January 30th, 2007 Memphis Business Journal - 3:06 PM CST Monday
The City of Memphis, the Mortimer Levitt Foundation and a group of Memphians will partner to revive the Overton Park Shell.
The partnership was announced Monday in a news release prepared by The Carter Malone Group, a Memphis-based public relations firm. Further details about the project will be released in February.
The Overton Park Shell closed in 2004. An engineering study found the venue would need about $550,000 worth of improvements.
The Mortimer Levitt Foundation has a history of helping restore amphitheaters.
In 2003, the foundation endowed the city of Pasadena, Calif., with a $250,000 grant to restore the Gold Shell in Memorial Park, which was built in 1930. That venue, now called the Levitt Pavilion for the Performing Arts, recently held its fourth annual free summer concert series.
Elvis Presley held his first paid performance at the Overton Park Shell in 1954. Over the years, entertainers such as The Allman Brothers Band, The Grateful Dead and Neil Diamond have performed at the Midtown venue.
The Mortimer Levitt Foundation was created in 1963 to support the arts across the U.S.
Click HERE To Read a Feb 22, 2007 UPDATE on the: Mortimer Levitt
Foundation's project to restore the Wallenberg Shell in Memphis
October 25th, 2004
Memphis -- The Overton Park Shell played host to it's last concert until some necessary repairs could be made.
An engineering study found that the shell will need about 550 thousand dollars worth of improvements. It said this historic venue has decayed to the point that it is now a liability for the city.
After this weekend it will be shut down until that money can be raised to fix the structure. It is unclear how long that will take because there is no dedication by the city or any real organized sources of money for this project.
But the intent is there as the group 'save our shell' try to organize a fund-raising campaign. They say this structure is a vital part of this city's history and is as important of a landmark like Sun Studios.
The shell was the first real venue for a young Elvis Presley. He played his first show on that stage in 1954 and it is widely regarded as the first rock and roll show ever.
This is the page you are on now:
ELVIS Petition: www.angelfire.com/me2/kulacoco/overtonpark.html
This is an important landmark in Memphis and important in
connection with Elvis. In 1982, at the request of the National
Council of Christians and Jews, the Overton Park Shell
was named after Raoul Wallenberg, a Swedish diplomat
responsible for saving thousands of Jews from Nazi death camps.
Please email this URL to any and all Elvis fans - as we
are trying to help save the Shell - the first place that Elvis performed
professionally after recording "That's Alright Mama". We are losing the
last place he performed, let's not let that happen to the Shell - it's too
important! Thank you!
First paid professional performance on a major stage. Most Rock & Roll
historians consider this to be the key performance that put his style on the
map. Opened for: Slim Whitman and Billy Walker
Sang: "That's All Right Momma", "Blue Moon"
(unannounced appearance) Matinee: opened for Slim Whitman
Sang: "Old Shep", "That's When Your Heartaches Begin"
Evening: opened for Webb Pierce (Pierce wanted to play before Elvis, not
Sang: "Good Rockin' Tonight", "That's All Right Momma"
Elvis headlined Johnny Cash and Tennessee Two (stage debut)
-all of the above were country music shows-
SEND YOUR PROTEST EMAILS TO THE VARIOUS LINKS PROVIDED BELOW.
PLEASE INCLUDE THE URL OF THIS PAGE: www.tinyurl.com/overtonpark
And also make a phone call and/or write to:
ELVIS PRESLEY ENTERPRISES, INC.
P.O. Box 16508
3734 Elvis Presley Boulevard
Memphis, Tennessee 38186-0508
TDD/TYY: (901) 344-3146
Memphis Chamber of Commerce
City of Memphis
WEST TENNESSEE HISTORICAL SOCIETY
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