San Antonio woman started Elvis Presley's first-ever fan club


    (Photo: Kay Wheeler)

    A woman raised in San Antonio started the Elvis Presley's first fan club.

    Since 1956 Kay Wheeler has been one of Elvis' biggest fans. At 16 she started the first national Elvis Presley fan club.

    "What drew every girl in was of course is unbelievably incredibly good looks but coupled with a fantastic voice and the music and the rhythm and the dancing all of the above," Wheeler said.

    Wheeler, who grew up in San Antonio, had no idea the club would immediately attract 60,000 followers.

    "There's me with all the fan mail," Wheeler said. "It got so much of it that I didn't know what to do. It was just huge. There were thousands and thousands of letters."

    At 17 Wheeler begged her mom to let her go to Elvis' concert at the Municipal Auditorium. now known as the Tobin Center. She got a backstage pass and got to meet the king of rock and roll.

    "Oh my god, 'man how am I going to survive this one?'" Wheeler said. "So I just opened the door and there he was sitting there you know in front of the mirror. His back was to me. So looking in the mirror you know smoothing down his duck tails. And I walked in and he spun around the chair. He walks up to me. I said, 'I'm Kay Wheeler. I'm your fan club president.'"

    Wheeler said she "flipped" when Elvis held her in his arms.

    "That's a Kodak moment right there," Wheeler said.

    She went on to meet him seven times in places like Dallas and Corpus Christi.

    "We started getting national publicity and fan magazines and movie magazines which was the big deal back in the day," Wheeler said. "And this was an article that they did on me and Elvis. I was one of the first girls that Elvis was ever published in the magazine with."

    And years later she says talking about Elvis makes her feel like she's still 17.

    "It was a love affair with his fans," Wheeler said. "It has lasted all the way into now."


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