With Sam Wallace at the Fox Theater '56 and more...

Thu Feb 18, 2016 11:13 pm

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Sam Wallace Kickstarts Elvis Presley
February 17, 2016 - Leave a comment


It all started when my dad told me my great grandfather, Sam Wallace, had a catfish eating contest with Elvis Presley. That’s right, a cat fish eating contest with the king of rock and roll! Who won you ask? Well Elvis of course!

Well actually, it started when I asked my dad about his record collection. In our basement, my dad organized all of his records on these shelves in alphabetical order. There’s hundreds of them. Of course, he had a record player to go with his collection. Not the new kind that is an all in one, but the ones you have to turn before playing. It’s 100% manual, no electricity needed. The record player, specifically is the “His Masters Voice” record player.



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Then after a few years, I asked him about Wallace again, and he told me he is in the Georgia Music Hall of Fame. (His name is under the row “1993”) He drove me to Discover Mills, a mall in Sugarloaf, Georgia, which has a list of names from Music Hall of Fame located all throughout the mall. Sure enough there was his name, written on a plaque with golden letters. That’s something to brag about. It’s crazy that thousands of people pass that plaque and would never know that name is my great grandfathers.

My whole family is obsessed with music, all of my family collects records, go to concerts. Almost any song that’s playing they can all tell me the name of the singer, the band they’re in, the band members, and the year it was released. It’s pretty crazy. My own cousin is in a bandSam and Elvis, MammaBear, for those who are interested. My brother works for Live Nation, the company that puts together concerts. He gets to go to so many concerts for free, and hang out with the band members. He even got Alisa Xayalith’s (lead singer from The Naked and Famous) phone number. Could she be my step sister? Maybe! My brother also told me that when he met his favorite band, Weezer, they bought him an electric guitar just to sign it for him.



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Buy anyway, back to granddad. My dad showed me a picture of Wallace, shaking hands with Elvis, so I figured they were buddies or something. Well that was true, but what I didn’t know was he actually helped Elvis start his career. Elvis would not have been as popular as he was without my great granddad! Isn’t that crazy?!

Archive Binder
My dad put together this binder with all of these papers, pictures, newspaper clippings all about my great granddad. There’s the original version of his will. My dad saved all of it, which I think is pretty cool.



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He worked for a record company, so he was really popular, which is why he is in the music hall of fame. There are tons of pictures in the binder with him meeting celebrities, and he was friends with all of them. My great grandfather was a pretty popular guy. I never would have known either.



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t’s not every day you get to brag about your greatfather, who had a catfish Newspaper of Samreating contest with the kind of rock, help started his career as one of the most famous rock gods in history. It shows that you never know about your families past unless you ask. Props to my dad for keeping all of this together! And props to my great granddad for helping Elvis! He did the music world a great deed.


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Last edited by MikeFromHolland on Sun Feb 21, 2016 11:00 am, edited 1 time in total.

Re: Sam Wallace Kickstarts Elvis Presley - Feb 17 2016

Fri Feb 19, 2016 1:17 am

What an interesting find, the photos are new to me. The 1956 image is very cool, what a tie Elvis has on! Thank you for sharing the blog and uploads.

It seems the great-grandson doesn't know much about his great-grandpa. Sam Wallace was known as the "Mr. Sam" of the recording industry, RCA Victor's distributor in Atlanta for decades. Wallace semi-retired from RCA in 1971, and passed away in 1975 at the age of 70.



Billboard Aug 08 1970 pA-14.JPG
Billboard - August 8, 1970



Here's more detail about the photos on the blog:



560314_w Sam Wallace_Atlanta.JPG
With RCA's Sam Wallace, either at the Fox Theater, Atlanta - March 14-15, 1956, or the Paramount Theatre, Atlanta - June 22-24, 1956
Not sure which 1956 Atlanta booking, see images from March 1956 and June 1956 below!



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On Harley in Memphis, late-February or early-March 1956




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At 1034 Audubon in Memphis - Tuesday, June 19, 1956




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With Jim Wetherington of the Statesmen Quartet, Roxy Theatre, Atlanta - (possibly) June 22-24, 1956




581200_Atlanta Journal.JPG
Atlanta Journal - December 1958
Wall image is new to me, article proves yet again that the re-release of the 1957 Christmas LP did not happen in 1958.




730629_w Sam Wallace_Atlanta.JPG
With Sam Wallace, Louise McCurley (obscured) at the Omni, Atlanta - Friday, June 29, 1973
McCurley was president of the "Can't Get Enough of King Elvis" fan club, below is a full shot of her.




730629_w Louise McCurley_Atlanta.JPG
Source: http://www.elvis-collectors.com/strictly07.html
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Last edited by drjohncarpenter on Mon May 23, 2016 3:21 am, edited 1 time in total.

Re: Sam Wallace Kickstarts Elvis Presley - Feb 17 2016

Fri Feb 19, 2016 10:30 am

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Thanks again for the extra information, Doc!

Always nice to find and share articles or blogs from relatives of people who met Elvis and have their own personal stories. Especially when they show unknown pics. The guy is extremely proud of his grandpa. And his dad thickens the story a bit. Though not factual correct, it's so heartwarming.


Is Bill Wallace related in any way?

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Re: Sam Wallace Kickstarts Elvis Presley - Feb 17 2016

Fri Feb 19, 2016 12:12 pm

MikeFromHolland wrote:Thanks again for the extra information, Doc!

Always nice to find and share articles or blogs from relatives of people who met Elvis and have their own personal stories. Especially when they show unknown pics. The guy is extremely proud of his grandpa. And his dad thickens the story a bit. Though not factual correct, it's so heartwarming.


Is Bill Wallace related in any way?

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That's a photo of Elvis with Alabama governor George Wallace, taken before the show in Montgomery on 3-06-1974.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Wallace

He is no relation. Bill "Superfoot" Wallace, karate expert, is also not related.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_Wallace_(martial_artist)

Re: Sam Wallace Kickstarts Elvis Presley - Feb 17 2016

Fri Feb 19, 2016 12:35 pm

Elvis in his Aloha suit. Very cool. Joe Esposito, Red West, Sonny West and the Colonel are also present. I don't know who are the others.

Re: Sam Wallace Kickstarts Elvis Presley - Feb 17 2016

Fri Feb 19, 2016 12:50 pm

jurasic1968 wrote:Elvis in his Aloha suit. Very cool. Joe Esposito, Red West, Sonny West and the Colonel are also present. I don't know who are the others.


Isn't that Jerry Weintraub on the left and Dick Grob next to Red? The lady must be Mrs Wallace.

Re: Sam Wallace Kickstarts Elvis Presley - Feb 17 2016

Fri Feb 19, 2016 12:59 pm

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It seems I have some more pics of that meeting with George ( :wink: ) Wallace and members of his family. Don't know where i found them in the past:

1974 03 06 - meeting George Wallace 01.jpg


1974 03 06 - meeting George Wallace 02.jpg


1974 03 06 - meeting George Wallace 03.jpg


1974 03 06 - meeting George Wallace 04.jpg


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Re: Sam Wallace Kickstarts Elvis Presley - Feb 17 2016

Fri Feb 19, 2016 2:34 pm

Thank MikeFromHolland for this new article with new pics. Another one.

And thanks doc for the additional information. It is nice that one can build upon the work of another.

Good work, both of you. This is FECC at its best.

Re: Sam Wallace Kickstarts Elvis Presley - Feb 17 2016

Fri Feb 19, 2016 2:42 pm

Fully agree. The best of the best!

Re: Sam Wallace Kickstarts Elvis Presley - Feb 17 2016

Fri Feb 19, 2016 4:26 pm

epf wrote:Thank MikeFromHolland for this new article with new pics. Another one.

And thanks doc for the additional information. It is nice that one can build upon the work of another.

Good work, both of you. This is FECC at its best.



jurasic1968 wrote:Fully agree. The best of the best!




::rocks


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Re: Sam Wallace Kickstarts Elvis Presley - Feb 17 2016

Sat Feb 20, 2016 10:33 am

It's surprising to me how a new quality backstage shot from 1956 gets very few mentions. They are much more rare than anything from 18 years later. Here it is again, with the information I suggested should accompany it:


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With Sam Wallace at the Fox Theater, Atlanta - March 14-15, 1956


Further, it was interesting to do the research into the photos and discover "Mr. Sam - Record Man." No, he didn't "Kickstart Elvis Presley," but was probably a good ally in the southeast United States when RCA was trying to promote Elvis.

Re: Sam Wallace Kickstarts Elvis Presley - Feb 17 2016

Sat Feb 20, 2016 11:41 am

t's surprising to me how a new quality backstage shot from 1956 gets very few mentions. They are much more rare than anything from 18 years later.


Something that surprises me as well. Say "from 1976" in the topic title and the world is too small...

Thanks for the time and effort you put into this research! How did you come to March 14-15 and the Fox Theater? I wouldn't have known where to start...

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Re: Sam Wallace Kickstarts Elvis Presley - Feb 17 2016

Sun Feb 21, 2016 12:18 pm

MikeFromHolland wrote:Something that surprises me as well. Say "from 1976" in the topic title and the world is too small...

Thanks for the time and effort you put into this research! How did you come to March 14-15 and the Fox Theater? I wouldn't have known where to start...



The photo has to be from Atlanta, as that's where Wallace was based. Elvis played Atlanta in March and June and, as I noted, his look matched a photo from Memphis taken maybe a week before he headed to do those March shows.

Re: Sam Wallace Kickstarts Elvis Presley - Feb 17 2016

Sun Feb 21, 2016 1:49 pm

drjohncarpenter wrote:
MikeFromHolland wrote:Something that surprises me as well. Say "from 1976" in the topic title and the world is too small...

Thanks for the time and effort you put into this research! How did you come to March 14-15 and the Fox Theater? I wouldn't have known where to start...



The photo has to be from Atlanta, as that's where Wallace was based. Elvis played Atlanta in March and June and, as I noted, his look matched a photo from Memphis taken maybe a week before he headed to do those March shows.



Ok. Thanks! :smt023

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Re: With Sam Wallace at the Fox Theater '56 and more...

Sun Feb 21, 2016 9:11 pm

Seeing the picture and story about Louise sure brought back some fantastic memories. I was sitting directly behind her when they came and got her to go backstage. When she got back to her seat, she had a large hound dog Elvis gave her. That's her clapping in this picture I made. She was a wonderful fan club president and certainly deserved her moment with EP.

Elvisly,

Linda

Elvis - Charlie=Cape.jpg
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Re: With Sam Wallace at the Fox Theater '56 and more...

Sun Feb 21, 2016 9:15 pm

lovin' EP wrote:Seeing the picture and story about Louise sure brought back some fantastic memories. I was sitting directly behind her when they came and got her to go backstage. When she got back to her seat, she had a large hound dog Elvis gave her. That's her clapping in this picture I made. She was a wonderful fan club president and certainly deserved her moment with EP.

Elvisly,

Linda

Elvis - Charlie=Cape.jpg



Fantastic to know you were there!

The picture with Louise again. Had no idea it was a present from Elvis to her. Thought it would be the other way around :D

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::rocks

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Re: With Sam Wallace at the Fox Theater '56 and more...

Mon Feb 22, 2016 7:36 pm

Interesting post with a lot of new photos to me. What strikes me is that in all these photos everyone looks happy to be there. All except Dick Grob, who looks like he's chewing a wasp.

Re: With Sam Wallace at the Fox Theater '56 and more...

Tue Feb 23, 2016 10:21 am

rollinson1 wrote:Interesting post with a lot of new photos to me. What strikes me is that in all these photos everyone looks happy to be there. All except Dick Grob, who looks like he's chewing a wasp.


Dick Grob does not appear in any of the Sam Wallace topic photos.

Re: With Sam Wallace at the Fox Theater '56 and more...

Tue Feb 23, 2016 12:03 pm

Love the photos in the Sam Wallace postings, thanks Mike for your OP and thanks Doc for your excellent follow-up. That 1956 photo is fantastic!

One thing I noticed in the 1973 Atlanta shots is the Elvis has (to me) an obvious air of recognition in his demeanor in the shot with Mr. Wallace that is missing in most fan photos. Love seeing that....

Re: With Sam Wallace at the Fox Theater '56 and more...

Tue Feb 23, 2016 7:26 pm

lovin' EP wrote:Seeing the picture and story about Louise sure brought back some fantastic memories. I was sitting directly behind her when they came and got her to go backstage. When she got back to her seat, she had a large hound dog Elvis gave her. That's her clapping in this picture I made. She was a wonderful fan club president and certainly deserved her moment with EP.[/attachment]

precious memories.
do you know what happened to louise, linda? are you still in touch?

Re: With Sam Wallace at the Fox Theater '56 and more...

Wed Feb 24, 2016 12:10 am

FrankieRider2 wrote:Love the photos in the Sam Wallace postings, thanks Mike for your OP and thanks Doc for your excellent follow-up. That 1956 photo is fantastic!

One thing I noticed in the 1973 Atlanta shots is the Elvis has (to me) an obvious air of recognition in his demeanor in the shot with Mr. Wallace that is missing in most fan photos. Love seeing that....


Thanks. Yes, Elvis seemed to always appreciate those who had been supportive of him since the start. No doubt "Mr. Sam" was one of those people.

Re: With Sam Wallace at the Fox Theater '56 and more...

Wed Feb 24, 2016 12:23 am

Chris, I'm sorry to say I lost contact with Louise years ago. I believe she and her husband divorced and she moved. I would have absolutely no idea how to get in touch with her. Atlanta had to wait until the Omni was built to get Elvis as we did not have a place big enough for him at that time. When Atlanta finally got Elvis in 1973 for five shows at the Omni, Louise called me and asked me if I was sitting down. She then proceeded to tell me Atlanta finally had Elvis for five concerts and the first 12 fan club members to join would be getting second row seats for a couple of the concerts. We could also get tickets for the other shows through the fan club, but not second row! Only the first 12 honorary members would get the second row seats. I was the 9th person to join the fan club. I really don't remember where I sat for the other shows, but I only remember the second row for a couple of shows.

Elvisly,

Linda

Re: With Sam Wallace at the Fox Theater '56 and more...

Sat May 14, 2016 11:56 pm

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Someone played with photoshop to make the pic look older so it seems:

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What a waste of time.

Source: https://nl.pinterest.com/pin/380906080964655852/

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Re: Sam Wallace Kickstarts Elvis Presley - Feb 17 2016

Mon May 23, 2016 2:33 am

drjohncarpenter wrote:
MikeFromHolland wrote:Something that surprises me as well. Say "from 1976" in the topic title and the world is too small...

Thanks for the time and effort you put into this research! How did you come to March 14-15 and the Fox Theater? I wouldn't have known where to start...



The photo has to be from Atlanta, as that's where Wallace was based. Elvis played Atlanta in March and June and, as I noted, his look matched a photo from Memphis taken maybe a week before he headed to do those March shows.

You're right, Doc, the photo is from Atlanta, indeed, but from June, not March.
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Re: Sam Wallace Kickstarts Elvis Presley - Feb 17 2016

Mon May 23, 2016 3:23 am

hilton22000 wrote:
drjohncarpenter wrote:The photo has to be from Atlanta, as that's where Wallace was based. Elvis played Atlanta in March and June and, as I noted, his look matched a photo from Memphis taken maybe a week before he headed to do those March shows.



You're right, Doc, the photo is from Atlanta, indeed, but from June, not March.

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Hmm. Maybe so, bripet56 is one of the experts. I edited my original reply to include more images, including one from Memphis where Elvis is wearing that coat. Check them out. I wonder if there's any way to know for sure about the March and June 1956 visits.