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"A Day In The Life" - Humes High School Prom. May 1953

Thu Sep 27, 2012 5:12 am

Thanks to recent correspondence with hilton22000 I recently revisited Bill E. Burks "Early Elvis - The Humes Years". Not being from the U.S I’ve never attended a High School Senior Prom but I am of course very familiar with the term. It’s a day that most, if not all teenage American’s look forward to and as a result references to High School Proms are very well featured in movies. As a teenager Elvis attended 2 high school proms that of Dixie Locke (May 6th, 1955) where he travelled back to Memphis from Alabama, leaving Scotty & Bill there, and the next day leaving Memphis for Daytona Beach, Florida. And of course his own Humes High School prom during May 1953, two proms and two different girls, therefore it’s safe to assume that for Elvis it too was an important event. To his own, 18 year old Elvis who had recently begun work at Loew’s State Theater took 14 year old Regis Wilson who attended the all-girl Holy Names School in Memphis. The venue was the Continental Ballroom of the Peabody Hotel. I recently discovered that the ballroom is on the mezzanine floor of the Peabody and not on the top floor (Sky Roof) where I previously thought it was. An American colleague has told me that Prom’s are held prior to Graduation, and with Elvis’ Graduation taking place on Wednesday 3rd June 1953 at the Ellis Auditorium it would appear that the Humes High School Prom was during the month of May. Regis Wilson also states that she and Elvis dated from February to May 1953.

ImageImage
Peabody Hotel, Continental Ballroom

Going that extra mile and further indication of the importance of the ‘event’ Elvis picked-up Regis not in his Lincoln but in a shiny blue Chevrolet rental car, dressed in a dark blue suit and Regis in pink she reminisced later that she felt like Cinderella. And of course he’d complement her in true Elvis style ``He said to me `You look pretty when I look you right in the face, but if you turn sideways, you don`t have a good profile,” recalls Regis. Upon arriving at the Peabody Ballroom the couple stood in line with all the other couples before having one picture snapped as they stood next to a makeshift heart. Elvis’ natural shyness is well known so perhaps it’s not surprising that he told Regis that he didn’t know how to dance. They sat the entire evening together and just talked and drank Cokes. They talked about their dreams and one of Elvis’ biggest dreams was to buy his mother a house. Later in the evening they left the prom after Elvis mentioned he was going to meet friends at a Drive-In restaurant on Lamar Avenue. The evening ended before midnight after eating at the Drive-in and waiting for the friends who never did show up.

Regis and Elvis maintained a close albeit brief (6 month) ‘friendship’ they often would double date with Gene Smith in Elvis’ Lincoln but it wasn’t long after the Humes High School Prom that she and her family moved to Florida. Within 3 years Elvis would be known throughout the entire country, Regis never did talk with him again although she went to see him in August 1956 whilst he was playing in Miami. She wanted to say hello but didn’t get past security. Her memories now of Elvis are fond ones “He was a simple, sweet person”

In 1979 Regis drove to Elvis Presley Boulevard and saw Graceland for the very first time. "Well he finally bought that house for his mother that he was always talking about".

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Elvis Presley & Regis Wilson pose next to the heart at the Humes High School Senior Prom, May 1953

Sources:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZVjfZvkwKW8
http://www.amazon.com/Early-Elvis-The-H ... 0962560405
http://www.amazon.com/Elvis-Day-Definit ... 0345420896
http://articles.sun-sentinel.com/1989-0 ... uede-shoes

Julian
viewtopic.php?f=1&t=71752&hilit=+a+day+in+the+life
Last edited by Julian Grant on Fri Sep 28, 2012 4:41 am, edited 1 time in total.

Re: "A Day In The Life" - Wednesday 3rd June, 1953

Thu Sep 27, 2012 8:14 am

Very nice, Julian, thank you.

Re: "A Day In The Life" - Wednesday 3rd June, 1953

Thu Sep 27, 2012 2:45 pm

Thanks for sharing. Julian, are you sure about the date being June 3?
That's the date of Elvis' graduation and I don't think the prom and the graduation takes place on the same date.

Re: "A Day In The Life" - Humes High School Prom. May 1953

Fri Sep 28, 2012 9:20 pm

Great post, well done sir.

Re: "A Day In The Life" - Humes High School Prom. May 1953

Sat Sep 29, 2012 8:49 am

I've always thought Elvis didn't attend his prom. :o

Re: "A Day In The Life" - Humes High School Prom. May 1953

Sat Sep 29, 2012 5:28 pm

interesting, thanks

Re: "A Day In The Life" - Humes High School Prom. May 1953

Sat Sep 29, 2012 6:17 pm

Thanks Julian, interesting details.

Re: "A Day In The Life" - Humes High School Prom. May 1953

Sun Sep 30, 2012 4:45 am

Just found this:
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Re: "A Day In The Life" - Humes High School Prom. May 1953

Sun Sep 30, 2012 8:44 am

JimmyCool wrote:Just found this:

Nice find Jimmy, it is now evident why Elvis told her she didn't have a good profile...I'm guessing from the pic you posted, it's most likely because of the "Nose"!

Re: "A Day In The Life" - Humes High School Prom. May 1953

Mon Oct 01, 2012 1:10 am

Nice post.

Although the 1953 prom was probably in May, it's also possible it was in late April, as the long sideburns you see on Elvis are also there in April 1953 photos of Elvis by his 1942 Lincoln, holding a pipe, and standing with his mom, Gladys.

Some additional information you may appreciate:

- Elvis was twenty and a professional musician when he took Dixie Locke to her South Side High School Junior Prom on May 6, 1955, eighteen when he escorted Regis Wilson to the L.C. Humes High Junior-Senior Prom in the spring of 1953.

- At the time of the 1953 prom, Elvis was unemployed, but seeking work. He even went down to the Tennessee Employment office the same day as his high school graduation, June 3, 1953. He would soon accept a temporary assembly line job at M.B. Parker Machinists.

- Although details are scant, the complete 1989 interview where Regis (Wilson) Vaughn remembers her prom date is here:

People Magazine, July 17, 1989 - Vol. 32, No. 3
"Elvis's Prom Date Remembers a Shy Guy in Blue Suede Shoes"
http://www.people.com/people/archive/article/0,,20120780,00.html

Re: "A Day In The Life" - Humes High School Prom. May 1953

Mon Oct 01, 2012 2:40 am

drjohncarpenter wrote:Nice post.

Although the 1953 prom was probably in May, it's also possible it was in late April, as the long sideburns you see on Elvis are also there in April 1953 photos of Elvis by his 1942 Lincoln, holding a pipe, and standing with his mom, Gladys.

Some additional information you may appreciate:

- Elvis was twenty and a professional musician when he took Dixie Locke to her South Side High School Junior Prom on May 6, 1955, eighteen when he escorted Regis Wilson to the L.C. Humes High Junior-Senior Prom in the spring of 1953.

- At the time of the 1953 prom, Elvis was unemployed, but seeking work. He even went down to the Tennessee Employment office the same day as his high school graduation, June 3, 1953. He would soon accept a temporary assembly line job at M.B. Parker Machinists.

- Although details are scant, the complete 1989 interview where Regis (Wilson) Vaughn remembers her prom date is here:

People Magazine, July 17, 1989 - Vol. 32, No. 3
"Elvis's Prom Date Remembers a Shy Guy in Blue Suede Shoes"
http://www.people.com/people/archive/article/0,,20120780,00.html


You are correct! Two wonderful proms, with all the info accurate.

smile.jpg


rjm (oh yeah, many thanks Julian, and everyone who contributed to this lovely thread!)
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Re: "A Day In The Life" - Humes High School Prom. May 1953

Mon Oct 01, 2012 3:35 am

Nice to see you back Doc! :D

Re: "A Day In The Life" - Humes High School Prom. May 1953

Mon Oct 01, 2012 9:31 pm

What a sweet sweet thread! Thank you, I never knew all this. Wonderful job, a real delight! :)

Re: "A Day In The Life" - Humes High School Prom. May 1953

Sat Oct 13, 2012 7:53 am

Ive read a lot about Bill Burke's Early Elvis Trilogy. Does anyone know if you can still buy them and where from?