' became a chorus. The comedians went into their routine while behind the curtain Scotty, DJ and Bill set up their instruments. The lights dimmed. A spotlight popped on, and Elvis rushed out onto the stage, propelled. The was an explosion, screaming, screeching, whistling, girls jumping, surging towards the stage.

Elvis Presley - June 30, 1956 - Mosque Theatre, Richmond
Elvis Presley - June 30, 1956 - Mosque Theatre, Richmond

After the first show was over, somebody gave him a Pepsi, and as soon as he joined the present, the momentum of his nervous energy sent him back to center stage where he sat down and started playing with the drums. A reporter in bowtie and glasses pulled up a chair and asked questions like he was covering a fire and Elvis was the fire chief. As the reporter filled in the answers to his prepared questions, Elvis fiddled with the drumsticks, tapping them on his hands, setting them down, them picking them up and bumping them against his chin. At the drums the black sapphires and diamond studded horseshoe rings glittered as he tapped gently at the snare, careful not to upset the two Cokes on the tom tom.

'I can't play', he drawled. 'I learned this when I was in the ROTC in a Memphis High School'

Reporter Gene Miller interviewing Elvis Presley - June 30, 1956
Reporter Gene Miller interviewing Elvis - June 30, 1956


Elvis and young fan - June 30, 1956

Offstage, Elvis is quiet likable and a little aloof conversationally.

If he is awed by his catapult to fame, it is well insulated with nonchalance. He is careful to say 'sir'. On several occasions he added, 'I don't mean to be smart'. An hour and a half later he publicly dedicated a song to the New York Press, 'You Ain't Nothing but a Hound Dog'. A few days ago he bit the finger of a woman reporter in Charleston, S.C. 'I was sitting in my car and she stuck her hand in and grabbed my coat and said 'I got a deadline! I got a deadline!' so I bit her finger. I was just being friendly, but she tried to make a big deal'

The curtain went up on the empty Mosque and Elvis jumped into the orchestra pit to the piano. He played a little boogie and Dragner's dum de-dum dum. The young ushers and two girls rushed to the front row. 'Hi, ladies', he said with a grin. 'Hi, man'. The ushers told him that he wouldn't get mobbed. 'It isn't so bad. I enjoy it'. Pointing to the ceiling, he said, 'They can jump to the lights if they want to, That's okay with me'.

Elvis' favorite pastime is watching movies. He also likes pool shooting, swimming and motorcycle riding. 'I hate to sound like I'm bragging, but I don't have much time.' He talked to the ushers for 10 minutes. The crowd began to wander in and Elvis climbed back onto the stage and the curtain came down again.

Elvis in the orchestra pit at the piano - June 30, 1956
Elvis in the orchestra pit at the piano - June 30, 1956

Before the screaming started Elvis Aaron Presley, 21, ambled over to the drum set in the center of the Mosque stage. His white, knit tie was yanked loose and his shirt was ringing wet. The first show was over. He had finished an interview with the London Mirror and had a couple of hours to kill before the next show. Presley, a Tupelo, Miss. boy who drove a pickup truck for an electric company until 1954, is America's newest adolescent sensation, a sort of Rock 'n' Roll Caruso. To his followers, he's a 'living doll'. To his critics he's 'vulgar' and 'indecent'. To the Jukebox merchants he's the hottest rage since Frankie Boy (Sinatra), vintage 1943.

Elvis back at the drums in between shows at the Mosque - June 30, 1956
Elvis back at the drums in between shows at the Mosque - June 30, 1956

The show started and Elvis headed for the dressing room.

It took him about five minutes to get his hair combed just right.

Elvis' performances that evening left the audiences in a frenzy.

Screams, waves of screams, drenched the Mosque. Elvis squirmed. Elvis sang. Elvis reeled back and forth.
Elvis Presley Lyrics
'Heartbreak Hotel', Elvis Presley Lyrics'Blue Suede Shoes', Elvis Presley Lyrics'Long Tall Sally' reverberated in a fantastic cacophony of squeals, screeches and screams. Swivel-hipped, quivering and panting, he gyrated across the stage dragging the microphone in a death grip. He sang 'Hi want you! Hi need you! Hi luh-huh-huh-huv yew-hew!' His loud intense baritone soared over the deafening thud-thud-thud rock 'n' roll beat.

He staggered, stalked and wiggled his fingers in voodoo fashion. His hair was in his eyes. His face twisted in agony. He stopped chewing his chewing gum. Still, clinging to the mike, he sprawled almost prone as amateur girl photographers rushed into the orchestra pit. The flashbulbs exploded like a swarm of monstrous fireflies.

When it was all over, three teen-age girls, obviously weakened emotionally, stood by a side door.

They babbled happily. Big tears streamed down their cheeks.

After the show they left for New York by train and then back to Memphis for a performance at Russwood Park on the 4th of July. After the Memphis performance Al Wertheimer would only see Elvis again one more time, when he was in the Army and sailed for Germany from Brooklyn, New York in 1958.

Bill Black and Elvis Presley onstage at the Mosque
Bill Black and Elvis Presley onstage at the Mosque

Elvis, on his knee, closing the show, in front of the foot lights, sings to his 3000 mostly teenage female fans, who were delighted by his presence and his music. He left them in tears of joy.

Elvis Presley - June 30, 1956 - Mosque Theatre, Richmond

(Photos © Alfred Wertheimer. All rights reserved.)

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January 1956

TV Appearance = Elvis on TV : 1956 : One incredible year !!!

Articles about Elvis Presley Elvis Presley Photos Elvis Presley : RCA's McGavock St Studio : January 10 and 11, April 14, 1956
Elvis Presley Photos 1956 business contract signed by Colonel Parker and Elvis for The Elvis Presley Show
Elvis Presley Video Elvis Presley : The Dorsey Brothers Stage Show : January 28, 1956 TV Appearance

February

Elvis Presley Video Elvis Presley : The Dorsey Brothers Stage Show : February 4, 1956 TV Appearance
Elvis Presley Photos Elvis Presley, Scotty Moore and Bill Black : February 9, 1956
Elvis Presley Photos Elvis Presley : Backstage February 10, 1956
Elvis Presley Video Elvis Presley : The Dorsey Brothers Stage Show : February 11, 1956 TV Appearance
Elvis Presley Video Elvis Presley : The Dorsey Brothers Stage Show : February 18, 1956 TV Appearance

March

Elvis Presley Photos Elvis Presley 1956 : March : June : July New page link
Elvis Presley Photos Elvis Presley's 1956 Home : 1034 Audubon Drive, Memphis, TN

Elvis Presley Photos Elvis Presley : The Lousinana Hayride : March 10, 1956
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Elvis Presley Photos Elvis Presley singing and playing gospel music : March 17, 1956 New page link
Elvis Presley Photos Jimmy Dean and Elvis Presley on the Jimmy Dean WMAL-TV Show, March 23, 1956
Elvis Presley Video Elvis Presley Photos Elvis Presley : The Dorsey Brothers Stage Show : March 24, 1956 TV Appearance

April

Elvis Presley Photos Elvis Presley : The Milton Berle Show : April 3, 1956 TV Appearance
Elvis Presley Photos Elvis Presley : Arena : San Diego : April 4, 1956
Elvis Presley Photos Elvis Presley : Arena : San Diego : April 4, 1956
Elvis Presley Photos Elvis Presley : Wichita Falls, Texas : April 9, 1956
Elvis Presley Photos Elvis Presley : Fair Park Coliseum, Lubbock, TX : April 10, 1956
Articles about Elvis Presley Elvis Presley Photos Elvis Presley- RCA's McGavock St Studio : January 10 and 11, April 14, 1956
Elvis Presley Photos Elvis Presley : San Antonio : April 15, 1956
Elvis Presley Photos Elvis Presley : Oklahoma City : April 19, 1956
Elvis Presley Photos Elvis Presley : April 20, 1956 : North Side Coliseum, Forth Worth
Articles about Elvis Presley Elvis Presley, New Singing Find, Booked Into New Frontier : April 21, 1956 Link
Elvis Presley Photos Elvis Presley at The New Frontier Hotel : From April 23, 1956
Elvis Presley CD, Book and DVD Reviews Review : Elvis Presley at The New Frontier : Las Vegas Sun : April 26, 1956 Link
Elvis Presley CD, Book and DVD Reviews Review : Elvis Presley at The New Frontier : Las Vegas SUN : April 28, 1956 Link

May

Elvis Presley CD, Book and DVD Reviews Review : Elvis Presley at The New Frontier : Las Vegas SUN : May 1, 1956 Link
Elvis Presley CD, Book and DVD Reviews Letter to the editor : Las Vegas SUN : May 12, 1956 Link
Elvis Presley Photos Elvis Presley : Auditorium in St. Paul, Minnesota : May 13, 1956
Elvis Presley Photos Elvis Presley : May 14, 1956 : LaCrosse Wisconsin
Elvis Presley Photos Elvis Presley : May 15, 1956 : Ellis Auditorium
Elvis Presley Photos Elvis Presley Detroit, MI. Fox Theater May 25, 1956
Elvis Presley Photos Elvis Presley : Columbus, Ohio : May 26, 1956
Elvis Presley Photos Elvis, Scotty, Bill and DJ performed two shows at the UD Fieldhouse in Dayton : May 27, 1956
Elvis Presley Photos
Elvis Presley Dayton, Oh., as Elvis left for Memphis : May 28, 1956
Elvis Presley Video Elvis greeting fans at Los Angeles Airport, 1956

June

Elvis Presley Photos Elvis Presley 1956 : March : June : July New page link
Elvis Presley Photos Carl Perkins and Elvis Presley swap autographs, Memphis : June 1, 1956
Elvis Presley Photos Elvis Presley : Arriving in Oakland : June 3, 1956
Elvis Presley Photos Elvis Presley : In Concert : Oakland California : June 3, 1956 New page link
Elvis Presley Photos The Milton Berle Show : Los Angeles : June 5, 1956 TV Appearance
Elvis Presley Photos Elvis Presley : June 7, 1956 : Long Beach Municipal Auditorium
Elvis Presley Photos Elvis Presley : June 8, 1956
Articles about Elvis Presley Elvis Presley Photos Elvis Presley MP3 Audio Elvis Presley Video June 16, 1956 : Wink Martindale TV Show
Elvis Presley Photos Elvis Presley and Red West at Elvis' 1034 Audubon Drive House : June 14, 1956
Elvis Presley Photos Elvis Presley MP3 Audio Elvis Presley Video The Wink Martindale Show : June 16, 1956 TV Appearance
Elvis Presley Photos Vernon, Gladys and Elvis Presley sing at the piano : 1034 Audubon Drive House : June 17, 1956
Elvis Presley Photos Elvis Presley and Barbara Hearn : June 19, 1956 : Fairgrounds Amusement Park, Memphis
Elvis Presley Photos Elvis Presley and Barbara Hearn at Elvis' 1034 Audubon Drive House : June 19, 1956
Elvis Presley Photos Elvis Presley with Susan Hayward : June 28, 1956
Elvis Presley Photos Elvis Presley : Mosque Theater, Richmond, Va : June 30, 1956

July

Elvis Presley Photos Elvis Presley 1956 : March : June : July New page link
Elvis Presley Photos Elvis Presley : Hudson Theater : New York City : Steve Allen Show : July 1, 1956 TV Appearance
Elvis Presley Photos Elvis Presley : RCA Studio One, Memphis, Tennessee : July 2, 1956
Elvis Presley Photos
Elvis Presley : On The Train to, Memphis, Tennessee : July 3, 1956
Elvis Presley Photos Elvis Presley : Russwood Park, Memphis, Tennessee : July 4, 1956
Elvis Presley Photos Elvis Presley : St. Joseph's Hospital Memphis Tennessee : July 5, 1956
Elvis Presley Photos Elvis Presley : Ocean Springs, MS. : Thursday, July 12, 1956
Elvis Presley Photos Elvis performs with The Statesman Quartet at Ellis Auditorium : July 27, 1956
Elvis Presley Photos Elvis Presley : Water Skiing : Biloxi : July 31, 1956 New page link

August

Elvis Presley Photos Elvis Presley Love Me Tender Movie Set Photos
Elvis Presley Photos Elvis Presley : Olympia Theater, Miami, Florida : August 3, 1956
Elvis Presley Photos Elvis Presley : August 5, 1956 : Tampa Florida
Elvis Presley Photos Elvis Presley : Florida Theatre St. Petersburg : August 7, 1956
Elvis Presley Photos Elvis Presley : Jacksonville, FL. Florida Theater (3 shows per day) : August 10-11, 1956
Elvis Presley Photos Elvis Presley at the Knickerbocker Hotel, Hollywood : August 18, 1956
Elvis Presley Photos Elvis Presley : Love Me Tender Recording Sessions : August 24, 1956
Elvis Presley MP3 Audio Elvis Presley : August 29, 1956 : Hollywood, California (The Truth About Me) + Out Takes [Audio only]
Elvis Presley Photos Elvis Presley : August 31, 1956 : On the set of Love Me Tender

September

Elvis Presley Photos Elvis Presley : The Ed Sullivan Show : 1956-1957
Elvis Presley Photos Elvis Presley : September 1-3, 1956 Recording Sessions
Elvis Presley Photos Elvis Presley : First Appearance : The Ed Sullivan Show : September 9, 1956 TV Appearance
Elvis Presley Photos Elvis Presley: Asleep In Flight : Back To Memphis September 23, 1956
Elvis Presley Photos Elvis Presley : September 26, 1956 : Tupelo, MS. Mississippi-Alabama Fairgrounds
Elvis Presley Photos Elvis Presley at the Mid-South Fair : Memphis September 29, 1956

October

Elvis Presley Photos Elvis Presley : October 5, 1956
Elvis Presley Photos
Elvis Presley : Cotton Bowl, Dallas : October 11, 1956
Elvis Presley Photos
Elvis Presley : October 18, 1956
Elvis Presley Photos Elvis Presley : October 19, 1956 : Assault Charge
Elvis Presley Photos Elvis Presley : The Ed Sullivan Show Rehearsals : October 26-28, 1956
Elvis Presley Photos Elvis Presley : The Ed Sullivan Show : Dress Rehearsals : October 28, 1956
Elvis Presley Photos Elvis Presley : The Ed Sullivan Show : Press Conference : October 28, 1956

Elvis Presley Photos Elvis Presley gets his Polio Shot : October 28, 1956
Elvis Presley Photos Elvis Presley : The Ed Sullivan Show : October 28, 1956 TV Appearance
Elvis Presley Photos Natalie Wood and Elvis Presley outside the Hotel Chisca : October 31, 1956

November

Elvis Presley Photos Elvis : Toledo : November 22, 1956
Elvis Presley Photos Elvis Presley : Cleveland Arena, Ohio : November 23, 1956
Elvis Presley Photos Elvis Presley : E.H. Crump Memorial Football Game : November 30, 1956

December

Elvis Presley Photos Elvis Presley : December 11, 1956 : Mobbed by fans in Memphis after running out of gas
Elvis Presley Photos Elvis Presley's Last Louisiana Hayride Performance : December 15, 1956
Elvis Presley Photos Elvis Presley Touch Football : Dave Wells Community Center : December 27, 1956

1957

Elvis Presley Photos Elvis Presley: The Ed Sullivan Show : His third and final Appearance : January 6, 1957 TV Appearance

The Movies Of 1956

Elvis Presleys Movies 1956, Love Me Tender, Twentieth Century Fox

The Movies In Photos

Elvis Presley Photos Love Me Tender New page link

DVDs

DVD Elvis : The Ed Sullivan Show : The Classic Performances DVD
DVD The Milton Berle Shows DVD
DVD Elvis : The King Of Rock n Roll 30 Hit Performances And More DVD

Elvis on The Ed Sullivan Shows

CDs

CD The Complete Louisiana Hayride Archives 1954-1956
CD Greatest Live Hits of the 50’s CD From MRS
CD Elvis At SUN
CD Elvis Presley : FTD Special Edition 2 CD
CD The Million Dollar Quartet
CD The King Of Rock 'N' Roll : The Complete 50's Masters
CD Elvis' Golden Records CD

Books

Book The Elvis Files Volume 1 : 1953-1956
Book A Moment In Time : 4 Days in '56 : Hardcover book from FTD
Book
Rock, Sex, and Roll : Elvis Presley Hardcover Book [JAT]
Book The Rock 'N Roll Years : My Wish Came True : 1954-56
Book Elvis : The Hottest Thing That's Cool The '50s inc, Ed Sullivan and Steve Allen Shows
Book Flashback Book + 2 CDs
Book Elvis : The Hottest Thing That's Cool - Elvis Book
Book Elvis Presley: The Family Album Book

Elvis Presley Photos

Elvis Presley Photos

Elvis Presley Video Video Preview: Tupelo's Own Elvis Presley DVD

Tupelo's Own Elvis Presley DVD + 16 page booklet. Never before have we seen an Elvis concert from the 50's with sound. Until Now! The DVD Contains recently discovered Unreleased Film of Elvis performing 6 songs, including Heartbreak Hotel and Don’t Be Cruel, live in Tupelo Mississippi 1956. Included we see a live performance of the elusive Long Tall Sally seen here for the first time ever. This is an excellent release no fan should be without it. The 'parade' footage is good to see as it puts you in the right context with color and b&w footage. The interviews of Elvis' Parents are well worth hearing too. The afternoon show footage is wonderful and electrifying : Here is Elvis in his prime rocking and rolling in front of 11.000 people.

We love Elvis Presley !!!!!!!! : So ... Stop, look and listen baby that's our philosophy ... First thing in the morning, last thing at night ... look, stare everywhere and see everything inside ... Stop, look and listen!

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