This year March 18, won’t just have to be the day after St. Patrick’s, not for Richmonders who love the King — Elvis Presley that is.
Tuesday marks the 40th anniversary of what many consider to be Elvis Presley’s best concert at the Richmond Coliseum. He played the venue, open in just its third year, on March 18, 1974.
That wasn’t the only time Presley appeared in Richmond. From 1972 to 1976 the King and his entourage rolled into Richmond four times, and each gig was a sellout affair.
He also played the Altria Theater twice in the 1950s. As a sidenote, the 1956 show yielded the iconic photograph of Elvis sharing a kiss with former Richmonder Barbara Gray, snapped by Alfred Wertheimer.
A limited edition live concert CD of the Coliseum show, called “48 Hours to Memphis” was released in 2011, though now it is out of print.
Fortunately for Elvis fans and collectors, RCA will release a double album of Elvis’ homecoming concert in Memphis, and the second disk includes his Richmond performance.
The two-CD set will include 17 never released songs. The set lists are almost identical since the Richmond show was considered a test run.
During the Richmond show Elvis, known for his on-stage charisma, joked around with the crowd.
“It’s a pleasure to be back here in Hampton Roads, uh, Richmond! Just kidding, just kidding.”
He also was appreciative of his downtown accommodations.
“I’d like to thank the John Marshall Hotel, where everybody’s staying, for taking care of us over there,” Elvis said.
Check out the track listing on Amazon.com.