Monday, May 10, 2010

The day Elvis came to town

Imagine being a teenager in Miami in the mid 1950's.

If you turned on the radio you might have heard this, or this.

And for four straight weeks, starting in March of 1956, the number one best-selling single was a song called "The Poor People of Paris" by Les Baxter.

But in the last week of April, Baxter's song was knocked out of the number one spot by a song called "Heartbreak Hotel," sung by a 21-year-old former Memphis truck driver named Elvis Presley.

By the summer of 1956, Presley had been shaking things up in Eisenhower's mid-50's America for the better part of two years.

And in the first week of August 1956, Presley had been booked for two days at Miami's downtown Olympia theater.

Miami, it's safe to say, had never seen or heard anything like Presley up until that time.

The 16,000 screaming kids who attended Presley's seven performances on Aug. 3rd and 4th, 1956, had no way of knowing that they were witnessing music history.

I've written a story that reconstructs the amazing events of those two days. Read the story by clicking here.

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