Elvis Presley in Alexandria, Louisiana – March 1977

We saw Elvis Presley in March of 1977 at the Rapides Parish Coliseum in Alexandria, Louisiana. It was amazing that he would appear two nights in a city of 50,000 after he had been quoted in the middle 50’s saying he would never return to Alexandria after appearing at Jimmie Thompson’s arena probably upset with a small crowd.

Our seats were terrible being so far away from the stage we could barely see Elvis. We couldn’t tell how out of shape he was at this point in time.

At one point in the show Elvis asked a backup singer to sing so he could sit down and get some rest.

Someone there one of the two nights has a reprint of an autographed photo from Elvis at the show on Ebay. There are also references to his father Vernon Presley being introduced at a show and his girlfriend at the time of his death Ginger Alden was also introduced to the crowd.

Elizabeth Roberts of the Alexandria Daily Town Talk wrote this review of the March 29, 1977 show:


A  bootleg CD was made of the March 30th show and the website has a list of the songs that Elvis sang that night.


Jerry Hopkin’s book Elvis the Final Years tells what happened after Elvis left Alexandria.

On March 31, 1977 after a so-so show in Alexandria, Louisiana, Elvis’ private plane took him to Baton Rouge for a concert at Louisiana State University. As was customary, the show started before Elvis left the hotel for the coliseum.

Elvis usually arrived during the intermission that followed the comedian Jackie Kahane’s monologue. Tonight he didn’t.

There was chaos backstage. Elvis’  hotel room was called.

A half-hour passed. There were more calls. Finally, it was decided to cancel the rest of the show, to say that Elvis was too sick to go on, that he was under a doctor’s care and was being flown back to Memphis to be hospitalized.

It was sad to see Elvis in concert as his life began to ebb away from him. We had seen him three years earlier in Monroe, Louisiana at the Monroe Civic Center in 1974.

We heard about the show on television and we had great seats on the floor about 20 rows back from the stage.

Elvis was still at the top of his game back then and put on a great show. Little did we know that the next time we would see him he would be less than five months from his death.

There is no doubt in my mind that Elvis and Frank Sinatra were the two best singers of the 20th century although they sang music of different genres.

These are the 14 drugs found in Elvis Presley during his autopsy:

Dr Nick: prescribed all of Elvis’s regular tour drugs. Elvis had 14 different drugs in him when he died. The list of what they found at autopsy was: Codeine – Morphine – Quaaludes – Valium – Diazepam – Placidyl – Amytal – Nembutal – Carbrital – Demerol – Sinutab – Elavil – Avental – Valmid

Author: Andrew Godfrey

Retired from newspaper work after 38 years. Had served in the Army in Hawaii and Vietnam in the 60's. Am now retired and living in Sulphur, Louisiana.

11 thoughts on “Elvis Presley in Alexandria, Louisiana – March 1977”

  1. Wwhen Elvis appeared at the Jimmie Thompson arena it was in conjunction with the Lions Club rodeo. I wasn’t there but later Elvis said he was treated shabbily and most of the entertainment was by local groups. He hardly made any thing. When he came in 77 , I thought that Elizabeth Roberts done a number on him in the worst possible way. It looked like she was trying to put him down as just another singer without much talent. It is not unusual for any star to have a back up singer take over for them in order to rest a bit. That was usually Tony’s job, with the back up singers.After the concert finally ended, we had been sent back stage passes, but the Groupies were so thick, the State Trooper guarding Jim and me sent in a note asking to plese let us in as we were old friends. Before that was when I talked to Huebner, and he was pushing to get close ups of him, and elvis’s publicist was politely asking for long shots.They refused him entrance where they were getting Elvis out of his rubber suit and dressed for pictures. Elvis knew us well and knew we had seen him in that state of undress before, so we chatted as well as he was able.We knew he was too sick to go on with another show at Baton Rouge.Jimmie called to see if they would let him stay at his house and try to get rested up a bit. But his Doctor present thought he needed to get on to Memphis. I do not recall him going back to Baton rouge for another try after that, but maybe he did. I didn’t want to put all of thuis on Face Book comment.Like I said this was very sad.
    Abit of trivia I forgot to mention that since Elvis and Jimmie were close friends, one night in Vegas, we were going on right after Elvis. One of our guitar players got sick and Elvis offered to play with us. He fit right in as he was so talented.
    we have the canceled check that he paid Elvis for that night, the usual fee for a fill in.

    When Elvis appeared at the Jimmie thompson arena, there was a huge crowd according what I was told. I wasn’t there. Elvis was treated like a second class citizen, and they used local singers. He only sang a couple numbers. I heard him talk about that many times. At the 77 concert, Elizabeth Roberts done a number on him, almost portraying him as a fat nobody. Its not unusual for the star to have a back up singer do a couple numbers for them to rest. Jimmie done that all time. unually using tony with the group. Since we had been sent back stage passes our State Trooper was pushing Jim and me through the groupies and we went on in, where they were trying to clean Elvis up to go on to Baton rouge. He was too sick to go, but went any way. I may be wrong, but I don,t recall him going back to Baton Rouge to try to do another concert.
    while waiting to go back stage the publicist was begging Huebner to only take long shots, but he was not agreeing. It seemed like the Town Talk wanted to show him at his worst. I know that night Jimmie Davis called and thought he should stay in Baton Rouge in a hospital or go to his house and rest, but his docvtor with him thought he needed to get back to Memphis.

    I didn’t want to put all this on the comment on Face Book. I have forgotten all about a little trivia to share with you about Elvis playing with us one night at Vegas. Our guitar player was sick and Elvis was on just before us and he and Jimmie was real close by then so he offered to play guitar for us. That guy was super talented. We have the check where Jimmie paid him

    4275.00 for the evening. I think I had forgotten to mention this to you before

  2. I was at the Elvis concert in Baton Rouge, La. on March 31, 1977 and have my ticket stub to this day. I attest that Elvis DID perform and did not look well. I do not understand that every site says that concert was cancelled. I am 56 now and I was 21 at the time.

    1. I remember Elvis having to go home to Memphis after the Baton Rouge concert was canceled. Found an article that says Elvis made up the Baton Rouge cancellation on May 31, 1977:

      On 31st May Elvis finally made up for his cancelled show in Baton Rouge but fans thought he didn’t look very well at all-however POLK SALAD ANNIE was back in and quite lengthy versions too! Elvis was obviously not well again seen lying down in his car before and after the concert.

  3. Elvis threw a red wiper cloth into the first level behind him and the rapides parish coliseum show in Mar 1977, I was the the one who caught the wiper, but unable to wrestle it from the other five women who grabbed it and hold my child at the same time. I lost that battle, but did see one of Elvis last performances.

    1. Thanks for sharing about seeing Elvis in Alexandria. You would think the women would let you keep the wiper cloth, since you are the one that caught it. I am not sure if we went to the first night or second night concert, since that was 40 years ago, but do remember he missed his concert in Baton Rouge, after the Alexandria concerts to go to the hospital.

      1. Hi Andrew, do you know if the Ramada Inn in Monroe still exists and how would be called now? Thanks buddy.

  4. Pingback: Talking Backward

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