A five-show sweep of the Pacific Northwest over Labor Day weekend. The tour begins August 30 in Spokane, and includes stops in Vancouver, Tacoma, Seattle, and Portland.

Elvis, Anita Wood signing autographs at
August 27, 1957. Memphis train station.

August 27, 1957. Memphis train station leaving for Pacific tour.

Memorial Stadium, Spokane, Washington. August 30, 1957.

Memories of Elvis Presley’s 1957 concert.

Vicky Anderson was 10 when she attended the Elvis concert at what is now called Joe Albi Stadium in August of 1957. Among other things, she remembers her mother and aunt fighting over the binoculars.

Connie Horton, Bob Hoagland, Jack Summers, Bob Dronenberg and others recall teenage girls scooping up handfuls of dirt from the track that the entertainer had walked on or ridden over in the convertible that transported him. "It was something to behold," said Dronenberg, who was about to go into the Army.

Because her father was involved in facilities management, Terry (Winton) Omans got to be in the small brick building adjacent to the stadium where Elvis and others were holed up before the show. "I was a freckled, awkward little 10-year-old girl lost in all the commotion, trying to stutter out a request for an autograph before I died of fright. Elvis Presley, who was limbering up, waiting to perform on a plywood stage in the middle of a football field, bleachers full of screaming girls, stopped and actually asked my name." And he signed a photo of himself, which Omans still has.

"I was 13 years old in 1957 and dying to go see Elvis," wrote Caroline Brady Baker. "None of my girlfriends were able to go so my mother, who was 58 years old, went with me. When the limousine drove Elvis up to the platform in the middle of the stadium, he jumped out and ran up the few steps to the stage. Being slightly out of breath, all he could say as he grabbed the microphone was 'ahhh.' Well, that was all it took to turn that whole stadium of teenagers (and at least one mother) into a screaming frenzy."

"As a matter of fact, I did see Elvis, but not performing at the stadium," wrote Farol Stroyan. (Yes, Farol with an F.) "I worked at St. Luke's Hospital on Summit Boulevard after school from 4:30 to 9 p.m. I was 17 years old. All the nurses were so excited because Elvis was coming to the hospital to see a young boy who had had his legs cut off in a farming accident." That unfortunate lad was on her ward.

"The nurses were spreading rose petals on the floor and I told them that was stupid. So I went on a break. The elevator was so slow, I decided to take the stairs to the cafeteria in the basement. I was running down the stairs, turned a corner and bumped right into Elvis. Boy, was I surprised, and so was he. I just kept going, so it was a very quick encounter. He was only about five years older than I was."

In the summer of 1957, Gail Peterson Miller was working as a messenger for a downtown Spokane bank. She and a co-worker named Sally decided they had to have the visiting singer's autograph.

"We gathered up some official looking documents, put on our 'Messenger' badges and marched over to the Ridpath Hotel where he was staying. "We walked up to the front desk and announced that we had some documents to deliver to Elvis Presley, Security being what it was back then, the clerk on duty gave us the room number. As I recall it was on the 11th or 12th floor, and up we went. "We knocked on the door and a big burly fellow answered the door. We giggled and said we wanted to meet Elvis and get his autograph. Much to our surprise, Elvis came to the door and not only did he give us his autograph, he kissed us both on the cheek."

Dorothy Germain shared the following.

"I saw Elvis in 1957 at Memorial Stadium along with my fellow 13-year-old friends Lynn, Marlys, Joanne and Georgia. Our transportation was provided by a very nice 16-year-old young man named Bobby.

"After the concert, we begged Bobby to take us to the Great Northern train depot at midnight, hoping to see Elvis again. We got lucky and spotted him ready to board the train, where each of us got his autograph. (He said "Thank you, hon.") "I am certain that we have all saved that autograph. Maybe, we will discuss that at our 1962 Rogers High School class reunion next year!"

Kay Krom remembers the occasion this way.

"We had been married almost a year and had just finished harvest. Time to celebrate! We went to Spokane, stayed overnight in a funny little motel on East Sprague, went to Nat Park, had our picture taken in one of those photo booths, and had tickets to see Elvis.

"It wasn't fancy. Just a big box of a stage with lots of wired microphones and drums in the middle of the field. Some kind of vehicle drove up and he popped out. He was really cute. The girls started screaming and they never stopped. We 'think' he was good, although we never really heard him sing."

At the concert, Doug Richardson was actually more impressed with Presley's backup singers than with the star. He laughs about that now.

But Susan Slagle McConnell Walker, who was 11 and had come down to Spokane with a contingent from Republic, confirmed that all the screaming made it difficult to appreciate the music. "I never understood why these girls didn't want to hear him sing." (Years later, she saw him perform at the Coliseum and "Got my fix").

"Yes, I was there," wrote Phyllis Odell. "I was 20 and he was KING. I remember when the lights went out and shortly the announcer said 'Elvis has left the stadium' and it was over."

But clearly the memories endure.  

 

Spokane Memorial Stadium. Friday, August 30, 1957 at 8:00 pm. Tickets were $1.50, $2.50 and $3.50.     

Memorial Stadium Washington on August 30, 1957. Disc Jockeys from KNEW DJs Bob Hough, Bob Salter, Bob Adkins and Bob Fleming.

Elvis with fan Gaylene Moos-Pope. Spokane Washington on August 30, 1957.

Elvis Show Blasted

by B.C. Newspaper

─ VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLOMBIA ─ 

Elvis Presley: Empire Stadium at the PNE Pacific National Exhibition on August 31.

 

Vancouver, B.C. (AP) ─ The Province, in three articles spread across two inside pages, bitterly criticized Monday the concert by Elvis Presley here Saturday night.

Feature writer Ben Metcalfe said: "A gang moved into OUR town to exploit 22.000 pre-conditioned adolescents, hired OUR policemen to stop anybody who wanted to get too close, then left with the loot and let the police and the kids fight it out for what was left ─ nothing."

Dr. Ida Halpern, music critic, said the performance "had not even the quality of a true obscenity; merely an artificial and unhealthy exploitation of the enthusiasm of youth's body and mind. 'One could call it subsidized sex."

Wrote entertainment editor Ies Wedman: “It was disgraceful, the whole mess. "lt was planned artificially at its best and the gullible and truly worshipful Elvis Presley fans bit."

Policemen, ushers at Empire Stadium and air cadets failed to hold the first mob which rushed the stage.

"The kids moved back," Metcalfe wrote." A girl, her dress torn, was carried screaming in very real hysteria off the field. Presley came forward, winking gleefully at his cronies, and started it again.

"This time the kids met the full force of the law and the ushers while Presley urged them on from the stage. "Girls were punched, lifted bodlily back into the heaving mass. Their escorts, teen-agers like themselves, threatened the police and cadets. One bulky youth, his nose spurting blood, was hurt till he screamed.

"On stage, Presley winked again for his cronies to move into another wiggling song. It was obvious that he was enjoying himself."

 

Wedman estimated the night's take as between $30.000 and $40.000 and said Presley, who appeared for an hour, took close to $20.000 out of Canada.

Empire Stadium, Vancouver, British Colom
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Elvis in Concert: Pacific Northwest ─ . . .

Elvis Presley thrills a crowd of about 6,000 at Tacoma's Lincoln Bowl on September 1, 1957.

By Kim Davenport

On September 1, 1957, Elvis Presley performs a matinee concert at Tacoma's Lincoln Bowl as part of a five-show sweep of the Pacific Northwest over Labor Day weekend. The tour begins August 30 in Spokane, and includes stops in Vancouver, Tacoma, Seattle, and Portland.

Touring Behind 'Jailhouse Rock'

A crowd of about 6,000 people enjoyed a fairly intimate performance, with seating on the floor of the Bowl, as well as in the stands facing the impromptu stage. Judging by photographs from the concert, the vast majority of those in attendance were teen girls. Some young men, including Kent Morrill of The Fabulous Wailers fame, refused to buy tickets, jealous of Elvis' popularity among the girls, but later admitted watching the concert through binoculars from the trees in neighboring Lincoln Park.

His Pacific Northwest tour came just before the October 1957 release of his film Jailhouse Rock, and his songs for the film's soundtrack made up much of his performance set for the Lincoln Bowl matinee.

'He Strutted Like a Duck'

Tacoma News Tribune reporter Dan Duncan attended the concert, and wrote a review that was published in the following day's paper. The article mentions the dozen-or-so songs Elvis performed from the stage at Lincoln Bowl ─ including 1956-1957 hits such as "Hound Dog," "(Let Me Be Your) Teddy Bear," and "Jailhouse Rock" ─ but devotes more column inches to Presley's behavior and performance style. Some excerpts:

"Often the great roar of the crowd snuffed out the words. But no stranger in the crowd could doubt 'twas Elvis at the mike. He sang at least a dozen songs, this creator of mass hysteria, this modern-day answer to Austin, Vallee and Sinatra. But where they depended almost exclusively on voice, his was a combination of earthly body movements and a rhythm that smacks of the revival tent. It was burlesque with a twist as if Gypsy Rose Lee had donned men's clothing."

"Each squirm was carefully calculated as a Shakespeare soliloquy to heighten the dramatic effect."

"He strutted like a duck, his hands dangling loosely in front of him. He went to his knees in an attitude of prayer, taking the slender microphone with him. And he finished with a burst of shimmying that left him limp, his thick black hair hanging over his eyes and perspiration pouring down his pancake makeup."

"The idol of America's teenagers, a 6-foot, 1-inch, 180-pounder, lowered his lashes over deep blue eyes and said, no sir, I certainly don't mean to be vulgar when I wiggle my hips during a song. It's just my way of expressing my inner emotions" ("Presley Rocks n' Rolls ...").

When the music came to an end and the musicians made a quick exit from Lincoln Bowl on their way to an evening show at Sicks' Stadium in Seattle, screaming girls chased after them.

From the News Tribune report: "Girls, dragging unwilling boys by the hand, rushed to the spot where Elvis vaulted into the car. They scooped up dirt, kissed it, and poured it into pockets and purses" ("Presley Rocks n' Rolls ...")

Lincoln Bowl in Tacoma, Washington. Sept
Lincoln Bowl in Tacoma, Washington. Sept
Lincoln Bowl in Tacoma, Washington. Sept

Elvis Reaches Out

But the story doesn't end there. The next day, before catching the train to Portland, Elvis spent some time in his Seattle hotel room reading reviews of his Tacoma and Seattle performances. The performer took the time to make a personal phone call to Don Duncan, telling him that his review was "the best article ever written about me."

Perhaps inspired by this personal call, Duncan wrote a column about his encounter with the iconic performer, which appeared in The Tacoma News Tribune the following weekend, at the bottom of page B-5. Ducan's article used only lower-case letters, an homage to the autograph he received from Elvis, which read "thanks, Elvis presley." The article appeared under the headline "Elvis nice to press, dazzler with girls." Duncan writes:

"Since a lot of folks have sidled up to me in the past few days and asked for the plain, unvarnished truth about old sideburns hisself, I figured I'd let you in on all the secrets I learned, first off, this Elvis has all his own hair and don't let anybody tell you it's a wig or those sideburns are painted on, and when those locks fell down on his forehead and he had to peek through them like Veronica Lake did before she went out of style, that was the real Elvis.

"Elvis is real nice and easy with the press and a real dazzler with the young girls who managed to get into his dressing room on the strength of being fan club officers or something like that.

"Well, the music was really the thing out there at Lincoln Bowl, and make no mistake about it this boy Elvis could have taught Dr. Goebbels a thing or two about mass psychology. This rock 'n' roll business has a real slugging beat that twists your insides all around and sets up some sort of chemical action that comes out in foot-tapping and screams. Since I am too old to be screaming at 22-year-old singers, especially when they aren't girls, I just fixed a silly grin on my face and it served the purpose.

"The next day after my story was in the paper I got a long distance telephone call and the operator said hold on a minute, Mr. Presley is calling you. I figured he was mad or something and I looked for a place to hide, but there wasn't anything to do but stand there and take it like a man.

"He came on the line, Elvis did, and instead of tearing me apart he said nice things about the story and how it was the best ever written on him and how he wanted to be sure and see me the next time he's in town. This should boost my stock considerably with some of my teenage nieces and nephews who are inclined to look upon old uncle don as a real square" ("Elvis Nice . . .").

 

The Capital Journal, Salem, Oregon. Tuesday, 03 September, 1957.

Sicks Stadium, September 1, 1957.

By Cassandra Tate 

Elvis and Me

On September 1, 1957, at Sicks' Seattle Stadium, my friend Frances Bragg introduced me to Elvis Presley and changed my life forever.

I was 12, claiming to be 13, and of course my world was already changing, with or without Elvis.

 

It was on Labor Day weekend, the actual if not the official end of summer, when Frances spotted the advertisement that promised "TOMORROW Will Be Seattle's Most Exciting Day!" Elvis Presley "and his all-star stage show" would be appearing Sunday, the next day, "IN PERSON," at Sicks' baseball stadium, tickets $1.50, $2.50, and $3.50. We had been planning to go to a movie, and were looking at the newspaper to see what was playing at the Columbia Theater. Elvis won out over a double feature ─ Jimmy Stewart and Sheila Bond in Spirit of St. Louis and Bruce Bennett and Lon Chaney in Daniel Boone, Trail Blazer, admission 25 cents for kids 12 and under.

Elvis Presley was a certified teen idol by 1957. He had recorded half a dozen hit singles, starred in three movies, and stunned parents everywhere with his pelvic performances. Frances knew all the words to all his songs. She was a year older than me and more socially advanced. She was sneaking her mother's cigarettes and browsing through the cosmetic counters at the Five and Dime while I was still building forts in the woods. I was eager to prove that I could be as much a teenager as she was.

I dressed carefully for my meeting with Elvis: gray felt circle skirt with a pink poodle appliqued on one side; enough crinoline petticoats to make the skirt stand out almost perpendicular to the ground; pink sweater, enhanced with the strategic use of tissue paper; new loafers with shiny pennies in the flaps; my hair in a ponytail. It pleased me to think that I looked like any other teenage girl, walking down the street on her way to someplace interesting.

About 15,000 of us waited for Elvis at Sicks' Stadium that night. Frances and I sat in the top row of the bleachers ─ the best seats we could get for $1.50 on the day of the show. We couldn't see much of the stage, which had been set up on second base, but we had a good view of the crowd. I had never seen so many people in my life. The promoters said later it was the biggest crowd ever for a single artist in Seattle up to that point; of the 16,200 people who went through the gate, 90 percent of them were teenage girls.

Elvis had performed in Vancouver, British Columbia, and in Spokane the day before; and his Seattle appearance was preceded by one the same day in Tacoma. The show was supposed to begin at 8:30 p.m. but it was well past 10 p.m. when he finally took the stage. We entertained ourselves meanwhile with walking up and down the aisles, going back and forth to the restrooms, and looking over the things we could have bought if we had any money: Elvis Presley hats, Elvis Presley buttons, Elvis Presley souvenir books, Elvis Presley photographs, and Elvis Presley ice cream bars, among other things.

There were other acts ─  the All-Star Stage Show included singers, dancers, comedians, jugglers, and marimba players ─ but we didn't pay much attention to them. For one thing, the stage was so far from our seats that it was hard to see or hear anything. Besides, every once in a while someone would shout "There he is!!!" and we'd all scream, jump up, search the baseball field for evidence of Elvis, then settle back down until the next flurry of excitement and distraction.

Finally, a cordon of policemen appeared around the stage, the crowd began to scream in earnest, and Elvis walked out from the dugout.

A girl sitting next to me fainted.

 

He wore a dark shirt and slacks and a gold lame jacket that shimmered in the lights. When he leaned toward the microphone, the tsunami of noise from the audience reached a shrieking crescendo. Frances clutched me and screamed. I watched the ambulance crew strap the girl who had fainted to a stretcher and carry her down the stairs and out of the stadium. She hadn't been able to hear even one song.

The adult critics didn't much like the show. Seattle Times writer Marjorie Jones went into alliterative overdrive in her report on the "writhing, wiggling-sexy, side-burned, sullen-eyed Southerner" and his "shrieking, screaming mass of tingling teen-age worshippers." She added that "Vulgar is the kindest way to describe Presley's pulsating gyrations." John Voorhees, in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, concluded that "Elvis' movements seemed to delight the onlookers much more than the singing -- which could mean burlesque is on the way back." My mother, who didn't see the show but read about it in the newspapers, thought that people who went to concerts and then screamed so much they couldn't hear the music were beyond foolish.

Toward the end, Elvis stood quietly before the microphone and announced that the next number would be the National Anthem. He burst into "Hound Dog" instead. Voorhees said the scream from the audience sounded like "12,000 girls all having their heads shaved at once." I was one of them by that point, having become a full-fledged acolyte in the Church of Elvis. He sang two choruses and then he was gone, without even a wave or a bow, vanishing through a gate in the right field fence. A few girls slipped down to the stage and scooped up dirt from around second base before the police shooed them away.

Frances and I walked back to Columbia City along Rainier Avenue, a good half-hour walk from the stadium at Rainier and McClellan Street. We sat on the curb in front of Tradewell for a while, not saying much of anything. The evening had been an untrammelled success.

 

We had seen a rock and roll star, and a car full of boys had honked at us as we walked home. We took it as a sign of validation. We had crossed over a bridge, and left our childhoods behind.

It hardly mattered that I wouldn't be able to get into the local movie house for only a quarter for much longer.

Sicks Stadium, September 1, 1957 The Rai
Sicks Stadium, Seattle, WA., September 1
Sicks’ Stadium, Seattle. 1957. (2).JPG
Sicks’ Stadium, Seattle. 1957_

On September 2, 1957, Elvis, Scotty Moore, Bill Black and DJ Fontana performed one show at Multnomah Civic Stadium

 

as the last stop on a whirlwind five city, four day tour of the Pacific Northwest that included Spokane, Vancouver, Tacoma, and Seattle. It was only the second tour that year and was promoted by Lee Gordon, who had promoted the earlier tour in the Spring of Canada and the Midwest.

 

According to Peter Guralnick, he had also been trying unsuccessfully to get the Colonel to agree to a tour of Australia. Gordon, originally from Detroit, had been promoting big names acts in Australia since 1953.

Reports by writers Don Horine and Dorothy Lois Smith in the Portland Journal the day following the show described the event as follows:

 

A gold suit, an oft-plucked guitar and a sideburned bundle of the most enchanting, gyrating and just plain droolin' rock 'n' roll charmer ever to hit this world plopped right into the laps Monday of thousands of hysterical Portland teenagers. How they loved it!

They jammed the Union station, the Multnomah hotel, the Multnomah stadium gateways.

Four sisters, Marcella Christoff, left t
IMG_1111.JPG
Four sisters, Marcella Christoff, left t

Four sisters, Marcella Christoff, left to right Dorothy Pittman, Elvis, Donna Lowe and Patty Marx met The King himself, Elvis Presley in Portland in 1957. Drew Vattiat - The Oregon.

They thrilled to every word, every breath of the famed entertainer. Here was heaven, a haven in otherwise conservative life of studies, dishes and mowing the lawn.

Here was a miracle wrapped handsomely in a single package ─ a miracle wearing the exciting name of Elvis Presley. There were many who at the end of the day were slightly frustrated, in some cases even disillusioned. Some of these were among the 500 first jubilant and later disappointed Presley fans who crowded Union station at 4:30 p.m. Monday for a glimpse-oh, please, just a glimpse ─ of the man.

Others were included in the hundreds who blocked the front entrance of the Multnomah hotel where the man of the hour was to while away several of his Portland hours only to later discover that clever agents had smuggled him through the side door, unobserved by teenage eyes.

At the station he escaped the crowd by edging quickly from the last car on the train to a waiting convertible. Scarcely more than 15 fans not among the official party were able to reach the scene before the auto made its fast exit. Meanwhile, those 500 Presleyites at the station slowly grew aware of the disappearing act.

In the eighth-floor governor’s suite at the hotel he stayed with 12 troupe headliners, eating and making merry over the sounds of Presley records. No unauthorized persons were allowed near the floor, and the few diehards who did slip by advance guards were halted and quickly ushered from the area by an efficient squad of policemen, Presley’s three security officers and cleaning women. Then, at 8 p.m., on to the stadium, where again he bypassed scores of you-know-who expecting their idol to travel down the ramp into the stadium.

Instead, he jumped from a cab at the head of the Multnomah Athletic club, adjacent to the stadium, where he met with newsmen and photographers in a half-hour press conference. Numerous winners of local disc jockey shows posed with him following the conference. Everywhere, photographers’ shutters clicked.

Press Conference Multnomah Stadium Portl
Press Conference Multnomah Stadium Portl

I [Dorothy Smith] was completely shook up Monday night. Who wouldn’t be after exposure to two Elvis Presleys, in one evening? There’s definitely the on-stage Elvis and the off-stage Elvis.

And there was an equally shakeable Elvis in his dressing room for the mass press radio and TV interview before he donned the gold jacket to enter the stadium. This Elvis was impeccably clad in black slacks and shoes, white shirt with handsome black and silver tie and stickpin, and a suave, light blue dinner jacket.

The off-stage Presley answered the countless questions fired at him during the interview ─ a few of them sharply barbed-with poise and good humor. Concerning Anita Wood, the glamor-girl whose name is romantically linked with his. 'There’s nothin' serious. We’re more than friends, but nothin' serious.'

When asked about the many rumors of marriage, he explained. 'Often when I'm supposed to be marrying one girl a certain night, I'm out with another girl on a date. This is confusing to me, and I may be surprised and wake up and hear I'm married sometime,' he laughed.

The idol is equally candid about his voice and the misconception, that he 'discovered' rock 'n' roll.

When asked if he had to get in a special mood before making his recordings, he said: 'I don't have the best voice in the world, so I must feel it. When you're singing ballads, I guess you do always think of some girl.'

'Rock 'n' roll,' he added, 'was around a long time before me ─  it was really rhythm in blues. I just got on the bandwagon with it. Then, I lived in a country where there were all-day singings, and sang religious songs when I was real young in church. They were the rockin' type of music-spirituals.

One disc jockey asked pointedly if Elvis had any other recording favorites 'other than yourself.'

To this, Presley answered good-naturedly that he had many, including the Four Aces, Nat King Cole, Dean Martin and Pat Boone.

 

When asked what he thinks of Little Richard, he laughingly conceded: 'I'll say there's no one in the world as long-winded as he.' Elvis said he has taken his physical for entering the service and is 'waiting for them to let me know.' 'I just take every day as it comes and don't look into the future', he said.

But by now the stadium show was in progress, mellowing an estimated 14,000 persons. Band instrumentals, tap-dancing, comedy routines, vocals and numbers by the four Jordanaires all brought polite applause from a crowd still thirsting for Mr. Elvis. And he didn't disappoint. Not this time. It was l0 p.m. on the nose.

The second act started with a rambunctious vibraphone player setting the pace. It was zero hour.

Presley did not appear in the stadium until the second half of his big show. By that time the more than 14,000 fans were stamping and chanting: 'We want Elvis! We want Elvis!'

Down from the stadium ramp roared the convertible, carrying in it Mayor Terry D. Schrunk, Ken Moore, Presley's chief security officer, and the gilt-crested Elvis Presley. The roar was deafening. Voices pitched high above a normal screech echoed from one stadium wall to the next. He was here.

Portland Oregon, Multnomah Stadion Septe
Erik Lorentzen (21.00).tif

However, the mass eruption from the stands of beserk teen-agers, such as greeted Elvis in Chicago and recently in Vancouver, B.C., did not materialize. Instead, the woozy fans, many of them members of two Presley fan clubs here, were content to stay at their seats, to shake and wiggle hands, hips and feet, and to convince the singer that Portland, like all other U.S. cities, is 'real gone.'

From the time his convertible swept along the track and the gold sleeve waved to the top row of the stadium, his fans became one vocal acclaim of ear-splitting tumult. It was sometimes almost impossible to know which of his rock 'n' roll hits he was singing, burping and wiggling for his fans. The blare of the music whistled through the right ear and the screaming of the audience pierced the left ear conking out my equilibrium. But my eyesight was perfect, and there's no doubt that it's the bumps and grinds, the wiggles and the sinuous writings that the fans love most. Each wiggle brought forth another in the succession of ecstatic screams.

There was the dazzling, writhing, rock 'n' roll Elvis in his gold jacket with rhinestone lapels, sorcering his madly screaming fans at Multnomah stadium into one frenzy of ear-splitting ecstasy after another, mounting in intensity to a bomb-burst of emotion with his concluding 'Hound Dawg' number.

It seemed as if the shrill adulation couldn't be more intense than during the 'I Got a Woman' number, when the rock 'n' roll idol grabbed his guitar and did his rhythmic contortions back of it-sort of like doing a cheek-to-cheek dance with it instead of playing it. But it was the 'Hound Dawg' number ─ the last on the list of hits that created pandemonium. If the audience was going to swarm out onto the field, completely out of control, it would have swarmed during that number.

 

Presley sat on the edge of the stage, swinging his long legs. Then he wiggled to the turf and writhed in a half-crawling position during much of the song. With the last moan of agony, he appeared completely exhausted, and dragged himself back of the stage.

A TOUCH OF GOLD LAME Portland, Oregon. M
A TOUCH OF GOLD LAME Portland, Oregon. M
A TOUCH OF GOLD LAME Portland, Oregon. M

Following a 40-minute performance, Presley issued a hurried goodbye and sped in the convertible from the tumultuous cheers, an enthusiastic but very much exhausted young man.

In a flash he was into the convertible, and the 14,000 were still wildly screaming and stamping when the loud speaker blared: 'Ladies and gentlemen. Elvis Presley has left the stadium!'

The silence was as deafening as the performance.

The sudden departure of Elvis left many of the fans in a frenzied, stifled condition. The announcement from the stage that Elvis had gone and the show was concluded was certainly not news. They had lost him, the lead actor in so many teenage dreams, and he was not to return. But for seven hours, give or take a few precious minutes, he belonged to Portland. The Oregonian reported that even the dirt Elvis Presley kneeled on was a souvenir for about 50 teenagers who swooped down out of the grandstand for a handful after Presley left the stadium. The crowd was extremely noisy but well-behaved.

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