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Home > Newspaper Articles > 1975 > May 5 1975 (8:30 pm). Jackson MS.
CONCERT DATE: May 5 1975 (8:30 pm). Jackson MS.
Elvis Packs 'Em In
By Ron Harrist
Jackson Daily News
May 6, 1975
Whistles, screams, throbbing drums, popping flash bulbs and Elvis.
While many of the more than 10,000 jammed into Mississippi Coliseum Monday night thought the rock singing star was a bit overweight few said he had lost his ability to win an audience.
Presley, crowded into a small backstage room and shielded by his manager Col. Tom Parker, accepted thanks of Gov. Bill Waller and various state officials for raising more than $110,000 for victims of the Jan. 9 tornadoes which raked McComb and southwestern Mississippi.
"He was very modest, very shy and just as gracious as he could be." said Mrs. Bill Waller, wife of the governor.
McComb Mayor John Thompson, clutching an Elvis autograph, said he had told Presley, "I'd give him the keys to the city ... that he was doing a fine thing."
State Rep Williams Guy of McComb said the money would go to persons whose tornado damaged property had not been insured fully.
Presley was presented to the thousands of cleering, restless fans after a flourish of drums.
Presley sang "C.C. Rider," bringing applause as he dropped his voice with "see what you have done"
Debbie Stubblefield of Jackson, who had left her seat and waded into a growing number of fans in a darkened corridor near the stage, said Presley was all she expected and more.
"Oh yeah, he's great." she said as she hurried for a closer look. "Even better than I thought."
Elvis, dressed in white with a blue shirt, sang dozens of rock standards and joked with the audience.
"I love you too honey...I'll be up there in a minute." he called to someone in the audience.
During the latter part of the performance, he leaned over the stage to kiss an ardent fan. At times, he would toss a scarf into a sea of waving hands.
The audience ranged from small children to elderly gentlemen who tapped their feet in time to his heavy drum section.
The crowd went to its feet when he opened a trilogy of songs with "Dixie."
Parker, angered by what he thought were too many crowding into the backstage room, constantly shouted, "Get them back, get them back."
Waller, who presented Presley a framed gold map of the state, was quickly ushered in, then rushed out.
Waller, who paused outside the backstage entrance to accept a check from Jackson radio station WJDX for the disaster relief fund, said he thanked Presley on behalf of the state."
Not everyone got to see the concert, however.
"The governor, the politicians, and doctors and lawyers, all got their tickets but we have to make do," one man grumbled standing outside the Coliseum.
Mrs Janet Conn of Monticello stood in the rain searching for someone with a ticket to sell. She and her daughter, Libby, had come to Jackson to see Presley, but they could find no tickets at first.
Libby sat on the curb crying.
"Look at her," Mrs Conn said, "she doesn't have a ticket and her friends will go in without her and leave her out here."
Mrs Conn did manage to buy two tickets, one from a highway patrolman.
Courtesy of Archie Bald