Home > Newspaper Articles > 1956 > August 6, 1956. Lakeland, FL.

CONCERT DATE: August 6, 1956. Lakeland, FL.

Presley and the Frenzy
Lakeland Ledger
August 6, 1956

Elvis Presley is in Lakeland today and teen-age girls from all over Polk County are converged on the Polk Theater to get a good look at him and hear his voice.

As the tumult rages, most adults look on with attitudes that range from amusement to disgust.

This newspaper, like other newspapers where he has appeared, has given more than pasting attention to him not because he is an important public figure, which he isn't, but because he has managed to create unusual furor and frenzy and has thereby upped his income from $40 a week to a million dollars a year.

Presley is a fad and an oddity. Within a little while his popularity will begin to wane. He may manage to continue to manage profitability in the entertainment field for a few years or many years but the present fervor of teenagers for him will subside.

His contortions are vulgar and his quivering, high-strung, nervous style of singing is a long way from being high-class art.

Most adults are tired of reading about him, tired of hearing him. He is strictly a teen-age idol, and he himself seems to know well enough that his popularity probably will be of short duration.

Two teen-age girls who had attended his shows in Atlanta and Tampa were on camp stools in front of the Polk Theater early this morning to be sure of getting a front seat at the first show this afternoon. Such frenzy cannot go on indefinitely.

If we mistake not, a great many of the teen-agers hereabouts have assumed a tongue-in-cheek attitude toward Presley. Knowing they were expected to go into a tizzy of ecstasy they've gone into it. Some will continue under his hypnotic spell after he has moved on from Lakeland. Most will find their hysteria subsiding and soon they will be excited about something else, as has been the way of teen-agers since the Garden of Eden.

Many adults now shaking their heads over the Presley frenzy had moments just about like that when they themselves were teen-agers. It is so easy for the passage of years to dim the memory.

Let the teen-agers sequel, scream and moan over Presley, the fad, for a day. They'll be grown-up people with grown-up responsibilities within a few years. Those who have been given a proper sense of values at home will not be wrecked by Presley.

Courtesy of Kurt Hinkle