UK Elvis Fans Tour Dallas Locations Where “The King” Performed

The Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in Dallas gets a lot of tourist traffic for conventions, but on Wednesday afternoon, a tour bus came to look at empty halls and an empty stage.

25 people from the United Kingdom and one from Argentina were part of the Elvis Travel Service tour. They are all Elvis fans who wanted to see what was then called the Dallas Memorial Auditorium because Elvis performed live there.

"He never came to the UK. That's what I just missed out, you know," Elizabeth Cruden said looking at the stage. "To be here is the nearest thing I'll get."

The tour was led by one of Elvis' former tour producers and Dallas native, Charles Stone.

"Oh, every show we did was sold out," Stone told the group. A fan asked if Elvis and the band ever asked for anything backstage. "That was my responsibility, " Stone explained. "Yes, six cokes."

The fans touched the dressing room door where Elvis waited to go on stage, and got to stand on the stage where Elvis performed.

"In 1955 he (Elvis) was doing more in Texas than he was in his home states of Tennessee and Mississippi combined," said David Wade who organized the tour. "Texans loved Elvis, so we figured we better come see what he saw."

In 1975 the Elvis Travel Service fan group booked a trip to see Elvis in Las Vegas. "And the night we arrived, it was canceled," Ester Blajer, the only fan in the group from outside the UK, said through tears.

Stone can identify with the emotions.

"I was an Elvis fan growing up, so when I got the call to go to work with him I thought, man, I've died and gone to heaven," Stone said. He still wears the necklace Elvis gave him that says TCB, 'taking care of business'. "The night he put it around my neck I almost cried. It was so emotional for me."

The fans also went to see the Cotton Bowl in Dallas. On Thursday the tour group plans to see the Tarrant County Convention Center where Elvis performed.

"I'm here. I'm living it," Cruden said with wonder in her eyes. "I'm in Elvis' world at the moment!"

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