Elvis Presley played The Houston Astrodome – and while the sound might be iffy, it is an important set of concerts.
Elvis barnstormed and whistlestop toured in Texas a lot in the 1950s, and when he was booked to perform in this huge venue – there was a problem with The Sweet Inspirations.
The owner didn’t want black women on stage with white performers, so Elvis offered to cancel the shows and on opening night, when Elvis and his group entered in Jeeps to be driven in and around so the crowd could get a good look, that owners daughter was driving the Sweets.
The Elvis Presley show went on as Elvis liked it, surrounded by his back up groups to create a wall of sound around him.
There is even a fan club, based in Brazil that focusses entirely on these 6 concerts, so putting a box set of what was recorded and filmed, including the press conference would be a really cool set.
I think the Houston Press Conference is difficult to watch, given Elvis is drooling stoned. Although he is far more spaced out in the Aloha press conference.
Elvis made a dramatic entrance in an open jeep, but he was discouraged both during and after the first show because of the poor acoustics and what he judged to be an indifferent response from a less than capacity crowd. ” I guess I just can’t bring it in like I used to”, he said between shows.
But then his spirits were lifted at the evening show by the great response from a crowd of 36,299 and according to the Los Angeles Times his performance was “masterful”.
After the final show there was a press conference at which Elvis was presented with gold records for 5 of his 1969 releases.