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Friday Flashback - The King Has Left The Chicago Stadium, Long Live the King

By Karl Klockars in Miscellaneous on Jan 8, 2010 8:00PM

If you want to own a reproduction of this poster, they're all over Ebay.
As it's Elvis' 75th birthday today, we thought we'd try to see exactly what was shaking in the city during the birth of rock music. The Sun-Times has an interesting piece about the birth of "In the Ghetto," but we wanted to go back further. So we poked our Lexis Nexis account with a stick and peered back through time, back to the beginning of it all in 1956.

One of the King's first sightings in Chicago was on February 4th, 1956 on the CBS "Stage Show" hosted by Tommy and Jimmy Dorsey. Elvis was just one guest, billed with performers named Joe E. Brown and "Tippy and Cobina." And in the explosive wake of that damned rock n' roll music sweeping the country, the Daily Trib's "Tower Ticker" penned by Herb Lyon offered one of the first bits of Chicago-centric Elvis criticism on May 5th:

Listen! There's just gotta be a rational explanation for the incredible "cultural" turns in modern music. What mass madness brings on a rock 'n' roll craze and catapults and Elvis Presley to six months of immortality? [Watch, it won't be any longer.]

Flash forward six months to November of the same year where Lyon reports that three teens fainted at the Oriental theater during Elvis' death scene, where Presley's "Love Me Tender" film was being shown. Thankfully, "they were revived without difficulty in the managers office," says Lyon. Looks like Elvis was still around.

This portion of Chicagoist is firmly in the Team Jumpsuit Elvis camp, so let's flash forward to 1972 for a fan-filmed performance on June 17th at the Chicago Stadium (with some surprisingly decent sound).

Elvis' death in 1977 might not have been the end to the story in terms of him appearing in Chicago-related entertainment: Some believe that he appeared as an extra in "Home Alone."