MTV'S Kurt Loder, in his book Elvis Close Up, writes of Elvis's concert in Jacksonville, Florida,
"It was the scene where Presley's initial burst of fame reached critical mass; at the extraordinary moment just before the curtains of legend began to close in around him...the one time Memphis truck driver, the well mannered young man at the root of the myth, on the brink of being utterly remodeled in the fierce new fire of unimaginable renown."
Hurricane Elvis first swept ashore in Florida, on May 11, 1955, in Orlando. He was an "added attraction" on a package show that headlined country star Hank Snow and the Carter Sisters among others. Tickets in advance cost one dollar. Later that same year, he roared into Jacksonville, where he met Mae Axton, A Jacksonville native who had written his hit,"Heartbreak Hotel". Axton treated Elvis to dinner, along with June Carter, who at some point became Johnny Cash's wife. Axton later remarked, she found Elvis to be a good-looking, polite young man "with a sensual grin; very fetching."
Elvis overwhelmed Florida again in 1956, when he was no longer an "added attraction", but the star.
He sold out six shows and was welcomed not only by fans but by a judge and a citizens committee, formed to monitor the performance. Warned to tone down his performances, Elvis , wearing a green jacket, black pants, a white shirt and loafers, instead of wiggling his hips, wiggled his little finger, and "the girls went bananas."
And then, Elvis left the building and really, never returned.