The Elvis Legends

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Elvis and the "Catfish" incident (July 20, 1975)

I was in attendance at one of Elvis'the two performances that night of July 20, 1975 and well remember the so-called "Catfish Incident." I do not remember, however, anyone walking off the stage except one of the members of the vocal backup group, The Sweet Inspirations. Almost immediately after she walked off, Elvis coaxed her back onstage, and when she returned, he removed one of the diamond-studded rings on his hand and gave it to her. I don't remember Elvis being at all hostile to anyone. He simply cracked what he thought was a funny remark about the vocal group eating catfish because he smelled green peppers and onions. No one who knew Elvis ever thought he was racist. In fact, he had many black singers/musicians whom he admired, and he was admired by them. He grew up beside blacks when he was a kid and went to many of their gospel performances. He always attributed his success, in part, to the influence of black gospel and blues music.

Robert Gibson Corder, Ph.D., Richmond, VA 19 days ago

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