Monday, 19 May 2008
Retro: Screaming, crying girls and a pimple-faced boy
Police fended off fans of singer Elvis Presley during his visit to Minnesota
in mid-May 1956. Photo ran Sunday June 3, 1956, in the Minneapolis
Tribune PICTURE MAGAZINE. Photo by staff photographer Powell Krueger.
May 18, 2008
The first time, I was 18," said Ele Sherrard of Plymouth, speaking to a Star Tribune reporter in 2006. "We were nuts, screaming, leaning over the railing, crying. We say 'those crazy kids!' Well, I was one of them," she said, describing her attendance at Elvis Presley's first concert in Minneapolis on May 13, 1956.
After two years of singing and recording, the 21-year-old Presley exploded on the music scene in January of that year with the release of "Heartbreak Hotel," followed by a series of appearances on major TV variety shows.
On May 13 he performed an afternoon show in the St. Paul Auditorium, now Roy Wilkins Auditorium, and an evening show in the Minneapolis Auditorium, which was demolished in 1989 to make way for the Convention Center.
The sizes of the crowds were underwhelming at this early point in Presley's career -- only about 800 fans for the St. Paul show and estimates between 1,300 and 3,000 for the 10,000 seat-Minneapolis Auditorium.
What the crowds lacked in size, they made up for in volume. Will Jones, columnist for the Tribune in Minneapolis, wrote of the St. Paul concert: "Presley faced a sea of empty seats. When the noise started, however, even the empty seats seemed to be screaming."
Jones seemed to be uniformly unimpressed with the new rock 'n' roll phenom, noting, "He has pimples all over the back of his neck, a few on his chin, and a number of nervous facial mannerisms."
None of which seemed to bother Sherrard, as she recalled: "My dad was not happy. It was Mother's Day and he said, 'Why are you going to see that guy, he's wiggling around up there?' Oh, he was something."
Source Article: http://www.startribune.com/entertainment/19058879.html?location_refer=Most%20Viewed:Homepage