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Elvis in the UK: Fifty Years On

Posted by lostincci on March 4, 2010

Yesterday morning on the BBC Radio Wales programme “Good Morning Wales,” CMCI Lecturer Harvey G. Cohen commented on the fiftieth anniversary of the only confirmed appearance of Elvis Presley in the UK. On 3 March 1960, Sgt Elvis Presley, as part of the last flight of his 2-year tour as a soldier in the U.S. Army, flew into Prestwick Airport in Scotland for a 2-hour refueling stop before heading home to the United States to resume his career as the world’s most famous rock and roll star. A few dozen lucky fans got to meet Presley, he gave a brief press conference, and the event has become legendary among British and American pop music fans. Cohen also discussed the various reasons why Presley never toured the UK despite his huge UK fan base (hint: it had a lot to do with his irascible and controlling manager “Colonel” Tom Parker).

For the next 6 days, you can hear the segment featuring Dr. Cohen here. It’s the latest Wednesday broadcast, and the Elvis segment begins at the 52.30 mark. And for press photos by Ian Ghee from that night in March 1960, check out this site (Ghee took the photo in this blog post).

To give an idea of the influence of Presley here in the UK, we leave you with a famous quote from Beatle John Lennon: “Before Elvis, there was nothing.”

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