ELVIS IN WEST TEXAS
- January 4th Odessa Senior High School Field House
- January 5th San Angelo Municipal Auditorium
(Show was booked by Joe Treadway KPEP Radio)
- January 6th Lubbock Cotton Club (Elvis was 19)
- January 7th Midland High School Auditorium (Elvis turned 20) (Sponsored by the Midland Youth Center & the High School Student Council with 1600 in paid attendance)
- February 10th Alpine High School Auditorium
(Benefit for the Future Farmers of America)
- February 13th Lubbock Fair Park Coliseum (afternoon)*
- February 13th Lubbock Cotton Club (evening)
- February 15th Abilene Fair Park Auditorium (Slim Willet)
- February 16th Odessa Senior High School Field House
(Sponsored by the Voting Home Owner’s Club with 4000 in attendance)
- February 17th San Angelo Municipal Auditorium
- April 1st Odessa Ector County Auditorium (Floyd Cramer on piano) (Sponsored by the Voting Home Owner’s Club)
- April 13th Breckenridge High School Auditorium
(Show included Dean Baird, Ben Hall & Weldon Myrick)
- April 15th Stamford Roundup Hall (late night)
- April 25th Seymour High School Auditorium
(Arrives after midnight after running out of gas)
- April 26th Big Spring Municipal Auditorium
- April 28th Cisco Community Hall
- April 29th Lubbock Cotton Club
- May 31st Midland High School Auditorium (7:30 PM)
- May 31st Odessa High School Field House (8:30 PM)
(Sponsored by the Voting Home Owner’s Club)
- June 3rd Lubbock Johnson-Connelly Pontiac Dealership (7:00 PM)
- June 3rd Lubbock Fair Park Coliseum (8:00 PM)
- June 9th Sweetwater Municipal Auditorium
- June 10th Breckinridge American Legion Hall
- June 17th Stamford High School (evening)
- June 17th Stamford Roundup Hall (late night)
- July 4th Brownwood Soldiers/Sailors Municipal Auditorium
(Dance included performances by Slim Willet)
- October 10th Brownwood Soldiers/Sailors Municipal Auditorium
- October 11th Abilene Fair Park Auditorium
- October 12th Midland High School Auditorium
(Show included Johnny Cash with Roy Orbison meeting Elvis for first time)
- October 13th Amarillo Municipal Auditorium
- October 14th Odessa High School Senior Field House
- October 15th Lubbock Fair Park Coliseum
- October 15th Lubbock Cotton Club (evening)
- December 16th Sweetwater Municipal Auditorium
In 1955 Elvis, Scotty & Bill had 4 songs on the Country Charts: “Baby, Let’s Play House” #5 “I Forgot To Remember To Forget” #1 “Mystery Train” #10 on Sun Records In March 1956 Elvis would hit big with “Heartbreak Hotel’ on both the Country (#1 for 17 wks) & the Pop (#1 for 8 wks) Charts on RCA Records
- April 10th Lubbock Fair Park Coliseum
- April 11th El Paso Coliseum
- April 13th Amarillo Municipal Auditorium
Reminiscing: “In 1955 I had been dating a high school gal from Christoval having to drive 20 miles from San Angelo where I lived in order to see her. I can still recall to this day hearing Elvis, Scotty & Bill
“I Forgot To Remember” & “Mystery Train” being played on KPEP over and over, day after day, month after month on my AM car radio while driving around in my 1955 blue & white Olds 88 (I really couldn’t afford this car). When we would go down to Christoval Park on the river they had this outside juke box in which it continued to blast “Blue Moon Of Kentucky” “That’s All Right” & “Baby, Let’s Play House” late into the night. When it came to Elvis in 1955 it was Scotty Moore’s guitar work that got my attention”.
Reminiscing: “When Elvis, Scotty & Bill came to San Angelo on a Wednesday January 5th 1955 they were driving a 1951 brown Lincoln. At this point in time Scotty was Elvis’ personal manager and had borrowed the car from Jim Ed Brown’s dad for this particular West Texas tour. In 1955 Elvis, Scotty & Bill crisscrossed the south and southwest performing over 230 times doing mostly one-nighters. After getting a record on the Billboard Country Charts and doing some extensive touring Elvis went from a shy low-profile guy to a guy with more polish and far more sure of himself. According to Scotty he and Bill felt Elvis would be big but the bigness came way faster than expected. Elvis topped the bill this night at the SA Municipal Auditorium with Billy Walker, Jimmy & Johnny along with Peach Seed Jones (Tillman Franks) completing the lineup. After the concert hundreds of teen girls rushed the stage for autographs in the SA Municipal Auditorium which has a capacity of 1800.
Reminiscing: “I think it was February 17th 1955 when Ronny Pollard and I saw Elvis, Scotty & Bill at the San Angelo Auditorium. There were two shows one at 7:30 and one at 9:30 PM. The auditorium was full with mostly teen girls. Ronny and I laughed at seeing the girl’s reaction to Elvis. After the show I got to sit on the hood of his 1955 pink Cadillac as he signed autographs by the car. In 2009 Rosie and I got to see this same Elvis’ 55’ pink Caddy at Graceland. By the way we drove to the Elvis show in my 1949 Ford and the very first record ever purchased by me was “Hound Dog” in 1956”.
Reminiscing: “In 1954, after hearing Elvis, Scotty & Bill on KPEP Radio in San Angelo Alton Baird (vocalist/guitar) and I (guitar) began trying to learn their recordings on Sun Records. On January 5th 1955 I was lucky to be able to purchase a ticket for the show in San Angelo. After the show I made it a point to go to the back of the building where the bands load and unload their equipment. It was here I got the chance to meet Scotty Moore & Bill Black. After some small talk they ask me where the action was in San Angelo in which I told them they could ride with me taking them to a large popular Country and Western club called The Hanger located on the west side of town. I learned later that night that Elvis had gone to the Circus Club a teen hangout nearby”.
Spotlight On Talent (Billboard Review August 7, 1954) That’s All Right b/w Blue Moon Of Kentucky: Presley is a potent new chanter who can sock over a tune for either the Country or R&B markets. On this new disc he comes thru with solid performances on both sides. A strong new talent.
Reminiscing: “It’s amazing to look back and see how accommodating the Midland School Administration was concerning such events. It was crazy seeing how girls reacted to Elvis as friends of mine just went crazy when he appeared on stage”.
Reminiscing: It was at the Cotton Club January 6th 1955 when Waylon recalls meeting Elvis. “He was about the hottest thing to hit West Texas. They didn’t know what to call his music yet on the radio but they thought of him as a country artist. Elvis just may have been the most beautiful man in the world. His face was carved like a stone, chiseled out of rock, he was just that good looking”.
On April 29th Elvis, Scotty & Bill return to the Cotton Club in Lubbock. The Cotton Club had the reputation of being color blind to race, color and types of music having booked artist such as Little Richard and Willie Nelson. Some of the earliest film footage of Elvis was shot this night by Ben Hall.
Even in the early days Elvis almost always stole the show from the headliners. Nobody wanted to follow Elvis Presley. Elvis created a whole lot of commotion wherever he went with girls screaming, fainting and chasing him.
“When I saw Elvis in Odessa in 1955 for the first time his energy was incredible, his instinct was amazing and I didn’t know what to make of it”?
“You gotta see this guy, no kidding, and my advice to you is don’t bring a date if you want to keep her”
When Elvis played in Odessa January 7th 1955 he visited a local record shop in the afternoon in which a couple of teen girls assisted him in signing autographs (forging his name on a large stack) for the evening show. The autographed photos were then sold at intermission for 25 cents each. An 8×10 autographed promo photo of Elvis (or one of the gals above) on today’s market, from 1955, would sell for $500.00 and up.
On June 3rd after seeing Elvis perform at the Pontiac car-dealership Show in Lubbock Mac Davis describes himself as being “flabbergasted”? Elvis would later record million-selling songs written by Davis. Glenn D. Harden also attended this show and would later be part of Elvis’ TCB band in the 70’s.
The Sun Sessions (songs from 1954-55) album is ranked #11 on Rolling Stones Magazine’s list of The Greatest 500 Albums of All Time. It was re-released in 1972 reaching #2 on The Country LP Charts RIAA Certified Gold.
Feb 13th (after playing in Alpine and in Carsbad, NM) Elvis, Scotty & Bill are back in Lubbock and this time for a 4PM matinee at the Fair Park Coliseum with the group receiving $350.00. A young Buddy Holly appears at the bottom of this bill with Bob Montgomery (billed as Buddy & Bob Country & Western duo). “Elvis, Scotty & Bill set the standards for early West Texas Rockabilly bands in the 50’s. When Elvis added a drummer the rest of the groups would soon follow”.
“Elvis & I were part of an extended package tour in 1955. We dated some taking-in movies in different towns. After the performances we’d go places with the band along with my father, of course. Anywhere that 1955 pink Caddie went, with the bass strapped on top, the whole town was there”.
“The most famous car in the world, Elvis 1955 pink Cadillac, was purchased new and was originally blue. It was eventually given to Elvis’s mom who never drove it for lack of a D.L.”
“In 1955 West Texas was my hottest territory”
Quotes About Elvis:
- “Before Elvis there was nothing” -John Lennon
- “A lot of people have accused Elvis of stealing the black man’s music, when in fact; almost every black solo entertainer copied his stage mannerisms from him”. -Jackie Wilson
- “Elvis is the greatest cultural force in the 20th Century introducing the beat to everything from music, language to clothes…a whole new revolution”. -Leonard Bernstein
- “At Sun Studio in Memphis Elvis called to life what would soon be called Rock & Roll with a voice that bore stains of the Grand Ole Opry and Beale Street, of Country and the Blues. At that moment in time he ensured, instinctively, unknowingly that Pop music would never again be as simple as black and white” -Rolling Stone Magazine
- “He was an instinctive actor, quite bright and intelligent. He was not a punk but very elegant, sedate, refined and sophisticated” -Walter Matthau.
- “It was like he came along and whispered some dream in everybody’s ear and somehow…we dreamed it” -Bruce Springsteen
- “I wasn’t just a fan, I was his brother. He said I was good and I said he was good. Elvis was a hard worker, dedicated and God loved him. Last time I saw him was at Graceland. We sang a gospel song together. I love him and hope to see him in heaven. There will never be another like that soul brother”. -James Brown
- “That’s my idol, Elvis Presley. If you went to my house you’d see pictures of Elvis. He’s just the greatest entertainer that ever lived. I think because of he had such presence” -Eddie Murphy
- “You know George Bush is always comparing me with Elvis in sort of unflattering ways. I don’t think Bush would like Elvis very much…and that’s just another thing wrong with him” -Bill Clinton
- “Elvis’ death deprives our country of a part of itself. He was unique, irreplaceable. More than 20 years ago he burst upon the scene with an impact that was unprecedented and will probably never be equaled. His music and his personality, fusing the styles of white country and black rhythm and blues, permanently changed the face of popular culture. His following was immense. He was a symbol to people the world over of the vitality, rebelliousness and good humor of this country” -President Jimmy Carter
- “Without Elvis none of us would have made it” -Buddy Holly
The flip-side of “I Forgot To Remember To Forget”
Reaching #10 on the Country Charts 1955