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Home > Newspaper Articles > 1961 > March 25, 1961. Honolulu, HI.
CONCERT DATE: March 25, 1961. Honolulu, HI.
by Buck Buchwach
March 27, 1961
The Elvis Presley performance Saturday night was more than just a boffo extravaganza for the 5,000 persons who contributed $52,000 to the USS Arizona memorial.
The Bloch Arena spectacle was a wonderful laboratory for the study of mass hysteria, evidenced throughout by shrieking, stomping, yelling, whistling and screaming. When I say throughout, I mean throughout. r. Presley sang - belted, that is - about 16 songs during the hour that he was on. The rabid Elvis fans (there aren't any other kind) devoured every moment that he was on, and they crashed the sound barrier before, during and after every number.
THERE WERE several hundred persons in the audience who weren't Elvis fans, but came to the show - let's face it - in spite of Elvis. These were the citizens who wanted to contribute money to the Pacific War Memorial Commission but felt it would be cowardly not to attend after buying tickets.
And some came just to seethe hottest commercial attraction in the entertainment industry - to try to discover how King Elvis got his crown, and why he makes 10 times as much money per year as the President of the United States.
THE REACTION of these people is significant. Not a single one of the score we interviewed after the show had anything but praise for Presley, in spite of any pre-show bias against him.
Take Walter F. Dillingham. As he ambled to his waiting limousine after the performance, he said he thought the show was "tremendous."
"I like spirit on occasion," he smiled. "But the constant screaming took away some of the beauty of Elvis' singing."
Morley Theaker, boss man of Sears, who handled ticket sales for the Presley benefit show, said:
"Presley was a terrific performer. If our screaming people would have let him sing, the audience would have enjoyed it more."
Courtesy of Debbie from Oklahoma