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CONCERT DATE: June 2 1975. Mobile AL.

Elvis "The King" Gives 'Em What They Want
by Gordon Tatum Jr.
Mobile Register

They came by the tens of thousands Monday to pay homage to "The King," the originator of rock and roll, Elvis Presley. Mobile Municipal Auditorium accommodated 10620 plus at a 4.30 matinee and again at 8.30PM, all fans of the entertainer who started hip swinging back in the 1950s and is still going strong in the 70s. If seeing him and hearing him weren't enough there were giant pictures, buttons, albums and programs for sale. And if you happened to not buy before the show, at intermission you could get a special plastic bag filled at a reduced price.

No taping and no motion pictures allowed. But stills were encouraged. The flashbulbs went off to accompany the rhythm section. They loved him, there was no doubt. Women - young and old - screamed and vied for the colorful scarves he used to mop his brow and then threw into the audience. Some were lucky enough to get a kiss. But, of course, the Presley music was the thing. And he delivered quite a show.

All of the Elvis songs of yesteryear were rendered in just a little more sophisticated version, but then his show has been somewhat modernized. The man gives 'em what they want. Royce, a male trio, opened the first half, with Jackie Cobb, comedian, following. He touched on teen-agers, horoscopes, sex, you name it, and the audience liked. Next came the Sweet Inspirations, three female vocalists who were sensational, especially Lady Marmalade. And the girls were backed up by a great band. The crowd wanted more of the Stevie Wonder medley.

After intermission came the play of lights, trumpet fanfare, "Space Odyssey" theme and what everybody wanted. Elvis. He entered the arena in a brilliantly decorated white suit, the famous raven locks and sideburns, guitar in place, and gyrations from head to toe.

All of this to the deafening roar of a thrilled packed house. Women shouted his name, anybody's name, men patted their feet to the music and the undisputed King of Rock and Roll took center stage. There he reigned through such numbers as Hound Dog, Love Me Tender, Teddy Bear and all the oldies. He introduced his entourage - Kathy Russmore and the Stamps Quartet.

Whenever the crowd pressed too closely or demanded a scarf during a particularly quiet number, just a word from Elvis or a gesture and they waited until he was ready to give them what they sought. It went on. More songs, more scarves, more sweat. He told them it was over and left. They were awed.

Courtesy of Scott Hayward