Elvis Presley | Auditorium in St. Paul, Minnesota | May 13, 1956
On May 13, 1956, Elvis Presley arrived in the Twin Cities to play two concerts: a matinee at the St. Paul Auditorium and an evening gig at the Minneapolis Auditorium. The Tribune dispatched Will Jones to St. Paul for the early show. His 'After Last Night' column appeared the next morning in the Monday paper. It's an engaging series of observations about the future King of Rock 'n' Roll -- then just 21 years old -- and his young fans.
Elvis Presley, exhausted after a matinee performance given at the Auditorium in St. Paul, Minnesota.
Elvis went on to give an evening performance in Minneapolis.
Squeals Drown Presley's Songs
By Will Jones, 1956
Elvis Presley, young bump-and-grind artist, turned a rainy Sunday afternoon into an orgy of squealing in St. Paul auditorium. He vibrated his hips so much, and the 3,000 customers squealed so insistently at the vibrations, it was impossible to hear him sing. None of the smitten seemed to care.
The crowd was much smaller than expected. Presley faced a sea of empty seats. When the noise started, however, even the empty seats seemed to be screaming. Presley wore a Kelly green jacket, tight blue trousers, and, disappointingly, black leather shoes. He only sang 'Blue Suede Shoes'. (I couldn't actually hear him sing it, because of the squeals. A girl in tight pink slacks assured me that's what it was.)
Uniform for the Day: Pink Slacks
Tight pink slacks were almost a uniform among the fans. Tight white slacks and tight black slacks were popular.
Presley was wearing tight black jeans and a black silk shirt when he arrived at the auditorium. A dozen policemen marched him into his dressing room. Then he stood around with his hands in his jeans posing for pictures and talking with reporters. He smiled a faint, half-sneering kind of smile at times. He didn't look nearly so tortured or pouty as he does in most published photographs.
His brown hair doesn't appear so dark, either. He has pimples all over the back of his neck, a few on his chin, and a number of nervous facial mannerisms. The most intriguing is the repeated rapid puffing of a single cheek. His long eyelashes have a Valentino-like mascaraed look.
'Any advice for all your girl friends?' asked a TV reporter.
'Well, that's a pretty stiff question', said Presley. 'I have one word for 'em - 'Hi'.
People kept handing him pictures and slips of paper to autograph.
St. Paul, Minnesota Auditorium (3:00pm)
Elvis Presley signed autographs for four remarkably composed fans at the St. Paul, Minnesota Auditorium.
His Record Firm Is 'the Biggest'
A radio interviewer asked him about his record successes.
'I switched to Victor because that's the biggest company there is', drawled Presley.
'You 19 or 21?' asked another. 'I've heard both'.
'Twenty-one', answered Presley. 'Wish ah was 19'.
Presley came here from Memphis, Tenn., his home. He's been so busy he hasn't had a chance to get home for awhile. He got a few free days by surprise after he flopped at a Las Vegas night club. They replaced him with a girl singer. The older customers in Las Vegas just didn't dig him.
I asked Presley about his movie plans. He's been signed for one picture a year for seven years by producer Hal Wallis. 'I was asked to do one of the leading parts in 'The Rainmaker' with Burt Lancaster', he said. 'A young kid, lovesick, real shy. I mean, he wasn't real shy. Real jolly. Real happy, real jolly, real lovesick. It wasn't like me. 'I took this screen test where I came in and was real happy and jolly and I didn't like it. I did this other one where I was mad at this girl, and I liked that better -- it was me'.
He's Against Any 'Excess Actin'
As he talked, he gently stroked the hand of a pretty girl who was standing beside him waiting for an autograph. 'Mr. Wallis asked me what kind of a part I'd like, and I told him one more like myself, so I wouldn't have to do any excess actin'. So he's havin' somebody write one for me like that.'
I asked him who was to play the girl in 'The Rainmaker'.
'Katharine Hepburn', he said, 'if you wanna call her a girl'.
Auditorium, Minneapolis, Minnesota (8:30pm)
A spotlight captured Elvis on stage at the Minneapolis Auditorium.
The policemen let a few lucky girls at a time into the dressing room for autographs. One who came in had a haircut just like Presley's. Another one brought him a flattened greasy popcorn box to sign.
He had a way of whipping up the crowd at the start of a song by playing a few introductory notes, stepping to the microphone, and then singing nothing.
Squeals! Another pause, another false start, more squeals, and then finally the song.
The Mob Screams, Closes In
When he wanted silence to announce a number he held up a hand in the traditional platform gesture -- but a double-jointed thumb twitched as he held the hand aloft. In moments of public passion, he clutched the microphone to his forehead. He ended up limp and sweating and loped off the stage half-staggering.
About 3,000 fans showed up for the Minneapolis concert.
Those look like police -- actual police, not security guards -- making sure fans didn't get too close to the stage.
The mob screamed and ran for him. The police marched him to a waiting car. A young, beautiful, well-dressed, highly-made-up blonde tried to get in the car with him. The police barred her.
'I'm a member of his company!' she cried. 'I belong with him! Stupid police!' Presley got away. The blonde walked around in the rain complaining while the rain made a soggy mess of her hair.
© From The Star Tribune by Ben Welter 2011.
Elvis Presley : RCA's McGavock St Studio : January 10 and 11, April 14, 1956
1956 business contract signed by Colonel Parker and Elvis for The Elvis Presley Show
Elvis Presley : The Dorsey Brothers Stage Show : January 28, 1956
Elvis Presley : The Dorsey Brothers Stage Show : February 4, 1956
Elvis Presley, Scotty Moore and Bill Black : February 9, 1956
Elvis Presley : Backstage February 10, 1956
Elvis Presley : The Dorsey Brothers Stage Show : February 11, 1956
Elvis Presley : The Dorsey Brothers Stage Show : February 18, 1956
Elvis Presley : The Lousinana Hayride : March 10, 1956
Elvis Presley : The Dorsey Brothers Stage Show : March 17, 1956
Elvis Presley singing and playing gospel music : March 17, 1956
Jimmy Dean and Elvis Presley on the Jimmy Dean WMAL-TV Show, March 23, 1956
Elvis Presley : The Dorsey Brothers Stage Show : March 24, 1956
Elvis Presley : The Milton Berle Show : April 3, 1956
Elvis Presley : Arena : San Diego : April 4, 1956
Elvis Presley : Arena : San Diego : April 4, 1956
Elvis Presley : Wichita Falls, Texas : April 9, 1956
Elvis Presley : Fair Park Coliseum, Lubbock, TX : April 10, 1956
Elvis Presley- RCA's McGavock St Studio : January 10 and 11, April 14, 1956
Elvis Presley : San Antonio : April 15, 1956
Elvis thrilled Tulsa teens at fairgrounds April 18, 1956
Elvis Presley : Oklahoma City : April 19, 1956
Elvis Presley : April 20, 1956 : North Side Coliseum, Forth Worth
Elvis Presley, New Singing Find, Booked Into New Frontier : April 21, 1956
Elvis Presley at The New Frontier Hotel : From April 23, 1956
Review : Elvis Presley at The New Frontier : Las Vegas Sun : April 26, 1956
Review : Elvis Presley at The New Frontier : Las Vegas SUN : April 28, 1956
Review : Elvis Presley at The New Frontier : Las Vegas SUN : May 1, 1956
Letter to the editor : Las Vegas SUN : May 12, 1956
Elvis Presley : Auditorium in St. Paul, Minnesota : May 13, 1956
Elvis Presley : May 14, 1956 : LaCrosse Wisconsin
Elvis Presley : May 15, 1956 : Ellis Auditorium
Elvis Presley Detroit, MI. Fox Theater May 25, 1956
Elvis Presley : Columbus, Ohio : May 26, 1956
Elvis, Scotty, Bill and DJ performed two shows at the UD Fieldhouse in Dayton : May 27, 1956
Elvis Presley Dayton, Oh., as Elvis left for Memphis : May 28, 1956
Elvis greeting fans at Los Angeles Airport, 1956
Elvis Presley 1956 : March : June : July
Carl Perkins and Elvis Presley swap autographs, Memphis : June 1, 1956
Elvis Presley : Arriving in Oakland : June 3, 1956
Elvis Presley : In Concert : Oakland California : June 3, 1956
The Milton Berle Show : Los Angeles : June 5, 1956
Elvis Presley : June 7, 1956 : Long Beach Municipal Auditorium
Elvis Presley : June 8, 1956
June 16, 1956 : Wink Martindale TV Show
Elvis Presley and Red West at Elvis' 1034 Audubon Drive House : June 14, 1956
The Wink Martindale Show : June 16, 1956
Vernon, Gladys and Elvis Presley sing at the piano : 1034 Audubon Drive House : June 17, 1956
Elvis Presley and Barbara Hearn : June 19, 1956 : Fairgrounds Amusement Park, Memphis
Elvis Presley and Barbara Hearn at Elvis' 1034 Audubon Drive House : June 19, 1956
Elvis Presley with Susan Hayward : June 28, 1956
Elvis Presley : Mosque Theater, Richmond, Va : June 30, 1956
Elvis Presley 1956 : March : June : July
Elvis Presley : Hudson Theater : New York City : Steve Allen Show : July 1, 1956
Elvis Presley : RCA Studio One, Memphis, Tennessee : July 2, 1956
Elvis Presley : On The Train to, Memphis, Tennessee : July 3, 1956
Elvis Presley : Russwood Park, Memphis, Tennessee : July 4, 1956
Elvis Presley : St. Joseph's Hospital Memphis Tennessee : July 5, 1956
Elvis Presley : Ocean Springs, MS. : Thursday, July 12, 1956
Elvis performs with The Statesman Quartet at Ellis Auditorium : July 27, 1956
Elvis Presley : Water Skiing : Biloxi : July 31, 1956
Elvis Presley Love Me Tender Movie Set Photos
Elvis Presley : Olympia Theater, Miami, Florida : August 3, 1956
Elvis Presley : August 5, 1956 : Tampa Florida
Elvis Presley : Florida Theatre St. Petersburg : August 7, 1956
Elvis Presley : Jacksonville, FL. Florida Theater (3 shows per day) : August 10-11, 1956
Elvis Presley at the Knickerbocker Hotel, Hollywood : August 18, 1956
Elvis Presley : Love Me Tender Recording Sessions : August 24, 1956
Elvis Presley : August 29, 1956 : Hollywood, California (The Truth About Me) + Out Takes (Audio only)
Elvis Presley : August 31, 1956 : On the set of Love Me Tender
Elvis Presley : The Ed Sullivan Show : 1956-1957
Elvis Presley : September 1-3, 1956 Recording Sessions
Elvis Presley : First Appearance : The Ed Sullivan Show : September 9, 1956
Elvis Presley: Asleep In Flight : Back To Memphis September 23, 1956
Elvis Presley : September 26, 1956 : Tupelo, MS. Mississippi-Alabama Fairgrounds
Elvis Presley at the Mid-South Fair : Memphis September 29, 1956
Elvis Presley : October 5, 1956
Elvis Presley : Cotton Bowl, Dallas : October 11, 1956
Elvis Presley : October 18, 1956
Elvis Presley : October 19, 1956 : Assault Charge
Elvis Presley : The Ed Sullivan Show Rehearsals : October 26-28, 1956
Elvis Presley : The Ed Sullivan Show : Dress Rehearsals : October 28, 1956
Elvis Presley : The Ed Sullivan Show : Press Conference : October 28, 1956
Elvis Presley gets his Polio Shot : October 28, 1956
Elvis Presley : The Ed Sullivan Show : October 28, 1956
Natalie Wood and Elvis Presley outside the Hotel Chisca : October 31, 1956
What is an Elvis Presley?
The Million Dollar Quartet (December 4, 1956)
Elvis Presley : December 11, 1956 : Mobbed by fans in Memphis after running out of gas
Elvis Presley's Last Louisiana Hayride Performance : December 15, 1956
Elvis Presley Touch Football : Dave Wells Community Center : December 27, 1956
Elvis Presley: The Ed Sullivan Show : His third and final Appearance : January 6, 1957
The Movies Of 1956
1956, Love Me Tender, Twentieth Century Fox
The Movies In Photos
Elvis Live In The 50's : The Complete Concert Recordings 3 CD / 172 page Book
Elvis Presley : FTD Special Edition 2 CD
The Million Dollar Quartet
The King Of Rock 'N' Roll : The Complete 50's Masters
Elvis' Golden Records CD
The Elvis Files Volume 1 : 1953-1956
A Moment In Time : 4 Days in '56 : Hardcover book from FTD
The Rock 'N Roll Years : My Wish Came True : 1954-56
Elvis : The Hottest Thing That's Cool The '50s inc, Ed Sullivan and Steve Allen Shows
Flashback Book + 2 CDs
Elvis : The Hottest Thing That's Cool - Elvis Book