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"Concerts at Pennsylvania Sports Arena in Philadelphia. April 5 and April 6, 1957" - ELVIS RADIO 24h


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Aug 7, 2022

"Concerts at Pennsylvania Sports Arena in Philadelphia. April 5 and April 6, 1957"


Concerts at Pennsylvania Sports Arena in Philadelphia.

April 5 and April 6, 1957



Elvis would catch a cold with the change of temperature so cold in Canada and had to rest his voice to be able to face the four shows that awaited him in Philadelphia, but he had to cancel one day that was scheduled. The Pennsylvania Sports Arena had a capacity of 6,500 people, these shows would be announced on March 24 and the sale of tickets priced at $2, $2.75 and $3.50, would be made slowly until the date of the shows.As was customary a press conference had been scheduled at the arena itself and when he finally entered the room, he was accompanied by "four detectives". This was what a reporter from the Philadelphia Inquirer said, but in reality they were Elvis' usual escorts, including Gene Smith, George Klein, etc.Elvis had an interview with more than sixty people, a press conference held before his performances. The journalists saw in him the famous young man who was driving the youth crazy, but they would describe him as modest and captivating. Always the image he gave was not the one that really got through to the people he talked to, his real way of being.Elvis was dressed in a black silk suit, white shoes and socks and a black velvet shirt open to the chest, he wore a chain with a gold medallion, which he later told them was given to him by a fan, days before.The reporters asked him about his future, if he thought people would be coming to see him in five years. Elvis told him, "I'm not going to predict the future," evidently Elvis was clear that his present might be fleeting so he replied modestly." Maybe not . People get tired of you , you don't stay hot forever"... he also added that he didn't believe that his music or any other could be the cause of juvenile delinquency, because kids could just dance or scream but they didn't do any harm to anyone. He was also asked if he had a special girl, to which Elvis said he did not. He didn't really have anyone concrete or important enough to consider a serious relationship.

 Elvis told them that when he went on stage he was very nervous and he didn't care if they shouted at him or not, because he felt more confident in case he made a mistake on stage. About his hobbies he said he liked to play billiards with his father, etc. Actually most of the questions were usually similar, but they didn't ask him about his albums, nor about his plans to record more songs. 

As usual there were a few opening shows before Elvis came on stage. When it was time to sing, on this occasion he did not wear the gold Lam茅 suit jacket as he would come out dressed the same way as in the Press Room, in his black silk suit and there he stood in front of the spectators, the crowd stood up and began to scream wildly. There was a great uproar as he began to sing, Elvis wore a guitar around his neck and sang by twirling his legs to the sound of his songs, bringing his arms and knees to the audience. For every move he made, the audience grew angrier. He could only be understood better when he sang a slower song, holding the microphone and swaying slowly. But the audience drowned out almost everything he did, so his performances were almost inaudible. The girls would stand up and stretch their arms out to the stage to touch him, this made Elvis smile and keep singing. The girls screamed, held their hands to their heads in discomfort, cried or ran after security. Most of them were teenagers, almost children ...Of the four performances at the Arena, the last, on April 5, was the one witnessed by the most adult spectators. 

This show drew much larger crowds than the previous shows and Elvis Presley wore his gold jacket and shoes, along with a white satin shirt and black pants.

Elvis' performance in this last show was described by a fan as if it were an earthquake, his way of singing and moving gave off such energy that it drove the audience crazy. The performance left a mark on the fans and when the end of the show came, twenty police officers escorted him to the street where a car was waiting for him to leave. But nearby there was a group of fifty girls who saw him leave the building and fought the poor policemen who were protecting him, in their eagerness to get closer to Elvis. They ended up chasing the car until it sped off and lost sight of his fans for good.

Curiously, ticket sales for these four shows in Philadelphia would not be as expected. They were not sold out, actually the stadium was less than half full for the April 5 shows, less than 2,300 tickets were sold.  The next day it sold out even more, and although it was a more satisfactory sale, it was not enough to sustain the promotion. The $41,000 gross at the box office would barely cover the contractually guaranteed Elvis show, leaving the local organizers to pay for venue costs and security out of their own pockets. It was unfortunate that the hopes of Colonel Parker and the local promoters who would have liked to attract more fans to Philadelphia could not have been fulfilled. But surely if it had been promoted, provided buses so that they could get to the stadium from nearby cities, this would have been different. It is also true that he had a lot of people against the shows who would try to ruin his shows.There were many stories about girls who came to see Elvis' show, running away from home without their parents' permission, they were real fans.There were also incidents at one of the concerts, when Elvis had been singing for ten minutes and some eggs were thrown on stage, which fortunately did not reach him. Elvis saw it and dodged them, the Jordanaires did too, but one of the eggs hit Scotty's guitar neck. This made Elvis very angry and he walked away from the stage, finally he turned to the audience, looked at them and said "Most of you came here to enjoy the show".This anecdote was also cause for comment in the press on Elvis' second day. The headline of the "Inquirer" read: "Elvis Egged at Arena - Gittar Gets the Yolk", in addition to highlighting the anger of Elvis Presley, who managed to end the performance, when he sang "All Shook Up".  It was a somewhat isolated incident, but it showed that there were many against his show. By the time the police arrived, Elvis fans had already singled out the four young men, surrounded by broken eggs at their feet, and they were taken to jail for disorderly conduct. The four were later interviewed and said they didn't like Elvis, but wanted to see him live, said he was repulsive, but denied they were the ones who threw the eggs.

There was also an attempted plot by a brotherhood, who wanted to cut Elvis' hair and sideburns, this was discovered by the press, who prevented all this barbarism.Certainly in any event of an artist, many things can happen, but for Elvis it would be an offense, in spite of the success in front of the rest of the public. Elvis had finished his planned shows, he had performed 10 days and fifteen shows and was already on his way by train to reach his new destination. The new project he was going to do would be a film, so the concerts would be postponed until September 1957.

"Following the Path of the King..."

Information provided by DE TUPELO A MEMPHIS


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