There’s no question that Elvis Presley loved Hawaii. Whether it was to hold a concert, conduct a benefit, film a motion picture or just vacation with the family, Hawaii held a special place in his heart and the people of Hawaii loved him right back.
Elvis first visited Hawaii in 1957 for three concerts including a performance for the troops and their families at Schofield Barracks. Over 30 men surrounded him on his arrival aboard the Matsonia.
He sailed from Los Angeles to Honolulu aboard the SS Matsonia and returned on the SS Lurline. Both were all first class Matson Lines ships.
He returned in 1961 for a benefit to raise funds for the building of the Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor.
From 1961-1966 Elvis starred in three films that were made in Hawaii: Blue Hawaii (1961), Girls!, Girls!, Girls! (1962) and Paradise Hawaiian Style (1966).
In 1973, Elvis returned to Hawaii for a live satellite concert, Aloha from Hawaii, which broke all records for a concert by a single entertainer. He would return again to Hawaii just months before his death in 1977 for a vacation with family and friends.
To indicated the reception Elvis received in Hawaii on his first visit – here is great story from the Honolulu morning paper:
Presley- Leaves Today on Lurline,
School Helps Keep Teen-Agers Away
The force will include his three personal guards, compared to the web of 30 men who surrounded him upon his arrival Saturday.
Assistant Police Chief Dewey Mookini said only a normal crew of police officers will detail the liner’s departure. “We haven’t had-any requests for extras.” he said.
Presley, whose bowl-full-of-jelly hip rhythm will be limited to the Lurline’s rock ‘n roll motions for the next four-and-a-half days, is bound for a long stay in his hometown, Memphis, Tennessee.
Presley’s managers explained that the paring down of security is partly due to their faith in Hawaiian hospitality and largely due to their faith in the school system, which will keep teen-agers in classes until 3 p.m.
However, at least one teen-ager is making sure she’ll be there. Barbara Wong, reported by Castle High School as a “good student” and who has thrown 60-foot leis around Presley personally three times, is not in school today so she could make another garland.
Hawaiian Village Hotel guards reported about 200 teen-agers again up to midnight last night attempted to slip through the security net to get to the 14th floor Presley hide-out. None was successful.
Obliging Presley, however, couldn’t resist the walls of 10 teen-agers, nine girls and a boy, at 11:30 last night and walked down to the beach in shorts to chat and sign autographs.
Guards report “all went smoothly.”