I recently had the opportunity to assist a patron from the Victoria Theatre who was at Special Collections and Archives doing research for an upcoming show, Million Dollar Quartet. Part of the Premier Health’s Broadway Series at the Schuster Center, this show focuses on the night of December 4, 1956 when Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash, and Carl Perkins were all assembled for an impromptu jam session at Sam Phillip’s Sun Records recording studio. For more on the show and the historic moment see http://www.victoriatheatre.com/shows/million-dollar-quartet/.
The researcher was specifically looking for information related to Elvis’s four performances in Dayton and we found several images, and clippings, chronicling those shows.
Elvis first played the UD Fieldhouse on a tour supporting his first number one single with RCA Records, Heartbreak Hotel, on Sunday, May 27, 1956.
Between 1957 and 1968 Elvis undertook no large-scale concert tours, but rather focused on a film career after a two-year stint in the Army. It was only after his 1968 NBC television special, Elvis, (commonly referred to now as the ’68 Comeback Special), that he began touring worldwide, including long residencies at the International Hotel in Las Vegas. During the remaining years of his life Elvis toured non-stop.
He passed through Dayton on three more occasions, April 7, 1972, October 6, 1974 and finally on October 26, 1976. Each show was at the University of Dayton, Field House. He died August 17, 1977, less than a year after his last Dayton show. Some of the 1972 Dayton show was captured in the MGM Film, Elvis on Tour (1973).
The following are images and clippings from those shows, including a snarky review of the 1956 performance by the DDN’s Gee Mitchell.