Elvis Presley | Connecting from the Stage

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We all know that name– Elvis Presley, the King of Rock! We know him for a lot of things, and one thing that we find ourselves consistently familiar with would be his shining onstage ambiance. From his funky moves to those insanely eclectic outfits, it’s safe to say that the king is a memorable performer. However, there is far more about Presley’s stage presence that deserved to be remembered just as fondly as his dance moves and jumpsuits.

While onstage, Presley seemed to gain tremendous amounts of pleasure from being able to interact and make direct contact with the audience. The rock legend knew how to take an audience and make each and every member feel special, regardless of the venue and who was in the crowd.

“We’re going to do a lot of songs, old ones, new ones, and hope we do something you like. Were here to entertain you and make you happy. So just enjoy yourselves and leave the driving to us.”

-June 21, 1977 | Elvis introducing himself in Rapid City, South Dakota

 

From shout outs to warm welcomes, to fun gags to get the crowd rolling, the King of Rock is arguably the original king of stage banter as well. One of Presley’s favorite things to do was to come onstage and introduce himself as someone else. Some of the names he would introduce himself as were:

• Pat Boone

• Little Richard

• Wayne Newton

• Frankie Avalon

• Johnny Cash

• Sammy Davis Jr.

• “Jimmy Carter’s Smart Brother”

 

Straying a bit from the topic of what made the king a “fun” performer and leaning more towards what made him noble and even humble,  Presley made sure to remain apolitical at every one of his shows. It didn’t matter who or what it was that concertgoers believed in, or supported, what mattered to Presley was giving them a good time. His focus never wavered. He simply wanted to entertain all of his fans.

Here is Presley in Las Vegas, 1970, singing “Suspicious Minds.”

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One response to “Elvis Presley | Connecting from the Stage”

  1. Wonderful article on Elvis whose sole omission was the NOT mentioning of the extraordinary contributions he made in areas where no one, and I mean no one, would have expected him to be a prime mover, namely i) health care where his advocacy in the fight against polio, by taking the third, still untested version of Dr. Jonathan Salk’s vaccine, on October 28, 1956, and in front of the world’s press, led to the exponential increase in the immunization level of all americans from 0.6 to 80%,in a six month period ii) his many interventions to help Danny Thomas towards realizing his dream to construct St Jude’s Hospital, most notably on both June 28, 1957 ( when he attracted 14,000 donors to a stadium in Memphis, the donors coming from MS, TN and AR) and on February 14, 1964 ( when he donated FDR’ former Presidential Yatch, the USS Potomac, to St Jude’s so that it could be auctioned for a profit ). The Yatch, incidentally, has been fully restored and even makes daily trips, with tourists, to the Golden Gate Bridge in SF and back to Oakland, where it is currently docked. iii) his being the largest individual contributor towards the building of the USS Arizona Memorial, which remans today, since 1963, the largest taxpayer in the state of Hawaii with over 67 million visitors iv) or his January 6, 1957 appeal for emergency aid to some 250,000 Hungarian refugees fleeing the double invasion of their country (of 24, and 31st October 1956), by the then Soviet Union. Elvis fans watching that telecast, his third and last on the Sullivan Show, contributed with US$6 million, over an 11 month period. That is the equivalent of US$49.5 million in 2017 dollars. It was because of these funds, handled by the International Red Cross in Geneva, and with the help of the US Army, that these quarter of a million people settled in Vienna and London, for life. The unvarnished truth is that this is, ALBEIT PARTLY, why Elvis is ELVIS….

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