Today, Elvis Presley is an icon. He’s the King of Rock and Roll. Many fans remember Elvis as a wild man on stage. In the early days, he gyrated his hips in a way that made the old heads clutch their pearls and the girls swoon. After his stint in the military and martial arts training, he incorporated karate into his onstage dance moves. In short, it’s hard to imagine the King as anything but a top-notch showman.
Everybody has to start somewhere, though. Before Elvis Presley was an international superstar, he was a shy kid from Tupelo. He and his family moved to Memphis, Tennessee just before he started high school. It wasn’t until the end of his senior year that Elvis truly came out of his shell.
It all started with a talent show at Humes High School in Memphis. The Elvis Presley estate posted a throwback picture that takes fans all the way back to the beginning yesterday morning. Check out the young King all dressed up ready to hit the halls of Humes in the picture below.
In the photo, Elvis Presley is dressed in his school clothes and standing in front of Lauderdale Courts, where he and his family lived. The caption of the post talks a little about that all-important talent show appearance. It says that he was shocked when he for more applause than anyone else. He even played an encore. Who plays an encore at their high school talent show? The King, that’s who.
A Big Moment for Elvis Presley
The Humes High Minstrel Show took place on April 9, 1953. It was just over a year before he released his first single “That’s All Right.” He was the sixteenth act on a bill of 22 acts, according to an article on Elvis Presley Fans of Nashville.
He performed “Til I Waltz Again with You,” which was a then-recent hit for Teresa Brewer.
Elvis Presley and many of those in attendance count the Humes High performance as his first step on the road to fame. That performance helped to bring the future King of his shell. At the same time, it showed him that there was an audience for the music he wanted to perform.
More immediately, the talent show made Elvis Presley popular among his peers. Years later, when looking back on the seminal performance, he said, “It was amazing how popular I became after that.”