Gladys Love Smith was born on April 25, 1912 and Vernon Elvis Presley was born on April 10, 1916. They were then married
in June 17, 1933.
On January 8th 1935, in Tupelo, Mississippi, Gladys give birth to two twins boys. Jessie Garon was born at 4am, but he
was sadly stillborn. At 4.35am, Elvis Aaron came into the world. It is known that Vernon claimed he saw a blue light go around
the house the moment Elvis was born. Both boys were delivered by Dr. William Robert Hunt, he was 68 years old. Gladys knew
she was having twins but the loss of Jessie never left the family. On January 9th, Jessie was buried in Priceville Cemetery
in an unmarked grave. Elvis was their only child.
Elvis grew up in a within a close-knit, working class family, consisting of his parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles,
and cousins, who all live near one another in tupelo. There is very little money, but Vernon and Gladys do their best to provide
for their son, who is the center of their lives. Sadly, Vernon went to jail when Elvis was 5 years old. Vernon served a nine
month sentence in the Parchman Penitentiary for forgery. They move from one house to another in Tupelo. The Presley family
attends the Assembly of God Church, and the music and preaching register deeply. Other influences are black bluesmen in Tupelo
and country music radio shows, which are enjoyed by the family.
In 1945, Elvis is ten years old when he stands on a chair at a microphone and sings Old Shep in a youth talent contest
at the Mississippi-Alabama Fair and Dairy Show, held in Tupelo. The talent show is broadcast over WELO Radio. Elvis wins second
prize of $5.00 and free admission to all the rides that day, Then for Elvis’ 11th birthday, his parents ask him what
he wants for a gift. He wants a bike, but they can’t afford that. So Gladys talks him into having a guitar instead.
Elvis’ first guitar costs $12.95 and is bought at the Tupelo Hardware Company. The bike would come along at Christmas.
In late 1948, Elvis plays his guitar and sings Leaf on a Tree for his Milam Junior High School class in Tupelo as a farewell.
Elvis and his family pack their belongings in a truck strapped to the roof of their 1939 Plymouth and moved to Memphis, Tennessee,
in search and hopes of a better life. Other members of the Presley and Smith family would follow.
From 1948-1953 Elvis and his parents live in public housing or low rent homes in the poor neighborhoods of North Memphis.
Life continues to be hard. Vernon and Gladys go from job to job and Elvis attends L.C. Humes High School. Elvis also works
in a few jobs to help support himself and his parents. The Presley-Smith clan remains close-knit, and Elvis and the family
attend the Assembly of God Church. The teenage Elvis keeps on singing with his guitar. He also buys clothes on Beale Street
and he absorbs the black and gospel he hears there. Elvis is also a regular audience member at the all night white, and black,
gospel sings that are held downtown. He wears his hair long and slick, and let’s his sideburns grow. He is very different
from the other kids, a good natured misfit. While at Humes High, Elvis nervously sings with his guitar at a student talent
show. Much to his own amazement, he gets more applause then anyone else and wins, then performs an encore. The acceptance
On June 3rd, 1953, Elvis graduated from Humes High School. Elvis then works at Parkers Machinists Shop right after graduation.
That summer he drops by the Memphis Recording Service, home of the Sun label and makes a demo acetate of My Happiness and
that’s When Your Heartaches Began for a cost about $4.00. The studio owner isn’t in, so his assistant, Marion
Keisker handles the recording. Elvis wants to see what his voice sounds like on a record and he has dreams to become a professional
singer. He takes the acetate home, and gives it to his Mother as a much belated extra birthday gift. By the fall, Elvis is
now working at the Precision Tool Company, and soon chances jobs again, going to work for Crown Electric Company. At Crown,
he does all kinds of jobs, including driving a delivery truck. He also goes to night school and studies to be an electrician.
In January 1954, Elvis makes another demo at Sun. Sam Phillips, the owner, is in this and, like Marion Keisker, is intrigued
by his unusual looking and sounding young man.
Summer of 1954, at Marion Keisker’s suggestion, Sam Phillips calls Elvis into the studio to try singing a song
Sam hopes to put out as a record. The song is called Without You and Elvis does not sing it to Sam’s satisfaction. Sam
asks Elvis what he can sing, and Elvis goes through a number of popular tunes. Sam is impressed enough to team Elvis up with
local musicians Scotty Moore (guitar) and Bill Black (Bass) to see if they, together, can come up with something good. Nothing
happens until July 5th, when after long session, Elvis and the lads break into a sped up version of Arthur Big Boy Crudup’s,
That’s Alright. The song, backed with Blue Moon of Kentucky becomes the first of five singles Elvis will release on
the Sun label. Elvis, Scotty and Bill start performing together, with Scotty acting as the group’s manager. Elvis keeps
on working at Crown as they start a touring around Memphis. Elvis’ one appearance on the Grand Ole Opry didn’t
go down very well, he was told to keep on driving a truck! His words hurt Elvis and he never forgot that day! On October 16th,
1954, Elvis goes on the Louisiana Hayride, a live Saturday country music radio show. During that show, Elvis meets Colonel
Tom Parker for the first time. The Colonel is a promoter and manager connected with many acts, and was connected to the Louisiana
Hayride. Parker is also the manager for country star, Hank Snow. A former client of Parker was country star, Eddy Arnold.
In January 1955, Elvis signs a contract with Bob Neal, who becomes his manager. Elvis and the lads keep on touring on
their own and in a package shows with country stars, including package tour of artist from the Hayride. Colonel Parker is
involved. These tours had Hank Snow. Drummer D.J Fontana joins Elvis’ band. In the spring, Elvis fails to be accepted
on Arthur Godfrey’s Talent Scouts, a TV show. As always, Elvis’ live shows have a special appeal for the teenagers,
mostly women. His unusual sexy moves and good looks start to cause more and more excitement whenever they play. Sometimes
the crowds break through the barricades in near riot behavior. Elvis gains more and more popularity and starts to get national
attention. Colonel Parker becomes more involved in Elvis’ career.
On August 15th, 1955, Elvis signs a management contract with Hank Snow Attraction, which is owned equally by Snow and
Colonel Tom Parker. Bob Neal remains involved as an advisor. Colonel Parker is to be Elvis’ exclusive manager from this
time on, and Snow is no longer connected to Elvis. On November 20th, 1955, Elvis signs his first contract with RCA Records.
Colonel Parker negotiated the sale of Elvis’ Sun contract to RCA, which includes his five Sun singles and his unreleased
Sun material. The price is an unprecedented $40,000, with a $5,000 bonus for Elvis. RCA soon re-releases the five Sun singles
on the RCA label. At the same time Elvis signs a contract with Hill and Range Publishing Company, which is to set up a separate
firm called Elvis Presley Music, Inc. Elvis will share with Hill and Range the publishing ownership of songs bought by Hill
and Range for him to record. Elvis is the hottest new star in the music business
On January 10th, 1956, two days after his 21st birthday, Elvis has his first recording session for RCA, held at their
studio in Nashville. Among the songs laid to tape during the session is Heartbreak Hotel. The Jordanaires, a gospel quartet
and popular country back up group, begin working with Elvis in the studio during the first RCA sessions and soon start touring
with him. They also appear with him in some films and stay his back up group until the late sixties. On January 27th 1956,
Heartbreak Hotel and I Was the One is released by RCA and sells over 300,000 copies in it’s first three weeks on the
market. It is soon to go to number one on Billboard’s pop singles charts for eight weeks and hit number one on the country
chart and number five on the R&B chart. It becomes the first Elvis single to sell over one million copies, thus earning
Elvis his very first gold record award. The next day, Elvis and the lads star on Stage Show for the first time. He then goes
on for another five shows on the Stage Show. On March 13, RCA releases Elvis Presley, Elvis’ first album. The album
soon goes to number one on Billboard’s pop album charts for ten weeks. It is the first Elvis album to reach over $1
million in sales, thus earning Elvis his first gold album award. Then on April 1st, Elvis has a screen test for Paramount
Studios in Hollywood. He lip synchs Blue Suede Shoes and he performs a scene from the yet unmade film, The Rainmaker, a film
he does not end up being in. On April 3rd, 1956, Elvis stars on The Milton Berle Show on ABC, which, for this particular broadcast,
it’s done on the deck of the aircraft, USS Hancock. Then April 6th, Elvis signs a seven year movie contract with Hal
Wallis and Paramount Pictures.
From April 23-May 9th 1956 – Elvis has a lukewarm acceptance for his two weeks engagement at the New Frontier
Hotel in Las Vegas. He is not what the adult audience of Vegas gamblers relates to very well. During these two weeks, Elvis
is still at number one in the album and singles charts. Yet the crowds at other concerts get bigger and bigger, wilder and
wilder. Elvis’ fame grows dramatically. Some of these shows have to end early due to fan’s storming the stage.
Elvis creates pandemonium whenever he goes.
On June 5th, 56 Elvis is back on The Milton Berle Show, this time in the studio where the show is aired from, this time
backed by the Jordanaires with his band. Elvis sings a rather playful but sexual version of Hound Dog, that drives the kids
in the crowd wild, but the next day, Elvis is in trouble. It is one of his most controversial performances. This merely serves
to fuel his seemingly unstoppable popularity even more. On the next show, he dressed up in a top hat and tails, and sings
Hound Dog in the right way. He feels sorry for upsetting everyone but couldn’t see the fuss. Then Ed Sullivan, who said
he would never have Elvis on his show, changes his tune and gives him a three appearance deal, at the price of $50,000 and
is the highest amount ever paid to a singer.
In August, Elvis starts shooting his first film, Love Me Tender, on loan out from Paramount to Twentieth Century Fox.
It is originally titled The Reno Brothers, but is given a new title before its release to Elvis sure to be next hit single
from the soundtrack. On September 9, Elvis makes the first of three appearances on the Ed Sullivan Show. He attracts the highest
ratings ever for any TV show. Character actor Charles Laughton takes Ed’s place, after he had a car accident. Then later
that month, September 26, Elvis Presley Day is proclaimed in Tupelo, Mississippi. Elvis’ parents join him as he returns
to the town of his birth as a big star. He performs two shows at the Mississippi Alabama Fair and Dairy Show, the same fair
at which he had performed at age 10. This time there are a hundred national guardsmen surrounding the stage to control the
excited fans. On October 28th, Elvis makes his second of three appearances on Ed Sullivan. Then on November 16, Elvis’
first film, Love Me Tender premieres at the Paramount Theater in New York City, opening nationwide in the days following.
It becomes a smash hit, and the critics’ reviews aren’t bad for his acting in the film, which is set in American
South of the 1800’s Civil War era. Elvis also sings in the film. On December 31, the front page of The Wall Street
Journal reports that in the past few months Elvis merchandise has grossed $22 million in sales.
Elvis ends the year on a high. He’s has number ones in the singles and album charts, his tour have been huge, been
a huge star on the small screen and he’s starred in his first ever film. Also Elvis was a primary symbol of new youth
culture in the US. He’s also the most controversial figures. His unique blending of white country and gospel music,
black R&B and gospel, white pop music, his particular brand of charisma and talent, and the growing success and controversy.
Elvis’ life would never been the same again!
On January 6, 1957, Elvis makes his third and last appearance on Ed Sullivan. This is the famous show where Elvis was
shot from the waist up. It’s funny the year before the camera showed everything Elvis did and now comes censorship.
Ed asks Elvis not to sing any gospel but Elvis breaks the rule, as he sings Peace in the Valley on the show. Yet Ed tells
America that Elvis is a real decent, fine boy and he has been a delight to work with. Ed believes Elvis will go far and Elvis
keeps on making records, doing live shows and working hard. Also this month, Elvis starts filming Loving You. In March, Elvis
buys Graceland for himself, his parents, and his paternal grandmother to live in. It will be ready to live in by early April.
In May, Elvis starts work on his third film, Jailhouse Rock. On July 9th, Elvis second film, Loving You, is released and reaches
the top ten at the box office. More hit records come out from the film, with the classic Teddy Bear. On September 27, Elvis
returns once more to the town of his birth for a concert. This time it is a benefit for the proposed Elvis Presley Youth Recreation
Centre in Tupelo, Mississippi. The grounds include the birthplace of Elvis. He will donate throughout his life. On October
17th, Jailhouse Rock, Elvis’ third film is released and goes into the top ten at the box office. The title song is a
smash hit. Years later, this film is known as Elvis’ best acting performance, surpassed only by King Creole which comes
in 1958. Jailhouse Rock will come to be considered the ultimate classic of all rock opera movies and the Jailhouse Rock production
number in the film is recognized as the grandfather of pop/rock music videos, a music format to be used in the 1980’s.
On November 10th, Elvis performs shows in Hawaii for the first time. In December that year, Elvis and family enjoy their first
Christmas in Graceland and Elvis officially receives his draft notice, a day he has known would be coming soon.
Late January-Early March, 1958 Elvis films and records for his fourth film, King Creole. Then on March 24, Elvis is inducted
into the US Army at the Memphis Draft Board and is assigned serial number 53310767. The next day he gets his famous G.I haircut
at Fort Chaffee, Arkansas. March 29, Private Presley arrives at Fort Hood, Texas for basic training and is stationed there
for six months. His parents soon move to temporary home near the base. On June 10th, after basic training, while on his first
leave, Elvis has a recording session, his last until 1960. In July, King Creole opens and the reviews are the best he will
ever have for his acting. He works along side Carolyn Jones, Walter Matthua, Dean Jagger and Vic Morrow. The film was based
on the book A Stone for Danny Fisher, which was meant for James Dean. When James died in a car crash, the title was changed
and the role was given to Elvis. He loved this life and hoped he would become a huge film movie star, a dream which would
never happen. In August Gladys becomes ill and returns to Memphis to be hospitalized with acute hepatitis. Elvis is given
emergency leave and arrives in Memphis on the afternoon of August 12. He goes to see her that night, and the next day and
night. A few hours later, Elvis goes back to Graceland to rest, she dies in the early hours of the August 14 at the age of
46. Her body lies in state at Graceland that afternoon. Services are at the Memphis Funeral Home on the 15th with the Blackwood
Brother’s singing Precious Memories and Rock of Ages, two of Gladys favorite hymns. She is laid to rest at Forest Hill
Cemetery, a few miles down the road from Graceland. Elvis is heartbroken and loses sight on life. On August 25, Elvis reports
back to Fort Hood. From September 19, Elvis boards a troop train to New York, later boards the USS. Randall and sails to Germany,
arriving on October 1st. He will be stationed in Friedberg for 18months, maintaining an off base residence in Bad Nauhiem,
shared with his father, grandmother and some friends from Memphis. He finds the German fans to be just as wild as those in
January 8th, 1959, Elvis is interview off camera via Trans - Atlantic telephone by Dick Clark on his American Bandstand
Show on ABC-TV. The show commemorates the stars 24th birthday. On a two week leave, Elvis goes to Munich, then goes clubbing
in Paris which includes a visit to the Lido. Back in the US, Colonel Parker keep’s Elvis’ career alive and well
with promotions and hit records releases. Then in November, Capitan Joseph Beaulieu is transferred from Texas to Wiesbaden
Air Force Base, near Elvis. He is joined by his wife and children, including his 14 and a half year old stepdaughter,
Priscilla Ann. Her real father was called James Wagner and was a Navy pilot, who was killed in a plane crash when Priscilla
was a baby. Through a mutual friend, Priscilla is invited to a party at Elvis’ home soon after her arrival in Germany.
They meet and the rest is history!
January 20, 1960 Elvis is promoted to Sergeant. In March, Elvis leaves Germany on March 1st, arriving in New Jersey the
next day for a press conference, and is officially discharged from active duty on March 5th. He boards a train for Memphis,
arriving on March 7th. Press and crowds of fans are everywhere for his historic series of events. He holds a press conference
at Graceland in his father’s office behind the mansion on March 8th. He has served his country just like any other GI,
with no special privileges his celebrity status might have given him. The two years away from his career has given him time
to grow and mature. He has also worried constantly that his time away might have damaged his career progress. But, he has
yet to see his greatest stardom.
Nine hundred and ninety thousand, nine hundred and ninety nine out of every million fans will tell you that Elvis was
NEVER in the UK! The date was March 3rd, 1960. The place was Prestwick Airport in Scotland. Elvis was finishing his American
Army National Service and stopped over in Ayrshire for a precious two hours! In those days, Prestwick was home for the 1631
USAF Unit. Despite a massive security clampdown, the news leaked out that a mystery V.I.P was flying in….and when Sgt.
Presley stepped off the plane, local fans rushed to greet him. And without the restraining influence of aides and Colonel
Parker, the star felt relaxed to mix with them. There to greet him officially were base commander Colonel Russell Fisher,
chief executive officer Major Ed Miller and admin officer Major Ben Bacchus. Elvis enjoyed his stay and before he left, he
spoke ‘This place sure is pretty. I might have to come back here some day!
Late March, Elvis has his first post army recording session. He records some songs for the album Elvis Is Back, which
goes to number two in the Billboard pop charts. On March 21st, he gets his first degree black belt in Karate, something he
got into when in the army. On March 26, he tapes the Welcome Home, Elvis, Frank Sinatra’s ABC-TV show, for which he
is paid $125,000, a record sum for a show at that time. Late April, he starts filming his first post army film, GI Blues for
Paramount, the first of nine to be produced by Hal Wallis. GI Blues co stars dancer/actress Juliet Prowse. On May 8th, ABC
airs Frank Sinatra’s Welcome Home, Elvis show. It attracts a 41/5% share of the TV audience. On July 3rd, Vernon
married divorcee and mother of three sons, Davada (Dee) Stanley, an American whom he met in Germany, where she was with her
husband. They live at Graceland for a short time, and then move into a home nearby. In August and September, Elvis films Flaming
Star, a film with little music. Elvis plays the son of a white father and a Native American mother, torn between the two cultures
in the 1800’s. The film co stars Barbara Eden. In October, the soundtrack for GI Blues enters the Billboard album charts
and soon goes to number one. It stays at number one for ten weeks and stays on the chart for 111 weeks! It was the most successful
album of Elvis’ entire career on the Billboard charts. In November, an Elvis start recording wild in the Country, with
is ended in January 1961. GI Blues opens to warm reviews and big box office sales. Late December Flaming Star opens and has
nice reviews, but doesn’t set the box office on fire. However, Elvis earns recognition from a tribal council for his
positive portrayal of a Native American in thus racially charged drama. The film is banned in South Africa due to its theme!
February 25, Elvis appears in Memphis at a luncheon in his honor, and numerous recent awards Elvis has received are shown
to the press and other attending. A press conference follows. Then, Elvis does one afternoon show and one evening show at
Ellis Auditorium to benefit around 38 Memphis area charities. Other then the Sinatra TV Show, these shows are, so far, Elvis’
only live performances since his army discharge. Elvis Presley Day is proclaimed by Tennessee Governor Buford Ellington. Every
tear after this, Elvis gives money to a list of Memphis area charities, eventually reaching 50 or more, always around Christmas
time. On March 25, Elvis arrives in Hawaii for a press conference, then a evening concert at Bloch Arena at Pearl Harbor He
is there to perform a benefit to help fund the building of the USS Arizona Memorial. Hundreds of fans mob the airport as he
arrives. His show raises around $65,000 for the memorial, with other related promotions bringing the total to about $100,000.
Late March/April, Elvis stays in Hawaii to do location filming for Blue Hawaii, having around recording the soundtrack a while
ago. Later, he films more parts in Hollywood. In June, Wild in the Country opens and has remixed reviews. Yet once again,
it doesn’t set the box office alive. In July, Elvis films, Follow That Dream, with some filming done in Florida. Non
movie related hit records and recording sessions have also continued through this period. In October, the soundtrack for Blue
Hawaii enters the Billboard charts for a year and a half run, staying at number one for 20 weeks, second only to GI Blues.
It also yields a number two single destined to become an Elvis classic, Can’t Help Falling in Love. Non movie related
recordings and hit records continued through this time, with Good Luck Charm hitting number one in 1962, his last number one
pop hit until Suspicious Minds in 1969. In October/November, Elvis records and films Kid Galahad. In late November, Blue Hawaii
opens and has warm reviews; it reaches number two in the box office.
In late March/late April Elvis records and films in Hollywood, and does some location filming in Hawaii for the film,
Girls! Girls! Girls! In May and June, Follow that dream opens and gets to number five on the box office charts. It gets reviews
and does well in the cinema. In late August/September Elvis films for It Happened at the World’s Fair, shooting is both
down in Hollywood and on location at the World’s Fair in Seattle. Kid Galahad opens and does well, with a short stay
in the top ten. In October, in Mexico riot behavior in a theater showing GI Blues prompts the Mexican government to ban Elvis
films. Torn seats, broken windows and other damage are reported! In November, Girls! Girls! Girls! Opens and rivals Blue Hawaii
in the box office success. The soundtrack goes top five and gives Elvis the hit single Return to Sender. In December, Priscilla
Beaulieu had flown from West Germany to visit Elvis in LA in the summer of this year for their first time to see each other
after his army discharge. In December, her parents allow her to spend the Christmas holidays with him at Graceland in Memphis.
She returns to her family briefly, then moves to Graceland in early 1963, ending her schooling in Memphis and turning 18 years
old on May 24, 1963
In late January/February Elvis films another film, Fun in Acapulco. In April, It Happened at the World’s Fair opens
and does well at the box office. The soundtrack does to the top five! In July, Elvis records the music and then goes on location
to Las Vegas and a Hollywood studio. He films for the film, Viva Las Vegas, co starring with Ann Margret. It will his 15 film
to be released as Kissin’ Cousins, which he is to shoot next, will actually be released before Viva Las Vegas. In October,
Elvis films Kissin’ Cousins. Late November, Fun in Acapulco opens and does well, going into the top five in the box
In January and February, Elvis buys the Potomac, former presidential boat of Franklin Roosevelt, for $55,000. He wants
to donate it to March of Dimes for use as a national shrine. Costs of maintaining the yacht would be prohibitive, so the March
of Dimes declines to accept the gift. Elvis attempts to give it to the 7th Coast Guard District Auxiliary in Miami, which
also doesn’t work out. Finally, on February 13 he presents the yacht as a gift to a gift to St. Jude Children’s
Research Hospital in Memphis for them to use to raise funds as they see fit. The ceremony takes place in Long Beach, California
with actor and hospital founder, Danny Thomas, accepting. During this saga of trying to donate the yacht, the Beatles make
their first appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show and Sullivan reads on the air a congratulatory telegram from Elvis and the
Colonel. American music and pop culture will soon change dramatically with the "British invasion", much as it had after Elvis
hit it big in the fifties. Elvis has become bored and frustrated with his film and recording career. It will only get worse.
In March, Kissin Cousins opens. Its one of the poorest films of his career, it reaches number 11 in the box office, then falls
fast and the album goes top ten. Then Elvis begins filming for his 16th film, Roustabout, co-starring Hollywood legend Barbara
Stanwyck. He had recorded the music during the previous month. In June, Elvis records music for his next film, Girl Happy.
Viva Las Vegas opens nationally and goes to number eight at the box office. It’s one of the better Elvis movies of this
period, and the songs are better as well. In July and August, Elvis shoots his seventeenth motion picture, Girl Happy, which
co-stars Shelley Fabares and former Miss America, Mary Ann Mobley. In October, Elvis begins shooting eighteenth motion picture,
Tickle Me. The soundtrack has no new recordings. Instead, previously released non-movie recordings are used, apparently to
keep production costs to a minimum. And in November, Roustabout opens nationally and hits number eight at the box office.
The soundtrack, which represents some of the best Elvis movie music in a while, goes to number one on the Billboard pop album
In March/April, Elvis records the soundtrack and does the filming for his nineteenth motion picture, Harum Scarum,
which co-stars Mary Ann Mobley. Then in April, Girl Happy opens nationally and does relatively good business. The soundtrack
album goes top ten. Non-movie record releases have continued during this period. In May, Elvis records music and does filming
for his twentieth motion picture, to be released out of chronology as his twenty-first, Frankie and Johnny, co-starring Donna
Douglas. In July, Tickle Me opens nationally. Elvis donates $50,000 to the Motion Picture Relief Fund, reportedly the largest
single donation the organization has ever received up to this date. Accepting for the organization are Barbara Stanwyck and
Frank Sinatra. In August Elvis records soundtrack music for his twenty-first motion picture, Paradise, Hawaiian Style, which
will be released out of chronology as his twentieth, then goes to Hawaii for location shooting. During a break in filming,
he visits the USS Arizona Memorial. The visit is covered by the press and prompts Hawaiian Senator Daniel Inouye to have the
visit recognized in the Congressional Record. Elvis returns to Hollywood for more shooting for the film. On August 27, The
Beatles visit with Elvis for several hours at his home in California and have an informal jam session. In November Harum Scarum
opens nationally and hits number eleven at the box office, then falls, as has been the pattern for most of Elvis’ movies
during the past few years. (Hit fast, burn out quickly, but make a sizable profit and sell some records.) The soundtrack album
goes to number eight.
In February Elvis records the soundtrack and shoots his 22 film, Spinout co starring Shelley Fabares. In March, Frankie
and Johnny opens and doesn’t do well. The soundtrack album goes to number 20. In June, Paradise, Hawaiian Style is released
and doesn’t do well. The soundtrack peaks at number 15. In June and September, Elvis films his 23 film, Double Trouble.
In September Elvis films his 24 film, Easy Come, Easy Go. In November, Spinout opens and doesn’t do well. In December
Elvis formally proposes marriage to Priscilla.
In February 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. In March, Easy Come, Easy Go opens nationally and doesn’t do well. RCA releases Elvis’ second
gospel album, How Great Thou Art, which was recorded in mid-1966. It gets very good reviews and 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. In February and 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, Double Trouble opens nationally. Although better
than some of his recent screen efforts, it doesn’t do well at the box office. On May 1, 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. Elvis wraps up some
over-dubbing on Clambake. Then they return to Memphis. On May 29th, 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 in Las Vegas
for the wedding. In June-July, 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. In September-November,
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.
In December, Clambake is released nationally and goes to number fifteen at the box office. The soundtrack album goes to number
On 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. In March, Stay Away, Joe opens to mixed reviews and doesn't do well at the box office, though
like all of Elvis’ films, it makes a profit. Soundtrack recording and filming for Elvis' twenty-eighth movie, Live a
Little, Love a Little. It is a sexy, more adult kind of comedy/ melodrama. It, like Stay Away, Joe is a real departure from
the typical Presley film. It is yet another breath of fresh air. In June, Speedway is released nationally and doesn’t
do very well. The soundtrack album goes only as far up the chart as number 82. Mid-to-Late June, 1968, Elvis rehearses for
the taping of his first television special. A press conference is held on June 25th. Videotaping is done June 27, 28, 29,
and 30. Commonly referred to as the ‘68 Special or The ‘68 Comeback. The actual name of this landmark television
special is Elvis.
The sixties have brought about great change in music and pop culture. Change for which Elvis helped pave the way
over a decade earlier when he exploded onto the scene with his unique blending of pop, rock, country, R&B and gospel influences.
Focusing on his Hollywood movie career in the sixties, Elvis has become less a part of the current pop cultural scene. He
has been making one movie after another, and many of the records he has put out in these years have been movie soundtrack
albums. In the fifties and early sixties, the films and film-related records were wonderfully successful, but as the sixties
have worn on, the movies and records, though still profitable, have not been nearly so successful as they were before. Elvis
has reached the supreme level of frustration with the state of his career and all its limitations on his creativity and artistic
expression. He had hoped to become a serious actor, but Hollywood had other ideas and Elvis went along with them. His opportunities
to show his true talents as an actor have been few. He is beyond ready for a change. By now, it has been more than seven years
since Elvis has appeared in front of a live audience. Elvis has missed the closeness of his audience, the energy and excitement
of live performing.
The '68 Special opens 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
- all of this for a rousing gospel production number.
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 swinging’ 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.
In July/August, Elvis records the theme and does filming for his twenty-ninth movie, Charro!, a dramatic western, again
a very different kind of role. Elvis grows a beard for this. The theme song will be heard over the opening credits, but there
will be no other Elvis songs used. This will be the first and only film in which Elvis does not sing on camera. In October-November,
Elvis records the soundtrack and does filming for his thirtieth movie, The Trouble with Girls (and How to Get into It). He
sings in this one, but in very natural situations for a change. It is yet another film quite different from the typical Elvis
films. Live a Little, Love a Little opens in the U.S. in October and doesn’t do very well. "If I Can Dream," from the
soon-to-be aired '68 special hits number 12 on the pop singles chart in November, making it Elvis’ biggest single since
1965. On December 3, Elvis, the 1968 TV special, first airs on NBC-TV and is one of this biggest television hits of the year,
receiving rave reviews from the public and the critics alike. The soundtrack album goes to number eight on the pop chart.
Reviewing the show, rock writer John Landau says: There is something magical about watching a man who has lost himself find
his way back home...He sang with the kind of power people no longer expect from rock ‘n’ roll singers. Years later,
rock writer Greil Marcus will remember it this way: It was the finest music of his life. If ever there was music that bleeds,
this was it. Elvis, the 1968 TV special, is to become widely regarded as one of the truly great television moments in pop/rock
music history. After this show everything changes for Elvis. He pours renewed creative energy into his recording work, is
soon to wrap up his movie contract obligations and to return full-time to the concert stage, beginning a new and exciting
era of his career. His superstardom is yet to reach its height. In December, Elvis wraps shooting on The Trouble with Girls.
In January/February, 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. 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 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". In March and April, 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. In March, Charro! Opens in theaters and doesn’t do much at the box office. From July 31 - August 28, Elvis
is booked for a four-week, fifty-seven show engagements 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.
Here are a couple of reviews from music writers:
"There are several unbelievable things about Elvis, but the
most incredible is his staying power in a world where meteoric careers fade like shooting stars."
"...a style and panache that comes close to pure magic. Lithe, raunchy, the sweat pouring down his face, he now moves
with the precision of an athlete, the grace of a dancer...flamboyant and flashy, sexy and self-mocking, he works with the
instincts of a genius to give poetry to the basic rock performance."
- W.A. Harbinson
- From his 1975 book, The Illustrated Elvis. A passage reflecting on Elvis' 1969 Vegas engagement.
*NOTE: The orchestra was conducted by Bobby Morris. The band consisted of James Burton (lead guitar), John Wilkinson
(rhythm guitar), Jerry Scheff (bass guitar), Larry Muhoberac (piano) and Ronnie Tutt (drums). The female singers were The
Sweet Inspirations. The male singers were The Imperials. Charlie Hodge provided additional guitar and vocals and general on-stage
assistance. Over the concert years there were changes in the show cast. Joe Guercio became Elvis' conductor. Millie Kirkham,
who had worked on Elvis' studio recordings, joined the show as soprano, a position later taken over by Kathy Westmoreland.
Glen D. Hardin became the piano player. J.D. Sumner & the Stamps Quartet became the male back-up group. Various other
personnel changes occurred over the years. In September, The Trouble with Girls, Elvis’ 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. In November, Change of Habit, Elvis' thirty-first movie, opens in theaters and doesn’t
do much at the box office.
From January/February, Some say it is a mistake to go back to Vegas so soon, especially during the slowest season for
the city. Can he fill the seats? But, Elvis returns to the International Hotel for another month-long engagement. This time
he breaks his own attendance records. Another live album is recorded, On Stage, February 1970. From February/March, A press
conference in Houston on the 27th. Elvis performs afternoon and evening shows at the Houston Astrodome. Two more shows follow
on the 28th. Two more follow on March 1. A closing press conference and banquet follow, and Elvis is presented an armload
of recent gold record awards. The six shows attract 207,494 people and set records. There is speculation among the press and
the public that Elvis might tour in concert for the first time since the fifties. In June, Elvis has recording sessions in
Nashville. From July/September, Back to Las Vegas for rehearsals for another month-long engagement at the International. He
opens on August 10 and closes on September 7. MGM is on hand to shoot a documentary film called Elvis -That’s the Way
It Is that will show Elvis off stage, in rehearsals, in the recording studio, and on stage. RCA will also release an album
with the same title. In September, from the 9th through the 14th Elvis takes his show on a nine-city tour. It is a smashing
success, the first tour since 1957, only these days the show is much more elaborate. MGM films portions of the first show
on this tour for use in Elvis - That’s the Way It Is. Elvis has a recording session in Nashville. In November, Elvis,
That’s the Way It Is, Elvis thirty-second film, opens in theaters to good reviews and good box office. Documentaries
traditionally do not do well at the box office, but this one makes a respectable showing. It, like other Elvis movies will
go on to have a life on television and home video in years to come. An album of the same title is released, but only one song,
I Just Can't Help Believing', is actually from a stage performance included in the film. The other songs are studio recordings,
some of which Elvis performs live on stage or in rehearsal footage in the film. Elvis does a successful eight-city concert
tour. In December, Elvis’ famous visit with President Richard Nixon at the White House occurs.
On January 16, Elvis attends a day of functions culminating in an evening awards banquet. He and nine others accept the
honor of being named one of the Ten Outstanding Young Men of the Nation by the United States Junior Chamber of Commerce (The
Jaycees). He is nervous about his acceptance speech. He is touched, excited and deeply proud. This national honor has been
given each year since the late 1930’s and recognizes young men who have made great achievements in their field of endeavor,
illustrating the opportunities available in the free enterprise system. It also applauds humanitarianism and community service.
Scientists, inventors, performers, film makers, politicians bound for the Presidency, and men of greatness in all fields,
have been selected for this award over the years. For Elvis, a man who grew up poor, and, in his early career knew the sting
of ridicule from the Establishment, who, through the years has known criticism of his work, this is one of his proudest moments.
It is a sign that he has achieved acceptance, recognition, and respect for his work and for the kind of person he is. From
Late January/February, Elvis plays another month-long engagement at the International Hotel in Las Vegas. In March, Elvis
begins a recording session in Nashville, but cancels it due to pain and inflammation in an eye. He is treated at a Nashville
hospital where he is diagnosed with secondary glaucoma. This eye condition will plague him from time to time in varying degrees
for the rest of his life. In May, Elvis is featured on the cover of Look Magazine, which carries an installment of the forthcoming
biography on Elvis by Jerry Hopkins. Many books and articles have been written over the years, but this is the first in-depth,
serious biography. The book Elvis: A Biography will be released in October. Elvis has recording sessions in Nashville. Much
of the work is for his forthcoming album Elvis Sings the Wonderful World of Christmas. In June, The two-room house Elvis was
born in opens to the public for tours, having been restored by the East Heights Garden Club in Tupelo. Elvis has more recording
sessions in Nashville, this time mostly for an upcoming gospel album, He Touched Me. A long stretch of Highway 51 South, part
of which runs in front of Graceland, is officially renamed Elvis Presley Boulevard. The first of the new street signs will
go up in January of 1972. Various albums and singles continue to be released to various degrees of success during this period.
From July/August, Elvis plays a two-week engagement at the Sahara Hotel in Lake Tahoe, Nevada. Then from August 9 - September
6, Elvis plays an engagement in Las Vegas at the International Hotel, which has been renamed the Las Vegas Hilton International
Hotel. He sets another attendance record and tops himself once again. During the engagement an award is presented to Elvis
in his dressing room. It is the Bing Crosby Award from the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (the organization
that also presents Grammy awards). This award is a special means of recognition from NARAS and is named for its first recipient.
The award is not given every year as a rule. It will later be re-named the Lifetime Achievement Award. Elvis is 36 years old.
From November 5-16, Elvis goes on a 12-city concert tour. And from late 1971, Elvis and Priscilla separate. She moves out
on her own with Lisa Marie. Elvis is heartbroken.
From January 26 - February 23, Elvis plays another successful engagement at the Hilton in Vegas. During March/April,
In April MGM films Elvis in a Hollywood recording studio, then films on and off stage during his 15-city concert tour, which
is a big success. MGM will use the footage for another theatrically released documentary, Elvis on Tour. In April the gospel
album He Touched Me is released to good reviews. The album will go on to win Elvis his second Grammy Award, this one for the
category of Best Inspirational Performance. In June, Elvis continues touring in concert, beginning with a press conference
in New York on the 9th. MGM is on hand to film the conference for use in Elvis on Tour. Elvis makes entertainment history
by performing four sold-out shows at New York’s Madison Square Garden. John Lennon, George Harrison, Bob Dylan, David
Bowie, and Art Garfunkel are among the music stars spotted at the shows. Nine days after it is recorded, RCA rush-releases
a live album from one of the shows - Elvis as Recorded at Madison Square Garden. Elvis tours to seven more cities. Elvis'
Vegas and concert tour career is hot, hot, hot during the early to mid-seventies. He breaks attendance records in cities all
over America. Record releases also continue. In July, Elvis and Priscilla’s separation is formalized. A divorce is to
come. Elvis has begun seeing Linda Thompson, who will be his main female companion until late 1976. From August 4 - September
4, Elvis plays a month-long engagement at the Hilton in Vegas. On September 5, Elvis participates in a press conference in
Vegas announcing plans for a television concert to be broadcast via satellite around the world from Hawaii. It is predicted
that the show will reach the largest audience in television history and that the live album will be a big hit. In October,
Elvis has a number two pop hit with the single Burning Love, one of his biggest records in recent years. In November, Elvis
on Tour opens to good reviews and good box office performance in theaters. Later, its producers will receive the Golden Globe
Award for Best Documentary of 1972. Like other Elvis films it will have a life on television and on home video. Elvis tours
seven cities in concert. The last is Honolulu, Hawaii, where he does three shows at the Honolulu International Center Arena,
the same venue that will host his satellite special in January. Elvis appears at a press conference in Hawaii regarding his
upcoming satellite show. It is announced that it will be a benefit for the Kui Lee Cancer Fund.
On January 14, Elvis makes television and entertainment history with his Elvis: Aloha from Hawaii - Via Satellite special.
Performed at the Honolulu International Center Arena on January 14, 1973, broadcast live at 12:30 AM Hawaiian time, beamed
via Globe cam Satellite to Australia, South Korea, Japan, Thailand, the Philippines, South Vietnam and other countries. It
is seen on a delayed basis in around thirty European countries. A tape of the show will be seen in America on April 4th on
NBC. The live broadcast in January attracts 37.8% of the viewers in Japan, 91.8% in the Philippines, 70% in Hong Kong, and
70-80% of the viewers in Korea. The April showing in America will attract 51% of the television viewing audience, and will
be seen in more American households than man’s first walk on the moon. In all, it will be seen in about forty countries
by one billion to 1.5 billion people. Elvis commissions an American eagle design for his jumpsuit for this show, his patriotic
message to his worldwide audience.* Never has one performer held the world’s attention in such a way. Elvis is in top
form physically and vocally. This is probably the pinnacle of his superstardom, one of the all-time great moments of his career.
Audience tickets for the January 14 concert and its January 12 pre-broadcast rehearsal show carry no price. Each audience
member is asked to pay whatever he or she can. The performances and concert merchandise sales are a benefit raising $75,000
for the Kui Lee Cancer Fund in Hawaii. (Kui Lee was a Hawaiian composer who had died of cancer while still in his thirties.)
On stage with Elvis are an orchestra and his current show cast: Joe Guercio (conductor), J.D. Sumner & the Stamps
(vocals), The Sweet Inspirations (vocals), Kathy Westmoreland (soprano vocals), Charlie Hodge (guitar/vocals/on-stage assistance),
James Burton (lead guitar), John Wilkinson (rhythm guitar), Jerry Scheff (bass guitar), Glen D. Hardin (piano), and Ronnie
The soundtrack album is soon released and goes to number one on the Billboard pop album chart, and stays on the chart
at various positions for 52 weeks. The show will later have continued life on television and eventually home video.
In the special, Elvis' recording of the theme song from his 1965 movie Paradise, Hawaiian Style plays over the opening
credits and scenes of Elvis' helicopter arrival at the airport and his walking among the fans who are there to greet him.
The concert opens with Elvis' band playing his traditional introduction for his seventies concerts, Theme from 2001. He sings
See, See Rider, Burning Love, Something, You Gave Me a Mountain, Steamroller Blues, My Way, Love Me, Johnny B. Goode, It’s
Over, Blue Suede Shoes, I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry, I Can’t Stop Loving You, Hound Dog, What Now, My Love, Fever,
Welcome to My World, Suspicious Minds, I’ll Remember You (A Kui Lee composition Elvis sings after announcing the sum
raised for the Kui Lee Cancer Fund.), Long Tall Sally/Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On, An American Trilogy (Elvis
tosses his belt into the audience), A Big Hunk o’ Love, and Can’t Help Falling in Love (Elvis tosses his cape
into the audience). The show is one hour, including commercials. After the show, Elvis and his band mates come back out on
stage in the empty arena and videotape performances of the songs Blue Hawaii, Ku-u-i-po, and Hawaiian Wedding Song which he
had first done for his 1961 hit movie, Blue Hawaii, plus Early Morning Rain and No More. All but the song No More will be
inserted into the American broadcast with Elvis seen on a montage screen with footage of Hawaiian scenery.
A Little History on Elvis' Costume: Elvis told Bill Belew he wanted the jumpsuit for this special to say “America”
to the worldwide viewing audience. Bill told Elvis that, except for the American flag, he could think of nothing other than
the American eagle. Elvis said “I like it.” And that’s how one of Elvis' most famous costumes came to be.
Elvis had been wearing jumpsuits on stage since 1970, and they had become quite elaborate by the time of this show. For the
past year or two he had been wearing studded, hip-length capes and heavy studded leather belts with his jumpsuits. For the
American eagle jumpsuit, Bill first designed a huge calf-length cape. During preparations for the show, Elvis tried working
with this cape, but it was just too cumbersome to use. So, out went the emergency order for another cape in the usual size.
From January 26 - February 23, Elvis plays an engagement at the Las Vegas Hilton. In March, Elvis and the Colonel sell
RCA the singer’s royalty rights on Elvis’ entire recording catalog up to that point. On April 4, The Aloha special
is seen on American television for the first time. In late April, Elvis goes on an eight-city concert tour. From May 4-16,
Elvis plays an engagement at the Sahara Hotel in Lake Tahoe, Nevada. In May, The Aloha from Hawaii concert album hits number
one on the Billboard pop album chart. It is his first number one album since Roustabout soundtrack album in 1965. It will
also be his last number one album on the pop chart. From June 20 - July 3, Elvis goes out on concert tour. In July, Elvis
records a few songs at the Stax Recording Studio in Memphis - his first time to record in Memphis since 1969. From August
6 - September 3, back to the Vegas Hilton for another engagement. On October 9, Elvis and Priscilla make a court appearance
together and their divorce is granted. They will continue to be close friends. Though Priscilla has custody of Lisa Marie,
there will be no formal schedule of visitation for Elvis, and he and his daughter will spend time together regularly. From
October 15 - November 1, Elvis is hospitalized in Memphis for recurring pneumonia and pleurisy, an enlarged colon, and hepatitis.
Elvis has been battling health problems for some time, including an increasing dependency upon prescription drugs. It will
get worse. He also battles his weight. In December, Elvis returns to the Stax Recording Studio in Memphis for a week of sessions.
January 26-February 9, Elvis plays the Vegas Hilton again. From March - July, Elvis is on tour through much of March.
In March he returns to the Houston Astrodome and sets a one-day attendance record with his two shows. Also in March he plays
Memphis for the first time since 1961 and does four shows in two days to meet the demand for tickets. Another live album results
from the excitement in Memphis, Elvis Recorded Live on Stage in Memphis, recorded at one of the shows. Included is a live
performance of How Great Thou Art that will go on to win Elvis his third Grammy award. He resumes touring in May and plays
the Sahara in Lake Tahoe May 16 -26. He’s back on tour in mid-June and takes a few weeks off, starting in early July.
From August 19 - September 2, back to the Hilton in Vegas for an engagement. During this engagement Barbra Streisand and Elvis
discuss his playing the male lead opposite her in her remake of the film A Star is Born. Elvis is excited by the prospect
of returning to the screen in a serious film. He still has aspirations to become a serious actor. He is growing weary of the
road, his health is worsening, his performances are suffering, and he needs a new challenge. Unfortunately, it doesn’t
work out for various reasons. From September 27 - October 14, Elvis is on tour again. Plays the Sahara-Tahoe October 11-14.
Record releases have continued through this period with varying degrees of success.
January 29 - February 14, Elvis is hospitalized with health and prescription problems again. He is now losing control
on his life. In March, Elvis’ live recording of How Great Thou Art from the album recorded at one of his Memphis concerts
in 1974 wins the Grammy for Best Inspirational Performance. This is Elvis’ third and final Grammy win out of fourteen
nominations (one nomination posthumously). All three Grammy wins have been for his gospel music. From March 18 - April 1,
Engagement at the Hilton. In April - July, Elvis tours in concert. From August 18 - September 5, Elvis opens in Vegas but
ends his engagement on the 20th and is hospitalized in Memphis until September 5. In November the renovation of a Convair
880 jet Elvis bought earlier in the year is complete, and he takes his first flight on the Lisa Marie jet. From December 2-15,
Elvis returns to the Hilton in Vegas to make up for the shows that were canceled during his previous engagement. December
31, Elvis performs a special New Year’s Eve concert in Pontiac, Michigan and sets a single performance attendance record
In February, Elvis has a week of recording sessions in the den at Graceland, with RCA bringing in mobile recording equipment.
Songs from this will comprise the forthcoming album From Elvis Presley Boulevard, Memphis, Tennessee (which will hit number
one on the country album chart in May) and over half of the forthcoming Moody Blue album.
From all these dates March 17-22, April 21-27, 1976, Elvis tours. Then from April 30 - May 9, an engagement at the
Sahara Tahoe in Nevada. Once again these are more tour dates, May 27- June 6, June 25 - July 5, July 23 - August 5, August
27-September 8, and October 14-27, 1976. These shows took place around the US. From October 29-30, Continuation of recording
in the den at Graceland. In Early November, Elvis and Linda Thompson, his steady girlfriend since 1972, split up. Then in
late November, Elvis meets Ginger Alden, who becomes his steady girlfriend until his death. From November 24-30, Elvis tours
in concert. From December 2-12, Elvis plays the Hilton in Vegas for what will turn out to be the last time. From December
27-31, Elvis tours in concert, ending with a special New Year’s Eve concert in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
From February 12-21, Elvis tours in concert. From March 23-30, Elvis tours in concert. From April 1-5, Elvis is hospitalized
in Memphis and tour shows scheduled for March 31-April 3 are canceled. From April 21- May 31/June 1-2, Elvis tours in concert.
From June 17-26, Elvis tours in concert. Shows on June 19, 20, and 21 are recorded by RCA for an upcoming live album and are
videotaped for an upcoming CBS-TV television special. (Footage from the show on the 20th is not used in the special.) The
special will be called Elvis in Concert. It will first air on October 3 after Elvis’ death in August. The camera gives
a shocking picture of Elvis’ poor health in his final days, but his voice is strong. On June 26, A concert at Indianapolis,
Indiana’s Market Square Arena. This will turn out to be his very last concert performance. June 27- August 15, Elvis
relaxes in Memphis and prepares for the next leg of touring for 1977.
On August 16, shortly after midnight Elvis returns to Graceland from a late-night visit to the dentist. Through the early
morning of the 16th he takes care of last minute tour details and relaxes with family and staff. He is to fly to Portland,
Maine that night and does a show there on the 17th, then continue the scheduled tour. He retires to his master suite at Graceland
around 7:00 AM to rest for his evening flight. Around 10 or 11am, Elvis suffers three heartaches and dies on alone. He wasn't
found till around 1.30pam by Ginger. He was taken to Baptist Memorial Hospital at 2.55pm but Elvis had been dead for sometime,
and there was little to be done, and they finally stopped by mutual consent. The time was 3.30pm. At 4.00pm, the world was
told the shocking news, Elvis is dead. His fans world wide feel the grief and simply can’t believe Elvis is gone forever.
Elvis was buried on August 18, next to his Mother in the Forest Hills Cemetery. Then just 11 days after he was laid to rest,
Elvis and his Mother were removed and then reburied in the Meditation Garden at Graceland on October 27 1977. I guess they
will finally get to rest' Vernon remarked at a small grave side gathering restricted to close family early that evening.
Elvis Aaron Presley – A true star – Deeply missed and loved today, tomorrow and forever!
Let there by no sadness in your heart
For the time we are not together, there are no times when we are not together
My days are consumed with thoughts of
Your laughter is my life - Your touch my warmth
Never do I let go of your hand