Shattuck, Lale and I went to the Levitt Shell Saturday afternoon to watch a magician and listen to children’s music.


The son of a criminal imprisoned for forgery out of Tupelo, MS… Elvis Presley made his debut as a paid performer at the Levitt Shell in 1954.

Advertised as a Hillbilly Hoedown, appearing in addition to Slim Whitman and Billy Walker were “Sugarfoot Collins, “Sonny” Harvelle, Tinker Fry and “Curly Harris.  The show began at 8:00 on the night of July, 30, 1954, and they started with “Thats Alright Mama“.  Elvis was so nervous he stood up on the balls of his feet and shook his leg in time with the music, a move he sometimes used in the studio. To his shock and horror the young girls in the audience went crazy, yelling and applauding. Scotty said, “We didn’t know what was going on when all those people started screaming and hollering.

Next they did “Blue Moon of Kentucky” and when Elvis got offstage he asked why people were yelling at him.  Someone told him it was because he was shaking his leg, which with the baggy pleated pants created a wild gyrating effect in time with the music.  Later in the show they returned and did the same two numbers along with “I’ll never let you go (Little Darlin)”, a new song they had been working on.

Not a bad career move for a boy descended from chicken thieves… 

Later that evening, Allison and Wilson B. Pace stopped by out house to play and cook out.  Wilson Pace was on his way back from playing golf in Hot Springs, AR.