Two years after the release of his book, "Elvis in Texas," Stanley Oberst returned to West Texas for a deeper investigation of rock 'n roll's legend Elvis Presley and his time spent in Texas during 1954 and 1955.
Oberst, of Richardson, taught Social Studies at a high school in Plano for 25 years and said he always had a fascination with Elvis and his time spent in the small towns of West Texas "before he hit the big time."
"The dates that fell between 1954 and 1955 are the most fascinating. There are some towns where I was not able to find pictures of Elvis. Now, with the release of the book there has been more photos turn up that I hadn't anticipated," said Oberst.
The release of "Elvis in Texas" drew a lot of attention to small Texas towns all over the state, especially Sweet-water where Elvis allegedly appeared twice--not just once as Oberst's book mentioned.
"There were some discrepancies, as were expected," said Oberst. "That is the reason why RCA asked me to re-do the book to include the new information found."
One discrepancy by all Elvis historians was found and written in the Museum Mu-sings by Travis Monday. Mon-day, a pastor of Trinity Baptist Church and a historian of Sweetwater, wrote musings and compiled them into small books for the Pioneer Mu-seum.
Monday found through re-searching past issues of the Sweetwater Reporter that Elvis' appearance in town and his performance on June 8, 1955 was actually postponed a day due to weather. Elvis actually appeared on June 9 and performed before a large Sweetwater crowd at the Municipal Auditorium. O-berst's book showed the picture of the concert tickets kept by Jane Rhyne, of Sweet-water, who allowed the tickets to be copied by Lee Cotton, author of "Did Elvis Sing in Your Hometown?"
The ticket stub found in Sweetwater wasn't torn either like most theater tickets of those days. It is the only ticket found besides a ticket found from Elvis' concert in Gon-zales, Tex. that proves Elvis' whereabouts without any argument.
"It's amazing what (Mon-day) discovered," said Oberst. "He not only found a major discrepancy in the whereabouts of Elvis Presley, he also might have solved a period in Elvis' life that no one could pinpoint."
Oberst is referring to the second appearance of Elvis in Sweetwater. Monday wrote that museum worker Beverly Puckett researched the dates through donated newspapers to the museum from the Reporter. In Monday's volume 5 of his musing he wrote that Puckett found the missing date in an advertisement for Dec. 16, 1955. This particular advertisement was more in tune with Elvis' rising popularity of which it included a picture of the rock 'n roll star for the ad.
"It's great to realize a piece of history that has been missing is found," said Oberst. "It opens new doors and avenues --I'll be beating the bushes again on the second book."
Oberst talked about how the popularity of Elvis photos before 1955 has grown to be more appreciated than photos of his most famous years.
"It was a time where he was just a kid. He was something new to the world and people were really captivated by it. And Texas history of Elvis' early years is larger than any other state. Elvis performed more times in Texas than he did anywhere else," said O-berst.
Oberst autographed a complimentary copy of his book for the Pioneer Museum which is now on display for Nolan County and its visitors. Oberst said 90 percent of the photos in the book had not been seen by the public prior to its release.
By J. Kyle Martin