Down In The Alley (Florida, 1956)
By Ger Rijff
After a well deserved holiday with his girlfriend June Juanico in Biloxi, Mississippi, Elvis, Red, and two of his cousins take off for a long drive in his lavender colored Lincoln to the sunshine state Florida. Elvis and his band are booked for a week of concerts, starting in Miami on August the 3rd.
Other towns on the list are: Tampa on the 5th, Lakeland on the 6th, St. Petersburg on the 7th, Orlando on the 8th, Daytona Beach on the 9th, and the final 2 days in Florida (10 and 11) see him, and his entourage, perform in Jacksonville, for a total of 6 shows at the Florida State Theater.
It’s there, in Jacksonville, where Elvis meets up with 17 year old Andrea June Stevens from Atlanta. She’s the lucky winner of the “Win a Date With Elvis” contest, held by Hit Parader magazine a month prior to the Florida tour. In between shows, Elvis takes her out for hamburgers and cokes, and hangs out with her in the hotel and backstage at the Florida Theater. Photographers follow their every move. Poor Andrea surely had more romantic hopes and dreams before the actual meeting with her idol, that afternoon in Jacksonville, took place.
And a few months after Andrea’s visit to Jacksonville, Hit Parader devotes 2 pages of her meeting with Elvis in the magazine:
Elvis trying to revive a fan who had fainted from too much emotions eyeing her hero in the hotel lobby, with a worried Andrea looking on.
Still a little bewildered from the incident, Elvis returns to his hotelroom for some rest while preparing for the evening show at the Florida State theater. It had sure been quite a hectic first day in Jacksonville …
Photography by Bob Moreland and Jay Leviton.
Outside color photography by James V. Roy .
For more info regarding the Florida ’56 tour, please click this link:
HOT TIMES IN FLORIDA (1955 / 1956)
To the right, two photo books by Rijff, dealing with the 1956 Florida tour.