History in HD
Harrington Revisited on Shorpy

Elvis an DJ onstage at Veterans Memorial Auditorium Columbus, OH - May 26, 1956
Photo by Phil Harrington courtesy Shorpy added March 16, 2013

One site I've been visiting on almost a daily basis for several years is a vintage photo blog called Shorpy.com. Their motto: "Always something Interesting." In my opinion at least it is one of the best of its kind online and features thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1950s. The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago. Most of the photos on this site were extracted from high-resolution reference images, many from the Library of Congress research archive, and digitized for display online.

Elvis and Gene backstage between shows in the University of Dayton Fieldhouse - May 27, 1956
Photo by Phil Harrington courtesy Shorpy added March 18, 2013

The Tap* - Gene and Elvis between shows in the University of Dayton Fieldhouse - May 27, 1956
Photo by Phil Harrington courtesy Shorpy

Of particular interest to Elvis fans, several of their recent postings have included unpublished photos by Phil Harrington taken while on assignment to cover Elvis in May of 1956 for Look Magazine. Harrington, along with writer Gereon Zimmerman first connected with the boys in Detroit, Michigan on May 25, 1956. They then followed them to Columbus and Dayton, OH and then home to Memphis, along with another writer and photographer in Dayton that were doing a piece for Seventeen Magazine.

Fans in the crowd watching Elvis perform in the University of Dayton Fieldhouse - May 27, 1956
Photo by Phil Harrington courtesy Shorpy

Shorpy has a lot of faithful followers (some are members others lurkers) often identifying locations of the photos displayed and /or supplying addition info, facts and photos. One viewer of Harrington's photos commented:

This picture brings back memories. On May 24, 1956, I was 17 years old and part of the crowd that ran Elvis out of the KC Municipal auditorium. You can find the old KC Star article here. Those were the days.

Submitted by jeepster4 on Thu, 03/14/2013

Elvis on his 1956 Harley KH at home at Audobon Drive in Memphis - May 28 (or 29th), 1956

Photo by Phil Harrington courtesy Shorpy

Another viewer wrote:

My father's greatest claim to fame is that he played in the pit orchestra that accompanied Elvis on his tour of Florida in the summer of 1956. My dad played the saxophone for all the opening acts, and then he sat through the show while Elvis performed onstage. He said Elvis spent a lot of time backstage talking to his cousins. But dammit, he had never had his picture taken with Elvis!!! If anyone ever finds one, please let me know!

Submitted by Michael R on Mon, 03/11/2013

A lot of Harrington's images were previously uncovered by Mike Rose, presented here, and published in his book Elvis Presley - A Moment in Time, 4 Days in '56, though these here were not previously published.  Mike is also now licensing images and hoping to sell fine art prints (see King Rose Archives). They'll be uploading more Elvis photos from the 50s and from the 70s in the near future. 

Page added March 15, 2013

*The Tap - The picture with Gene and Elvis between shows in Dayton has elicited several responses speculating what Elvis may be doing, none serious.  My take is this: When the boys were touring on the road regularly they often did things to break the monotony. One thing they did was play a game where if one of them was talking and one of the others tapped them on the head they would have to immediately change the subject and start talking about something else without completing their thought. This I believe is what Elvis is doing to Gene.


The King at the gas station

One further comment, and photo, from a viewer we thought we would include was:

Elvis in Needles
Photo courtesy Shorpy/BamBam

My agent back in Denver ran into Elvis at a gas station in Needles when she was 12

Submitted by BamBam on Mon, 03/11/2013


The photos on this page from Shorpy are reproduced here according to the terms and conditions specified by them for Non-Commercial use. We can not authorize any further use or reproduction.

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