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CONCERT DATE: August 6 1956. Lakeland, FL.

How different is Elvis? Some Idiosyncrasies of America's Top Troubadour Amaze His Admirers
by Elvalee Donaldson
Lakeland Ledger
August 1, 1956

Not everybody thinks Elvis Presley can sing and not everybody thinks his performances are thrilling enough to cause swoons, but everybody will certainly agree that Elvis definitely different.

He will be here Monday, so Lakelanders, can decide for themselves.

Its common knowledge these days that the wild troubadour of rock n roll eats nothing but pork chops, mashed potatoes and gravy, even for breakfast.

And even his less fervid fans are aware that he has a strange habit of disappearing -just vanishing without explanations. He usually can be found chewing popcorn in a western movie, at a shooting gallery or examining the new Cadillac in a showroom.

Also, he's not adverse in just disappearing with some young girl, being a young man himself.

He never took a guitar lesson and cannot read music, yet today his records have grossed almost $6,000,000. Within the past two weeks, his new recording of "Hound Dog" has sold 900,000 copies to set a new all-time high.

He's in one of the zaniest of all rackets-show business, yet he doesn't do many of the things other show people do. He doesn't drink, he doesn't smoke, and nightclubs bore him. He is devoted to his parents and bough them a $40,000 air conditioned ranch home with a swimming pool.

Elvis the Pelvis rarely sleeps more than three hours a night, yet his energy on stage is jet propelled. He wiggles and wobbles and hops and whoops and hollers and plunk his guitar as if he had been resting for days.

He likes to go to amusement parks and throw baseballs at bottles or toss darts at balloons and he likes to win teddy bears for his bedroom. He collects fuzzy toy animals. One day he came home with 24 kewpie dolls he had won at a carnival.

He has a portable movie projector and an old Abbot and Costello movie film which he plays on the ceiling before he goes to bed. "It's just for when I want to relax," he explained. Yes, and he has a drawer full of 50 shirts he hasn't even worn once.

In looks too, Presley is different. Sideburns and long locks plus pink and black shirts. Yet, he loves to wear blue jeans when no one is looking.

On stage he is a bundle of gyrating motions, a belting lusty singer with a guitar held firmly across his chest. He's well over six feet tall and weighs about 185.

Yet offstage he is quiet, overly polite, extremely sefl conscious and aware of the importance of other people. He never addresses any man older than himself without adding a "Mister" in front of the name.

Presley is different. He's unexplainable. In one short year, he shot from nowhere into the hottest spotlight any American entertainer has held in such a short time. The public is examining him from every possible angle. He has no private life. Every bit he used to have has been exposed.

But when everybody's through trying to define Presley; the definition will read. Actually, this guy's just sorta different, you know?

Tomorrow: Elvis cuts his first record, and Elvalee Donaldson of The Ledger staff tells what the outcome was in another of her stories on Presley's life.

Courtesy of Kurt Hinkle