Home > Newspaper Articles > 1956 > June 3, 1956. Oakland, CA.

CONCERT DATE: June 3, 1956. Oakland, CA.

Elvis Sends 6,400 Here Into Frenzy
by Elinor Hayes
Oakland Tribune
June 4, 1956

Elvis Presley fans all but tore the roof off the Oakland Auditorium Arena - not once but twice - as the youthful singing sensation proved yesterday he is, without a doubt, the most amazing of entertainers.

Presley whips through a song as if he had giabbed a live wire. Some 6,400 madly screaming fans at two performances responded as if they, too, had been jolted by the same current.

The South's 21-year-old gift to modern teen-age hysteria gave out with such widely acclaimed hits as "Blue Suede Shoes" and "Heartbreak Hotel" to such pandemonium that he was all but drowned out in the screams of under-age listeners who went mad, Mad, MAD.


He had to be escorted through a secret entrance to keep him from being mobbed. Let Pa and Ma have their Liberace and their Lawrence (...) - the youngsters have their Elvis Presley

He is a boy in a Kelly green tweed jacket with an unruly forelock, darkly lashed gray eyes and a pouting mouth. He is a kid with two diamond rings a 700 diamond encrusted wristwatch ("They are useless but I've always wanted stuff like that") four cars and a motorcycle. A lad who will make over $100,000 this year, and for whose record contract RCA-Victor paic $40,000, the highest ever given.

He has built his parents a $50,000 house in Memphis, where the youngsters with whom he grew up avoid him, now that he has hit the "big time." "Heck, I haven't changed, not a bit," he said.


He has a gyrating, kneeknocking, tear'em apart style of whipping out a song with a vicious driving beat. He does everying but lie down and roll in front of his three-piece band.

On stage he is a song-belting phenomenon who has only to appear to send the audience into a near hysterical frenzy.

Off stage, he is a natural appearing youth with a shrewd intelligence and a disarming frankness. He has the Valentino look for the gals and the "ma'am" kind of manners for their mothers.

"I don't like to stand still," he said; "I get nervous." "If the police and my managers would let me, I'd get mobbed all the time. It makes you feel good. I would feel worse if they didn't swoon over me."

"As long as I keep on doing OK, I'll keep on doing what I'm doing. I really want to be an actor. A good actor. "I don't blow anything, other than on four cars, a motorcycle, and stuff like that. I've got about 35 jackets and pants. My income taxes are really high. But I've a manager who can get the most out of a deal. He drains 'em.

"I date quite a few girls but nothing real serious. "I don't play the guitar as much as I used to, because I break too many strings."


Presley was the finale of long stage show that presented a series of vaudeville acts, including the top-notch Paul Desmond, impersonator, pantomimist and singer. The show was prolonged, but the audience was patient.

They knew whom they had come to see and waiting only built up anticipation.

When Presley finally appeared, the crowd blew its top. A noise meter would have thought it was recording the '06 earthquake. All he actually does is sing and throw himself about. There (..) He finally abandoned his guitar. He clung to the mike and the curtains and he gave with the voice, doing the songs on which he has made his fame.

He was backed by a threeman combo of drums, guitar and bass. The Jordanaires, a male quartet, joined him in a number.

As he left the stage after the earlier performance, several hundred teen-agers stampeded to the building exit which they expected him to use. But young Presley collapsed in his dressing room with a soft drink. ("My throat feels dry when I sing.") He was disheveled, and he looked tired.

But whenever a pretty girl came - or even a 5-year-old, somehow eluding police - he said to let them in, and he did the autographing chore that probably makes the luchy few the envy of their schools today.


One of the Jordanaires, Gordon Stoker, who has toured with him said "I've never seen anything to compare with this guy. The reaction he gets is the wildest I've ever seen."

One teen-age girl put it more succintly: "OoooOhhh!" (this is an indescrabable sound and starts low and goes way, way high. If s sort of across between a call for help and the call of the wild. He Sends You.

Courtesy of Francesc Lopez