Elvis Presley | Backstage at the Overton Park Shell | Friday, July 30, 1954
It is Elvis' first live, professional appearance.
He opened for Slim Whitman. It is a momentous event in the history of rock and roll.
Elvis Presley - Backstage at the Overton Park Shell, Friday, July 30, 1954
Above, Elvis back stage with child, Jerry Turner, who would grow up to be a policeman assigned to guard Elvis' body at his funeral. Jerry describes his duty at Elvis' funeral as the saddest of his life ...
Elvis Presley | July 30, 1954 advertisement in the Memphis Press Scimitar
Advertised as a Hillbilly Hoedown, appearing in addition to Slim Whitman and Billy Walker were 'Sugarfoot' Collins, 'Sonny' Harvelle, Tinker Fry and 'Curly' Harris. The show began at 8:00 on the night of July, 30, 1954, and they started with Elvis, Scotty and Bill performing 'That's Alright Mama'. Elvis was so nervous he stood up on the balls of his feet and shook his leg in time with the music, a move he sometimes used in the studio. To his shock and horror the young girls in the audience went crazy, yelling and applauding. Scotty said, "We didn't know what was going on when all those people started screaming and hollering."
Next they did 'Blue Moon of Kentucky' and when Elvis got offstage he asked why people were yelling at him. Someone told him it was because he was shaking his leg, which with the baggy pleated pants created a wild gyrating effect in time with the music. Later in the show they returned and did the same two numbers along with 'I'll never let you go (Little Darlin)', a new song they had been working on. The following year they returned to the Shell for the second and last time for Bob Neal's eighth annual Country Music Jamboree.
July 30, 1954 advertisement in the Memphis Press Scimitar.
July 5, 1954 : The recording notees for 'I Love You Because' and That's All Right'.
July 6, 1954 : Except from the book, A Boy From Tupelo
Elvis Presley : Backstage at the Overton Park Shell : Friday, July 30, 1954