Elvis’ mother came to the door and invited us in

November 21, 2023

“My teacher drove several of us from Bald Knob, AR, to Memphis to see Elvis play at the Cotton Carnival in May 1956. I was 14. We all wore poodle skirts. We got to Memphis early and drove to the little ranch house Elvis bought for his parents on Audubon Drive. There was a motorcycle in the carport. We knocked on the door. No one answered, so we thought no one was home. We were taking pictures as Elvis’ mom and dad drove up in a pink Cadillac. They said hello and told us to take our time. We were walking back to the car when Elvis’ mother came to the door and invited us in. She was making pinto beans for Elvis’ dinner but said we could look around. This was early in Elvis’ career —his first gold record for Heartbreak Hotel was on mantle. Elvis walked into the den to say hi. He had dirty-blonde hair. It was before they started dying his hair black. He was nice and talked with us about where we lived. He knew the area because he played all over. I had a short haircut. He sat me in his lap and sang, ‘My flat-top girl.’ Everyone took pictures with Elvis, but mine didn’t come out. We screamed all night at his concert. The next morning, there was a picture of us in the newspaper. I still have the scrapbook with that picture. He played in Little Rock the next night. My mama didn’t let me go with my friends. I cried and cried. Twenty years later, I took my 16-year-old daughter to an Elvis concert in Cincinnati in 1976. He had changed so much. Elvis died a few months later. I saw him at the beginning and the end. I never dreamed we would still be talking about him.”




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