LONG LIVE THE KING
By Jay Allen Sanford (The San Diego Reader)
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Research into Elvis Presley’s first California concerts over the first week of April, 1956, has yielded new material about the San Diego dates, including
unpublished photos of the rock icon backstage at the long-gone San Diego Arena at Eighth and Harbor.

Elvis’s first California performance was a taping for the Milton Berle Show on April 3, 1956, on the aircraft carrier USS Hancock, docked at the 28th Street
Naval Station. The next two nights, he played two sold-out shows at the San Diego Arena, aka Glacier Garden. Among the backstage visitors on April 4 was
aspiring singer Glen Troutman, later known as Glen Glenn.

“He was very nice to talk to, but he was very nervous,” recalls Glenn in an interview recently posted at scottymoore.net. “I don’t think he’d played to such a big
crowd before. I remember him biting his bottom lip a lot, drinking Coke, and just buzzing with nervous energy.”

As seen in Glenn’s previously unpublished backstage photos, “The jacket he was wearing was drenched in sweat because he’d worked so hard onstage. We
spent a fair while talking to him, because they couldn’t get him out of the building due to all the screaming fans outside. In the end, they had to get the San
Diego Shore Patrol to escort him back to his hotel room.”

The Scotty Moore site unearths a backstage photo from the April 5 show, with Elvis having switched to a dark jacket as he autographs the arm of a giggling
young girl. The photographer’s notation indicates the girl to have been 12-year-old Barbara Shepherd, then of 2335 Seabreeze Drive.

Ticket sales for the two 1956 concerts reportedly totaled $17,250, with 11,250 fans attending. According to the book Elvis Day by Day, Presley was paid
around $15,000 for the two-night stand. The day after the second San Diego date — April 6 — Presley signed a seven-year movie deal with Paramount.

Three weeks later,
“Heartbreak Hotel” hit number one.

www.elvis-express.com / originating source:
San Diego Reader
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Below is the newspaper article written about Elvis' concert from April 5th 1956 first published in the San Diego Union-Tribune April 6, 1956

Teens Yell For Songs By Elvis
Elvis Presley, a 21-year-old singer from Tennessee, rocked and rolled for 5,000 teen-agers last night as he ended his two-night stand in the Arena on Harbor
Drive. Both nights were sellouts.

Presley pumped his guitar, slapped it, and made it play accompaniment to his octave sliding voice.

The Presley part of the show was brief. He followed a woman vocalist, an acrobatic dance team, a comedian, and a xylophone player.
The audience stomped their feet. "We want Elvis."

And then he appeared. The boys cheered and whistled. The girls screamed, jumped, and clapped.
Presley played and sang six tunes. The crowd was too noisy for most of the numbers to be heard.
But it made no difference. The teenagers knew them by heart.

Who is Elvis Presley?
Eighteen months ago he was driving a truck in Memphis, Tenn., for $35 a week.
So far this year as a singer he has earned more than $50,000.
He's a handsome youngster, about 6 feet, with blue eyes and light-brown hair - which, following the current vogue, he wears long, wavy and with sideburns to
his jaw line.

Elvis' start in show business has a legendary twist to it. Just after he graduated from high school, his dad bought him a guitar, and after mastering the
manipulation of it, he says that he went into a record store to make a disk of "My Happiness" to give to his mother.

"A man in the store heard me, and he said he liked the way I played and sang, and he'd get in touch with me.

"He did, a year and a half later," Elvis said. "I didn't know it, but he was Sam Phillips, head of a record company.

"I'd forgotten all about it," Presley added. "The guitar was in a closet, gathering dust, and I was out working, driving the truck."

Well, from then on it was one grand whirl, which Presley confesses still has him agog. He made five records for Phillips on the little known Sun label. Then RCA
Victor bought his contract for $40,000, and Presley was on his way to national fame. He has been barnstorming the country since, appearing on national TV
shows, cutting more records, and earning more money than he dreamed existed.