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Elvis Presley Ottawa Canada - April 3, 1957

The night before in Toronto, Elvis wore his full gold lamé suit for the last time. The photos below show Presley wore only three elements of the gold suit in Ottawa - jacket, belt, shoes.

Elvis chose not to wear the tie and pants from the gold suit. On Elvis' next tour to the Pacific Northwest in late summer, he would discard the gold shoes as well. The 'King' arrived in Ottawa on April 3, 1957. Teenagers traveled from as far as Montreal to attend the shows. A special train, nicknamed the 'Rock N' Roll Cannon Ball' was packed with over 500 concert-goers. When Presley stepped onto the stage, the audience of over 9,000 were so loud it was almost impossible to hear Presley singing. The fans were in a frenzy of Elvis worship: 'some wept, some moaned; some clutched their heads in ecstasy; everybody screamed, stamped, clapped hands, flailed arms, one person got down on all fours and pounded the floor'. The police were out in record numbers because there was concern that the screaming fans would rush the stage.

Elvis Presley MP3 Audio Elvis interviewed by Ottawa's CKOY news director, Mac Lipson Pop Up Window August 7 (05:29)

Elvis posing backstage at the Auditorium in Ottawa - Apr. 3, 1957
Elvis posing backstage at the Auditorium in Ottawa - Apr. 3, 1957.

Elvis Presley Ottawa Canada - April 3 1957

Elvis Presley Ottawa Canada - April 3 1957

Elvis Presley Ottawa Canada - April 3 1957

D.J. Fontana, Elvis, Bill Black and the Jordanaires onstage at the Auditorium in Ottawa - Apr. 3, 1957.
D.J. Fontana, Elvis, Bill Black and the Jordanaires onstage at the Auditorium in Ottawa - Apr. 3, 1957.

Elvis onstage at the Auditorium in Ottawa - Apr. 3, 1957
Elvis onstage at the Auditorium in Ottawa - Apr. 3, 1957.

Elvis onstage at the Auditorium in Ottawa - Apr. 3, 1957

Elvis onstage at the Auditorium in Ottawa - Apr. 3, 1957

Elvis fans at the Auditorium in Ottawa - Apr. 3, 1957
Elvis fans at the Auditorium in Ottawa - Apr. 3, 1957.

Elvis Presley Ottawa Canada - April 3 1957

Elvis Presley Ottawa Canada - April 3 1957
Elvis Presley Ottawa, Canada - April 3 1957

Andrews Newton, who was the official photographer when Presley's stage show came to Ottawa on April 3, 1957. At the time, Newton was the proprietor of Newton Photographic Associates, located at 326 Wilbrod Street in Ottawa. The images below come from the afternoon press conference.

Elvis Presley Ottawa Canada - April 3 1957 Press Conference
Elvis Presley Ottawa Canada - April 3 1957 Press Conference

Elvis Presley Ottawa Canada - April 3 1957 Press Conference
Elvis Presley Ottawa Canada - April 3 1957 Press Conference

A backstage picture from April 3rd 1957, at Elvis his side is Arni May.
A backstage picture from April 3rd 1957, at Elvis his side is Arni May.

Above, is a backstage picture from April 3rd 1957, at Elvis his side we recognize Arni May.

Arni was a well known drummer in the Ottawa jazz circuit for almost six years when the chance of a lifetime came along. Elvis came to town and wanted him as his drummer. At the time Arni was only 20 and Elvis 22, as you can imagine he was pretty nervous when he met Elvis. But Elvis greeted Arni as a friend, as if they knew each other already. May performed two 45-minute sets with him at Ottawa's Auditorium on April 3, 1957. Later he recalled; 'When it was over, all that was left were memories that would last a lifetime'. Arni didn't want to cash the cheque he received from this performance, he wanted to keep it as a souvenir. But he had to, he didn't have enough money to pay the guys in his band. 'I spent the day with him, and I'm telling you, he left an impression with me that I'll just never forget. He was a first-class gentleman'.

Gord Atkinson's interview with Elvis Presley

Gord Atkinson remembered Elvis unable to leave his dingy converted hockey dressing room because of the mobs outside the building, sitting quietly, eating a plain cheese sandwich, in between shows when he interviewed him before he introduced him onstage for the evening performance. Gord hosted a weekly program for teenagers CFRA called the Campus Corner where they had conducted a big rating contest to determine the most popular recording artist of the year and Elvis won by an overwhelming majority of votes.

After the interview Gord presented Elvis with a scroll on behalf of all the listeners of radio show.

After the interview Gord presented Elvis with a scroll on behalf of all the listeners of radio show.
After the interview Gord presented Elvis with a scroll on behalf of all the listeners of radio show.

Highlights from Gord Atkinson's interview with Elvis

Gord: Is this the first time you've been to Canada?

Elvis: Yes. it is my very first trip to Canada.

Gord: Pretty soon for any impressions. Do you have any, though?

Elvis: No. Yes. Well, I do. I was in Toronto last night and I was very much surprised at how wonderful the people are, how friendly, you know, in this part of the country.

Gord: They have certainly been waiting for you for a long, long time.

Elvis: I have been wanting to come up here. In fact, when I started looking at the tour, I said, by all means, I want to go to Canada. In fact, about a year ago, I tried to get them to book a tour up here, but I wasn't well enough known. A year and a half ago, everybody didn't know me well enough.

Gord: Sounds almost unbelievable.

Elvis: So they figured I wouldn't make enough money.

Gord: No doubt about that now.

Well, Elvis, you've certainly even topped the popularity Frank Sinatra had in his heyday.

This may seem like a foolish question; it seems an obvious answer; but have you, yourself, given any thought to what it is about you that has made you the phenomenal show business personality that you are?

Elvis: I sure have, In fact, only I don't like to figure it out because I am afraid if I find out what it is.

I might lose it, so I just keep guessing myself

Gord: You just recently built a home?

Elvis: Well, I didn't build it. I just bought it. It's an estate [Graceland].

It's about ten miles from where I live now (on Audubon Drive). We had to have a larger place because I have accumulated so much junk in the last two years I don't know where to put it.

Gord: Will you be living with your parents?

Elvis: Yes.

Gord: You are an only child, aren't you'?

Elvis: Yes, sir.

Gord: Do you have a girlfriend, may I ask?

Elvis: I don't have a special ...

I mean, when I'm home I date a few different girls in Memphis, but I don't have any particular one.

Gord: Have you given thought to the fact some day you might decide that you'd like to get married?

Elvis: I probably will.

Gord: Do you think this would hurt your popularity?

Elvis: It probably will. I have no plans for marriage. I haven't met anybody yet.

Gord: What about your singing style. Would you say that you are an outgrowth of country music?

Or the pop field? Or a combination of both?

Elvis: I guess I kind of like em both; more rock 'n roll than anything else.

Rock 'n roll is actually, you see, what put me over.

Gord: There are many people waiting to talk to you. I want to thank you so much. I have something here to present to you. It's a scroll from our program, called Campus Corner: It is a show that is presented each Saturday. It is a teenage show, if you can imagine. We had a popularity poll where the boys and girls on the station are voting and for the past year and a half you have been the

Elvis: Oh, that's great. Thank you very much.

Gord: Elvis, I wonder if you'd say something to all those fans right now.

Elvis: I would like to tell them how I deeply appreciate (this), and like I said before, I guess I've gotten more mail from Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal than any other place.

I've got more fan mail from right around this area than I have in anywhere in the United States.

Gord: That's wonderful. You will be . . .

Elvis (interrupting):

I am not telling that to you because I am here, but it is very true and that is one of the reasons why l always wanted to come up here; because I've gotten more letters from Canada than I can count.

Gord: That should make your fans here very happy.

It has been a sincere pleasure to be talking to you, Elvis Presley.

Elvis: Thank you very much.

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