At 12 years old, Linda first heard "Heartbreak Hotel" on the radio in her family's apartment in Asbury Park, N.J. The song, says Linda, “Stopped me dead in my tracks.”

With two friends, Linda decided to create a fan club —The Official Elvis Presley Fan Club, of Asbury Park — and began a newsletter, "The Elvis Times." Linda printed on the mimeograph machine her father used to publish his Lions' Club newsletter, mailing it to fans around the country.

On behalf of the fan club, Linda presented TV personality Dick Clark with a petition to devote an entire "American Bandstand" show to Elvis on his 24th birthday. The petition was 16 feet long, signed by 3,500 fans and presented to Clark himself by Linda and a friend. Clark granted her request. She remembers the whole experience as a sort of coming of age. "I was a timid, unsure teenager," she says. "In many ways, Elvis gave me confidence.”

In 1957, Linda and her friends saw the King, live and in person, at the Philadelphia Sports Arena. The energy was tremendous — the "closest I'd ever felt to an earthquake."

Deutsch 's friend Carol turned to her with tears streaming down her cheeks. Her explanation: "He looked at me!"

That, says Linda, "was the magic of Elvis. Everyone thought he looked at them."

Please enjoy the photos and articles of one of Elvis’ most devoted fans, Linda Deutsch.


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