They Can't Stop Lovin' Elvis; He Still Gets Them All Shook Up

Louisville, KY. June 26th 1974 

By Bill Reed  

 

Chalk up another conquest for the King. 

Elvis Presley came to Louisville last night and wiped everybody out. Well, almost everybody. 

About 20,000 Presleyites turned out for the rock 'n roll king's return to Louisville after four years. A majority of those were squirming, squeaking, heart-clutching women - young and old. 

Just the thought of him or the mention of his name evoked squeals of adoration. One woman, who has been a Presley fan since Elvis' early days in the mid-1950's, admitted that if he had opened the show she might have fainted. She was in that kind of shape. 

Keith Alverson Louisville, KY. June 26th 1974

A much younger woman nearby, who looked as if she grew up in the Beatles era, was just as fluttery. " There's just so much of him to like ", she sighed. Four Beatles obviously didn't have a chance against one Presley.

Adding to the frenetic pitch of the crowd was the carnival barkers hawking all kinds of souvenirs of the evening - photo albums, Elvis Presley scarves, posters, buttons and the like. "All the treasures from Elvis", as the pitchmen put it. And for that great mass of people sitting great distances from Elvis, the cry came: " See the King up close-opry glasses ". 

Never a trick missed. 

Presley was backed up by three medium-talent acts and The Stamps Quartet, a regular fixture on recent tours. A group called Voice opened the show on a loud, mostly flat note. Following was Jackie Kahane with some laughable comedy patter and the Sweet Inspirations, another singing group. 

After a brief intermission, it was time for the King. He came on strong with " See See Rider " for an opener. 

Elvis may not be the Pelvis of the past, but he still is a leg-quaker and a hip-swinger. And, oh, how they loved it. Even after all these years. 

To his credit, the guy is a hard-working, hard-singing entertainer, who makes his audience feel he's working for them. He's gracious and profuse in his thanks for the adoration. 

Keith Alverson Louisville, KY. June 26th 1974

He made sure everyone in the place got a good look at him, making a special effort to turn often and face the folks way up high behind the stage. 

Bathed in blue and pink spotlights, he was a bulb-popping sight in his jumpsuit embroidered with Peacocks. And, of course, there were the ever-present and oft-changed scarves, a staple of his act. 

During the evening, as many as 20 scarves found their way into the adoring hands of stage-edge Jennies. There even were Presley kisses for a few. You'd never guess how many swoons one kiss can bring. 

Presley's program, which meant a solid hour of singing on his part, included a large number of his major hits over the years. There was " I've Got A Woman ", " Hound Dog ", " All Shook Up ", " Love Me Tender ", " Fever " and " I Can't Stop Loving You ". 

Not one for encores, Presley gave the audience just enough to make them want to come back for another sell-out performance. He left the stage to a chorus of plaintive cries: " Please don't go yet ".

Originally published in the Louisville (Kentucky) Courier Journal " on June 27th 1974,