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CONCERT DATE: May 28 1976 (8:30 pm). Ames IA.

Iowans Ready To See Elvis
Russ Smith
Waterloo Courier
May 30, 1976

AMES - After 20 some years plus one more hour Elvis came Ames Friday evening and 4,500 Iowans were ready. Man, were they ready!

Dollies whose Moms squealed over Elvis in the franlic fifties shreaked when he -bumped his hips. They screeched when he wiped his brow. And, oh, when he sighed...

The Moms still squealed....or cried. He was so beautiful; beautiful in his powder blue suit witli the sequined vest. And a little portly, too.

ELVIS PRESLEY postured and he undulated across the stage and he gave his Hilton Coliseum audience what it paid from $7.50 to $12.50 a ticket to see, box office price. Or. if they waited, the scalpers' asking price was $25 outside the Coliseum Friday evening.

Elvis' entry was as well prepared and choreographed as the arrivals of any of the presidential candidates including the one who currently occupies the office.

He was the second act of the show. His company was on stage for a 50-minute warmup that included some of the better musical moments of the evening with J D. Sumncr and the Stamps, a male quartet; a women's trio that has been a part of the Presley entourage for over six years The Sweet Inspiration, and a standup comic, Jackie Culhane.

ELVIS CAME on after intermission as the audience panted into a crescendo. The ushers sat in the aisles to keep the crowd from standing in them.

It was, generally, an orderly crowd, but there wasn't room for all 14,800 on the stage and that's where many of them wanted to be.

He drew in his breath amid wails of delight. "I haven't done anything, yet," he said. It was true.

HE ROTATED his knee in the hip socket amid a rapturous chorus from the gallery. "This is how it all began," he sighed.

His ability to laugh at himself and not take himself or his production seriously despite his audience is one of the things responsible for preserving his popularity.

The voice is still vibrant and full, on occasion, and it still rocks on high on other occasions, hut it is incidental now.

HE WAS on stage Friday for one hour and 25 minutes, and of course, paces his voice very carefully. The 40-year-old endtertainment institution is backed by a six-piece rhythm group and a seven-piece brass section but, more importantly, he works with the support of a carefully-selected 10-voice chorus to fill and push on the low and high notes.

There was no set program no published program, just picture albums of Elvis, Elvis buttons, Elvis T-shirts and Elvis scarfs. Obviously, he couldn't do all his tunes, but he tried. He fielded requests.

There were "If You Love Me Let Me Know," "Jailhouse Rock," "How Great Thou Art" and, of course, "Hound Dog." A recent recording, "You Hurt Me," he did twice with full audience approval.

HE WANDERED the stage tossing scarfs into the audience. Second prize was a scarf on which Elvis had wiped his brow. First prize was a scarf AND a kiss.

"Fantastic!" said Mrs. Dale Wilson, 853 Dawson St. Her husband and James Stow, 1224 Westland, were among the hundreds who stood all night in the rain five weeks ago to buy the allotted 10 tickets apiece."

"Oh. I LIKED it." said Mrs. Dean Church. 936 Kern St. "I thought it was super," said Mrs. John Padget, 153 Linwood Ave. "I waited 20 years to see him. I am elated," said Mrs. Conrad Doan, 6440 Independence Ave.

Most every mother and daughter felt the same, and some of the dads. too.

Courtesy of Archie Bald