In The Loop: May 22, 2022
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And now, on to this week’s “In The Loop”….
Tomorrow marks the 100th anniversary of Walt Disney opening his Laugh-O-gram Films studio at 1127 E. 31st Street. As we learned last year from KCUR’s Mackenzie Martin, Disney didn’t actually design or draw Mickey Mouse by himself. In fact, the iconic mouse character wasn’t even invented at Laugh-O-gram Films, which went bankrupt about 14 months after it opened. Kansas City’s pride can remain intact, however, because the man who helped Disney develop and refine Mickey Mouse—Ub Iwerks—was born and raised in Kansas City, Mo. More info about Disney in Kansas City can be found at Thank You Walt Disney, Inc.
Tuesday marks the date in 1956 when 21-year-old Elvis Presley took the stage in Kansas City for the first time. Despite being a relatively small crowd, a mob of mostly teenage girls broke through police and leaped onto the stage from the front and sides, ripping at the singer’s clothes and hair mid-song. At one point, a Star reporter described the singer as “immobilized.” After extricating himself from the swarm, Elvis ran behind the Municipal Auditorium stage and fled to a waiting car, which swept him off to safety.
The whole concert lasted about 20 minutes—which many Kansas Citians felt was 20 minutes too long.
“I don’t think he has much musical talent, his singing style is atrocious, and his body movements are vulgar,” wrote a high school senior, Tom Moore, in a letter to the editor published in the Star May 30, 1956.
Another letter-to-the-editor writer that day was a fan of Elvis’s music, but not so much of his show:
“…I happen to be one of the people who likes this type of music,” Edwina Davis wrote. “But I do think that it was entirely off key for Elvis Presley to dance as he did. That was one of the most degrading exhibitions I’ve ever had the occasion to witness. Besides that, it was vulgar in a sense. I know if he does come to town again I will not go.”
The Star’s reviewer Bill Moore was less than complimentary, as well:
“[Elvis] left in the middle of a note—if the act he had been performing could be called singing,” Moore wrote near the beginning of his review. He later added: “Between gyrations, Elvis jigs across the stage dragging the microphone after him leaning at almost horizontal angles. He whangs the daylights out of a guitar. He shouts and moans. But the Presley voice—and there may be some who will still insist he has one—is lost on the screams of the girl enthusiasts.”
Perhaps reader Gene Pike spoke for a whole generation of rock ‘n’ rollers when he wrote to the Star:
“There are always a few who aren’t up with the times in the musical trend. I enjoy rock ‘n’ roll. If you don’t enjoy it, don’t listen.”
The Loop Cartoon
Instead of sending a separate email out for each cartoon, I’ll be posting a link here in the weekly “In The Loop” when there is a new comic panel or strip.
Please help save these Downtown/Midtown treasures!
A local historic district application was filed by 4th District council representatives for properties located at the northeast corner of 31st and Main. Support the historic designation by submitting a letter or email of support to email@example.com.
If you subscribe to The Star, you probably saw this series of articles (view one article and the two related articles will appear at the end). Basically, the sports staff believes that the next stadium for the Royals will be Downtown, and likely at one of two east-side sites. I’d be happy with either site, generally, with one exception: Neither site would have a skyline view. Here’s the link:
East-West Transit Study
How would you use an east-west transit connection, which could include bus and streetcar lines, along with other multi-modal transit options? This study focuses on connecting KU Med and the Truman Sports Complex, with stops in between. Your feedback will help determine the needs and priorities for the RideKC East-West Transit Study. All survey responses must be received by June 17, 2022.
Garden District Grooves
Here’s footage from the May edition of Garment District Grooves, which happens each month during the summer at 8th and Washington. The next free lunchtime concert here is June 15.
Vietnam Veterans Memorial replica
The Vietnam Veterans traveling wall is an 80 percent scale replica of the original memorial in Washington, D.C. It will be on display on the Liberty Memorial lawn (east side of the long drive on the south) now through Memorial Day. Admission to view the replica is free.
City Market Parking
This story isn’t new, but KCUR does a good job of explaining why free parking in the City Market—and beyond—is going away.
“Yes, there may be people who decide not to come down to the market because they have to pay for it,” Councilman Eric Bunch said. “But it's equally true that people are choosing not to go down there because they can't find a parking space.”
More City Market Parking
Status update from yesterday at the City Market (which I can confirm):
I’m about 80 percent sure I shot this photo c. 1985, but it was definitely the 1980s. The Muse of the Missouri, formally known as the David Woods Kemper Memorial Fountain, stands over Main Street as this view looks north toward Delaware Street and the River Market. Note the old Rodeway Inn on the east side of Main, which is now a parking lot.
Artful City: One weekly selection with a Downtown connection
Quick Clip: The city in motion—just a few seconds at a time
Downtown Lens: A single image depicting the urban aesthetic
Answering the question “Who are all these people and where are they going?”, The Loop brings you a list of some of the biggest events happening Downtown each week. Please give a friendly Downtown-Kansas City welcome to audiences and attendees of….
Kansas City Ballet presents The Wizard of Oz, last performance at 2 p.m. today at Kauffman Center
Kansas City Symphony presents Windborne's “The Music of Queen,” last performance at 3 p.m. today at Kauffman Center
Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “Song & Dance”, today, then May 25-29 at Music Theater Heritage
Destination Imagination Global Finals, continuing through the 24th at Bartle Hall
TUESDAY the 24th
Modest Mouse with The Cribs at GrindersKC
FRIDAY the 27th
Harriman-Jewell Series presents Dorrance Dance at Kauffman Center
The Champagne at KC Live! in the Power & Light District
SATURDAY the 28th
PAW Patrol Live! “The Great Pirate Adventure,” today and tomorrow at the Music Hall
Still Woozy at the Midland
Cowardly Lions at KC Live! in the Power & Light District
For a more exhaustive list of everything happening Downtown, go to the VisitKC events page and use the “regions” function to search for Downtown, Westside/Southwest Blvd, West Bottoms, River Market, Power & Light, Crown Center, Crossroads, 18th & Vine—or anywhere you want to go in the KC Metro
Until next week—enjoy the city!
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Kevin Worley, Co-Publisher/Editorial
Joe Nichols, Co-Publisher/Business
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