It appears a local radio station aired (and likely taped) this Saturday evening 19 Mar'55 performance at the Eagle's Hall in Houston, Texas. From Presley's first "Well ..." it's clear how confident he was; the crowd just eats it up. Launching into "Good Rockin' Tonight," swinging through an unreleased-at-the-time cover of "I Got A Woman" and closing with "That's All Right, Mama," Elvis, Scotty and Bill rock the house!

This is the coolest known Sun-era live recording of Elvis Presley, bar none.

It isn't hype to claim that their shows in 1955 immediately changed the musical direction of musicians like Buddy Holly. Sonny Curtis, Waylon Jennings, Carl Perkins and Levon Helm, among many others. Pop music was evolving, with 20 year old Elvis Presley spear-heading the movement visually and musically. As Roy Orbison noted in an interview just before he passed away, when he saw Elvis in 1955 he was "shocked": there was nothing in 20th century culture to compare him to.





The Houston tape surfaced 23 years after the event, on a LP called 'The First Years,' complete with a number between 1 and 10,000 embossed in the upper right hand corner. It cost $20, a lot of money in 1978! The cover sported a beautiful black and white image from early 1955 of Elvis in between Scotty and Bill, his hands upon their shoulders, all of them wearing broad smiles. The back side reproduced period photos, a copy of Scotty Moore's 19 Jul'54 self-typed management contract for Elvis, signed by Presley and his parents, plus a credit that read "Tape Editing by Stan Kessler Courtesy of Sam Phillips Recording Studio."

Someone must have the original tape; I wonder who that person is? 

Sadly, this concert has never been released with its pitch corrected. ALL LPs and CDs present tracks 1, 3, 4 and 5 speeded way up, while track 2 runs much too slowly; however, with the proper speed adjustments exclusively heard here (!) the music comes alive with the pure excitement of the Hillbilly Cat! One even notices moments like Elvis shouting "let's get hot" during several Scotty Moore solos! If this ever gets reissued properly (and it should) 'Get Hot' would be a most appropriate title. It should be noted here the tape mix is voice-heavy, but it captures what it was like to BE THERE in 1955.

We should have all been so lucky.

Johnny Savage





1. Good Rockin' Tonight


MP3 (64 kbps, 1.05 MB)

Real Audio (streaming, poor quality)

2. Baby, Let's Play House


MP3 (64 kbps, 1.16 MB)

Real Audio (streaming, poor quality)

3. Blue Moon of Kentucky


MP3 (64 kbps, 877 kB)

Real Audio (streaming, poor quality)

4. I Got a Woman


MP3 (64 kbps, 1.39 MB)

Real Audio (streaming, poor quality)

5. That's All Right


MP3 (64 kbps, 1.02 MB)

Real Audio (streaming, poor quality)

 Winamp MP3-playerMacIntosh MP3 Player

 Real Audio Player

All songs are mastered from the German RCA LP 'The First Year' (PL10504), released in 1983. Big orchestra introduction taken from 'You Are There'. Better sources ought to exist.




It seems Scotty Moore always tuned his guitar in the early days. To find out if it was possible to find the correct pitch for the Eagle's Hall concert, numerous frequency plots of individual guitar notes had to be done. By comparing these to the curves of corresponding studio versions it turned out that it was possible to find one setting for all the four songs that run too fast. "Baby Let's Play House" runs too slow and had to be examined separately. We can not be sure this was recorded on the same tape recorder as the others. If still so, it must have been recorded at higher speed because the sound quality is better than on the other songs. In fact, we can't even be sure "Baby, Let's Play House" is from the same concert. 






The task: To stretch the wave used to generate the magenta frequency plot just enough to eliminate the offset of the peaks.

(Houston = Magenta, Studio = Cyan)



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