Elvis' time on Beale Street and the influence of musicians he admired began to overcome his native shyness. He began wearing flashy clothes and letting his hair grow. Although he was a member of his school's ROTC unit, the football coach cut him when he tried out for the team - apparently because he wouldn't trim his ducktail and sideburns. Then, in April of 1953, he set aside his shyness completely and competed in Humes's annual "Minstrel" show. "I wasn't popular in school ... I failed music - only thing I ever failed. And then they entered me in this talent show ... when I came onstage I heard people kind of rumbling and whispering and so forth, 'cause nobody knew I even sang. It was amazing how popular I became after that."