A Twitch….And They Swoon

Elvis Attracts Young And Old

Mobile,AL. June 20th 1973

By Mignon Kilday

 

The return of Elvis Presley to Mobile for the second time in three years has meant more than money can buy to his fans old and young. And the Port City turned out in all its glory to welcome the talented man from the neighboring state. Presley has a mystique and charisma that draws the women and holds their fascination. He is strategically just out-of-reach. You know he's there somewhere but you can't actually touch him although you think you've caught a glimpse of the superstar.  

       

George O. Hill © Mobile,AL June 20th 1973

The studied and rebellious sullenness of the withdrawn man breaks into the marvelously mischievous grin of an overgrown boy. The twitch of a hip and the women still swoon. A vibrating vertebra and pandemonium. Of the 11,000 fans in Mobile's Municipal Auditorium Wednesday night, it's a safe bet to say that probably 9 out of 10 women couldn't tell you what gestures Presley made above the waist. The excitement had been in the Mobile air all day as fans began arriving for the performance which had been sold out for several weeks. The city was ready to accommodate in best possible fashion.           

The 11,000 attendance meant a better than $100,000 production including ticket sales ( putting $2,000 in city coffers and $4,000 in state collections for taxes ), concessions ( posters and photo albums at $2 and pictures at $1 plus " Elvis " pennants and like memorabilia ) and refreshments.   

More than 100 full and part-time auditorium workers provided services such as parking, refreshments and souvenir hawking. Auditorium Manager W.C. " Buddy " Clewis took the success in stride, modestly grinning from ear to ear at the sight of wall-to-wall and floor-to-dome audience, the most beautiful sight to an entertainer and auditorium management.  

  

George O. Hill © Mobile,AL June 20th 1973

The rest of the city didn't suffer from the visitors, either. Early arrivals meant shopping in the downtown area, catching a bite before showtime or relaxing with a bit of spiritus frumenti for the interim.Parking lots were filled with all sorts of interesting license tags... many Alabama automobiles with out-of-Mobile County numerals, Florida plates advertising their sunshine and the Naval Air Station, a North Dakota license side-by-side with a Mississippi plate.   

And the fartherest state to which a ticket order was filled probably was New York to a Rochester fan.The audience dressed for the occasion. The women, most attending in groups without husbands, promenade in their newest finery and hairstyles. Each looked like SHE was the one Elvis had a date with and wanted to appear her very best just in case he might cast a sultry eye upon her. No rouge could match the natural blush on many cheeks and many older women were actually giggling like schoolgirls of yesteryear at their first crush. And best of all, there were few husbands or boyfriends around to sigh and make chilling remarks about their " King. "

Originally published in the book " Elvis : The Concert Years 1969-1977 " by Stein-Erik Skarr *

* This is the best reference book on the concert years and a must in every fans collection. If you don't have this book and want to know more about it, you can read a review on this website.