|Elvis, 21, and his mystery blonde caught in “The Kiss”—one of 48 shots taken by Wertheimer that day—in a stairwell at the Mosque Theatre in Richmond, Virginia, minutes before a concert, June 1956. Photograph © Alfred Wertheimer.|
For decades, Barbara Gray, the woman in the picture, went unidentified, but now she is reflecting on kissing The King.
Barbara's brush with Elvis Presley began with a dare.
In June of 1956, Barbara's friends convince her to call Elvis in his hotel room at the Francis Marion Hotel in Charleston. Elvis had just performed in South Carolina before 4,000 screaming fans.
"I didn't really know him or know what he was about," said Barbara. "The operator answered and I said 'Elvis Presley's room please.'"
Barbara said the 21-year-old singer chatted with her for at least an hour. A curious Elvis invited Barbara to his next concert in Virginia. Two days later the pair would meet at the diner in the Hotel Jefferson.
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