|ELVIS ROCKED THE HOUSTON COLISEUM IN '56
October 13, 2015 - Houston Chronical / Elvis Express Radio
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October 13, 1956: On this day, 21-year-old Elvis Presley was in Houston for his second time that year foregoing the smaller venues like the Cook's Hoedown Club, to play two
shows at the 9,000-seat Sam Houston Coliseum.
Earlier that year in April, the up and coming star performed at the City Auditorium where he sat at the edge of the state after the show, and signed autographs. But, when he
returned to Houston six months later, the idea of a civilized Elvis Presley concert seemed like a well, "Unchained Melody." "Heartbreak Hotel" was a hit and "Hound Dog," was
climbing the charts. And his controversial appearances on the Steven Allen and Ed Sullivan shows had gained him the name, "Elvis the Pelvis," thanks largely to his outrageous hip
After Elvis was brought onto the stage of the Sam Houston Coliseum for the 9 o'clock show under police guard, he began singing "Heartbreak Hotel." But, only the first words were
heard since the screams and cries from the crowd, comprised mostly teenage girls, completely drowned out the performance for almost five minutes.
It took fifty police officers, emergency corpsmen, and firemen to keep the frenetic crowd from rushing the stage. After singing just a few songs, a long-ponytailed girl broke through
the barricade prompting other equally hysterical fans to do the same. Talk about the "Devil in Disguise..." Before the Hunk of Burning Love could be trampled, he was promptly
taken away by a waiting police escort car. As they say, "Elvis has left the building."
Houston Teen Agers Rocked By Presley
By Leslie Rich
Elvis Presley sprinted in a side door at Sam Houston Coliseum Saturday, fled to a downstairs dressing room, kissed about 50 teen age girls who were waiting for him, told reporters
that faith was responsible for his success, and went out on the stage to give an afternoon show.
Surrounded by a phalanx of policemen, he ran to the microphone, his guitar slung over his shoulder, and stood there grinning while more than 8,000 fans, mostly girls between 12
and 17, screamed theit deafening approval.
THE YELLING died down, so Presley bounced slightly on the balls of his feet. This drew shrill thunder from the crowd and officers glanced about anxiously for evidence of violence.
There was no stampede and after a few minutes ovation the singing began. Scores of flashbulbs, only a few of which belonged to the press, went off continually like rockets in the
darkened Coliseum. No one applauded, but the Presley voice was drowned out most of the time by screams of anguished delight.
The teen agers couldn't hear what was being sung, but they yelled and moaned in rhythm to the movements of the singer's body.
Limber-limbed and hips swinging, Presley faced a crowd of more than 8,000 at each of his two Saturday shows. For all the noise, the audiences generally stayed in their seats and
Presley's managers said it was the "best controlled group" of the tour.
TRAVELING WITH a variety troupe, including Songstress Sherill Davis, Comedians Rex Marlow and Hubert Castle, some acrobats and a vocal quartet, Presley finishes up a four-
day tour of Texas Sunday night in San Antonio. Then he will go to New York.
The rock and roll idol was unaware that he was to sing Saturday afternoon, believing that he had the day free until evening. He arrived with a police escort sometime after the show
started, darted downstairs past a throng of kibitizers and met the winners of a contest held by Houston Announcer Mike McKay.
The 50 girls had been waiting in his tiny dressing room for more than two hours, but he kissed each one and Phyllis Winford, president of one of four fan clubs represented, said it
was worth the wait. In a high state of nerves, the girls were escorted upstairs and reporters were then admitted.
"I BELIEVE in God," Presley said, explaining his success. "I advise young singers to have faith like I did. Everything happened so blame fast I don‘t know where I was yesterday and I
don‘t know where I'll be tomorrow."