Home > Newspaper Articles > 1976 > December 27, 1976 (8:30 pm). Wichita, KS.

CONCERT DATE: December 27, 1976 (8:30 pm). Wichita, KS.

To Many, Elvis Is Still The King
by Dave Goodwin
Wichita Beacon
December 28, 1976

Elvis Presley drew nearly 10,000 persons at Henry Levitt Arena, Monday night, including at least one gypsy and the 1956 president of the Wichita Elvis Presley fan club.

Laura Marks, who she said she was a gypsy from Kansas City, offered a free $25 palm reading to one man if he could get her close enough to take pictures. He obliged but declined the palm reading.

On Marks' right sat Ginger Vosburgh, former fan club president, and Jolene Novascone. Both members of the fan club during bobby socks and slumber party days, they had cried when Elvis was rumored dead in 1956.

MONDAY NIGHT, when Presley bounded onto stage in a white jumpsuit with curling blue racing strips, their 20 year-old fear was dead.

The aging rock'n'roll singer of yesteryear has turned gospel, country and rhythm and blues singer.

He was no longer the skinny kid whose body movements were censored on the old Ed Sullivan show. But he still flipped a hip, and every twitch brought screams bouncing from the ceiling.

Vosburgh and Novascone were no longer eight-graders at Robinson Intermediate School either. But they set ridget with binoculars and wide grins as though they were submarine captains sighting a prize kill from the ship bridge.

When Presley walked on the stage shrill voices and camera flashes pierced the dark . Applause was akin to thunder in a midsummer storm. "He looks better than he did two years ago," shouted Vosburgh. "He's slimmed down; he looks great." That was the kind of talk the two girls shared with friends in their long-gone days of the fan club.

When they heard he died in a car wreck, the teen-agers spread the sad news through the school. The Wichita Beacon telephoned Presley and he was so touched that he sent the girls a blue suede shoes, title of one his earliest hits. Monday night, ne was still giving away pieces of his clothing.

An attendant walked behind Presley, giving the singer scarf after scarf to toss to idolizing women.

Earlier, during warm-up acts. the crowd had been receptive but reserved. When Presley began twisting and grinding, with all the former acts on stage, the crowd dropped pretensions and let its true feelings show.

THIS WAS, AFTER all the King of Rock'n'Roll, and he got as much respect and security as did many a true king.

Policemen were scattered throughout the arena. No one was allowed to go anywhere but to his own seat. To the gypsy, the fan club members and the plain folks, it made no difference. The "King" was giving a royal performance.