Home > Newspaper Articles > 1961 > March 25, 1961. Honolulu, HI.

CONCERT DATE: March 25, 1961. Honolulu, HI.

Presley Show Brings In $52,000
Honolulu Advertiser
March 26, 1961

Elvis Presley's show played before 4,800 wildly enthusiastic persons at Bloch Arena last night and took in more than $52,000 for the USS Arizona Memorial Fund.

It even topped the $50,000 goal the rock'n'roll star had set his sights on.

IT WAS a crackjack show, a sellout, and the biggest single gate in the history of show business in Hawaii

H. Tucker Gratz, chairman of the Pacific War Memorial Commission, said: "This occasion is a dream come true after 16 years. Tonight is the most important event in this effort..."

"This is all started when George Chaplin of The Advertiser sent a letter to newspaper across the country and a very fine gentleman read an editorial in one of the California newspapers. That man (Colonel Tom Parker, Presley's manager) called George Chaplin and said: "I know a young man whose services can be a big help:"

GRATZ SAID that Parker came to Hawaii and set up the show and stipulated that every cent would go toward the War Memorial fund. "Forty eight hours ago we met in this very room and we were $10,000 short," said Gratz. We made an agreement with Parker that he and Elvis would raise $5,000 if the War Memorial Commission would raise the other $5,000...

"I can assure you that on Dec. 7 of this year there will be a memorial."

The show was fast-paced and slick. It jumped. When Elvis came on the teenagers screamed for 2 1/2 minutes without let-up. Elvis was wearing his famous gold jacket with silvery glints like sequins, dark blue trousers and a white shirt and a blue string tie.

HE WIGGLES as much as he ever did. The Army didn't make him a bit conservative"

He started singing "Lonely in the Night..." The applause was like a shock wave. then "Buttercup" "Fools Such as I" the big three "Surrender," "Don't Be Cruel," and of course, "Hound Dog." The applause came roaring in.

THE FIRST ACT was Phil Ingall's orchestra, a brassy combo that the audience lapped up. Soon the audience clapped along in time to the music.

Then Sterling Mossman and his group performed Plynesian songs and launched a comedy routine that brought titters and giggies from the $100 seats. (The 300 $100 seats were just about filled. in 30 of the $100 seats sat patients and corpsmen from tripler Army Hospital whose tickets were paid for by Presley and Parker.)

Frank Cramer, RCA recording star, played a piano solo.

THE JORDANAIRES quartet performed and Boots Randolph, who can make a sax talk, blared out hot jazz. His rendition of "Yackety Sack" got'em. Now came Minnie Pearl of the GRand Ole Opry from radio station WSM, Nashville.

"How-dee," she greeted the crowd and they roared . Rear. Adm. Robert L. Campbell, commandant of 14th Naval District, introduced Presley.

He read a telegram from the Secretary of the Navy which said of Presley:"

The generosity and public spirited zeal with which you donate your services to the Arizona Memorial Fund tonight are deeply appreciated by all of us in the Navy."

Introducing Presley, Adm. Campbell said:

He is a fine American. He has had many starring roles, not the least of these has been as a soldier in the U.S. Army.

"I AM PLEASED that the Navy is also going to share the benefits of his talent. Ladies and Gentlemen, present..." but the thunderclap of applause drowned the rest of the words.

Courtesy of Debbie from Oklahoma