Wednesday, July 30, 2008

This Day in History

From Writer' Almanac.

It was on this day in 1954 that Elvis Presley made his debut in what is called "the first rock 'n' roll show" in history. He had played publicly before at a crowded music club, but this was his first performance at a real venue. He played at the Overton Park Shell as part of the trio the Blue Moon Boys, with Memphis musicians Winfield "Scotty" Moore and Bill Black. The newspaper ads for the performance misspelled Elvis's name as "Ellis Presley." This was the first night that fans saw Elvis's famous leg movements. The story is that he was so nervous about his first major performance that his legs shook under his big pants, and caused female fans to go crazy. He said, "The first time that I appeared on stage, it scared me to death. I really didn't know what all the yelling was about. I didn't realize that my body was moving. It's a natural thing to me. So to the manager backstage I said, 'What'd I do? What'd I do?' And he said, 'Whatever it is, go back and do it again.'"

Elvis Presley, who said, "Rhythm is something you either have or don't have, but when you have it you have it all over."

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