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Elvis Returns to the Shell

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On July 30th, 1954, a young Elvis Presley played what is considered his first real public concert at the Overton Park Shell. Elvis' first single for Sun Records, the now-legendary "That's All Right (Mama)," had just been released, and Presley was a relatively unknown opening act on a multi-artist bill headlined by country singer Slim Whitman.

Elvis would perform several shows at the shell over the next year, before becoming the biggest star rock-and-roll would ever know. This fall, the King returns, in a way, to the venue that launched him when Elvis, the 1968 NBC television special now popularly known as "The '68 Comeback Special," will be screened in the park as part of the 12th Indie Memphis Film Festival.

The screening will take place at 7 p.m., Friday, October 9th, at the recently refurbished and renamed Levitt Shell. The screening is being presented by Elvis Presley Enterprises and co-presented by the Levitt Shell and the Memphis Flyer. It will be free and open to the public.

"Elvis changed the world with his performance of 'That's All Right' at the Overton Park Shell 55 years ago. It's exciting that a whole new generation of Memphians will be able to experience that song and many others in the same venue in 2009," Scott Williams, vice president of marketing for Elvis Presley Enterprises, said in a release announcing the event.

The Elvis special includes the intimate and justly famous concert-in-the-round performances where Elvis, clad in an iconic black leather suit, ripped through some of his classic '50s material surrounded by friends and original bandmates.

For more information on the Indie Memphis Film Festival, which runs October 8th-15th, go to IndieMemphis.com.

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