Peacock suit pic from San Antonio news file

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Peacock suit pic from San Antonio news file

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Photo: San Antonio Express-News /File Photo
peacock 01.jpg
Elvis Presley performs in a 1974 San Antonio show.


Readers share memories of Elvis onstage in San Antonio
By Paula Allen October 10, 2015 Updated: October 10, 2015 8:00pm

Nearly 40 years have gone by since Elvis Presley played San Antonio, but fans who read a Sept. 20 column about his appearances here haven’t forgotten. Reader Michael Ivey asked for details of Presley’s San Antonio shows in the 1950s and ’70s, and readers came back with personal views of the King.


Elroy Sicko and his late wife Clarice — then-high school sweethearts, ages 14 and 15 — were early adapters. They saw Elvis before Elvis was cool, or at least before the world knew it. The young couple, chaperoned by Clarice’s mother, brother and sister-in-law, went to Hank Snow’s touring variety show Jan. 15, 1956, and they weren’t even there for Elvis. Ferlin Husky and his comic alter ego, Simon Crum, were the draw.

“Elvis came on last before the break,” Sicko says. “We didn’t know a thing about him.” The young performer already had his trademark moves. “Some of the men didn’t like the way he shook his leg, I guess. He got cheers, but he got some boos, too.” At the end of Presley’s set, though, “the people didn’t want to let him go. They were roaring.”

Sicko, who bought his and his girlfriend’s tickets with money he saved from mowing lawns, was sitting at the end of an aisle. During the intermission, he got up to buy a picture of Elvis from Elvis, who was selling them himself. “They cost a dollar, but I only had 50 cents. I went back, and (Clarice’s) mother said, ‘I’ll give you 50 cents.’” So he bought a photo of young Elvis wearing a long-sleeved shirt with a popped collar, signed on the spot by the not-yet-famous singer. His wife cherished it until her death in 2013.

The couple went to every Elvis show in San Antonio thereafter, and Mrs. Sicko bought every Elvis record ever issued. “I guess she was a little in love with him,” her husband says with a laugh. “I don’t mind. We both enjoyed his singing. He was an entertainer.”

Just a few months later, Elvis was a full-fledged superstar. Young teenage girls were his core audience in the first years of his fame, and two readers who were at that susceptible age wrote to share their memories of his April 15, 1956, concert at Municipal Auditorium (now the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts).

“At 14 years and four months, this was the biggest moment of my life,” says Stella Morales Perez. “My daddy bought me a ticket for the 3 p.m. performance on the lower floor.” The ticket cost $1.75 — a lot more than the price of a movie at that time. Nonetheless, the auditorium was packed, mostly with teen girls.

“We were all dressed in our Sunday best,” Perez says. “We stood through the entire performance, jumping up and down and screaming. Some were even crying. Each of us could relate to this handsome young man with a wonderful voice who moved like no other we had ever seen. My dad did not approve of Elvis but recognized (that) his daughter was in love. I will always be grateful that my dad was progressive enough to put his feelings aside and let me attend.”

Helen O’Neill saw Elvis the same day. “I was 13 at the time, a young teeny-bopper at Harlandale Junior High. I remember the really loud screaming.” She and her friends sat in the sixth row, “right in front. I was just mesmerized. It was my first concert ever, and I just sat frozen, watching and listening. I’ve always been glad that I had this great memory of one of our icons.”

Doris Ebner of Boerne saw Presley in concert near the end of his life, Oct. 8, 1974, in HemisFair Arena (demolished in 1995). “Some friends gave us ringside seats,” she says. “I’m so glad we got to see him at his best, because (on Aug. 27, 1976), we saw him again. He was overweight and bloated, and I felt so sorry for him.”

O’Neill remained an Elvis fan, through thin and thick, even as a young married woman. “I remember well my husband coming home Aug. 16, 1977,” and asking if she’d heard that Elvis died. “I was sitting in the recliner, crying along with a colicky baby,” she says. “I always wondered about the parents who didn’t like Elvis. I’m 71 now and I still love Elvis, even though I’m a dyed-in-the-wool classic country music fan.”

Reader Jane Willis sent a tip for all local Elvis fans: His April 18, 1972, concert was recorded for a movie, “Elvis on Tour,” that came out later that year. “There are several shots of him in San Antonio in the film,” Willis says. “He was in the white, jeweled jumpsuit with a red scarf around his neck.” It was the last film featuring Elvis to be released during his lifetime and the only one to win an award: a Golden Globe for best documentary.

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Link to the September 2015 column:

Early Elvis fans held him captive in auditorium
http://www.expressnews.com/life/life_columnists/paula_allen/article/Early-Elvis-fans-held-him-captive-in-auditorium-6516714.php

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Jim Dandy
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Re: Peacock suit pic from San Antonio news file

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Thanks. An unfortunate surname! Is Elvis the only fat guy to get the "bloated" description? You never see a fat guy in the street and go, "Oh, he's bloated"!


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Re: Peacock suit pic from San Antonio news file

Post by drjohncarpenter »

Nice find. There aren't too many photos from October 1974 in San Antonio I am familiar with.

Jim Dandy wrote:Thanks. An unfortunate surname! Is Elvis the only fat guy to get the "bloated" description? You never see a fat guy in the street and go, "Oh, he's bloated"!
That's because you're not paying money to be entertained by "a fat guy in the street." And Elvis Presley's success was in many ways due to his God-like appearance, so his looks would always be part of a fan's checklist. That said, Elvis did not just look overweight in the later days, he also showed bloat, especially in his face. That's why you see the description in so many memories of that sad time.
Doris Ebner of Boerne saw Presley in concert near the end of his life, Oct. 8, 1974, in HemisFair Arena (demolished in 1995). “Some friends gave us ringside seats,” she says. “I’m so glad we got to see him at his best, because (on Aug. 27, 1976), we saw him again. He was overweight and bloated, and I felt so sorry for him.
1976 has its merits!

The article gets at least one thing wrong. The 10-08-1974 and 8-27-1976 shows were done at the San Antonio Convention Center, and it is still an active venue today.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_B._Gonzalez_Convention_Center


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Re: Peacock suit pic from San Antonio news file

Post by Tom Wilson »

drjohncarpenter wrote:Nice find. There aren't too many photos from October 1974 in San Antonio I am familiar with.
The article gets at least one thing wrong. The 10-08-1974 and 8-27-1976 shows were done at the San Antonio Convention Center, and it is still an active venue today.
The photo is by Ron Jones - several of his photos have floated around the net. His photos were originally featured in the San Antonio Express, whose staff photographer he was at the time
sanantonio74express.jpg

The venue was the HemisFair Arena, so the article quote is correct . The arena and convention center were separate buildings and both were part of the HemisFair '68 site - built in 1968. :)
med_res.jpg
An aerial view of the HemisFair '68 site. In the center the 622 foot Tower of the America rises. To the right are the 10,500 seat Arena, the Convention Center, and Theater. Left of the Tower, the circular United States Confluence Theater and Exhibit Pavilion can be seen. Buildings of downtown San Antonio, Texas are in the background to the right.
http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth66172/
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Re: Peacock suit pic from San Antonio news file

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Thanks for the extra info!

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Re: Peacock suit pic from San Antonio news file

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The Hemisfair Arena where the San Antono Spurs played and Elvis appeared in '72, '74 and '76 was torn down many years ago.


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Re: Peacock suit pic from San Antonio news file

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Tom Wilson wrote:The venue was the HemisFair Arena, so the article quote is correct . The arena and convention center were separate buildings and both were part of the HemisFair '68 site - built in 1968. :)
There is not a single ticket I can find from San Antonio that shows "HemisFair Arena." Here is a 1976 example:

760827_San Antonio Convention Center ticket.JPG
So either the ticket is incorrect or the information you have is wrong. Do you know more?
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Re: Peacock suit pic from San Antonio news file

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It's common sense for local newspapers to refer to the last known arena names when relating to Elvis concerts in the past.
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/HemisFair_Arena


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Re: Peacock suit pic from San Antonio news file

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Robert wrote:It's common sense for local newspapers to refer to the last known arena names when relating to Elvis concerts in the past.
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/HemisFair_Arena
How is it "common sense"?


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Re: Peacock suit pic from San Antonio news file

Post by Tom Wilson »

drjohncarpenter wrote:So either the ticket is incorrect or the information you have is wrong. Do you know more?
Neither is incorrect, we''re talking about the same building. The ticket clearly states Convention Center Arena (aka HemisFair Arena). The point is that the concert did not take place in the Convention Center building, to which you linked originally. Of course, today the Arena is no more, and the site is now used as an expansion of the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center.

Nice postcards from the area can be found here: http://www.worldsfaircommunity.org/topic/14581-hemisfair-68-postcards/


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Re: Peacock suit pic from San Antonio news file

Post by drjohncarpenter »

Tom Wilson wrote:
drjohncarpenter wrote:So either the ticket is incorrect or the information you have is wrong. Do you know more?
Neither is incorrect, we''re talking about the same building. The ticket clearly states Convention Center Arena (aka HemisFair Arena).
I can read what is written on the ticket, I posted the image. What I don't see is HemisFair Arena on any ticket for an Elvis show in San Antonio in the 1970s. I guess you don't have any insight on why that may be. Thanks anyway.


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Re: Peacock suit pic from San Antonio news file

Post by Tom Wilson »

drjohncarpenter wrote: What I don't see is HemisFair Arena on any ticket for an Elvis show in San Antonio in the 1970s. I guess you don't have any insight on why that may be. Thanks anyway.
:roll: If I may venture an audacious guess: the Arena was built for the HemisFair '68 which took place between April and October of that year. After that it probably became officially known as the Convention Center Arena (HemisFair being over and done with), but for most locals it probably remained the HemisFair Arena - and it's referred to as such on many occasions by the local, San Antonio press.


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Re: Peacock suit pic from San Antonio news file

Post by YDKM »

by all accounts the San Antonio 1974 show was at least 'ok' not one of the 'poor' shows from the very mixed tour!~


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