St. Louis,MO. 1976

By Vikki Moore

 

March 22nd, it was finally here. The day ELVIS was coming to St. Louis. He had been here before, but after all the rumors concerning his appearance and his health problems, we just had to see for ourselves. The show started at 8:30 p.m., playing to a sold out crowd of 10,500 fans. The people were tense, screams kept coming from every corner, maybe now??? But we knew there would be a warming up period with J.D. Sumner & The Stamps, Jackie Kahane, and The Sweet Inspirations. That, followed by a very, very long intermission (15 min.). Finally the auditorium went black, the drums started " 2001 ", the spot light flickered, the screams rose and ELVIS walked out--slowly--majestically. He looked terrific--as wonderful as ever, just as full of magic as ever, rumors are just that, RUMORS. Elvis is still Elvis, fantastic!

 

 Sean Shaver. St.Louis, MO. March 22nd 1976

As he went into" C.C. Rider ",  twisting, shaking and vibrating, the place came unglued. He was really turned on to this performance. He wore a beautiful navy blue jumpsuit with wide flared legs, inlaid with gold and silver embroidery. The spanish style suit was completed by a baby blue, bell sleeved shirt open to the ribs and displaying a large, pendant necklace. Next he went from " I Got A Woman " into " Amen ", back to " I Got A Woman ", " Love Me ", then very solemnly " You Gave Me A Mountain ". We know Elvis likes silence when he sings any religious or moving song, he puts his whole soul into it and he wants you to enjoy it. But as so often happens at Elvis concerts, one fan got carried away, jumped on the stage and right on him!!! As the guard ran and peeled her off, Elvis continued in true professional style, never missing a note of his song. 

He seemed a little startled and apprehensive as the crowd really got out of control. More guards and police were called in to display order. Hundreds of people were out of their seats, pressing forward toward the stage, everyone wanting to get a closer look or maybe one of the scarves he kept handing out. Elvis once backed off and said, " Mercy, folks, let's calm down ". He then rushed through his next few songs, " Steamroller Blues ", "All Shook Up ", " Teddy Bear " and " Don't Be Cruel ". He sang a lot of the old songs that are only "his" and the crowd loved it.

 

Sean Shaver. St.Louis, MO. March 22nd 1976

Things started to calm down as Elvis stopped for a drink of gatorade before plunging into "Heartbreak Hotel", "Love Me Tender", "Polk Salad Annie"', then the introductions. There were a few new guys in the band this time, Larry London on drums, Jerry Keisler on piano and David Briggs on electric piano. Elvis also brought the Joe Guercio orchestra with him for this tour. The sound was terrific when you could hear it over the screams. 

Elvis sang his new release, "Hurt". This song, an old Timi Yuro release, has never sounded so deep and soulful. He still has the ability to take any song and make it " his own ", " Hound Dog " followed by " America ", brought everyone to their feet, and finally the inevitable " Can't Help Falling In Love ".

 

 Sean Shaver. St.Louis, MO. March 22nd 1976

We left a little early and rushed to make it out to the airport in time to see Elvis' jet winging its way south, home to Memphis. The concert over, Elvis gone, the slow depressing feeling we all feel after such an experience was upon us. I want to say Elvis is not old, not fat, not forgetful, or any of the other malicious things we've read about him in the last few months. Elvis is still number one, he looks good, he's still the king of music. He's the man that puts more happiness in people's lives than most entertainers can in a lifetime, by just one concert. He has devoted his life to entertaining us and he's the best there is. Everything Elvis ever was, he still is, and much more. ELVIS IS NOT GETTING OLDER--HE'S GETTING BETTER--ALL THE TIME !!

 

Originally published in The Strictly Elvis Generation No. 7 .