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Elvis Aaron Presley 1967-1969 : From Elvis In Memphis
Elvis Presley's life from 1967 to 1969. Elvis and Priscilla are Married on May 1, '67, Lisa Marie is born on February 1, '68, The '68 Comeback Special, Elvis' American Studio recordings followed by his triumphant return to Las Vegas in July 1969. 'I'll never be more than what I am... a swingin' little guitar man'.
'In 1969 for the opening in Las Vegas, RCA brought in a truck and brought in a control room that was basically set up underneath the basement under the stage. It was so exciting! We couldn't wait until after the show to run down, change clothes, and listen to the playback. It was so powerful. Unfortunately, when the record came out it never captured that kind of excitement and power'. Ronnie Tutt - Drummer.
February 1967, Elvis buys a 163-acre ranch in Mississippi, minutes across the Tennessee state line from Graceland. He and his entourage and their wives had become interested in horseback riding after Elvis purchased a horse for Priscilla as a gift. The hobby had outgrown the pasture at Graceland. Over the months to come, Elvis and the gang will enjoy spending a lot of time at the Circle G. It becomes a happy diversion for Elvis as his frustration and unhappiness over the state of his career reaches its height.
February 21, 1967 RCA Studio B - Nashville, Tessessee
February 22, 1967 RCA Studio B - Nashville, Tessessee
February 23, 1967 RCA Studio B - Nashville, Tessessee
March 1967, RCA releases Elvis' second gospel album, How Great Thou Art, which was recorded in mid-1966. Reviews are good and it goes on to earn Elvis the Grammy Award for Best Sacred Performance from the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences. This is the first of his three Grammy wins.
March 6, 1967 Annex Studios (Radio Recorders) - Hollywood, California
March 20 1967 RCA Studio B - Nashville, Tessessee
Suppose (Overdub) UPA4 2263
March 1967, Delta Airlines N8809E Parked at Northern Kentucky International in the freight area awaiting replacement of the number two engine. This became Elvis Presley's Lisa Marie, N880EP, and is now at the Graceland Museum in Memphis. (View more photos of the Delta Airplane )
March 22, Easy Come, Easy Go opens nationally and doesn't do well.
February to April, Soundtrack recording and filming for Clambake, Elvis' twenty-fifth movie. It is the third of three Elvis movies to co-star Shelley Fabares.
April 5, Double Trouble opens nationally. Although better than some of his recent screen efforts, it doesn't do well at the box office.
Elvis & Priscilla Married May 1, 1967.
On May 1, 1967 - Elvis and Priscilla are married in a private ceremony amongst a small group of family and friends at the Aladdin Hotel in Las Vegas, just after 9:30 AM. A press conference and breakfast reception follow. The couple honeymoon for a few days in Palm Springs.
These diamond-encrusted cuff links were worn by Elvis on the day he married Priscilla Beaulieu, May 1, 1967. They were a flashy addition to his black paisley tuxedo
May 29, 1967, Elvis and Priscilla dress in their wedding clothes and have a second wedding reception in the trophy room at Graceland to accommodate family and friends who were not at the wedding.
June to July 1967, Soundtrack recording and filming for Elvis' twenty-sixth movie (to be the twenty-seventh released), Speedway, co-starring Nancy Sinatra. During the production, news of Priscilla's pregnancy is announced.
June 20, 1967 MGM Sound Stage - Hollywood, California
There Ain't Nothing Like A Song ____-06
Your Time Hasn't Come Yet Baby (Movie Version) WPA5 2555-01
Your Time Hasn't Come Yet Baby (Record Version) WPA1 1023-06
Five Sleepy Heads WPA1 1024-03
Who Are You (Who Am I)? WPA1 1025-06
Speedway WPA1 1026-04
Suppose (Long Version) WPA1 1027-01
Suppose (Short Version) WPA1 1028-07
June 21, 1967 MGM Sound Stage - Hollywood, California
August 17 - September 11, 1967 (?) RCA Studio B - Nashville, Tessessee
Confidence (First Verse Vocal Overdub) ____-NA
September 10, 1967 RCA Studio B - Nashville, Tennessee
September 11, 1967 RCA Studio B - Nashville, Tennessee
Mine UPA4 2767-21
Singing Tree UPA4 2768-13
Just Call Me Lonesome UPA4 2769-01
Hi Heel Sneakers UPA4 2770-07
You Don't Know Me (Remake) UPA4 2771-01
We Call On Him UPA4 2772-09
You'll Never Walk Alone UPA4 2773-SP
September 12, 1967 RCA Studio B - Nashville, Tennessee
September to October, Soundtrack recording and filming for Elvis' twenty-seventh movie (to be the twenty-sixth released), Stay Away, Joe. In this western-themed comedy he once again plays a character who is part Native American. It's a real departure from the virtually interchangeable plots and characters in most of the films over the past several grueling years. He has fun with this one.
October 1, 1967 RCA Studio B - Nashville, Tessessee
October 2, 1967 RCA Studio B - Nashville, Tessessee
November 22, Clambake is released nationally and goes to number fifteen at the box office.
December 20, Elvis bought the Colonel a 18 karat gold Accutron calendar wristwatch for $595 and a second one for Tom Diskin. Elvis purchased a new grand piano for Graceland as well today.
December 25, Christmas at Graceland.
December 31, Elvis first New Years Eve party is held at the Thunderbird Lounge on Adams Street.
Elvis dances several times with Priscilla.
January 15, 1968 RCA Studio B - Nashville, Tennessee
January 16, 1968 RCA Studio B - Nashville, Tennessee
Stay Away WPA1 1002-15
January 17, 1968 RCA Studio B - Nashville, Tennessee
U.S. Male WPA4 1807-12
Elvis, Priscilla and Lisa Marie Presley.
Elvis on Plane From Hawaii : June 2.
February 1, 1968, Priscilla gives birth to Lisa Marie Presley nine months to the day after her marriage to Elvis. It is a time of great happiness.
The King's little Princess, who was often called Injun, Yisa, or Buttonhead by her father, was treated to a life of luxury at the 14-acre estate known as Graceland in Memphis, Tennessee.
Elvis Presley : Graceland : February 6, 1968
Elvis Presley : Horseback riding at Graceland : February 8, 1968
Elvis Presley : Horseback riding at Graceland : February 9, 1968
Elvis Presley : Horseback riding at Graceland : February 10, 1968
Elvis Presley : Horseback riding at Graceland : February 16, 1968
March 7, 1968 Western Recorders - Hollywood, California
March 11, 1968 Western Recorders - Hollywood, California
Almost In Love (Vocal Overdub) WPA1 5766-03
April 4, Martin Luther King is assassinated in Memphis, an event which Elvis takes just as hard as John F. kennedy's assassination five years earlier - but more personally because it happened in his hometown.
Dr. Kings 'I Have A Dream' speech is one of Elvis' favourite rhetorical pieces, something he recites often over the years.
April 6, Elvis and Priscilla go to Las Vegas where they catch Tom Jones' midnight show at the Flamingo.
May 1, Elvis and Priscilla's 1st wedding anniversary.
June 2, Elvis, Priscilla and their party return to Los Angeles.
After all the passengers were seated Elvis and his party were secretly seated in the first class cabin. In the coach section of the plane was a singing group called The Young Americans who were returning from entertaining the troops in Vietnam. Apparently drawn by the impromptu harmonizing of the group, Elvis suddenly stepped through the curtain from first class with a cigar between his fingers and a drink in his hand.
The shocked passengers and the young singers quickly gathered and requested autographs. Someone obviously took some photographs!
June 3, Elvis looking tanned and fit, reports to the Binder-Howe offices on Sunset for the start of two weeks of informal rehearsals for the '68 Special.
June 6, Robert Kennedy dies after being shot in Los Angeles.
Elvis' heartfelt reaction to yet another assassination impels Steve Binder to ask songwriter Earl Brown to compose a closing number for the '68 Comeback Special that will capture something of Elvis sentiments.
June 17, Elvis reports to rehearsals at the NBC Studios in California.
June 20, 1968 Western Recorders - Burbank, California
1968 NBC TV Special 'Elvis' Sessions
Nothingville / Guitar Man (Part 1) (Guitar Man Section 1) WPA1 8045-10
Let Yourself Go (Part 1) (Guitar Man Section 2) ____-07
Let Yourself Go (Part 1) (Female Vocal Overdub) ____-01
Flicker Routine / Let Yourself Go (Part 2) / Alley Pickup
Guitar Man Section 3 ____-07
Let Yourself Go (Composite) WPA1 8112-SP
Guitar Man (Part 2 - Fast) (Escape Section 1) ____-08
Big Boss Man (Escape Section 3) WPA1 8046-03
It Hurts Me (Part 1) (Escape Section 4) ____-07
June 21, 1968 Western Recorders - Burbank, California
Guitar Man (Part 2 - Slow) (Escape Section 1 Remake) ____-0
It Hurts Me (Part 2) (After Karate Section 1) ____-11
It Hurts Me (Composite) WPA1 8113-SP
Guitar Man (Part 3) / Little Egypt (After Karate Section 2) WPA1 8048-10
Trouble / Guitar Man (Part 4) (After Karate Section 3) WPA1 8030 / 8047-03
Sometimes I Feel Like A Motherless Child / Where Could I Go But to The Lord / Up Above My Head - Intro (Gospel Sect. 1) WPA1 8039-07
Up Above My Head / I Found That Light / Saved - Intro (Gospel Section 2) ____-11
June 22, 1968 Western Recorders - Burbank, California
Up Above My Head / I Found That Light / Saved - Intro (Gospel Section 2) (Continued) WPA1 8040-13
Saved (Part 1) / Preach For The Sky / Saved (Part 2) (Gospel Section 3) WPA1 8041-SP
Gospel Medley (Composite) ____-SP
Trouble (Opening) / WPA1 8030-21
Guitar Man (Opening) WPA1 8047-SP
June 23, 1968 Western Recorders - Burbank, California
Electronic Karate (Instrumental) ____-17
The Scratch (Instrumental) ____-03
Road Medley (Composite) ____-SP
If I Can Dream WPA1 8029-05
If I Can Dream (Dubdown to Track)
Memories (Track) ____-04
Memories (Short Track) ____-02
Let Yourself Go (Closing Instrumental) ____-05
A Little Less Conversation (Track) ____-NA
June 24, 1968 Western Recorders - Burbank, California
June 24, 1968 Elvis Presley's Dressing Room - NBC Studios - Burbank, California
Informal Dressing Room Rehearsal.
June 25, 1968 NBC Studios - Burbank, California
A press conference is held on June 25th.
June 26, 1968
Elvis, cast and crew enjoy a party in honour of his manager Colonel Tom Parker's birthday. It 'snows' as nod to Colonel's longstanding tongue-in-cheek fraternal order known as the Snowmen's League of America. Elvis performs special new comedic lyrics to the song It Hurts Me, giving a send-up to Colonel and his finagling with the producers. Executive producer Bob Finkel gives Colonel a portrait of himself as Napoleon.
June 27, 1968 NBC Studio 4 - Burbank, California
It Hurts Me (Amusement Pier Part 2) (Escape Section 4 - V.O.) ____-10
June 27, 1968 NBC Studio 4 - Burbank, California
Warm Up Rehearsal (Not Recorded)
June 27, 1968 NBC Studio 4 - Burbank, California
Live 6.00pm 'Sit Down' Show
June 27, 1968 NBC Studio 4 - Burbank, California
Live 8.00pm 'Sit Down' Show
June 29, 1968 NBC Studio 4 - Burbank, California
Live 6.00pm 'Stand Up' Show
June 29, 1968 NBC Studio 4 - Burbank, California
Live 8.00pm 'Stand Up' Show - Trouble / Guitar Man (With Road) (After Karate Sect. 3)(V.O.) ____-04
June 30, 1968 NBC Studios - Burbank, California
Guitar Man (Road Section 2) (Vocal Overdub) ____-02
Guitar Man (Road Section 3) (Vocal Overdub) ____-06
Tag ('Huh Huh Huh') ____-01
If I Can Dream (Soundtrack Version)(Vocal Overdub) CPA5 5189-04
Trouble (Opening) (Vocal Overdub) ____-07 / Guitar Man (Opening) (Playback)
Guitar Man (Alley) (Vocal Overdub) ____-06
Little Egypt / Trouble (Nightclub) ('Little Egypt' - V.O.) ____-04
Trouble (Discotheque) (Vocal Overdub) ____-02
Trouble (Supper Club) (Vocal Overdub) ____-03
Opening Medley (Soundtrack Version - Composite) ____-SP
Gospel Medley (Soundtrack Version - Composite) ____-SP
Road Medley (Soundtrack Version - Composite) ____-SP
August 9, 1968 RCA Studio B - Nashville, Tennessee
Beyond The Reef (Overdub) WWA4 4744
October 15, 1968 Goldwyn Studios - Hollywood, California
October 23, 1968 United Recorders - Hollywood, California
November 25 - 27, 1968 Goldwyn Studios - Hollywood, California
Charro (Track Repairs & Orchestral Overdub) WPA1 8091
Elvis - NBC TV Special LP 1968.
December 3, 1968, the broadcast of Elvis' television special, Elvis, turned his career around by introducing him to hipper recording material and new directions. The '68 Special opens (The actual name of this television special is Elvis.) with Elvis singing a hot new version of the gutsy 'Trouble', from his 1958 film King Creole. This segues into Guitar Man, which, with its semi-autobiographical lyrics, becomes the underlying theme of the show. Then, Elvis is reunited with two of his original fifties band members, guitarist Scotty Moore and drummer D.J. Fontana. (Bass player Bill Black has been deceased for several years by this time.) They sit together on stage in the round, along with several other friends and associates of Elvis for an informal session of singing, jamming, and swapping stories. Parts of this jam session are woven throughout the show. There are also sequences of Elvis taking the stage alone and performing many of his greatest hit rockers and ballads, and he introduces a new song, Memories.
One can surmise that he pours out years of career frustration and pent-up creative energy into the performance of these songs. His natural talent, charisma, sensuality and stage presence have not been diminished by the years in Hollywood. In fact, he looks, sounds, moves and grooves better than he ever has. At 33, he is better than he has ever been. Better than anybody in the business. For the group jam session segments and solo stage performances Elvis wears a two-piece black leather outfit specially designed for the show by Bill Belew, who also designed all the other wardrobe Elvis and the cast wear in the show. The look evokes the era of James Dean and the Marlon Brando type motorcycle films of the fifties, the era when Elvis was first proclaimed the King of Rock 'n' Roll. In one of the jam session segments, Elvis speaks of the gospel origins of rock and roll. This segues into the gospel music portion of the show, which has Elvis wearing a two-piece burgundy suit, singing 'Where Could I Go But to the Lord,' 'Up Above My Head' and 'I'm Saved,' backed by the female vocal group, The Blossoms, and accompanied by a troupe of dancers.
Toward the end of the special Elvis appears in a lengthy production number that, through song, dance, karate, and various situations, traces a young man's journey from a struggling guitar player, through the challenges, dangers and compromises on the path to his dreams of success and superstardom. Something is lost along the way. Once the dream is achieved, the man realizes that he remains unfulfilled, that he has abandoned his true self. He decides to return to his roots, doing what made him happiest, what he does best. He sings 'I'll never be more than what I am... a swingin' little guitar man.' The parallels to Elvis' own life are clear and deliberate, and his doing the '68 special represents his own return to his true self, to his roots. Free from the confines of his Hollywood grind, this is Elvis the singer, the performer, the musician, the man - the real Elvis. At the end of the special, Elvis appears alone wearing a simple white two-piece suit, standing in front of the towering backdrop of red lights that spell ELVIS. He sings a brand new song, 'If I Can Dream,' especially written for the show. The writers created the song based in part upon conversations with Elvis about his own thoughts on what was happening in the turbulent sixties. It seemed appropriate that he close the show with some sort of personal statement. His powerful and passionate performance of this song of hope for mankind is one of the most brilliant moments of his singing career.
December 31, Elvis' New Years Eve party is again held at the Thunderbird Lounge on Adams Street.
Elvis paid over $2,200 for a New Year's Eve party on December 31, 1968 at the Thunderbird Lounge on Adams Street in Memphis. This was his second consecutive New Year's Eve party at the club. Performers included Short Cuts, Vaneese Starks, Flash and the Board of Directors, Billy Lee Riley and B.J. Thomas.
Above, Elvis' check for $2,200 for the New Year's Eve party on December 31, 1968.
Elvis' 1968 'Comeback Special
Interview with Scotty Moore - Scotty talks about the '68 Comeback Special and meeting Elvis.
Interview with Steve Binder
An In-depth look at the Elvis : '68 Comeback Special
Elvis Presley 1969
From Elvis In Memphis LP 1969.
Elvis Back In Memphis LP.
Elvis Presley 1969.
Elvis has been doing all of his recording work in Nashville or Hollywood since signing with RCA. But, now he records in Memphis again for the first time since 1955. He has all-night marathon sessions at American Sound Studio. His work here will become regarded as some of the finest music of his career, his best work since the innovative days at Sun and the exciting early days at RCA before he went into the army.
Inspired and invigorated by the success of his television special, Elvis walked through the door of the tiny American Sound Studios in Memphis in January 1969 to make quality music that would garner him hit records. Elvis had not recorded in his hometown since he left Sun in 1955, but the musical atmosphere at RCA's Nashville studios had become stale. His friends and associates encouraged him to record at American Sound because Nashville would yield nothing for him at this time.
American Sound Studios, a small studio in a rundown neighborhood, was operated by Chips Moman. With Moman as producer, Elvis worked hard to record his first significant mainstream album in years. In retrospect, From Elvis in Memphis may be his most important album because it brought his recording career back from soundtrack purgatory and set a creative standard for the next few years.
Elvis has excellent material to choose from and pours his heart and soul into the sessions. He works with a lot of top-notch Memphis musicians. The sound is fresh and gutsy. On every track one can sense his creative excitement and energy. This is joyful work after years of movie boredom. Two albums albums From Elvis In Memphis & Back In Memphis will result from these sessions. The sessions will also yield four hit singles to be released starting later this year and going into 1970: 'In the Ghetto', 'Suspicious Minds', 'Don't Cry, Daddy' and 'Kentucky Rain'.
January 13, 1969 American Sound - Memphis, Tennessee
January 14, 1969 American Sound - Memphis, Tennessee
Come Out Come Out (Wherever You Are) (Fast - Track) XPA5 1144-02
Memory Revival (Slow - Track) XPA5 1144-04
Wearin' That Loved On Look XPA5 1145-15
You'll Think Of Me XPA5 1146-23
A Little Bit Of Green XPA5 1148-03
January 15, 1969 American Sound - Memphis, Tennessee
January 16, 1969 American Sound - Memphis, Tennessee
January 20, 1969 American Sound - Memphis, Tennessee
January 21, 1969 American Sound - Memphis, Tennessee
In The Ghetto XPA5 1154-23
My Little Friend (Vocal Overdub) XPA5 1153-NA
Inherit The Wind (Vocal Overdub) XPA5 1151-NA
Mama Liked The Roses (Vocal Overdub) XPA5 1152-NA
Mama Liked The Roses (Harmony - Vocal Overdub) XPA5 1152-NA
I'm Movin' On (Vocal Replacement) XPA5 1147-NA
Long Black Limousine (Vocal Repair) XPA5 1142-NA
Don't Cry Daddy (Vocal Overdub) XPA5 1149-NA
Don't Cry Daddy (Harmony - Vocal Overdub) XPA5 1149-NA
Poor Man's Gold (Vocal Overdub) XPA5 1150-01
Wearin' That Loved On Look (Vocal Repair) XPA5 1145-NA
You'll Think Of Me (Vocal Replacement) XPA5 1146-NA
This Is The Story (Vocal Replacement) XPA5 1143-NA
From A Jack To A King XPA5 1158-05
Elvis Presley at American Studios 1969.
January 22, 1969 American Sound - Memphis, Tennessee
January 23, 1969 American Sound - Memphis, Tennessee
On January 24, 1969 after completing the first recording sessions at American Studios, Elvis takes a winter holiday to Aspen Colarado with Priscilla and Lisa Marie returning for more recording on the 17th.
February 17, 1969 American Sound - Memphis, Tennessee
Stranger In My Own Home Town XPA5 1266-01
True Love Travels On A Gravel Road XPA5 1265-03
This Time / I Can't Stop Loving You (Informal Jam) WPA5 2513-01
True Love Travels On A Gravel Road XPA5 1265-11
February 18, 1969 American Sound - Memphis, Tennessee
February 19, 1969 American Sound - Memphis, Tennessee
February 20, 1969 American Sound - Memphis, Tennessee
February 21, 1969 American Sound - Memphis, Tennessee
February 22, 1969 American Sound - Memphis, Tennessee
Any Day Now (Vocal Repair) XPA5 1274-NA
True Love Travels On A Gravel Road (Harmony - V.O.) XPA5 1265-NA
Power Of My Love (Harmony - Vocal Overdub) XPA5 1268-NA
Do You Know Who I Am? (Harmony - Vocal Overdub) XPA5 1270-NA
Who Am I? XPA5 1278-01
March 5, 1969 Decca Universal Studio - Universal City, California
March 5, Elvis returns to Hollywood to film and record the soundtrack music for his thirty-first, and what will turn out to be his last, acting role in a motion picture. It is Change of Habit, co-starring Mary Tyler Moore. Elvis plays a hip ghetto doctor in a Northern city, having come from Tennessee. Mary Tyler Moore and two others play nuns who go 'undercover' into the ghetto to assist with health and societal troubles in the community. The theme, though serious and timely, is not particularly well carried out by the script in the opinion of many, and the title is frivolous. But, Elvis looks magnificent, and gives a natural, easy, understated performance that is a refreshing pleasure to see after the silliness he endured in his films through most of the sixties. The few songs in the movie are good and they're performed in natural, rather than the usual badly contrived, situations.
March 6, 1969 Decca Universal Studio - Universal City, California
March, 1969, Charro! opens in theaters and doesn't do much at the box office.
International. Hotel, Las Vegas, Nv July 1969
Live In Concert 1969
Elvis Presley : International Hotel : Las Vegas : July 31, 1969
Elvis Presley : International Hotel, Las Vegas : August 1, 1969
Elvis Presley : Las Vegas : August 12, 1969
Elvis Presley : Las Vegas : August 17, 1969
Elvis Presley : International Hotel, Las Vegas : August 18, 1969
Elvis Presley : International Hotel : August 26, 1969
Viva Las Vegas 2 CD Set : International Hotel in Las Vegas, August 21, 1969
Elvis In Person FTD 2 CD Classic Album : Compilation + August 22, 1969 DS
Elvis At The International : August 23, 1969 Midnight Show
Hot August Night : August 25, 1969 Midnight Show
Elvis : Live In Las Vegas : August 26, 1969 Dinner Show
All Shook Up FTD CD : August 26, 1969 Midnight Show
Elvis Presley in the driveway of his Hillcrest home, leaving for a rehearsal at RCA : July 1969
Elvis Presley : 6363 Sunset Boulevard, Hollywood, CA : July 18-23, 1969
Elvis Presley : International Hotel : July 31, 1969
Starting July 31, Elvis is booked for a four-week, fifty-seven show engagement at the International Hotel in Las Vegas, which has just been built and has the largest showroom in the city. Elvis puts together top-notch rock and roll musicians, an orchestra, a male gospel back-up group, and a black female soul/gospel back-up group for his show. They rehearse for several weeks and open on July 31, 1969. The show is a delightful mix of fresh arrangements of classic Elvis hits, exciting new material he has recorded, a few covers of current and past hits of other artists, and charming on-stage antics and sharing of personal recollections of his career. A press conference follows the first of his two opening night shows.
This engagement breaks all existing Las Vegas attendance records and attracts rave reviews from the public and the critics. It is a triumph. Elvis' first live album, Elvis in Person at the International Hotel, Las Vegas, Nevada, is recorded during this engagement and is soon released. For these shows a lean Elvis in top physical form, wears simple, unique, karate-inspired two-piece outfits in black or white. These are designed by Bill Belew, who did the wardrobe for the ‘68 special. These are the predecessors to the famous one-piece jumpsuits which will be simple at first, then become flashier and more elaborate over the years.
31 July 10.15pm
Elvis Presley Las Vegas 1969.
Elvis Presley Las Vegas 1969.
Rolling Stone : July 1969.
Elvis was terribly nervous about staging his comeback to live performances in Las Vegas, the city where he had bombed when he appeared at the New Frontier Hotel in 1956. The sting of his failure had not diminished with the passing years.
Although he did have time for several rehearsals before his engagement at the International, he had no opportunity to iron out any kinks before a live audience, which added to his anxiety.
Elvis may have been frightened, but Colonel Parker was in his element as he began promoting Elvis all over Las Vegas. He rented every available billboard and took out full-page ads in the local and trade papers. He filled the lobby of the International with Elvis Presley souvenirs: T-shirts, straw boaters, records, and stuffed animals.
The Colonel made sure that Elvis' return to the stage would be the show-business event of the year. Kirk Kerkorian, then owner of the International Hotel, planned to send his own plane to New York in order to fly in the rock press for opening night.
The list of celebrities who planned to attend Elvis' opening included Pat Boone, Fats Domino, Wayne Newton, Dick Clark, Ann-Margret, George Hamilton, Angie Dickinson, and Henry Mancini. Elvis personally invited Sam Phillips, the man who had helped him develop his raw talent into a unique musical style.
July 31, 1969, Elvis performed in front of a sold-out crowd at the International. To the hard-pounding strains of 'Baby, I Don't Care', Elvis walked onstage. There was no emcee to introduce him. He grabbed the microphone, struck a familiar pose from the past, and snapped his leg back and forth.
The crowd jumped from their chairs and gave him a standing ovation before he sang one note. The audience of 2,000 began to whistle, applaud furiously, and pound on the tables. Some people stood on their chairs. When the ovation began to subside, Elvis launched into 'Blue Suede Shoes' with such fury that ten years of his movie music melted away.
Elvis looked devastatingly handsome that night. He was dressed in a modified karate suit made especially for him out of black mohair. He was thinner than he had been in his last few films, and his blue-black hair reached down past his collar. Elvis' sideburns were the longest they had been since the 1950s.
Never one to take himself too seriously, Elvis joked with the crowd about the old days and the old songs. At one point, he decided to dedicate his next number to the audience and the staff at the International: 'This is the only song I could think of that really expresses my feeling toward the audience', he said in all earnestness, before bursting into 'Hound Dog'.
Elvis closed his act with 'What'd I Say' from Viva Las Vegas, and again the sold-out crowd gave him a standing ovation. Elvis came back for an encore and sang 'Can't Help Falling in Love', the song with which he closed every show for the rest of his career.
Backstage after the performance, many celebrities and well-wishers, including Cary Grant, were on hand to congratulate Elvis on his triumphant return to live performing. Priscilla Beaulieu Presley, in her account of her life with Elvis, reveals a touching story about Colonel Parker. At this moment of great personal and professional triumph for his one and only client, the Colonel pushed his way backstage.
Everyone could see that tears were welling up in his eyes. Where was 'his boy' he wanted to know. As Elvis emerged from his dressing room, the two men embraced, too overcome with emotion to say anything. There have been many stories about Colonel Tom Parker over the years, many of them illustrating his greed, his mistakes, or his ruthlessness, yet none reveals the complexity of the relationship between Elvis and the Colonel like this one.
Most members of the rock 'n' roll press, of whom many were teenagers when Elvis began his career, felt ecstatic about his return to the stage and expressed their enthusiasm in glowing reviews.
Rolling Stone magazine declared Elvis to be 'supernatural', while Variety proclaimed him a superstar.
The next day, the Colonel sat down with the general manager of the International to discuss the enormous success of Elvis' performance. The hotel offered Elvis a five-year contract to play two months a year -- February and August -- at a salary of $1 million dollars per year.
In his typical flamboyant style, the Colonel took out a pen and began scribbling specific terms on the red tablecloth. When he finished, he asked the general manager to sign the cloth to close the deal. The 'red tablecloth deal' has become a show business legend, although Parker drew criticism for locking Elvis into a long-term contract that didn't take inflation into account.
August 1, Elvis holds a Press Conferenc following the first show.
01 Aug Midnight
02 Aug 8.30pm
03 Aug 8.30pm Elvis: The Return Of A Prodigy CD
03 Aug Midnight
04 Aug 8.30pm
04 Aug Midnight
05 Aug 8.30pm
05 Aug Midnight
06 Aug 8.00pm
06 Aug Midnight
Elvis Presley, backstage August 6, 1969
07 Aug 8.30pm
07 Aug Midnight
08 Aug 8.30pm
08 Aug Midnight
09 Aug 8.30pm
09 Aug Midnight
10 Aug 8.30pm
10 Aug Midnight
11 Aug 8.30pm
11 Aug Midnight
12 Aug 8.30pm
12 Aug Midnight
Previously unpublished photos Elvis Presley : Las Vegas : August 12, 1969.
Elvis Presley - Las Vegas, August 12, 1969. Photo from the book Elvis Behind The Image Volume 2
13 Aug 8.30pm
13 Aug Midnight
14 Aug 8.30pm
14 Aug Midnight
15 Aug 8.30pm
15 Aug Midnight
16 Aug 8.30pm
August, 16 Jerry Lee Lewis saw the Saturday, August 16, 1969 DS and MS.
Jerry was apparently quite obnoxious when visiting backstage, too.
16 Aug Midnight
17 Aug 8.30pm
17 Aug Midnight
18 Aug 8.30pm
18 Aug Midnight
19 Aug 8.30pm
19 Aug Midnight
20 Aug 8.30pm
20 Aug Midnight
21 Aug 8.30pm Elvis : Viva Las Vegas CD (Sony Release 2 CD Set)
21 Aug Midnight Recorded by RCA : Not released at this time.
The best we have been able to conclude is that the never heard before tracks 1-11 on Live In Las Vegas MUST come from the Dinner show on 21st and tracks 12-19 come from the M/S on the same day. A big clue comes after the famous Happy Birthday bit when just before Elvis sings In the Ghetto, he says he's never going to be singing Happy Birthday to James Burton again, thus confirming he ONLY sang this once! Read CD review.
22 Aug 8.30pm Recorded by RCA : Not released at this time.
22 Aug Midnight In Person CD (On Disc 2 of FTD Special Release)
In Person CD (On Disc 2 of FTD Special Release)
24 Aug 8.30pm Live in Las Vegas 4 CD Box Set (Deleted)
24 Aug Midnight Recorded by RCA : Not released at this time.
25 Aug 8.30pm Recorded by RCA : Not released at this time.
25 Aug Midnight In Person CD (On Disc 1 of FTD Special Release)
In Person CD (On Disc 1 of FTD Special Release)
August 26, Elvis cannot stop laughing during (and after) Cissy Houston's (Whitney's mother) soprano obbligato on 'Are You Lonesome Tonight?' at the mid night show. This performance becomes an underground legend among Elvis fans until its official release on the Elvis Aron Presley eight LP box set in 1980.
26 Aug Midnight All Shook Up CD
Runaway Live August 26, 1969 (03:00) (Midnight show)
Above - Elvis performs the Del Shannon's song 'Runaway' live on August 26, 1969.
Del is in the audience during this great performance.
27 Aug 8.30pm
27 Aug Midnight
28 Aug 8.30pm
28 Aug Midnight
This engagement breaks all existing Las Vegas attendance records and attracts rave reviews from the public and the critics.
August 29, Elvis Presley at Nancy Sinatra's Opening Night Post Show Party : Friday August 29, 1969 . Meeting Fred Astaire and others after attending Nancy Sinatra's Concert.
September 26, 1969 RCA Studio A - Nashville, Tennessee
Let Us Pray (Vocal Replacement) ZPA4 1957-05
A Little Bit Of Green (Vocal Replacement) XPA5 1148-NA
A Little Bit Of Green (Harmony - Vocal Overdub) XPA5 1148-NA
And The Grass Won't Pay No Mind (Vocal Replacement) XPA5 1267-NA
September 1969, The Trouble with Girls, Elvis Presley's thirtieth movie, opens in theaters and doesn't do much at the box office. From the American Sound Studio sessions RCA releases 'Suspicious Minds', which will soon become Elvis' first number one single since 'Good Luck Charm' in 1962, and will be his last number one pop single, though he'll have many big hits.
October 12, The group returns to Los Angeles with plans formulated in Hawaii to continue their vacation in Europe. The idea is dropped when The Colonel argues vociferously that Elvis' European fans will be insulted if he travels there as a tourist before performing either in England or on the continent.
Although Elvis puts up a brave front at first, plans are quickly switched to go to the Bahamas where the Colonel has contacts and he says, they will enjoy the gambling.
Elvis with The Witnesses Show Band, Bahamas 1969.
Belfast's Witnesses Showband were probably the only Irish showband to welcome Elvis Presley to their show! The King and his entourage, including his wife Priscilla attended their Christmas Show at The Paradise Island Hotel in The Bahamas in 1969, took a bow when introduced to the audience by bandleader and compere Harry 'Trixie' Hamilton and later told the lads that he had enjoyed the show.
He bought drinks for the band and joined them onstage, though he did not sing.
The Witnesses began when six musicians from another great Belfast band, Dave Glover's Showband, left to start a new band. Alex Burns (guitar), Harry Hamilton (bass), Gerry Rice (saxophone), Andy Wilson (trombone), Harry Mitchell (piano) and vocalist Joe Clarke formed the nucleus of the new showband and trumpeter George Mullen was recruited to complete the line-up. Mitchell later left to be replaced by Tony Morelli and in the mid-60s, Dubliner Colm Wilkinson joined as lead vocalist. Italian-born Morelli was a former choirboy who had come from the Northern Comets Showband. His father had been a member of Glenn Millar's Big Band in the USA. Colm Wilkinson has since gone on to be one of the world's biggest stars of stage-musicals having starred in shows such as 'Les Miserables' and 'Phantom Of The Opera'.
The band made a huge impact on the British club and cabaret scene and while resident at The Talk Of The North in Manchester, were supported by acts who later went on to become famous, such as Gerry Dorsey (Englebert Humperdinck) and comedian Freddie Starr. In 1964, they traveled to America for a five-week tour where they appeared in venues in New York, Chicago and San Francisco traveling a total of 14,700 miles! While in the U.S.A. they had the pleasure of meeting stars like Lionel Hampton, Gene Krupa and Sammy Davis Jnr.
November 1969, Change of Habit.
Elvis Presley's thirty-first movie, opens in theaters and doesn't do much at the box office.
December 25, Christmas at Graceland.
December 31, Elvis' New Years Eve party is held at T.J.'s, a popular new Memphis club. Entertainment is provided by Ronnie Milsap and Mark James performing his song 'Suspicious Minds'.
Elvis' New Years Eve party December 31, 1969.
Elvis and Priscilla Presley - Barbra Streisand's Vegas show - 1969
Elvis Presley at the opening night party for Nancy Sinatra's Vegas show - August 29, 1969
Elvis Presley In Concert 1969 + Summer of 1969 at Graceland
Elvis Day By Day : By Ernst Jorgensen & Peter Guralnickis a complete account of public, private, rare, forgotten, and renowned moments, captured with such detail and immediacy they read like diary entries in a life--from first steps to the first time the young 'hillbilly cat' stepped on stage; from the creation of a revolutionary new sound to the last days of a universally known, tragically misunderstood music legend.
No longer in print. Grab one if you find one.
Elvis A Life In Music - The Complete Recording Sessions Book (Ernst Jorgensen) is a superlative book combining beautiful illustrations and searching text. The author, responsible for BMG's modernisation of the Elvis Presley catalogue, has dug well beneath the surface to present the definitive story behind Elvis Presley's recording sessions. In the process the reader is taken into the recording studio to experience the atmosphere: 'Altering the lyrics, laughing as his voice cracked, throwing in the first two lines of 'A Little Less Conversation'. Elvis was relaxed and energetic as they ran through a series of incomplete takes, finally making it to the end at take ten'. If you are interested in Elvis' recoding sessions you will without doubt consider this your most prized possession - book wise. Read Review
Elvis The Concert Years - 1969-1977 - There are so many good things to say about this book - excellent material deserves praise and any fans of the concert years has to have this book on his shelf. Somehow Mr. Skar realized the impossible and produced the BEST Elvis Presley book ever available on the concert years from 1969 to 1977, this is now the reference on the subject .... Buy it, enjoy it; I am sure you will not regret it!
Elvis' Best Albums 1967-1969 (Now on CD)
How Great Thou Art - Released March 1967
Elvis Sings Flaming Star - Released November 1968
Elvis - NBC TV Special - Released December 1968
Elvis Sings Flaming Star - Released April 1969 (Slightly Different Cover)
From Elvis In Memphis CD - Released May 1969
Elvis In Person - Released November 1969
Recommenced CDs Covering 1967-1969
Elvis Complete '68 Comeback Special 4 CD Set
From Elvis In Memphis : 40th Anniversary Legacy Edition - 2 CD Set
Elvis : Live In Las Vegas CD August 21, 1969
Elvis at the International CD August 23, 1969
Live in Las Vegas 4 CD Box Set August 24, 196
All Shook Up CD August 26, 1969
The Essential 60's Masters 5 CD Deluxe box set