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CONCERT DATE: May 29 1976 (8:30 pm). Oklahoma City OK.

Fans Scream at Perennial Elvis Magic
by Jane Menninga
The Daily Oklahoman
May 30, 1976

"The King" kept his rock-studded crown Saturday night in Oklahoma City - not because he deserved it but because no one else could take his place. Elvis Presley, wowing a sellout crowd at the Myriad numbering 15000-plus, strengthened a love affair with fans. But they took him for better and for worse.

Typical of the fan response to Presley since he first wooed the bobby-soxers with his rock 'n' roll revolution in the 50s, the women went wild. From little old ladies in evening gowns to bubble-gummers in blue jeans who weren't even around when rock swept the nation, there was sheer excitement.

Elvis doled out his cherished kiss or two to a few lucky gals and wiped his brow with scarves before throwing them to mobs of frenzied fans. In spite of tight security, a few of the Elvis fanatics made it on stage prompting him to say: "What is this? A rodeo, I just wanted to sing a few songs...And now, coming out of chute four."

Presley proved he can sing, maybe with more resonance than ever before. But the man, though not ready to be put to mothballs, showed every one of his 41 years. The concert, spotlighting the old favorites like I'm All Shook Up and Let's Rock was redeemed by Elvis' reputation. He still has that warm entertainment charisma. He still can mix naughty and nice and get away with it.

But Elvis seemed worn out. He puffed between numbers and depended a lot on a superb back-up band and singers, including the tremendous Sweet Inspiration, a female trio, to carry him through the rough spots. His jerky bodily movements (that put him on the Ed Sullivan show from the waist up for years) are few and far between now. But he still possesses that secret, sensual magic. And the ever-dieting Elvis had trouble keeping the rhinestone-studded belt, accenting a baby-blue, loose-fitting outfit in the right place around his sprawling midriff.

In spite of the worse, fans aren't ready to divorce their aging singing idol. He appeared, he thrilled thousands, he brought back a cherished touch of nostalgia, he did his best. One fan, who probably was one of those who waited for hours to pay her $12.50 to see Elvis, summed up the feeling of the whole crowd. During a quiet moment, she said simply "I love you" and they all probably always will.

Courtesy of Scott Hayward