Alpine High School Auditorium
Alpine, TX


Downtown Alpine, TX ca. 1940s
Postcard courtesy ebay

Once known as "The Roof Garden of Texas", Alpine is located in the southwest part of the state not far from Big Bend National Park and the border with Mexico. It is the home of Sul Ross State University.  It was settled in the late 1800s and by the 1950s' had a population of about 5200. It has maintained a number less than 6000 since.


The High School at 704 W Sul Ross Ave. in Alpine, TX  ca.1950
courtesy 1950 El Ocotillo yearbook

On February 10, 1955, Elvis Scotty and Bill performed at the Alpine, TX High School Auditorium. The show was a benefit for the Alpine chapter of the Future Farmers of America but was promoted by local KVLF DJ John Nelson. Though Colonel Parker by this time had formally met with the boys, Bob Neal and Sam Phillips only days earlier in Memphis and had arranged to help with booking, this show had been in the works for over a month between Nelson and Neal and finally booked at the end of January for the agreed sum of $250. Aside from any local acts supplied to fill out the show the boys appeared alone and the house provided the P.A.1


The 1955 Future Farmers of America - Alpine Chapter

Front row: Alan Turner, Marion Brooks.  Second row: Walter Vick, Eddie Fowlkes, Billy Childers. Johnny Hardaway, Joe Ramos, Vaughn Musgrave, John Haglund, Charles McEntire, Tommy Bales, Denny Thomas, Noble Shadix. Third row: David Ritter, Bobby Turner, John Votaw, Jimmie Markham, Mr. Aaron Jocoby, Mary Ella Vannoy, Joel Brown, Jim Skinner, Jeryl Walker, Isadora Salgado.  Not pictured: Jim Turner, Shirley Killion, Bill Hance, Bobby Chavarria, James Thomas.

courtesy 1955 El Ocotillo yearbook

Ads in the local paper appeared on February 8th and 10th.

a55020801.jpg (92188 bytes)Elvis Presley To Appear In High School Auditorium

Elvis Presley, the 20-year old fireball from the Louisiana Hayride, is coming to Alpine High School Auditorium, for a personal appearance on Thursday night February 10th at 8 O'Clock, and the good-looking youngster, who combines country music with bop in the fastest selling style available, will be sure to have the young 'un--from 9 to 90--with him all the way.
Presley, along with his musical sidekicks, Scotty Moore and Bill Black, came upon his career quite by accident a recording manager heard him making a personal record, and was so impressed that he signed him up to make records. The phenomenal success of "That's All Right Mama" and "Blue Moon of Kentucky" started a series of hits including "I don't Care If the Sun Don't Shine", "Good Rockin' Tonight" and his latest release, "You're a Heartbreaker", and "Milk Cow Blues Boogie". Elvis also does a number of novel and rhythmic tunes on personal appearances, as well as nice ballads.
For a youngster catapulted from obscurity into a top ranking spot on the big Louisiana Hayride Show, Presley is remarkably pleasant and friendly, and always enjoys chatting with his many friends and fans. He's single, and has no serious interests of heart, devoting what time he has to spare form his busy schedule of personal appearances, to working on his car, and indulging in his hobby of collecting pink and black clothes.
Scotty Moore play's the gone guitar, and Bill Black thumps the bass, and enjoys telling a few yarns on the other boy's on the show.
The show is being given as a benefit for the F.F.A boy's of A.H.S.

Alpine Sul Ross Skyline - February 8, 1955 courtesy Elvis in Concert

a55021001.jpg (990876 bytes)Elvis Presley, Of Famed Louisiana Hayride, To Perform Here Feb. 10

Elvis Presley, the 20-year old fireball from the Louisiana Hayride, is coming to , will make a personal appearance in the Alpine High School Auditorium at 8 p. m. Thursday February 10.
The program is being held for the benefit of the Alpine High School FFA chapter. Tickets are now on sale.
Presley, along with his musical sidekicks, Scotty Moore and Bill Black, came upon his career quite by accident a recording manager heard him making a personal record, and was so impressed that he signed him up to make records. The phenomenal success of "That's All Right Mama" and "Blue Moon of Kentucky" started a series of hits including "I don't Care If the Sun Don't Shine", "Good Rockin' Tonight" and his latest release, "You're a Heartbreaker", and "Milk Cow Blues Boogie". Elvis also does novel and rhythmic tunes on his shows that he has not recorded.
For a youngster catapulted from obscurity into a top starring spot on the big Louisiana Hayride Show, Presley is remarkably pleasant and friendly, and always enjoys chatting with his many fans. He's single, and has no serious interests of heart, devoting what time he has to spare form his busy schedule of personal appearance--to working on his car, and indulging in his hobby of collecting pink and black clothes.
Scotty Moore play's the hot guitar, and Bill Black thumps the bass, and sometimes enjoys telling a few yarns on the other boys on the shows.

Alpine Avalanche - February 10, 1955 courtesy Elvis in Concert


The Alpine HS Auditorium and stage ca. 1955
Photo courtesy 1955 El Ocotillo yearbook


The Alpine Texas High School Auditorium and stage ca. 1963
Photo courtesy 1963 El Ocotillo yearbook

According to Stanley Oberst, a frantic search began just prior to show time by Nelson and the station manager Gene Hendryx for the boys who had not yet arrived. Apparently they were delayed and broken down en route after a minor collision.1 Though Stanley's book said it was a Chevy, their car was likely the Pontiac borrowed from Jim Ed and Maxine Brown's parents after Bill had wrecked Elvis' Lincoln Cosmopolitan.2 Maxine Brown would later write that the boys kept the car longer than expected and returned it without a word in fairly poor shape.3


The Motel Bien Venido ca. 1960s
Postcard photo by Peter Koch

After the show Elvis was said to have dated the daughter of the local banker whose petticoat he had autographed and Scotty and Bill spent time with Nelson and his wife. The boys then reputedly stayed the night at the Motel Bien Venido (which translates to "Welcome") on East Holland Avenue (US Highways 90 and 67) on the east side of town before getting the car looked after and doing an interview at KVLF the next day.1


Gene Hendryx in the studio at KVLF ca. 1960
Photo by Glenn Burgess, courtesy Big Bend, Bryan Wildenthal Memorial Library, SRSU and Phantom Productions

After that they headed North for dates in Carlsbad, NM.  According to KVLF's Gene Hendryx, they lost $30 on the show.4


The Motel Bien Venido (contemporary)
Photo courtesy TripAdvisor

The Motel is still in operation today but in 1972 a new High School was completed and the facility on W Sul Ross Ave. became the Junior High School. It remained that until 1996 when a new middle school was completed and it became the Administration building for the Alpine Independent School District. The Auditorium that Elvis performed in however, still exists and is still in use.


The auditorium and stage in the Alpine ISD (former High School) that Elvis, Scotty and Bill performed on - August 27,  2018
Photo Anthony Ray Wright of West Texas


The auditorium and stage in the Alpine ISD (former High School) that Elvis, Scotty and Bill performed on - August 27,  2018
Photo Anthony Ray Wright of West Texas


The auditorium and stage in the Alpine ISD (former High School) that Elvis, Scotty and Bill performed on - August 27,  2018
Photo Anthony Ray Wright of West Texas


The Alpine ISD, former High School at 704 W Sul Ross Ave. in Alpine, TX - Aug. 19, 2018
Photo Anthony Ray Wright of West Texas


The Alpine ISD, former High School at 704 W Sul Ross Ave. in Alpine, TX - Aug. 19, 2018
Photo Anthony Ray Wright of West Texas

page added August 27, 2018

 

Special thanks to Anthony Ray Wright of West Texas for the photos and the inspiration to do this page.

1 according to Elvis in Texas: The Undiscovered King 1954-1958, by Stanley Oberst
2 according to Meet Scotty, Bill and D.J., Memphis Press-Scimitar - December 15, 1956
3 according to "Looking Back To See" by Maxine Brown
4 according to Voice of the Last Frontier: KVLF 1240 by Gene Hendryx, courtesy Legendary Locals of the Big Bend and Davis Mountains, Texas by Jim Glendinning

 

All photos on this site (that we didn't borrow) unless otherwise indicated are the property of either Scotty Moore or James V. Roy and unauthorized use or reproduction is prohibited.

 
Home History Discography Scrapbook Guitars etc... The Studios

The Venues

In the Press Tour Dates Links Search

This site created and managed by James V. Roy for Scotty Moore with the sole intent to help promote the arts and history of American popular music and Scotty's major role in it. Every attempt was made to give credit for any images or text borrowed from the World Wide Web and we greatly appreciate the use of it. Technical difficulties or questions dealing with this Server should be addressed to the Webmaster. Copyright 2002, 2014