The 1970's found Elvis spending most of his time doing what he loved most -- performing live on stage for his fans.
In 1970, Elvis would perform twice at the ALWAYS SOLD-OUT International Hotel in Las Vegas. During Elvis' August engagement in Las Vegas, MGM would film The King for his documentary "That's The Way It Is".Elvis would also perform several SOLD-OUT shows at the Houston Astrodome, and in the fall would go out on his first concert tour. In terms of studio material...Elvis would spend a good portion of June in Nashville recording over 30 songs to be used on several albums and singles during the 1970's.
1971 was an exciting year for Elvis and his fans, as he continued to perform in Las Vegas and on tour. During the year, Elvis was also honored by the Jaycees as one of the "Ten Outstanding Young Men in America"...an honor which Elvis was forever proud of! The month of May saw Elvis again in the recording studio, laying down tracks for his upcoming Christmas and Gospel albums, as well as some additional album material.
In 1972, the MGM cameras were rolling once again during Elvis' April tour for his documentary "Elvis On Tour". Aside from touring extensively and performing in Las Vegas, Elvis would also record several of his classic ballads in '72 including "Always On My Mind" and "Separate Ways", as well as the final Top 5 hit of his career -- "Burning Love".
The highlight of 1973, and most likely the highlight of Elvis' entire career, was Elvis' "Aloha From Hawaii Via Satellite" show beamed live around the world on January 14th (U.S. fans had to wait until April to see the show). Elvis was the FIRST PERFORMER in history to have a live performance beamed around the world via satellite! The rest of 1973 would be spent, again, on stage in Las Vegas and across America. In July and December, Elvis would record several songs at the legendary Stax Studios in Memphis. Popular songs such as "Promised Land", "Raised On Rock", "If You Talk In Your Sleep" and "Help Me" would come from these sessions.
1974 was a homecoming of sorts for Elvis...in March, he would perform in his hometown of Memphis for the first time since February, 1961. RCA would record the final show of the tour on March 20th for the album "Elvis As Recorded Live On Stage In Memphis". Unfortunately, 1974 would also be a year of extreme highs and lows for The King. Several of Elvis' shows in 1974, particularly in September and October were very poor and received unfavorable reviews from fans and critics. But, as 1974 went out on a low note...
...1975 came in on a much better note. Following a brief hospitalization and extended period of rest, Elvis resumed touring in 1975 and was BETTER THAN EVER!! Many critics and fans count Elvis' performances from the summer of 1975 among his best ever! Elvis was in much better physical shape, his voice was stronger than ever, and his shows were simply BRILLIANT with Elvis dusting off many of his classics once again! 1975 would also turn out to be the FINAL TIME Elvis would record new material in the recording studio. In March, he recorded 10 new songs which eventually became the "Today" album. Among the new songs recorded would be the fan favorite "T-R-O-U-B-L-
However, 1976 would be another year of peaks and valleys for The King. Elvis refused to record new material in the studio, so RCA had to bring the recording studio to Elvis' Memphis mansion Graceland. Elvis recorded several new songs in the "Jungle Room" at Graceland in February and October of 1976. Aside from these recording sessions, Elvis would spend the rest of America's Bicentennial Year on tour. The highlight of 1976 was Elvis' New Year's Eve performance in Pittsburgh, PA. Simply put...this was a BRILLIANT SHOW with Elvis in a GREAT MOOD, GREAT SHAPE and sounding better than ever, giving fans high hopes for 1977...
Unfortunately, 1977 would be anything but bright for Elvis and his fans. Several more concert tours in the spring and early summer of 1977 would culminate with the filming of Elvis' June tour for the CBS Television Special "Elvis In Concert". Sadly, as Elvis was preparing for his next tour in August, The King's life came to a tragic end. On August 16, 1977, The King Of Rock N' Roll was found dead at his beloved Memphis mansion Graceland.
August 16, 1977...the day the music died. LONG LIVE THE KING!!