Without a doubt Elvis Presley was one of the best performers ever to walk this earth. With a career number of 1,684 known live performances, Elvis loved singing and playing in front of a crowd. Not only did he know how to charm strangers, he knew how to keep the people in his life coming back for more too…
Since his first Memphis show in 1954 to his last concert in Indianapolis on June 26, 1977, Elvis entertained an estimated 12,000,000 people in person.
But out of all his shows, these live concerts were his top three best!
Jacksonville, Florida: August 10, 1965
With 2,200 people in the crowd at the first of six Presley performances at Florida Theater in Jacksonville, Florida, August 10, 1956 at 3:30pm was a special day. Fans spent just $1.25 in advance or $1.50 at the door to hear Elvis sing.
This show held international suspense and exposure for the King of Rock and Roll. LIFE Magazine attended to photograph and witness what Presley could do on the stage and to see why he was making such a huge sensation. This happened after Presley was warned by Juvenile Court Judge Marion Gooding that Elvis better be on good behavior.
But Elvis wasn’t one for following the rules.
Christian preachers held prayer meetings to warn people to stay away from Elvis “the devil” Pressley. Looks like they got that wrong…
June Juanico, Elvis’s girlfriend at the time, said that when Elvis started to sing, “The kids went nuts anytime he did anything. He could just make a funny face, and they would scream. These teenagers would just go crazy.”
San Antonio, Texas: April 18, 1972
For days, an MGM film crew had followed Pressley on tour through the South. When Elvis and his 101 band members, back-up singers, and entourage arrived in San Antonio, it was the last chance for the filmmakers to catch The King at his best.
The Martin Scorsese film would later be released as “Evlis on Tour” and be what was perhaps “the best Elvis Presley movie ever.”
“Elvis was resolute in the idea that this would be his best performance on the tour for the best movie he ever made,” said Presley’s good friend Jerry Schilling, “The San Antonio show turned out to be one of the best, if not the best, concerts I have ever seen. Elvis was happy, energetic and enthusiastic.”
“Only this time it was more powerful than we had ever heard before if that was even possible,” Schilling recalled. “This audience was ready for Elvis Presley and Elvis was definitely ready for this audience.”
Honolulu, Hawaii: January 13, 1973
Perhaps Elvis’s most notable concert was the first ever worldwide satellite beamed show in history, “Elvis: Aloha from Hawaii.”
With 6,000 people in the venue, Elvis raised $75,000 to a local cancer fund which was impressive for 1973.
Since millions watched Elvis sing on the broadcast, it was possibly his widest reaching show ever.
Do you have a favorite Elvis Presley live performance? Did you ever get to see Elvis in person? Tell us about it!
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