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CONCERT DATE: July 22 1975 (8:30 pm). Asheville NC.

Elvis Still Wows 'Em
by Billy Pritchard
Asheville Citizen-News
July 23, 1975

A paunchy but pretty 40-year-old Elvis Aron Presley filled the huge Asheville Civic Center with his booming. barrel-chested voice here Tuesday night to the delight of a fully-packed 7500-seat house. The King, as some call him, came on stage around 9.55PM and sang for nearly two hours. His act was interrupted only for about seven minutes while he excused himself for a trip to the restroom, he said. "I always dreamed this would happen," he told the shouting crowd.

Dressed in embroidered and sequined white pants and jacket and white boots, Elvis spent his time singing and giving away colored silk scarves to the few young ladies who managed to make their way past a tough ring of security guards to the stage. Although his voice was still there, as vigorous and convincing as ever, the rock seemed to have gone out Elvis the Pelvis' roll. Except for a few brief moments of concentrated body movement, such as a brief Kung Fu dance during the closing of Poke Salad Annie, Elvis walked casually around the stage without a lot of fanfare.

Closing with a rousing I Can't Help Falling in Love with You, Presley's Tuesday night repertoire included such hits as Burning Love, How Great Thou Art, It's Now Or Never, All Shook up, Teddy Bear, Shake a Hand, I Gotta Woman, Amen and (You Aint' Nothing But a) Hound Dog. Presley, who will also appear in concert Wednesday and Thursday nights at the Civic Center for his three-night, sell-out stay in Asheville, is backed up by a 15-piece band and 11 back-up singers.

The music is provided by a center-stage rock band, backed up by an 11-piece orchestra, including four trombones, four trumpets, a percussionist, a piano and a band leader. The stage band includes four guitars and a drummer. The singers, who perform individually as warm-up acts before joining Elvis on-stage, included J.D. Sumner and the Stamps Quartet, a superb and beloved gospel group, three black women known as Sweet Inspiration, and various other Nashville (or Memphis) voices.

In between songs, Elvis also knelt to kiss the women the scarved and threw silken handkerchiefs to back rows and into the balcony behind the stage. There didn't appear to be an empty seat in the house. The Memphis Casanova was off the stage, into an awaiting limousine and gone from downtown Asheville before the house lights came on after his final number. His entourage is being housed in a large bloc of rooms east of the city on US Highway 70 at the Rodeway Inn, but inside word has it that Presley is not staying overnight in Asheville.

The word is that Presley is flying back and forth during his three-day stay here from his Graceland mansion in Memphis, where he spends most of his time in seclusion. Elvis spent about 15 days in Baptist Memorial Hospital during the first part of this year for what his doctor described as "intestinal blockage" due to a "twisted colon." This may explain why the pelvis has gone out of Elvis.

Asheville is Presley's last stop in his latest tour which began nearly a month ago in Charleston, W. Va. and led him through northern states before coming to Greensboro Monday night. He will rest after his stay here and open in Las Vegas in a few weeks. Presley stands to gross more than $200,000 during his three sell-out nights here, a much better showing than his performance here 20 years ago when he played the old auditorium with the Martha Carson show on May 17th, 1955.

Courtesy of Scott Hayward