We share these events in order to provide a better understanding of the time frame of the Memphis Sanitation Strike.
Arrival of a New Presley
On February 1, Elvis and Priscilla Presley became parents to a new child, a daughter named Lisa Marie. She was born at Baptist Hospital on Union Avenue at 5:01 PM, weighing six pounds, 15 ounces. Priscilla and Elvis, married since May 1 1967, will be able to visit the child regularly, with Priscilla, 22, able to view Lisa Marie via a closed-circuit television system available to all maternity patients. Both parents are doing well, even if Elvis, 33, is “still pretty nervous” as new grandfather Vernon Presley stated.
A paraphrasing of Dorothy Beith’s Commercial Appeal article (“‘Rockabye Baby’ Joins Presley Top 10′“) from Feb. 2, 1968, Section 1, Page 1.
Cash Concert at Coliseum
11,228 high-energy fans witnessed a concert at the Mid-South Coliseum on Saturday night, February 2, 1968. WMQM 1480 radio sponsored the show, which started with country-western showman Tom Ritter. Next came Conway Twitty who played, among other numbers, “Wash My Hands in Muddy Water”. Carl Perkins played next, performing his “Blue Suede Shoes”. After the Statler Brothers and the Carter Sisters, Mr. Cash started his main set that included “I’m Busted”, “Way Down in the Mine”, “John Henry”, “Going to Memphis”, and “Folsom Prison Blues”.
Harry P. Brewer, the Coliseum’s ticket manager reported the crowd size and called it a “capacity house”, with receipts at $27,882. Cash, a regional local, from Dyess, Arkansas, brought in one of the more crowded shows the Coliseum has experienced up to this point. Only The Beatles and Andy Williams in 1966, and James Brown in ’67, brought higher crowd sizes.
A paraphrasing of two articles by:
Knott, John. “Shouting Fans ‘Raise Roof’ As Country Stars Score Hit.” Commercial Appeal, February 4, 1968.
Memphis Press-Scimitar, “Record Crowd Far [sic] Cash Show.” February 5, 1968.
February 3-9 Billboard Top Pop songs
#1 The Lemon Pipers have the distinction of holding the number one spot for the first full week of February 1968 with their hit single “Green Tambourine” (Buddah Records).
#2 John Fred and His Playboy Band drop from the top spot to number two with “Judy in Disguise (With Glasses)” (Paula Records).
#3 “Chain of Fools”, Aretha Franklin’s hit with Atlantic Records, slips to number three this week.
#4 The Classics IV climb the charts to number four with “Spooky” (Imperial).
#5 “Bend Me, Shape Me” by The American Breed (Acta) peaks at number five.
–Whitburn, Joel. Billboard’s Top 10 Charts. Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin: Record Research Inc, 1988.