- Submitted by Tom Fontaine
- Elvis and the fam
As Elvis Presley was prepared to leave the Market Square Arena stage for the final concert of his career in 1977, a fan from Clinton, Ind. handed him something from the front row.
"The very last thing that Elvis grabbed on stage was an original photograph of him and his mother and father when he was a little boy," says rock 'and' roll memorabilia collector Tom Fontaine. "He grabbed it, looked at it, and then he basically set it back on stage and left. That was the very last thing that Elvis Presley touched in public, as far as in-concert is concerned, and I've got the photo."
This very special artifact was one of many on display at The Indiana Museum of Music and Entertainment's (IMEM) pop-up exhibition this past Saturday at the Wheeler Arts Theater. A newly founded non-profit, IMEM's hope is to eventually establish a permanent museum location highlighting Indiana's rich music, film and broadcasting history. And already with this first event, they've proven why something like this is needed in our state.
At the exhibition, I had the pleasure of chatting with several of the people involved with IMEM, including co-founder Larry Goshen. The author and historian gave me an enlightening run-through of all that he had on display. Prior to the event, Goshen had told me, "Everything that I collect as far as Indiana history is just something that should be shared."
Indiana music history was not all that was represented at this event. For example, John Rabold was showcasing some of his radio and TV memorabilia, which included WTTV-Channel 4's former production console. On this, Rabold explained, "This was their actual audio board that went on the air. So all the Cowboy Bob shows, Sammy Terry and everything went through that board."
All in all, the many exhibitors at this pop-up event got me really excited about the future of IMEM. This state's compelling music and entertainment legacy is something that needs to be shared, and I'm glad these folks are making that their mission.