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Overton Park Shell Clams Up

MEMPHIS, TN (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — According to, the Overton Park Shell, officially named the Raoul Wallenberg Shell, will close down until several major problems with the venue are fixed.

The building is saturated in history, drawing about 75 to 100 tour buses a year full of people who want to experience being there. In 1954 Elvis Presley made his public debut at the Overton Park Shell, opening for Slim Whitman in what is now hailed as the first true rock and roll concert.

“We love the place,” Rockabilly Hall of Fame curator Bob Timmers told “[The venue is] just dripping with history.”

The Memphis City Council learned in September that the building would need $500,000 in repairs to fix plumbing, electrical and structural problems. Parks department director Bob Fouche admitted that $500,000 would only cover the major issues and more money would be needed to in order to upgrade the venue further. Although Fouche believes it will take up to three years to raise the necessary money for renovations, the stage manager, John Larkin, has high hopes and is already booking shows for next year. –by CelebrityAccess Staff Writers