BURLINGTON, N.C. -- There are very few times you can say you were there to see the star rise.
Betty Wright was 18 when she saw a young Elvis Presley perform in the auditorium at Williams High School -- her school -– in February 1956. It was perfect timing. Had Elvis not signed with RCA Records a few month before -- for the princely sum of $40,000 -- he probably wouldn’t have been big enough to play at Williams, which had one of the larger auditoriums in the state at that time, seating 2,500. And if it had been a few months later, Elvis would’ve been so big, he’d have skipped right past Burlington as he did, the rest of his professional career.
A couple of weeks before he played in Burlington, Elvis recorded, “Heartbreak Hotel,” at the RCA studios in Nashville. By the early summer, he was a national sensation.
In this edition of the Buckley Report, hear about the day “Elvis was in the building” in Burlington.