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CONCERT DATE: November 16, 1970 Oklahoma City, OK.

Is That All Of Elvis ?
By Howard Inglish
Oklahoma Journal
November 1970

The warm-up for Elvis Presley's city appearance failed to warm up anyone. Monday night, and a comedian named Sammy Shore set the mood for the performance of the star of the show when he did a mocking version of Peggy Lee's song, "Is That All There Is?"

The 55-minute performance Presley half-heartedly put on in the State Fairgrounds Arena, left the more than 11,000 Elvis fans asking themselves that question after Elvis rushed off stage, and voice boomed out over the PA system, "Elvis has left the building. Be sure to see him in his latest movie, "That's The Way It Is."

There were some great songs from the era when the man from Memphis started th emove to "rock'n'roll" like "Heartbreak Hotel," "Hounddog" and "Blue Suede Shoes," but the ex-truck driver who now sports long-hair could only manage a few serious efforts of 16 songs.

There was no encore, only hundreds pf ypung fans, looking at their souvenir programs and mumbling to each other as they stared at the stage they were kept far away from by a large security force that would have made the Secret service happy.

In the gospel. "How Great Thou Art," Elvis did a very credible job, given the anticipating audience a brief glimpse of his excellent voice.

But most numbers were filled with minor attempts at humor, and Elvis seemed more interested in playing orchestra leader and making private comments on the side to his band, than in entertaining Oklahomans who paid $5, $7.50 and $10 a ticket to see the 1950's phenomenon in person.

Perhaps he was disturbed by a bomb threat that sent police scurrying through the arena before the show.

But his starting and stopping and beginning again of many songs, the so-so humor such as falling off the speaker and chuckling during the intro to Simon and Garfunkel's "Bridge Over Troubled Water," failed to evoke much enthusiasm from the same crowd that booed when intermission came and they still hadn't seen Elvis.

The teeny-boppers were there, but even their screaming never reached a high point comparable to the excitement Elvis has been known to evoke: the audience courteously applauded, but they too never got their heart in it.

Elvis probably had a good time, like when threw a cup of water on the sound technicians. He had fun singing "Poke Salad Annie," but dragged through such movers as "I Got A Woman," "You've Lost That Loving Feeling," and "Johnny Be Good."

But his acrobatics and the multitude of flashbulbs going off every second were amusing. Together they made for a psychedelic study of a man with great talent, who didn't care to let Oklahoma Cityans view it.

Elvis' effort has to be the least of any big-name performer to appear in this area in recent years.

Courtesy of Scott Hayward