Elvis shakes up Seattle on September 1, 1957.

  • By Cassandra Tate
  • Posted 7/10/2001
  • HistoryLink.org Essay 3440
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On September 1, 1957, rock star Elvis Presley performs at Sicks' Seattle Stadium, drawing an estimated 16,200 people (90 percent of them teenage girls) -- the biggest crowd for a single performer in Seattle up to this point.

He Shook, He Shivered...

Presley, backed up by the Jordonaires quartet and by a drum, guitar, and bass trio, "shook, shivered, slumped, slouched and staggered" though a 45-minute set that kept the crowd on its feet and screaming from the first note to the last (The Seattle Times). What would prove to be his only performance in Seattle was preceded by one earlier that day in Tacoma and by concerts in Vancouver, British Columbia, and Spokane the day before.

The show began with "Heartbreak Hotel" and ended with "Hound Dog." Presley introduced "Hound Dog" as "the Elvis Presley national anthem," sang two choruses, and shot off the stage while his guitarist played eight more bars. Almost before anyone knew it, the tail lights of his rented Cadillac had disappeared through a gate in the right field fence.

Police described the crowd as reasonably well behaved. The only report of damage was the theft of a tail light from a convertible that someone mistook for Presley's.


Seattle Post-Intelligencer, September 1, 1957; Ibid., September 2, 1957; The Seattle Times, September 2, 1957; Lee Cotton, Did Elvis Sing in Your Hometown? (Sacramento, CA: High Sierra Books, 1995).

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