ROY O AND ELVIS PRESLEY KMID TV 1955

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ROY O AND ELVIS PRESLEY KMID TV 1955

WAS IT A DREAM?

My memories from the mid-fifties are fading. Recently I came across an exchange of email between me and Duane Moreland about our junior high school years together. Frankly the emails read like a guilty conscience and we both agreed it is probably best not go public with some of those memories since a few of the victims might be alive. He disclosed one memory that became convoluted for me because I later dreamed about the vision he created in my head and that dream became a memory that had me seeing an event I never saw. That is memory fake news in today's vernacular. Tricky stuff, but those phenomena triggered another memory for me. I have traded stories of those days with a lot of folks but I have not ever heard anyone from those days talk about seeing Roy Orbison introduce Elvis Presley on one of his KMID evening shows before Elvis was a household name.

I was barely familiar with Roy at the time but as they would say on the web today, he was trending fast in Odessa with his group.



I remember being aware that the show was approaching the midway point of his thirty minutes and a commercial from Pioneer Furniture, the sponsor, was imminent, but they had time for one more song and Roy announced to us that he had a friend we should all meet and that friend was going to sing a song for us. It was a very young handsome Elvis who had yet to make his phenomenal mark with Heartbreak Hotel. He sang one of his early recordings, but I could not say which one at this late date. Later on in some book on Roy, I think I read where the response was so powerful that the telephone switchboards lit up like a carnival at night with people wanting to hear more. The article said that Roy was miffed, and he was even quoted as saying in those days he did not understand the response Elvis elicited from his crowds.



I doubt Roy's ego would have let him understand that comparatively speaking the two of them were the Beauty and the Beast, but both had deeply contrasting styles and both would become icons in the entertainment business history. Elvis became the best single entertainer in all history of the singing business and Roy would be proclaimed the best voice, with few arguments.



So, I wanted to confirm that what I saw was not a manufactured memory from some dream and to do that I fired up my Googleator and typed in various words and was surprised to find that the event is a controversy online with many suggesting it could not have happened because there have been people to vigorously catalog Elvis'earlier schedule while he was on the road and concluded it was impossible. I asked a friend or two and they thought they never saw anything like that so I donned my Sherlock cap and coat and started digging in the two books I have on Roy's life.



The first book I know to be controversial among his family and poorly researched according to Roy's surviving sons who told me this personally. The book is titled, DARK STAR- THE ROY ORBISON STORY by Ellis Amburn. On page 42 the author of that book quotes Johnny Cash: "In late '55 or early '56, I was touring with Elvis when I met Roy in (Odessa) Texas. He was planning a sock hop in Odessa and we went to Midland to appear on TV."



Roy told his younger sons and others Elvis appeared twice on his shows.



Mike's note: I went with unremembered friends to that sock hop, except for neighbor Kathy Bunch, with whom I danced in front of the cameras. To this day Kathy still has an artifact from that dance I gave her: a Rice OWL figurine) The televised Sock Hop was held in the KMID TV studios and televised live fron Terminal Texas where the Midland Odessa airport resides since WW2. My guess is that event was held Saturday October 15th 1955. that is an educated guess only. I think there was a bad fire later on in that studio that destroyed a lot of archives, and that would explain the absence of televised proof of Roy and Elvis on Roy's show.



Band member Billy Pat Ellis said it never happened.



Bear in mind all band members later walked out of Roy's life in anger during a recording studio session leaving a shocked Roy all by himself. Those wounds never healed on either side. Right or wrong, the band members hurt no one but themselves in their argument about how money should be split.



The subject of the Elvis event again came up in a book I paid $85 for while in Phoenix at a three day symposium on Roy Orbison sponsored by Arizona State University professor and probably number one fan of Roy's, Peter Lehman. In Lehman's book titled ROY ORBISON, THE INVENTION OF AN ALTERNATIVE ROCK MASCULINTIY, and on page 68, (the book is now worth $3.98 online) Lehman writes about the "widely publicized relationship between Orbison and Presley."



Lehman is quoted as saying,"He (Roy) met Pressly and he (Elvis)

"appeared as a guest on Orbison's Odessa television show, and soon thereafter Orbison joined Sun Records where Pressly recorded."



Furthermore, the Orbison family official biography website located at

royorbison.com/roy-orbison-official-biography/

mentions the Orbison Television show with Elvis appearing as quoted below:



"Orbison enrolled at Odessa Junior College in the fall of 1955 wanting to major in Geology but then changed to History and English. Soon, the band moved in together to a duplex in Walnut Street in Odessa. With a couple of new members they renamed themselves The Teen Kings as they were playing more and more Rock and Roll. They got a second weekly local TV show on Saturdays from 4:30 to 5 PM on KOSA-TV, Odessa, Channel 7, which was part of the national CBS network. Johnny Cash and also Elvis Presley came in town to perform around this time and appeared on Roy's TV show. Roy asked Johnny for advice on how to get a record released and Cash gave him Sam Phillips telephone number in Memphis. He called Mr. Phillips who hung up the phone saying," Johnny Cash doesn't run my record company."



The family also confirms the appearance, Roy Confirmed the appearances, Johnny Cash confirms the appearances, so I guess we all had the same dream, right?

I therefore bring this little controversy to the attention of readers in and from Odessa, Texas, and surrounding areas in order to see if anyone else responds with a memory of these episodes occurring in 1955 and possibly 1956. If so, I would like to print your dreams on this website but nothing is guaranteed unless it is serious.



Dreaming is tricky stuff.



Michael Lewis Moore

San Marcos, Texas

Summer of 2017.

BELOW ARE TIDBITS ON THE SUBJECT GLEANED FROM THE WEB OVER TIME. DRAW YOUR OWN CONCLUSIONS

Elvis Presley continued with Hank Snow as they played the Senior High School Field House in Odessa, Texas. Attendance was estimated at 4,000. Emcees for the show on this date were radio personalities Lee Alexander and Bill Myrick of KECK, Odessa, along with Keith Ward of KJBC, Midland. Tickets for the show ran $1.00 in advance and 25-cents more at they door.



Tickets for sale at The Record Store on 1508 North Grant. The show was sponsored by the Young Home Owners of Odessa. Some two hundred screaming girls attacked Elvis Presley as he was trying to leave the building, tearing his coat completely off his back. ( Mike remembers being told about this incident when I was a 7th grader at Bonham. I was jealous; none of those girls ever tore off my clothes!)



Other artists for the show, Hank Snow and his Rainbow Ranch Boys, The Duke of Paducan, Charlene Arthur, Jimmie Rodgers Snow.



Cecil Hollifield owned record shops in Odessa and Midland. Off-times on his jaunts into West Texas, or just passing through, Elvis would stay at the Hollifield's home. Bill Myrick went off to a disc jockey’s convention in Nashville after the February show and he was singing Elvis' praises. Many of the country music disc jockey’s there said they had never heard of him, but Myrick told them, "You will".



"His records were selling well", said Cecil Hollifield, "but we all thought he was a black singer".





Odessa High School Auditorium, Odessa, Texas. >



While in Odessa, Elvis Presley may have appeared again on Roy Orbison's television show. Upon leaving his TV show in Odessa, Roy Orbison moved to the larger market of Fort Worth. In an interview with Roy Orbison published in Goldmine (February 1, 1981), Elvis' appearance on Orbison's Fort Worth television show is discussed. The program was telecast live from Panther Hall. Roy Orbison recalled that Johnny Cash also appeared on the same program with Elvis Presley. In the interview, Roy Orbison mentions that these appearances were done to promote their upcoming concerts, and consequently should not be considered as part of a regular tour. None of the known Fort Worth appearances fit the scenario. Roy Orbison recalled from his original vantage point in the audience. "Just a real raw cat singing like a bird. .... First thing, he came out and spat on the stage. In fact he spat out a piece of gum... Plus he told some real bad, crude jokes, you know, this dumb off-colour humour, which weren't funny. And his diction was real coarse, like a truck driver's... I can't overemphasize how shocking he looked and seemed to me that night".



Furthermore, the Orbison family official biography website located at

royorbison.com/roy-orbison-official-biography/

mentions the Orbison Television show with Elvis appearing as quoted below:



“Orbison enrolled at Odessa Junior College in the fall of 1955 wanting to major in Geology but then changed to History and English. Soon, the band moved in together to a duplex in Walnut Street in Odessa. With a couple of new members they renamed themselves “The Teen Kings” as they were playing more and more Rock and Roll. They got a second weekly local TV show on Saturdays from 4:30 to 5 PM on KOSA-TV, Odessa, Channel 7, which was part of the national CBS network. Johnny Cash and also Elvis Presley came in town to perform around this time ( October 12th 1955 in Midland and October 14th 1955 at the Odessa High School Field House) and appeared on Roy’s TV show. Roy asked Johnny for advice on how to get a record released and Cash gave him Sam Phillips telephone number in Memphis. He called Mr. Phillips who hung up the phone saying, “Johnny Cash doesn’t run my record company”.

The family confirms the appearance, Roy Confirmed the appearances, Johnny Cash confirms the appearances, so I guess we all had the same dream, right? The local newspapers both ran ads for Elvis and Johnny Cash, and others: http://www.elvisconcerts.com/newspapers/news1955.htm

http://www.elvisconcerts.com/newspapers/news1955.htm

Je–Wel's short relationship with Orbison[edit]

In 1955, Orbison had arranged for The Teen Kings to perform on KMID, a TV station in Midland, Texas. Cecil "Pop" Holifield (1905–1974)[9][10] also arranged for Johnny Cash to perform on the same program. Holifield owned two record stores ("The Record Shop"), one in Odessa and one in Midland. Holifield also was a concert promoter for Elvis and Cash and arranged TV performances. Holifield also regularly contributed articles to Billboard magazine.

KMID was where Cash first heard The Teen Kings and met Orbison. Cash, in turn, invited Orbison to a concert at Midland High School on the evening of October 12, 1955, starring Elvis Presley and featuring himself, Wanda Jackson, Floyd Cramer, Porter Wagoner, Bobby Lord, Jimmy C. Newman and Jimmy Day (1934–1999). Billy Walker also performed, but was not named in the promotional materials. That afternoon, after a free promotional concert at Midland High School, Johnny Cash introduced Oribison to Elvis.[11]





According to Billy Walker, the first date on his first tour with Elvis Presley was in Odessa. Here Elvis, Scotty and Bill played a brief, forty-minute "teaser" show at the High School Auditorium in the afternoon prior to the main performance that evening. While in Odessa, Elvis and Walker also appeared on Roy Orbison's local program on KOSA-TV. No advertisement for this show has been uncovered, but a fan who has seen a kinescope of the Orbison television show confirms that it came from January. ( Mike says it had to be January 1956 when KOSA first opened)

Roy Orbison visited the Big D Jamboree in Dallas. It was there that he saw Elvis Presley for the first time. "First thing", he recalled to Nick Kent, "he came out and spat out a piece of gum onto the stage. He was a punk kind. A weird-looking dude. I can't over-emphasize how shocking he looked and sounded to me that night. He did "Maybellene", and the kids started shouting. There was pandemonium cause the girls took a shine to him and the guys were getting jealous. Plus he told some real bad crude jokes. Dumb off-colour humour. His diction was real coarse - like a struck driver's. But his energy was incredible and his instinct was just amazing".



Roy Orbison recorded "Tryin' To Get To You" it at roughly the same time that Elvis Presley recorded a version for Sun Records that remained unissued until 1956. It is conceivable that Elvis Presley sang the tune on one of his forays through Texas - possible even on Orbison's television show - and that Orbison learned it from him: Orbison used the same shuffle rhythm and made the same minor lyrical change that Elvis Presley did.

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