May 9, 2018

Our Second Year With Elvis

While we were actively working with both Elvis and Jimmy Dean, it became increasingly difficult to work with both artists and fulfill the gospel dates we had contracted. We not only worked in Las Vegas with Elvis, we toured with him as well. Our very first west coast tour took us to Seattle, Portland, San Francisco’s Cow Palace, two shows in the Forum in LA, and a venue in Long Beach. We also went inland on that ten-day tour and did a show in Denver. Every arena was sold out. There were at least 10,000 to 20,000 at each show.

Our second year with Elvis took us to the Astrodome in Houston. I remember it so well. We flew in on a private jet. The Sweets, Imperials, TCB Band, and crew were on one plane and Elvis came in on a separate jet. When we arrived in Houston, we were met with throngs of people at the airport. I’m sure they were hoping Elvis was with us. We were escorted to a bus and taken to the hotel. After freshening up, we got back on the bus and with a police motorcade, we were whisked right into the side entrance of the Astrodome. It was HUGE! After changing into our stage uniforms, we were driven to the middle of the arena with thousands of screaming fans surrounding us. I finally felt like a star, though I knew they were there to see Elvis.  We were part of history on that night. The sound was terrible as it bounced around the building and you heard yourself three seconds after you had sung your note. It was built for rodeos, not for concerts. It’s very difficult to keep a beat when the echo was so loud. You tended to slow down to get in sync with yourself. Still, it was one of the greatest nights in my life for excitement and nobody does it bigger and better than Texans!