Elvis on Tour: Trailer for 1972 documentary
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Elvis Presley famously dated many women over the years and one of his first girlfriends during the mid-1950s was 15-year-old Dixie Locke. The couple met each other at a church function in Memphis, Tennessee before he shot to fame and she remembers a handsome and very shy boy. The picture of them together here is from her junior prom on May 6, 1955.
Appearing on Channel 5’s documentary Elvis: The Man Who Shook Up The World, Dixie shared memories of the young King before he skyrocketed to global stardom.
She said: “He was very shy about meeting new people and even in our Sunday school class he didn’t make a whole lot of friends at that time. But, of course, all the girls were just goo goo over him, so the girls went up to him and spoke to him. He kinda loosened up a little after that, but he was so shy when we first met.”
Nevertheless, The King’s early girlfriend could tell he was destined for greatness.
Dixie, who was played by Natasha Bassett in Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis movie, continued: “He had such a God-given talent to sing. He had the most beautiful singing voice. And he felt truly that The Lord had given him that talent and that he was going to do something with it one day.”
Even though he was very talented, the young King really struggled with his shyness, even performing with the lights off at family gatherings when he was young. Incredibly, he finished far from first place when had his first singing competition.
A ten-year-old Elvis Presley took part in a singing contest at the Mississippi-Alabama fair and Dairy Show in Tupelo in 1945. The future King of Rock and Roll dressed up as a cowboy and stood on a chair so that he could reach the microphone. There, Elvis sang a rendition of Old Shep by Red Foley and Arthur Willis about a dog called Foley. Although he only came fifth place, he won $5 and a free ticket for fairground rides.
Some nine years later on October 2, 1954, Elvis had a chance to sing at The Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, Tennessee. However, his performance did not go down so well there either.
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As a result, the Opry’s talent director Jim Denny took a big swipe at the future King. The country music pioneer responded to the 19-year-old: “You ain’t going nowhere son. You ought to go back to driving a truck.”
Of course, Elvis had the last laugh by becoming the most successful solo artist in the history of music.
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