Presley Makes 'Em Shriek, Yell, Jump
By Jean Yothers
August 9, 1956 Orlando, FL
Concert Date : August 8, 1956, Orlando, FL.
A big-shouldered youth with sideburns and a full-lipped face wandered slowly on stage and thousands of adoring teenage girls went wild They shrieked. They screamed. They jumped up in their seats. And they gazed at their idol as though transported into a state of ecstatic bliss.
Subject of this mass hysteria was Elvis Aaron Presley, 21 year-old singer and hero of the nation's teenagers who purely fractured two full houses at Municipal Auditorium last night with his unique actions and sensational style. Wearing a bright green coat, black trousers and white shoes, the heavy-lidded, touseled-haired Elvis surveyed his audience with a half-smile on his lips and then cut loose with a three-piece band backing him up.
When he moaned out Heartbreak Hotel, his first number, the auditorium was filled with piercing, ear-splitting screams. When he jumped around the stage to Long Tall Sally, fans rushed up to the rail to snap pictures, and as he twisted his hips suggestively to the rhythm, they yelled like dying cats, 'Oh Elvis.'
Four Policemen were posted at both stage entrances to hold back the crowds, but still they milled about the auditorium taking photographs of the gyrating Elvis at all angles.
When he removed his green coat to throw himself into Hound Dog, his current record, a delighted squeal erupted from the house that could've blown the top from Vesuvius. He then wiggled and switched his hips passionately, dragging the microphone. He was gone, man, gone.
'What do you think of this guy?' a mother-spectator was asked 'I just came cause the kids wanted to,' she said 'I was curious. Now I know. Look at him. He looks just like a hound dog in heat and sounds like a sick cat.' First-row sitter Pat Hix, a teenage girl, had a different slant. She adores Elvis. 'I like his style of singing and his flashy clothes best about him,' she said with reverence. Backstage in the Pelvis' dressing room, he was a different person. Relaxed and friendly, he answered in his slow, southern drawl.
Q. How long do you think you'll stay on top in show business.?'
A. Ah wish ah knew ma'am. People change a lot.
Q. Do you consider your gyrations vulgar?
A. No ma'am. Ah don't Ah don't feel sexy when Ah'm on stage.
Q. What kind of girl do you want to marry?
A. [with a sight] Ah've never thought much about it.'
Q. Do you sleep in pajamas?
A. No ma'am Ah sleep in my shorts.
Q. Do you kiss all those girls you read about in the papers?
A. Only upon special request