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CONCERT DATE: February 12, 1977. (8.30 pm) Hollywood. FL.

Elvis Presley Is Still The King
By Ruth Koch
Sun-Tattler
February 14, 1977

By 4:30 pm Saturday the main parking lots of the Hollywood Sportatorium were filled. People had been filling in for the 8:30 concert as early as noon. Vans lined the lots and it resembled something akin to a fourth of July picnic.

The wait was on.
As the time neared souvenirs were hawked over th eloud speaker system as some 14,700 plus people tried in to find their seats. T-shirts, color portraits, photo albums and buttons were being dispensed at a feverish pace.

At 8:30, the appointed time, an announcement was made that the show would be delayed awhile until all people could find their seats. A collective boo arose from the audience. One not so young girl mumbled that the wait was wracking.

FINALLY th elights dimmed and the orchestra burst into "2001: A Space Odyssey." It was followed by a quartet of country singers, who were followed by a comedian, who was followed by a trio of female singers.

Then came the announcement that it was intermission. A near riot broke out. The audience, which ranged somewhere in the neighborhood of five to 75 years old of age, with a pre-dominance of teenagers, was at the end od its collective ropes.

THE LIGHTS dimmed once more and people began rising from their seats to catch a glimpse of the star. As he madehis way to the stage the shouts and screams were deafening and he was nearly blinded by the light of the ever-present flashbulbs going off.

The picture taking never ceased during his one hour and five minutes on that stage. It was 1956 all over as the women swooned, screamed and carried on in utter hysteria.

Long Live the "King".
And the king, for those who may have doubted it before, is Elvis Presley.

AFTER Saturday's concert there could be no doubt. As he broke into his first number, "C.C. Ryder," it was apparent that very little of his music would be heard over the shouts. There was simply no let up amidst the pandemonium.

Many of the girls attempted to make their way to the stage and present gifts ranging from teddy bear to boxes of Valentine candy, as well as to snag one of the scarves he threw into the audience. It was almost too much for the police to handle as they vainly tried to get everyone seated again. But the mobs were slowly inching their way to the stage.

MEANWHILE, fights threatened to break out in the audience as girls refused to stop standing on their seats and people were practically thrown out of their chairs. The mix-up over tickets and seats were unbelievable. Three girls who were forced to moved argued vainly that they had paid $45 a seat (highest priced tickets were $15) that afternoon and now they had no place to go. Some people were forced to sit on laps because their seats had misteriously disappeared. The shuffling back and fourth combined with the noise was enough to make a strong man quake.

But on stage Elvis was loving every minute of it. He kept grinning like an imp and thanking the audience fir being so warm and nice.

HIS ACT itself was a mixture of od and new, if anybody really cared. Included in his songs were "I Got A Woman," "If You Love Me Let Me Know," "My Way," "For The Good Times," Jailhouse Rock," "It's Now Or Never," "All Shook Up," "Teddy Bear," "Poke Salad Annie," "Love Letters," "Hound Dog," "Unchained melody" and "Can't Help Falling In Love."

But there were many who weren't around when the last few songs were sung. In utter disgust, tired of hassles and the lack of being able to see or hear the man, many were seen leaving early. They had come to see Elvis, but all they got was a torrential downpour of noise.

AND WHAT was it all worth in the end?

These thousands of people had come all the way out west to see a 42-year-old rock and roll singer, heavy of girth who moves a lot slower than he did in his heyday. It was almost impossible to hear the voice that had made teenagers swoon over 20 years ago, and the gyrations that were once prohibited on television have given way to less sensuous moves. An except for the few who decided to leave early, there was not a one in the audience who wouldn't have done it again at a moments notice.

The King is still very much alive. Long live the King.

Courtesy of Scott Hayward