Thursday, September 23, 2021

September 23 - Elvis June 56

Paul F. Belard published his new 222-page photo biography 'Elvis June 56' which is due later this year. 

SynopsisThe 1956 juggernaut is picking up strength during this month. On the 3rd, Elvis gave a concert in Oakland. The next day, he flew to Los Angeles to rehearse his second ap pearance on the Milton Berle show which took place on the 5th. Elvis’ legendary rendition of “Hound Dog” delighted the fans, and enraged the crit ics. One described his exhibition as “tinged with the kind of animalism that should be confined to dives and bordellos.” Another explained with a hint of racism that Elvis “makes up for vocal shortcomings with the weirdest and plainly sugges tive animation short of an aborigine’s mating dance.” The reaction of the Catholic church was predictable. In an article titled “Beware of Elvis Presley”, it wrote: “If the agencies (TV and others) would stop handling such nauseating stuff, all the Presleys of our land would soon be swallowed up in the oblivion they deserve.” It did not happen! Concerts followed through the 10th.

 .. The following day, Elvis was back in Memphis. On the 16th, he appeared on Wink Martindale’s “Dance Party” show on WHBQ TV. He did not sing, but promoted the July 4 charity show in Memphis. 

On Tuesday, June 19, Elvis attended “colored night” celebrating Juneteenth, the oldest known celebration honoring the end of slavery in the United States. By choosing to attend the black-only event in one of the most racially divided cities in America, he demonstrated his close affinity with African-Americans. It led local newspapers to report that Elvis had violated segregation laws when he attended the Memphis Fair grounds amusement park on ‘“colored night” only. 

On the 21st, he embarked on a 7-day tour of Georgia, North and South Carolina. The month culminated with a rehearsal for his appearance on the Steve Allen show, which would take place on July 1st, and a concert in Richmond on the last day of the month.

(Source: Paul Belard)