Elvis Blamed for Actions of Some Fans in Canada
During his breakout year of 1956, it was to be expected that whenever Elvis appeared in a community he would be the target of criticism leveled by civic groups and government agencies who felt his act was a negative influence on teenagers. However, adult anxiety over Elvis caused him to be blamed for some teenager misdeeds, even in cities where he had never appeared.One example was Ottawa, Canada, where police raided a beer party in July 1956. According to a July 18, 1956, article in Variety, "When police walked in, Presley pictures were on the walls, Presley disks were on the record players, 'I Love Elvis' badges were on blouses and skirts. 'It's a pain in the neck,' said a policeman.'" The president of the Ottawa Elvis Presley Fan Club, 18-year-old Bernard Raymond, who was among those detained, later pleaded guilty to participating in drinking at the party.
Raymond was ousted from the club for his actions, and the Elvis club decided to do the same to any of their members (over 1,200 at the time) who disgrace the club in any way in the future. "We have no intentions of being connected with these so-called rock 'n' roll violence worshippers," said club secretary Peter Mercer.
Meanwhile, that same month Aylmer, another town in Quebec, took steps to "strike Elvis Presley off the books." Honorius Belesque, 18, mayor-elect of Aylmer's "Teen Town," called for a ban on Elvis's teenage followers. (Variety's report on the ban included no details on how the "ban" would be enforced.) Belesque said she favored a more "liberal" trend in music but called Elvis's songs "suggestive." Her call for a ban on Elvis's music failed to draw support from local jukebox operators, who refused to remove Presley disks from their machines.