Home > Newspaper Articles > 1976 > September 1, 1976 (8:30 pm). Jacksonville, FL.

Hip, Hip Hooray As Memories Stir
By Lloyd Brown
Jacksonville Journal
September 1, 1976

Memories of bygone days have been stirred by the appearance today of Elvis Presley, the king of rock'n'roll.

One long-forgotten image surfaces immediately.

It was one of our crowd who capitalized on a faint resemblance to Presley by standing in the local drive-in restaurant each night, looking sullen and dragging a comb through three pounds of hair saturated with axie grease.

Often he would sling a guitar around his neck and strum the three or four chords that made up his repertoire, causing the little teenybops to quiver and squeal.

We would gnash our teeth and scratch off in our Ford, occasionally stripping a few teeth off the old cluster gear as we rammed it into second gear.

Mildewed Leather

But we would not let our crew cut grow into as duck tail in order to compete. And, although our jealousy has subsided, we liker to think he is still out there in that drive-in, his black leather jacket mildewing with age, strumming away.

Presley's appearance here 20 years ago also comes to mind. He was forced to temper his hula=hoop ( advice then unknown) movements into a rhythmic tremble

Since then have been Beatles, Rolling Stones, Alice Coopers and David Bowies, not to mention topless, bottomless, frontless and backless dancers and singers.

"Presley is so tame compared to what others do," Circuit Court Judge Marion Gooding said retrospectively this week.

Gooding was The Law when Presley came here in 1956 after turning Daytona and Miami upside down. Little old ladies were quaking at the thought of what the sight of an undulating Elvis would do to the psyches of their little ponytailed darlings. They called Gooding, a juvenile court judge.

Gooding met Presley in the office of the manager of the Florida Theather. "He was nice, and courteous. He wanted to know what was wrong with his act," Gooding recalls.

"I said we had a report that he had gyrated his hips in a vulgar manner."

Eyes Vertical Plumb

Elvis promised not to gyrate. Gooding attended the first performance to make certain. Cops were poised in the wings, arrest warrants in hand, eyes fastened on the suspects center of gravity, ready to pounce if it should deviate from vertical plumb.

"I never gave the nod," Gooding said

Presley never worried about such things as censors, or television appearances in which he was filmed only from the waist up. He just kept on gyrating his way to the bank.

He also gyrated into middle age in the meantime. If he doesn't swivel tonight it will be because of rheumatism not censorship