After his stint in the Navy guitarist Scotty Moore found his way to Memphis, met Sam Phillips and began an association with Sun Records. In July 1954 Moore was on guitar for Elvis Presley’s audition which produced Presley’s first hit record, “That’s Alright Mama.” Moore toured with Elvis in the mid-1950s when his act was […]
After his stint in the Navy guitarist Scotty Moore found his way to Memphis, met Sam Phillips and began an association with Sun Records. In July 1954 Moore was on guitar for Elvis Presley’s audition which produced Presley’s first hit record, “That’s Alright Mama.” Moore toured with Elvis in the mid-1950s when his act was billed as a “Hillbilly” act — the Blue Moon Boys.
Moore’s web site has a page about Elvis and the Mosque (now the Landmark Theater) that has lots of pictures, old ads, and commentary. Here’s some copy from an article, “Hillbilly Shows Here At Mosque,” which appeared in the Richmond Times-Dispatch 52 years ago:
Richmond Times-Dispatch (Feb. 5, 1956): Richmond hillbilly and Western-music fans have had a hand in boosting a number of young entertainers in their field up that ladder of success. Latest of the lot is Elvis Presley, the youngster who will head the shows at the Mosque at 2:30 and 8:30 P.M. today. Elvis took the city’s folk-music addicts by storm last September. Since then he has met with similar applause wherever he has whammed his guitar to accompany himself in such numbers as “Blue Moon of Kentucky,” “Mystery Train,” and other record releases. He is backed by his own outfit, called the Blue Mooners, as a tribute to the first song which brought him to public attention. Others on the bill today will be The Carter Sisters and Mother Maybelle, who got their start at local stations WRNL and WRVA…
Click here to see the entire display, which also has information about the Mosque’s history and other legendary performers who played there.
Note: I found one minor mistake about a show I attended.
In the early ‘70s Bruce Springsteen performed several times at the Mosque. An audience recording captured his 45 minute opening act on February 14, 1973 with his pre-David Sancious lineup of the E Street Band and contains what is believed to be the earliest live performance of his staple “Rosalita”, which he performed in an encore.
Well, the problem with this factoid is that Valentine’s Day show wasn’t at the Mosque; it was in the VCU gymnasium. By the way, Springsteen was the opening act for Dan Hicks and the Hot Licks. However, Springsteen had played the Mosque at an earlier date, but that was in his Steel Mill days.
Still, the stuff about Richmond’s show biz history at this website is fun to peruse.
– H/T to Moon Rays.