Today at Graceland:
Conversations on Elvis: Elvis Connections
10:00 AM. Graceland Soundstage, Elvis Presley’s Memphis. $25
Hosted by Tom Brown, hear from those who connection from Elvis varies from personal to professional. Special guests this year include: Ann Moses, who was editor at “Tiger Beat Magazine” from 1965 – 1972 and sat on the stage for Elvis’ “’68 Comeback Special,” toured Elvis’ and Colonel Parker’s offices, observed filming for “Change of Habit” and attended Elvis’ opening show in July 1969 in Vegas; Billy Blackwood, James Blackwood’s younger son, who toured with Voice, the opening act for the Elvis Presley in the 1970s; Donna Rhodes Morris, who was called to American Sound Studios by Chips Moman to sing harmony on the original Elvis recordings of Elvis’ “In The Ghetto,” “Kentucky Rain” and “Suspicious Minds”; Elvis’ friend and country star TG Sheppard; and Mark Kogan, who worked with Concerts West to promote Elvis’ concert tours.
In 2012, Ann Moses who is mentioned above wrote about her Elvis experiences, including that 1968 TV special.
I was often hounded by the Public Relations director of RCA records, Greylon Landon, to publicize Elvis’ latest movie (and the corresponding soundtrack album on RCA) and I would do this as a favor to him, because I could sell my Elvis stories to the NME. I also had two friends from high school, Tony and Don, who were complete Elvis “nuts.” That’s a fan to the 100th degree. So Greylon would send me premier tickets to new Elvis movies and I would pass them along to Tony and Don.
But in the summer of 1968, Greylon called and told me he had something really special. It was not to be publicized in advance, but he brought two tickets over to my office for the “Elvis starring Elvis Presley” TV show taping. He let me know this was a small group of people invited to view the taping of this TV special. This time I was not giving the tickets away. I did invite my friend Tony, as Don was out of state on vacation with his parents. It would have been a difficult choice if they both had been in California on that night.
Long story short, I not only enjoyed the TV show taping, but became an instant Elvis “nut” after seeing the new and improved Elvis. He was lean, dressed in black leather and to hear his voice live and up close, I was just overcome with his musical prowess.
Rightfully so there’s been a great deal of attention around this year’s Elvis Week to that “Comeback Special.” Real, true Elvis fans know a lot about that remarkable special, even 50 years later.
We’ll get to it in just a bit, but first, from what many claim was Elvis’ best performance as a movie actor.
This was a very good movie, not a beach film with 14 short songs, one after another.
An all-star cast helped. Just look at that movie poster.
Here’s a memorable scene.
That was 1958. Fast forward 10 years later.
The famous TV special opened and also was featured near the end with “Trouble.” The song was a recurring theme, during rehearsals and at various parts of the program.