Elvis Presley 1955/05/26
Taken on:
From the Southern Folklife Collection, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Elvis with Jimmie Rodgers Snow in the parade. Note that a
Meridian, Mississippi
Casual 50's
Wednesday, May 25 1955 - Elvis attends the third annual Jimmie Rodgers Memorial Celebration honoring the universally acknowledged "Father of Country Music" in his hometown. An afternoon barbecue attracts 10.000 people with Ernest Tubb, Hank Snow, and many other current country-and-western stars in attendance, while the evening's shows are divided among five different venues in town. "Music will be provided by Elvis Presley and his orchestra" at the American Legion Hall, according to the Meridian Star.

The September issue of Country Song Roundup reports that Elvis was called back for encore after encore, performing "Baby Let's Play House," "I'm Left, You're Right, She's Gone," "Milkcow Blues Boogie," and "You're A Heartbreaker," amongst others.

The next day the Jimmie Rodgers Celebration continues with a noontime parade that attracts a crowd of 60.000. All the performers ride in the parade, including Elvis, and he subsequently does a show at the Junior College Stadium.

On this same day Colonel Parker writes a long letter to Bob Neal outlining all that he has done for Presley and offering to work more closely with Neal in promoting the career of the young singer: "If ever you wish to tie in with me closely and let me carry the ball," he declares in somewhat disingenuous fashion, "I will be happy to sit down with both of you and try to work it out."

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