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 »  Home  »  History  »  (E) Yankee Barhanovich, Elvis Presley & Alaska Indians
(E) Yankee Barhanovich, Elvis Presley & Alaska Indians
By Nenad N. Bach | Published  06/4/2003 | History | Unrated
(E) Yankee Barhanovich, Elvis Presley & Alaska Indians

 

YANKEEBARHANOVICH, ELVIS PRESLEY AND ALASKA INDIANS

 

Adam S. Eterovich

Elvis grew up in Tupelo, Mississippi. Author Peter Guralnik, Ballatine Books,
wrote Elvis Day by Day in 1955. Elvis had just started and acquired an agent.
Elvis' new managerial contract with Bob Neal went into effect on January 1,
1955 with a smiling picture of Elvis, Neal, and Sam Phillips that commemorates
the occasion appearing in various periodicals and fan magazines over the next
couple of months.
Yankee Barhanovich pays Elvis $600.00 for three nights in Biloxi,
Mississippi. The Barhanovich Clan hails from the Island of Brac, Croatia; "business is
business, Elvis is worth all of six hundred dollars" states Barhanovich.

Elvis and Slavonians (Croatians)

On Friday February 1955 at Jesuit High School, New Orleans, Louisiana, Elvis
appears with Ann Barhanovich-Raye, daughter of Biloxi promoter Yankie
Barhanovich. He is late for an appearance at radio station WWEZ to promote the show.

Sunday 26th, Slavonian Lodge, Biloxi, Mississippi. Elvis, Scotty, and Bill
open the new air-conditioned club to a sellout crowd.

Monday 27th, Airman's Club, Keesler Air Force Base, outside Biloxi. Local
girl June Juanico attends with a friend who saw the Slavonian Lodge performance
and has told June that Elvis Presley is "the most gorgeous man I've ever seen
in my life." Elvis picks June out of the crowd and spends the rest of the
evening with her.

Tuesday 28th, Airman's Club, Keesler Air Force Base. The group receives $600
for its three nights in the Biloxi area. All shows are booked by Yankie 
Barhanovich, whom Elvis met in February when he shared the bill with Barhanovich's
daughter, Ann Raye, in New Orleans. Ann recalls Elvis' mother, Gladys, being at
Keesler to see at least one of the shows.

Other Mississippi Bookings

Louisiana Hayride, Municipal Auditorium, Shreveport. Elvis is introduced as
the "Memphis Flash" and described to the radio audience by announcer Frank Page
as wearing crocodile--skin shoes with pink socks. He performs "That's All
Right,"' "Hearts of Stone," "Blue Moon of Kentucky," and "Fool, Fool, Fool." The
bill includes rising country star Johnny Horton, known as "The Singing
Fisherman," who will have a huge pop hit four years later with "The Battle of New
Orleans."

Junior College Auditorium, Booneville, Mississippi (sponsored by the Kiwanis
Club). The Booneville Banner carries a front--page story declaring that "the
fastest rising country music star in the nation will be performing in his own
top--notch manner." Elvis visits local radio station WBIP for an interview with
DJ Lynn McDowell to support airplay of his records. Bob Neal writes to Ed
McLemore of the Big "U" Jamboree to let him know that Colonel Parker will be
doing bookings for him and Elvis, "just like MCA or William Morris or any other age
ncy." According to Neal, Parker is attempting to get a booking at "one of the
big resort hotels in Nevada and is "negotiating a deal that is terrific, to
say the least."

City Auditorium. Clarksdale. Mississippi. Harry Kalcheim cables the Colonel
that he has set up the Godfrey audition for March 23, and should Elvis win
first place, he will appear on Godfrey's morning TV show for the following three
weeks.

American Legion Hall, Meridian, Mississippi. Elvis attends the third annual
Jimmie Rodgers Memorial Celebration honoring the universally acknowledged
"Father of Country Music" in his hometown. An afternoon barbecue attracts 10,000
people with Ernest Tubb, Hank Snow, and many other current country-and--western
stars in attendance, while the evenings shows are divided among five different
venues in town. "Music will be provided by Elvis Pressley and his orchestra"
at the American Legion hall, according to the Meridian Star. The September
issue of Country Song Roundup reports that Elvis was called back for encore after
encore, performing "Baby Let's Play House," "I'm Left, You're Right, She's
Gone," "Milkcow Blues Boogie," and "You're a Heartbreaker," among others.

Belden High School Gym, Belden, Mississippi. DJ Bobby Ritter recalls that in
order to get into the building without being mobbed, Elvis has to crawl
through a back window, ripping the seat of his pants, which have to be held together
with a safety pin during his performance.

Fairgrounds, Tupelo, Mississippi. Webb Pierce is the headliner on this new
four-day tour set up by Bob Neal in June and featuring Wanda Jackson, Bud
Deckelman, the Miller Sisters, and others. Also included is Charlie Feathers, a
twenty- -three- -year- -old incipient rockabilly recording for Sun subsidiary
Flip. This is Elvis' first performance in Tupelo since his appearance at age ten
in the singing competition at these same fairgrounds, and it is held before a
crowd of about 3,000.

Elvis also buys a pink 1955 Cadillac Fleetwood Sixty with a black top to
replace the Cadillac that has burned. A removable wooden roof rack is used for the
band's instruments.


Slavonian Croatian Association

The Slavonian Benevolent Association is adjusting to the changes in society
and around its Myrtle Street lodge on Point Cadet, Biloxi, Mississippi. In the
last five years, 91 new members have joined, pushing the club's rolls to 302
strong. If people are drifting away from their roots in the modern world, that
trend doesn't seem to be affecting the Slavonians (Croatians), who settled in
Biloxi over 150 years ago and were the driving force behind much of Biloxi's
seafood industry. The heritage that the members' relatives brought from
Dalmatia in Croatia appears to be the drawing card. Casinos are just as eager to
host their nightly activities. This year, the Beau Rivage Casino hosted
Wednesday's press conference, and Thursday's Stag Night. The Slavonians have taken
advantage of the casinos in the Point Cadet area. The group rents the parking lot
north of its building to the Isle of Capri for employee parking. The club's
boisterous meetings are as much a part of its heritage as anything. "I don't
know if you've ever had to conduct a meeting with 60, 70 Slavonians in one hall
at one time," President Kovacevich explained. "If a stranger walked in, he'd
think there's some kind of war going on." He said all members get their say in
the organization's business. Parliamentarians may not recognize the structure,
but they've probably never seen a copy Robertovich's Rules of Order, either.
Well, it doesn't exist, apparently. Don Hammack, The Sun Herald, August 30,
2000

Yankee Barhanovich

F. "Yankie" Barhanovich is a highly respected and well thought of civic and
business leader in the Biloxi, Mississippi area. He's a successful insurance
executive and a valuable member of the community. "Yankie" didn't achieve his
position by waiting for it. He proved that by hard work and determination, an
individual can end up at the top. F "Yankie" Barhanovich was born in Biloxi,
Mississippi, sixty-one year's ago. In 1938, he started as a 23 year old agent
with the American National Insurance Company of Galveston, Texas. After fourteen
short months he advanced to Assistant Manager, and four years later was
elevated to District Manager "Yankie" has held the position of District Manager for
33 years. In addition, "Yankie" won the company's President Trophy in 1968.
His agency is among the top fifteen in the Nation for the past 30 years and his
is the leading District office in the South Central Division, "Yankie"
Barhanovich Is a self-made man. He made it to the top. During his
Professional-career. "Yankie" found time to actively participate in civic affairs. He has served
as president or chairman of many organizations such as the East Harrison
County Lions Club and the Shrimp Bowl Classic. He also acted as State Commissioner
of the Amateur Softball Association for 10 years. During his many years of
community service, "Yankie" has received various awards. These awards include the
Biloxi Outstanding Junior and Senior Citizen, 1970 Junior Chamber of Commerce
Boss of the Year and the Distinguished Service Award for his contributions to
Amateur Football. He was inducted into the National Football Foundation Hall
of Fame in 1971. "Yankie" is currently chairman of the Mississippi Coast
Coliseum Commission and former President of the Mississippi Coast Chapter of the
National Football Foundation. Yankee was president of the Slavonian Society in
Biloxi, Mississippi.

Secretary of the Haida Indian Tribe

Also written as Barhanovich, the Baranovich clan originates from Sibenik in
Dalmatia and the Barhanovich clan from the Island of Brac, Dalmatia, Croatia.
Vincent Baranovich’s activities were first discovered with a notice of mail
at the Post Office at Victoria, British Columbia in 1870; in 1871 he was fur
trading in Alaska. He also was associated with John Peratrovich who had married
and Indian princess in Alaska and had 29 children and three wives; other
Croatian associates were Tony Valensolo and Tony Markovich in Alaska. Vincent W.
Baranovich was Secretary of the Haida Indian Tribe in 1938.
Anton Baranovich was a 36 year old fisherman in 1880 at Clatsop, Oregon; the
US Census listed him as Italian. Andrew Baranovich was a cook in 1900 in the
Santa Clara Valley of California and Peter Baranovich was a waiter in San
Francisco in 1903.
John Barhanovich announced his resignation as Bruin basketball coach at the
team's end-of-the-season. In eight years as coach since 1992 at Everett,
Washington, he compiled a 90-89 record, including 55-22 the past three seasons.
"There are things I'm going to miss big-time," Barhanovich said. "Like the games
themselves. I'm going to miss the strategy. But it's the right time to allow
someone else to take over. We'll still go to games on Friday nights.“

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