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Home > Newspaper Articles > 1970 > September 14 1970 (8:30 pm). Mobile AL.
CONCERT DATE: September 14 1970 (8:30 pm). Mobile AL.
Elvis Gives Great Show For Sell-Out Audience
By Mignon V. Kilday
The Mobile Register
September 15, 1970
At precisely 9:42 p.m.Monday a young man strode onto a stage and showed why the 10,800 persons present were the largest sell-out audience in the history of the Mobile Municipal auditorium. Elvis Presley had returned! And he was triumphal.
In about an hour he crooned, belted and played the daylights out of about 20 songs, each one a hit and each rendition overwhelmingly well received.
Watching the man who first played Mobile in 1956 to a less-than-rnthusiastic fair crowd, it is hard to imagine that he wasn't always the star he proved Monday night. And what was-so suggestive about his gyrations that Ed Sullivan used to use only head and shoulder shots on television? As Presley put it succinctly, "I did in 1956 what Tom Jones just learned to do!" But what a difference.
Presley was in command of his performance. His audience was warned about disruptive behavior and the largest crowd ever in Mobile turned out to be probably one of the best-behaved audiences around. Not that they didn't appreciate all that was done, no sirree.
The songs, you name 'em he sang 'em: "Love Me Tender," "You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling," "The Wonder Of You," "I Love You Too Much, Baby" The newer ones were warmly applauded but it was the golden-oldies that got the clap-alongs and singing: "Heartbreak Hotel," "Whole Lot of Shakin'" "Don't Be Cruel," "Hound Dog" and "Blue Suede Shoes."
One of the more recent popular songs of Simon and Garfunkel fame "Bridge Over Troubled Waters," gave Presley the right amount of timbre and tone that the audience seemed to crave. For this one number the background of musicians and singers paused in their blaring and the rich, vibrant Presley came through for a while. And the audience was spellbound.
The star was not alone, as has been indicated above. The Hugh Jarred Singers, a male quartet did a trio pf contemporary hits, "Everybody Get Together," "Put a Little Love In Your Heart," and "Close To You." They were very good.
The Sweet Inspirations was a misnomer. The Harsh Reality would have been a better name for the cacophony produced by lungs and equipment.
Not that "soul" music isn't good or that the young women weren't good singers. It's just that the total effect was good and loud. A jet leaving Bates Field is a purr compared to what the sound man did with the audience's collective ears.
The final warm-up was nightclub comedian Sammy shore. He had the usual light and slightly sophisticated banter to put the audience in a happy and receptive mood ... just before intermission. Shore was less than original but, for the most part, his humor was refreshing and he had an interesting manner of mixing history, literature and Hollywood. The trip through the zoo and his revivalist routines had merit. The American Cancer Society should award him a plaque for the cigarrette-smoker's song, the hacking is so retchingly real.
But back to Elvis
Those who went got their money's worth in talent, memories and artist who appreciates his audience and what they mean to him. He banters with them but had everyone in the palm of his hand. For the women he was the knight in white armor (albeit it be cloth with a green tie and belt) and the men seemed to rap with this more masculine of recent idols.
The audience began arriving after noon Monday, hoping to see the best. By 9:42 p.m. they were primed perfectly. They deserved the best and they got it - Elvis.
Courtesy of Sebastiano Cecere