History: Elvis Presley (08 Jan 1935 – 16 Aug 1977)

Elvis Presley in concert in Charleston WV 24 Jul 1976
Photo Credit: Michelle Seletyn Dolin

When people ask me “What was the first concert you attended?”, I always smile and say “Uncle Elvis, of course.”

The picture above is from his Charleston WV concert on 24 Jul 1976. We had the most random seats.  Ma was sitting with (I cannot remember who) off by themselves.  Dad and I were “together” as in: I was in a seat and he was in the seat directly behind me.  So, it was almost like seeing Elvis by myself at seven years old.  I was between two older women who competed over my attention (each bought me a soda, a snack, let me look through their binoculars, etc). 

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The Charleston Daily Mail
Charleston, West Virginia
14 Jun 1976, Mon  •  Page 9

He sang and my heart thrilled at the occasion. His music lifted me up and allowed me the ability to see the world through musical eyes. To this day, I love him, his music, his movies.

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A little over a year after that Charleston concert, he would die of a heart attack, brought on by his drug addiction, at his home in Graceland. My parents did not want me to sit in front of the TV to listen to the details as they were first coming out. I remember sneaking into the next room over to listen as they watched the reports. I cried.

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So, why do I call him “Uncle Elvis”? Well, that is a story in and of itself. I attended Scarbro Elementary School in Fayette County WV at the time of the concert. When we returned home from the concert, I was high on entertainment.  My thought process must have been along the lines of: I want to be a part of that life.  I am a good kid. I bet Elvis would like me.  Heck, I KNOW he would like me.  I bet he would adopt me if I asked.  Well, I love Ma and Daddy, so adoption would be out of it.  But he could be my uncle.  I know he would like to be my uncle.  Well, no one knows any better.  Elvis is now my uncle.

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And with the power of confidence, you can own the world.  NOPE…I was laughed right off of the playground. There was no one at Scarbro Elementary who believed that line of bull.  UNTIL… Ma got the pictures developed at the photo mat that used to be in the parking lot of the old Raleigh Mall (right around Stone N Thomas’ entrance).  And I asked if I could take one to school with me to show my friends.  And so, even though I am NOT in this photo, I showed the kids and told them:”See, I have pictures, this proves he is my uncle.”  I was hit with a line of questioning: Who’s brother is he?  My Dad’s.  Why does no one know about it in the neighborhood?  Easy, Dad isn’t famous like Elvis and he keeps it low key, he doesn’t want anyone to know.  And, with photo (not so) evidence and not breaking under the grilling I took – I was able to convince my classmates that yes, Elvis was my uncle.  And the next day, just like Doug the Dog, a squirrel came along and my attention shifted and never returned…until…

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The Jones kid I went to school with went home and told her parents.  Her dad was friends with Daddy.  Mr Jones mentioned to Daddy at the post office, “I never knew you were related to Elvis.”  “Whaaat?”

I was punished for that one.  In retrospect I get it.  But holy hell was I mad at the Jones kid.  It might have come to fisticuffs at some point.  But that is another story.

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Happy Birthday in Heaven Uncle Elvis (or maybe Omaha, I hear they have sightings of you on the rare occasion). We sure do miss you down here.

Newspaper Clippings Involving The Charleston Concert:

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Beckley Post-Herald
Beckley, West Virginia
09 Jul 1976, Fri  •  Page 4
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The Charleston Daily Mail
Charleston, West Virginia
12 Jul 1976, Mon  •  Page 7
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The Charleston Daily Mail
Charleston, West Virginia
20 Jul 1976, Tue  •  Page 7
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Beckley Post-Herald
Beckley, West Virginia
21 Jul 1976, Wed  •  Page 15
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The Charleston Daily Mail
Charleston, West Virginia
24 Jul 1976, Sat  •  Page 5
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The Tampa Times
Tampa, Florida
01 Jul 1976, Thu  •  Page 11
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The Charleston Daily Mail
Charleston, West Virginia
27 Jul 1976, Tue  •  Page 7

Misc Elvis Articles:

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The Tennessean
Nashville, Tennessee
08 Feb 1956, Wed  •  Page 9
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The Tennessean
Nashville, Tennessee
15 Feb 1956, Wed  •  Page 11
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Kingsport Times
Kingsport, Tennessee
30 Mar 1956, Fri  •  Page 7
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Longview Daily News
Longview, Washington
02 Jan 1956, Mon  •  Page 7
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The Galveston Daily News
Galveston, Texas
12 Jan 1956, Thu  •  Page 2
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The La Crosse Tribune
La Crosse, Wisconsin
28 Jan 1956, Sat  •  Page 6
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The Atlanta Constitution
Atlanta, Georgia
31 Dec 1956, Mon  •  Page 15
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The Cincinnati Enquirer
Cincinnati, Ohio
01 Jan 1958, Wed  •  Page 72
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News-Journal
Mansfield, Ohio
01 Jan 1958, Wed  •  Page 15
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The Palm Beach Post
West Palm Beach, Florida
01 Jan 1958, Wed  •  Page 5
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The Town Talk
Alexandria, Louisiana
02 Jan 1958, Thu  •  Page 6
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Star-Phoenix
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada
02 Jan 1958, Thu  •  Page 4
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Pauls Valley Democrat
Pauls Valley, Oklahoma
02 Jan 1958, Thu  •  Page 6
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The Capital Times
Madison, Wisconsin
02 Jan 1958, Thu  •  Page 1
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The Courier-Journal
Louisville, Kentucky
04 Jan 1958, Sat  •  Page 11
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The Eagle
Bryan, Texas
06 Jan 1958, Mon  •  Page 4
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Hartford Courant
Hartford, Connecticut
02 Feb 1958, Sun  •  Page 121
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The Express
Lock Haven, Pennsylvania
24 Mar 1958, Mon  •  Page 1
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Latrobe Bulletin
Latrobe, Pennsylvania
24 Mar 1958, Mon  •  Page 4
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Lincoln Journal Star
Lincoln, Nebraska
24 Mar 1958, Mon  •  Page 16
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Daily Independent Journal
San Rafael, California
24 Mar 1958, Mon  •  Page 13
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The Herald
Jasper, Indiana
31 Dec 1958, Wed  •  Page 17
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The Miami News
Miami, Florida
30 Jun 1958, Mon  •  Page 19
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The Morning News
Wilmington, Delaware
30 Jun 1958, Mon  •  Page 10
The Californian
Salinas, California
01 Mar 1960, Tue  •  Page 5
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Deadwood Pioneer-Times
Deadwood, South Dakota
01 Mar 1960, Tue  •  Page 5
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Daily Independent Journal
San Rafael, California
01 Mar 1960, Tue  •  Page 3
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Orlando Evening Star
Orlando, Florida
31 Mar 1960, Thu  •  Page 38
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The Shreveport Journal
Shreveport, Louisiana
01 May 1967, Mon  •  Page 1
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Philadelphia Daily News
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
01 May 1967, Mon  •  Page 3
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Orlando Evening Star
Orlando, Florida
02 Feb 1968, Fri  •  Page 4
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The Holland Evening Sentinel
Holland, Michigan
02 Feb 1968, Fri  •  Page 14
File:Elvis-nixon.jpg
Presley meets U.S. President Richard Nixon in the White House Oval Office, December 21, 1970
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Springfield Leader and Press
Springfield, Missouri
10 Oct 1973, Wed  •  Page 60
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News-Journal
Mansfield, Ohio
31 Aug 1977, Wed  •  Page 8
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The Republic
Columbus, Indiana
17 Aug 1977, Wed  •  Page 3
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The Republic
Columbus, Indiana
17 Aug 1977, Wed  •  Page 3
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Chicago Tribune
Chicago, Illinois
17 Aug 1977, Wed  •  Page 10
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The Napa Valley Register
Napa, California
17 Aug 1977, Wed  •  Page 40
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The Times and Democrat
Orangeburg, South Carolina
18 Aug 1977, Thu  •  Page 15
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