Billy Thompson & Elvis Presley, backstage at M-B Corral, Wichita Falls, Texas, April 25, 1955. After five back-to-back numbers,
Elvis spoke to the crowd. "Ladies and gentlemen, we aren't really supposed to be here tonight. We were booked into the M-B Corral over at Wichita Falls for a dance. We didn't know about this booking until we got a phone call earlier in
the evening and found out about the mix-up.
gonna come, but we found out all you folks were waiting for us, so we talked the Miller Brothers into letting us run over here for a little while. We were in such a hurry, we ran out of gas about twelve miles out of town and had
to hitch a ride in. Hectic man. Anyway, we made it and we appreciate you waiting for us''.
The band played for forty minutes to the delighted crowd. When Elvis wrapped up the show, fans rushed the stage seeking autographs and kisses. One girl leaped into his arms asking, Do you remember me?
Yes, I met you in Stamford. Elvis never was one to forget a face, especially a female
Scotty and Bill packed the equipment in the car, and the
three sped back to Wichita Falls, some of the teenagers trailing them to catch the show for the second and third time that night. When the trio arrived at the Corral, the carriage had already reverted into a pump-kin and the
footman into a hound dog. Pal Billy Thompson and the Miller Brothers entertained the throng as they promised until Elvis returned, but much of the audience had already left the house, muttering darkly under their breath.
Elvis never accepted another booking from TNT Records again, partly because he didn't
trust them, but mostly because they folded shop a few months later. Despite Elvis's Herculean attempt to play both places that evening, he managed to satisfy neither. Gene Wagner, one of the owners of the M-B Corral, remained
furious that "that snotty-nosed kid" had returned to the Corral way too late. The promoters of the Seymour gig simply didn't pay him.
THE TRUE STORY FROM DOUG DIXON - ''It was late March 1955 and my dad was taking me to school in our old '42 Buick. The radio was tuned to the
local station, and suddenly Elvis' voice burst upon the airwaves, singing ''That's All Right''. Then, just suddenly, Elvis' voice faded into the background and the announcer declared in an excited voice that Seymour Volunteer Fire Department was sponsoring
a country music show on April 25, at 7:00 p.m. in the Seymour High School Auditorium, presenting a host of TNT recording stars, with special guest star... Elvis Presley! I could hardly believe my ears'', Dixon said.
''I was familiar with Elvis, having listened to him perform on the Louisiana Hayride every Saturday night since
that first night in October of 1954, when he made his debut. By April of 1955, Elvis had become the Louisiana Hayride's most popular star, and here he was to perform in a town whose population was less than 4,000. Elvis had been appearing quite regularly in
several of the larger surrounding town, playing mostly for dances, as he toured the South and Southwest. Elvis had gained somewhat of a following in this part of Texas, and that is why I was surprised when I got to the auditorium around 6:30 p.m. to find only
about 150 people present. There was a man standing at the entrance with a cigar box taking the admission, but giving no tickets. You just paid your $1.00 and walked in. By the time the show started, there were perhaps 200 people in attendance''.
''TNT's recording stars were obscure artists, and the little independent San Antonio
based label would fold a short time later. They put in a pretty good show, however, but of course the crowd was impatient to see Elvis. Every singer there sang twice, even the man who had taken our money at the door got up and sing. Someone up front shouted,
'We want Elvis'! That was when the MC admitted that Elvis wasn't there, but the he would be there pretty soon. Then he announced an intermission''.
''A most unusual thing happened next. The man with the cigar box came around and gave us back 50 cents of the $1.00 we had paid. 'The boss said we have overcharged you folks', he explained.
That's when I suspected that Elvis wasn't going to show, and that they were attempting to soften the blow. However, when the show resumed about thirty minutes later, the MC still insisted that Elvis would show. He claimed to have just spoken to him on the
''The second half of the show was pretty good, much
a rerun of the first half. One thing I did notice was that now the house was full. People had wandered in off the street during intermission. 10:30 came and still no Elvis. People were up roaming around; paying little attention to what was going on onstage.
Finally, the band just quit and disappeared backstage. Eventually, most of the audience left, grumbling about being ''took''. Even some people, who had come in during intermission without paying, complained. Only the hardcore Elvis fans remained, hoping for
''Suddenly a girl sitting in a position to see the
stage door screamed: 'He's here. He's here'! It was almost midnight. Scotty and Bill, Elvis' band members, came on stage. Scotty stepped to the microphone and said, 'Sorry, folks, Elvis couldn't make it'. The same girl screamed, 'He's here, I saw him come
in'! Scotty laughed and plugged his guitar into the amplifier. With the two-piece band in place, Elvis appeared. He was wearing a fire engine red sport coat, bow tie, white shirt, and blue trousers. Both coat and trousers were about two sizes too large, so
he could make his moves without ripping something. Elvis approached the microphone, legs straddled, with his guitar hanging in front of him. For a moment he stood there with half-closed eyelids, not saying a word. Scotty stepped up behind Elvis and pretended
to wind him up, as one winds up a wind-up toy. With this done, Elvis suddenly grabbed his guitar and broke into ''That's All Right, Mama''. His two-piece band followed suit, and the show was on''.
''What a show it was! Elvis shook, danced and twisted, as he sang one song after another. Later, I would see Elvis on TV, but
none of those performances could compare with the one I witnessed that night. Bill Black rode his bass like it was a horse, as he slapped out a rockabilly beat. Scotty Moore's guitar lashed out adding to the frenzy of the crowd. Girls screamed, cried and several
appeared to faint. The girl sitting next to me moaned and slid the floor and lay there jerking, as if she was having some kind of a seizure. I got as big a kick out of the crowd's reaction as I did watching Elvis''.
''After four or five songs, Elvis paused long enough to explain to the audience why he had been so late. 'Ladies
and Gentlemen, we really aren't supposed to be here tonight', he said. 'We were booked into Miller Brothers, over at Wichita Falls for a dance. We didn't know about this booking until we got a phone call earlier in the evening... some kind of a mix-up. Anyhow,
we started not to come, didn't really have to. Then we heard that you folks were waiting up for us, so we talked the Miller Brothers into letting us run over here for a little while. We were in such a hurry, we didn't check our gas, and 'bout twelve miles
out of town here, we ran out of gas and had to hitch a ride in. Hectic, man... real hectic. Anyway, we made it, and we sure appreciate y'll waiting for everything and us. We would also appreciate someone taking us back to out car with a can of gas after the
show'. Almost every girl in the audience volunteered'', said Dixon.
Elvis broke into another round of songs. He sang all of his recordings released to date, plus a few that he had added to his show. At 12:35, he ended his performance, once more thanking us for waiting up for him. Of course, fans rushed the stage, seeking autographs
and kisses. One girl jumped into his arms asking, 'Do you remember me'? Yes', he replied, 'I met you at Stanford, Texas''.
''It was almost 1:00 a.m. before Elvis got back on the road to Wichita Falls, some fifty-two miles away. I don't know if Elvis ever got paid for his Seymour performance, if he did, it couldn't have been much.
However, it was this sort of devotion to his fans that would some day make him ''the King'''.