One of the benefits from running an Elvis blog is that you get to hear from people who have their very own Elvis experiences. And sometimes those experiences can blow you away. Just the other week Mrs. Barbara Schoenburg e-mailed me about the FTD book A Moment In Time–4 Days in ’56, telling me she was at the Detroit concert on May 25, 1956, in the second row, middle.
The book includes some
fantastic shots of Elvis driving the crowd wild at the Fox Theater in Detroit
on that date (one of which was used on the cover of the Young Man With The Big Beat box set). So, firing away an e-mail in
return, I asked Barbara if she would like to answer a couple of questions about
her experiences that day. Imagine my excitement when I found her answers
waiting for me in the mail the very next day. She began by telling me that she
was in the picture on page 15 (the one from Young
Man With The Big Beat).
Barbara: I was 12 at the time. If you look
at Elvis' right knee cap there is a girl and I am directly behind her, in front
of the girl with the black shirt. Sorry to say I started losing interest in
Elvis when he went into the army. I still have the early albums though. After
that I never really was into his music.
Elvis Today: How come
you went to the show?
Barbara: I loved Elvis' sound and thought he
was so good looking, I collected magazines and stuff. All of which I threw out
along the way to adulthood. Stupid me.
Elvis Today: What do you
remember the most about Elvis’ performance?
Barbara: Just that I loved it. I was the
only one of my friends that liked him so I went to the show alone. He was so
good looking and moved in a way that I had never seen before. I remember
screaming and wishing everyone would sit down so we could all see. I was short
and it bothered me that people stood so I had trouble seeing some of the show.
I do not remember any other acts. I do remember seeing him on the Ed Sullivan
show and screaming as I watched and my grandmother demanding that I stop and arguing
with her about turning off the TV. I won. I do not remember anything else about
Elvis Today: How did the
crowd (yourself included) react when Elvis sang and moved?
Barbara: Lots of standing and screaming.
Elvis Today: Do you
remember any particular song he sang?
Barbara: I do remember he sang “Heartbreak
Hotel” which had been released just a few months previously. My husband and all
his friends are impressed that I got to see him with his original band, Scotty
Moore, Bill Black and DJ Fontana. I only had eyes for Elvis.
Elvis Today: Did you
ever see Elvis live again?
Barbara: I saw him in April 1973 or November 1976
at the Anaheim CA Convention Center. He was into what I called the Liberace
phase with the jump suits, and scarves. He had put on a lot of weight. He
sounded good but it was not the same as seeing him for the first time.
Thank you so much for
your answers, Barbara, and for letting me share them with my readers!