Home > Newspaper Articles > 1956 > February 16, 1956. Winston-Salem, NC.

Presley Rocks, Rolls Theater Audience Here
by Roy Thompson
February 17, 1956 Winston-Salem Journal

A most remarkable young man named Elvis Presley came to town yesterday and rocked the staid old Carolina Theater to its very dignified roots.

Mr. Presley must be seen if he is to be believed - and even then he seems somewhat unbelieavlable.

He plays ("beats" would be a better word) the guitar. He sings (almost any other word would be better there). But somewhow, he wows 'em. Mr. Presley is a part of the new musical phenomenon called "Rock 'n' Roll."

He slouches; he scratches, he mugs, he bumps and grinds. He brings to the stage one of the most monumnetal conceits seen in these parts in many a day. But he produces, which makes the conceit all right, perhaps.

Singing such Twentieth Century classics as "Blue Suede Shoes and "Tutti-Frutti," he sent a matinee houseful of teenagers and other music-lovers into an orgy of hand-clapping foot-stamping and tonsil-straining screaming.

It is extremely doubtful that the Carolina Theater has ever seen a more enthusiastic audience. And when the show was over, the long-lonely stage door on North Marshall Street had a cluster of excited youngsters waiting, hoping, praying for a closer look and, perhaps, an autograph from the handsome young man.

The earlier part of the shows was devoted to a considerably less strenuous rendering of several selections of what it is often called "country music" through a number of city folks are addicted to it.

There were old "country" favorities such as "Avalon" and "I Wore Dark Glasses to your Wedding to Hide The Tears in My Eyes". But even in this - the country ham and corn portion of the musical menu - Rock 'n' Roll was moving in.

Justin Tubb, the Grand Ole Opry favorite , got his biggest hand from a most uncountrified selection called "Pepperhot Baby." And there were others. Tubb, the Louvin Brothers, the Carter Sisters and Benny Martin all got applause and whistles enough to satisfy most performers in the spotlight.

But the frenzy, the hysteria, the wild and wonderful shrieks of the sheer joy ... These were reserved for the remarkable young man with the long hair, the pearly teeth, the stylish slouch, the incredible conceit: Elvis Presley

Courtesy of Forsyth County Public Library