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CONCERT DATE: July 1, 1976. Shreveport, LA

Elvis Proves He's Still "The King" in Shreveport.
by Mark Melson
The Shreveport Times
July 2, 1976

The singer they call "The King" returned to Hirsch Coliseum Thursday night and if the enthusiastic audience response is any indication, he is in no danger of being deposed.

For the second time in 13 months, Elvis Presley brought his act to Shreveport, and he proved he is still one of this region's great favorites. The coliseum was crammed with people - 10,000 of them - and most seemed to be loving every minute.

Had it been a political convention instead of a concert, there's no doubt that Presley would have been elected on the first ballot. And woe to those who might support another candidate.

If there didn't seem to be quite as much excitement as there was at last year's concert, it was probably because a much shorter time span has elapsed since the singer's last Shreveport appearance. But there still plenty of hoopla - the screams, the cheers, the fans rushing to the stage, the exploding flash cubes were all there.

The show was similar to last year's in many respects. The first half was taken up by a gospel quartet, a comedian (was the name Jack Kilhane? I couldn't hear when he was announced) a three voice soul trio called "Sweet Inspiration".

After a brief intermission, the familiar opening theme to Richard Strauss "Also Sprach Zarathustra" sounded and bounded on stage in a white suit loaded with sequins.

Everything you've heard about Presley's bulk is true - he seems even heavier than he was here last year. The weight, I think, is beginning to cramp his stage style - the gyrations look kind of strange now.

But the unique Presley voice seems to be holding up quite well. Though an early deadline forced me to leave the concert not too long after he got under way. It was obvious that the warmth of the crowd was inspiring him.

The singer was also helped by his first rate musicians backing him , who were headed by Shreveport guitarist James Burton.

And there's still a twinkle in the Presley eye. Responding to a question from a lady near the front, the singer smirked and replied "ask and ye shall receive."

He also handed out scarf after scarf to an endless scream of stageside females and graciously accepted a huge rag doll a fan handed him.

Though I wasn't around to see the concert's conclusion. I'm sure the fans went home happy.

Courtesy of Geoffrey McDonnel