DJ Pat O'Day Recalls the Tricks
And Scams of Colonel ParkerBy Alan HansonPat O'Day is a radio legend in the Pacific Northwest. He was Seattle's highest-profile DJ and dance promoter in the 1960s. Twice the national radio industry named him top radio "Program Director of the Year," and in 1966 was voted the nation's "Radioman of the Year." He held such firm control over the Puget Sound radio business from his seat at KJR radio that in 1967 a federal anti-trust suit was filed against him. The next year Pat O'Day helped develop Concerts West, which would become the largest concert company in the world. The acts the company handled included Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, Chicago, The Beach Boys, Boy Dylan, Elton John, Three Dog Night, Frank Sinatra, and, yes, Elvis Presley.
In 2002, semi-retired O'Day told the story of his radio and concert promoting years in It Was All Just Rock'n'Roll, published by Rock 'n' Roll Press in Seattle. In it he relates his bizarre encounters with Colonel Parker through the years.O'Day was there at Sicks' Stadium in Seattle for Elvis's concert on September 1, 1957, but it wasn't until 1962 that he first met Colonel Parker. On that occasion, he was the victim of one of the Colonel's stunts. In town with Elvis during location shooting for It Happened At The World's Fair, Parker called O'Day, by then the city's top radio personality, and asked the DJ if he'd like to be in the picture with Elvis. Of course, O'Day jumped at the chance. "What more could a deejay ask for than to be in a Presley move?" he wrote in his book. At the Colonel's instructions, he put on a coat and tie and hurried down to the set at the fairgrounds. After about an hour's wait, Parker grabbed him and rushed him over to where Elvis was standing between takes. Elvis shook hands with Pat, and then the two were directed to face a nearby photographer. After the flashbulb popped, the Colonel shook the DJ's hand and said, "Congratulations Pat. You've just been in a picture with Elvis."Colonel Parker demands $1 million up frontWhen Elvis decided to go back to concert touring in 1970, O'Day's Concerts West company wanted desperately to be Presley's promoter. When Pat approached Parker about it, the Colonel made a startling request. As an indication of good faith, he told Pat to come back the next day with a check for $1 million, made out to Parker personally. Only then would he consider doing business with Concerts West. Pat talked it over with his partners, and they decided to comply with Parker's demand. When they walked into Parker's hotel suite the next day, the first thing he said was, "Did you bring the money?" When the cashier's check was handed to him, the Colonel looked at it briefly and threw it on the cluttered floor nearby. "Ok, let's sit down and talk!" he said.When the group went downstairs later for dinner, the check was still on the floor. (One wonders if Elvis ever saw any of that $1 million or if it all just went into his manager's pocket.) The deal was struck, though, and Concerts West handled every Elvis Presley concert from then until his death seven years later.• Colonel Parker 's tiny pony gagDuring those years, Pat O'Day observed several examples of what he called the Colonel's "twisted sense of humor." One morning, O'Day wrote, Parker called the Concerts West home office in Bellevue, Washington, with a strange request. He had learned of a farm near Portland, Oregon, that raised miniature horses. He wanted someone to go down there, buy two of the three-foot high animals, and ship them to Barron Hilton in Las Vegas. The partners drew straws, and the loser was off to do the Colonel's bidding.
Parker knew Hilton would be out of town when the tiny horses arrived in Las Vegas. The Colonel had arranged for a couple bales of straw and a wooden fence to be set up in Hilton's office, and the horses were placed inside. When the Barron returned, he found his office filled with straw, horses, and the smell of manure and urine. He also found a birthday card from the Colonel and Elvis.Hilton didn't know what to think. He knew his hotel and casino made millions off of Elvis, so he didn't want to insult Parker. He decided to move to another office and leave the horses in possession of his old one.A month or so later, when the Colonel showed up unannounced to see Hilton, he was surprised to see the horses were still there. After being directed to Hilton's new office, he said, "Barron, you still have those dumb horses in your office! For God's sake, get rid of them! Can't you take a joke?" Then he walked out.• RCA victim of Colonel Parker practical jokeLike Hilton, many other executives in various areas of the entertainment world were dependent on Elvis for a good deal of their companies' profits, and that made them vulnerable to Parker's practical jokes. O'Day writes of one "nasty trick" the Colonel pulled on RCA Victor.Parker used the occasion of his birthday to call RCA's Hollywood offices, according to O'Day. The Colonel demanded he be put through to the president of the record division. Once he had the man on the phone, Parker said:"This is Colonel Parker. You know, Elvis and I for the past 20 years have shown great loyalty and love for RCA. We have been reliable, honest and done our best to make our relationship with you one that could be a model. So why, after all I have always done for you and for your company—why in God's name!—would you stoop so low? This is an obvious attempt to humiliate me!"The shocked RCA exec quickly assured Parker that the company had the utmost respect for him, and then gently inquired what happened to upset him so. The Colonel explained that he had never asked anything of RCA, had always been generous with the company, and so on, and really his birthday was not so important. But when someone from RCA had called to tell him the company was going to erect a giant billboard saying "Happy Birthday Colonel Parker, RCA Loves You" on the highway near his Palm Springs home, he gathered some of his closest friends and drove them out to see how much RCA loved him. And what did he discover—no billboard. Feigning humiliation and tears, Parker hung up.Of course, the RCA exec immediately called a Palm Springs billboard company and ordered Colonel Parker's message put up on the largest billboard the company owned. The exec then called Parker back, apologized, and explained the billboard would be up by noon. "I accept your apology," wept the Colonel. "I never asked for anything, you know, but thank you. I feel better."Parker then called three friends and they all piled in his Cadillac and drove to the outskirts of Palm Springs. There they laughed convulsively as they watched the Colonel's giant birthday card being painted by the side of the highway.• Colonel Parker's Elvis ticket scam no jokeNot all of Colonel Parker's shenanigans were as humorous to Pat O'Day. The promoter remembers a big problem Concerts West had with the state of Tennessee in the early seventies. It seems the state's Attorney General and Department of Revenue had discovered that tickets for the first four rows of some Presley concerts were forged and sold without paying the state the required admission taxes.It didn't take long for O'Day and his partners to discover that Colonel Parker was behind the scam. In cahoots with a Concerts West executive, Parker was printing the tickets, selling them on the sly, and pocketing the cash. When called on the carpet, the Concerts West exec claimed the whole thing was Parker's idea, and he had no choice but to go along with it. The money went to pay off gambling debts, he claimed. It is an example of how Parker's control of Elvis made business associates vulnerable not only to the Colonel's practical jokes but also to his shady business deals.• Colonel Parker could have saved Elvis, says O'DayBy the end of Elvis's life, however, Pat O'Day, who had called Colonel Parker a "genius" back in 1957, became very disillusioned with the man. Below are O'Day's final thoughts in his book about Elvis and his manager:"The side of the Colonel that wasn't so funny found him doing next to nothing as his golden goose slowly killed himself. It was no mystery what was going on with Elvis. When I visited with him in 1970, I met with a shy, thin, dynamic, proud, energized icon of rock 'n' roll. When I tried to talk with him again six years later, I encountered a bloated, overweight, shockingly pale, psychotic mess."Colonel Parker continued to book one tour after another for a desperately ill man. Never has someone needed intervention more than Elvis did then, and the Colonel had the power over him to accomplish it if he chose. One is left to wonder whether Parker feared he would lose that power over a sober Elvis. We'll never know."That Elvis of the early '70s was the finest single performer I ever witnessed, with one of the world's most wonderful voices, little boy charm and a certain charisma God has gifted to so few … We might have had this wonderful entertainer for many more years had someone close stepped in and helped. The only person close enough was Colonel Tom Parker, who chose to do nothing."Did the Colonel have the power, as Pat O'Day believes, to get Elvis's life back on track? My personal opinion is that Parker, on his own, did not have the power to do so. It would have taken a concerted commitment among everyone around Elvis to turn his life around. Certainly, Colonel Parker, along with all the others, earned his share of regret by not doing all he could to help Elvis in those final, fatal years
martes, 24 de enero de 2012
domingo, 22 de enero de 2012
The following pictures reflect some of the images that I saw and photographed.
1. Gold Dust West Casino in Reno, Nevada. Located on 4th & Vine. Featuring Stamps Quartet (Ed Enoch, Buck, Larry; J.D. Sumner was absent due to open heart surgery). I saw the show on July 8th. The 1973 Lincoln Continental was a present given by Elvis to J.D. Sumner and the Stamps Quartet. Tennessee license number 575 205-XT. Date purchased 12-27-75.
2. In Las Vegas, at the Stardust. Rick Saucedo (an Elvis-impersonator) presents "Elvis – The Legend Lives" with Elvis' own Jordanaires (featuring Ray Walker and D.J Fontana, Presley's drummer of 16 years). The Sweet Kharisma resembled Elvis' group, the Sweet Inspiration. Rick Saucedo was dressed in a white jump-suit with a blue Star of David (with blue stones) on his back.
3. L.C. Humes High School (presently,1978, Humes Jr. High) on Manasses St. Elvis attended grades 7-12 here. He graduated in 1953. There's a saying on the top-right of the building: "The whole world here unlocks the experience of the past to the builders of the future." Saying on left wall: "The hope of democracy depends on the diffusion of knowledge and wisdom." Elvis said that the very first day he walked into this building he felt like the hairs on his head were standing on end because he was a country boy that had come to a city school, and he was totally scared to death.
4. Sam Phillips Recording Studio at 639 Madison St. Sam was the man who helped Elvis get his start in the record business. Sam Phillips Recording Studio as it is seen today (1978) is on Madison St. The original Sun Recording Studio is now Uniserve, a Auto body shop on 706 Marshall St. What happened was that one day in August Elvis walked into Sun Recording Studio to record a disk as a birthday present for his mother. He paid $6.00 for the disk. Well, at that time Sam Phillips was looking for a white singer with a black man's voice. Marion Keisker, the secretary, thought that she found what Sam was looking for when she found Elvis Presley. So she spent $24.00 on a tape of Elvis, but she forgot to get his name or his address. Well, a year later Elvis came back to record a disk as a birthday present to Red West, and about a week after that the Blue Mountain Boys (Scotty Moore, Bill Black, and Elvis) were in the studio recording Elvis' first hit single, "That's All Right, Mama" (the same song he sang for his mother Gladys a year earlier in the same studio).
5. Original Sun Recording Studio on 706 Marshall St. The Beatles and the Rolling Stones both say that without Sam Phillips and his studio they wouldn't be where they are today. Rock-n-Roll became popular right behind the studio doors. And Elvis was the spark that lit the fire! Also, Johnny Cash, Charlie Rich, Jerry Lee Lewis, and a whole lot of other performers have gotten their start from Sam Phillips.
6. "The Wall of Love" around Graceland. On this wall are written the most eulogizing words about Elvis – all out of respect and love by his innumerable fans. Examples: "I miss you Elvis, and I still love you." "Elvis – a man is never dead until his memory dies; he will remain immortal in our hearts." "No stage will ever shine so bright, no voice will ever sing and bring the joy you brought, you'll always be the King." "Elvis – a god among men."
7. A page out of the 3-album Pilgrimage of Graceland collection from the summer of 1978.
8. In front of Graceland, home of Elvis. "Keep Out" sign is posted on yellow nylon rope. Two white marble lions guard the four-pillared stone mansion of antebellum design.
9. Author of "In Search of Elvis" book with son at Graceland. The book was never published.
10. In front of Graceland gates, made from white cast iron and painted with green trimmings; includes Elvis-with-guitar figures and musical notes; the two halves of the gate swing inward and form a symmetrical whole.
11. My son in front of the fountain in the Meditation Garden.
12. Elvis Presley's burial site with cross (at northern head), which has a smiling picture of Elvis and three red roses on it, and with Vernon's eulogy on the tombstone. The eulogy begins with the words: "He was a precious gift from God we cherished and loved dearly." It ends with the words: "We miss you, Son (from Vernon) and Daddy (from Lisa Marie). I thank God that he gave us you as our son." Note: Elvis' middle name is spelled Aaron, the biblical way, instead of Aron, the way it appears on most documents. Born January 8, 1935. Died August 16, 1977. Age 42. Tombstone inscription is cast in a 400-pound granite slab which covers the grave of Elvis. Vernon Presley received the inspiration to write the eulogy one morning at dawn when he was awakened by the bright rays of the sun streaming through his window. The words came to him in a rush from his subconscious mind. What he wrote seems to be a beautiful example of automatic writing.
13. He was a precious gift from God
We cherished and loved dearly.
He had a God-given talent that he shared
With the world. And without a doubt,
He became most widely acclaimed;
Capturing the hearts of young and old alike.
He was admired not only as an entertainer,
But as the great humanitarian that he was;
For his generosity, and his kind feelings
For his fellow man.
He revolutionized the field of music and
Received its highest awards.
He became a living legend in his own time;
Earning the respect and love of millions.
God saw that he needed some rest and
Called him home to be with Him.
We miss you, Son and Daddy. I thank God
That he gave us you as our son.
14. Floral ornaments surrounding Elvis' burial site: blue arrangement with famous T.C.B. insignia and lightning bolt (meaning "Taking Care of Business in a flash"); biblical one with page of Psalms 23 – "The Lord is my Shepherd;" heart with red roses; guitar with orange and white roses; cross with red roses. These arrangements seemed to be permanently placed because they were plastic, and not real.
15. Ten-foot Presley tombstone, Cross, risen Christ and two angels. It was originally placed at Forest Hill Cemetery Mid-Town. Symbolical heart is placed on chest; hands outstretched as if to say: "Come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy-laden and I will give you rest." Two angels, symbolical of angels present at Christ's resurrection; acronym HIS means "In His Service." The entire tombstone is made of white marble. Statue to right of Presley tombstone is a white marble statue of Mercury, the messenger of Zeus (Jupiter), in a Roman outfit, with winged sandals, a winged low-crowned hat, and other accoutrements of the graceful and swift-of-motion god.
martes, 17 de enero de 2012
Two Kings celebrate the legacies of Elvis Presley and Martin Luther King
, San Antonio Arts Examiner
January 14, 2012I first met Pam Tillis in Las Vegas, Nevada in July 1979 while she was singing backup to her father, country music singer Mel Tillis.
Mel surprised his daughter by announcing to the crowd at the Frontier Hotel that night that he was inviting up front so she could sing a song by herself.
"Daddy would do that occasionally," Tillis laughed later. "So I am always ready."
"Daddy always says he wanted to play at the Frontier because that is where Elvis played, but we are close enough here at the Frontier," she laughed after the show.
The Stardust, which was imploded in 2006, had the distinct history of being the first place Elvis Presley ever performed in Vegas, back in 1956.
Mel Tillis introduced his next big hit that night. It was "Are You Sincere?," a song Elvis had recorded and released a few years before his death in 1977.
Years later, daughter Pam, released a big hit "Maybe It Was Memphis."
It is only fitting that Pam Tillis today, pays tribute to Elvis, the King of Rock and Roll, and another King, Martin Luther in her co-written song 'Two Kings.'
Pam Tillis and Kris Thomas join in the soulful and inspiring "Two Kings" to honor Elvis and MLK.
Pam Tillis website
Video: Two Kings
Rating for Two Kings, a song celebrating the legacy of Elvis Presley and Dr. Martin Luther King:
I believe in the bible, I believe that all good things come from God. I don't believe I'd sing the way I do if God hadn't wanted me to.
My voice is God's will, not mine." ~Elvis Presley
"I could never become so rich that I would forget what it's like to be poor." Elvis Presley
Elvis and Ginger in Harrison, Arkansas at the funeral of Ginger's grandfather on January 3, 1977
Elvis and Ginger leaving Harrison, Arkansas January 4th
In November 1976 Elvis gave Ginger Alden a white Lincoln Continental, the last he would purchase. On January 3, 1977 Elvis and Ginger along with a 15 man entourage attended the funeral of Ginger's Grandfather. Elvis had Ginger's family flown in to Harrison, Arkansas where they drove 20 miles to Jasper, Arkansas for the services which took place in a very small church. Elvis used Ginger's white Lincoln Continental during this 24 hour visit. The local Newspaper reported "The Star is Seen Barely and Briefly". A photo of Elvis entering the car is featured in the article (last photo above).
Elvis arriving from Orlando, FL in the hotel lobby in Montgomery, AL with Ed Parker on February 15, 1977 before his show in Montgomery on the 16th
Boarding the Lisa Marie to leave Johnson City on his way to Charlotte on February 19, 1977 during the first tour of the year
Leaving the stage after his show in Detroit on April 22, 1977
Leaving his hotel in Troy, MI on April 26, 1977
Hitting the stage later the same day in Kalamazoo, MI on April 26, 1977
Enroute to the Freedom Hall to perform in Louisville Kentucky on May 21, 1977
domingo, 15 de enero de 2012
miércoles, 11 de enero de 2012
THAT'S ALRIGHT MAMA <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hIWlWA1YTBw>
MYSTERY TRAIN <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XCyqTsJ47mo>
BABY LET'S PLAY HOUSE <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=92iwC-xI3mE>
I FORGOT TO REMEMBER TO FORGET <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zXERHsuIyUQ>
BLUE MOON OF KENTUCKY <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pZWXpmbu4Z4>
I'M LEFT, YOU'RE RIGHT, SHE'S GONE <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7n_m3q7XYz4>
I WANT YOU, I NEED YOU, I LOVE YOU <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OTslxVa3SZ8>
TOO MUCH <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FqgyZMOkr48>
LOVE ME <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8APTMRfDmKY>
KING CREOLE <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r4j6hM4nVlc>
DIXIELAND ROCK <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LcCVoXXttEE>
STUCK ON YOU <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J1w9Xahzv8Y>
SUCH A NIGHT <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tT6GIU4g-gs>
VIVA LAS VEGAS <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uPuKoqu6kMk>
ARE YOU LONESOME TONIGHT <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QrojFR7jM9E>
CAN'T HELP FALLING IN LOVE <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i9rDBohg1yc>
DEVIL IN DESGUISE <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m3_Q96eJr1k>
SUSPICIOUS MINDS <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d0pQVHvFqvQ>
BURNING LOVE <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VL5d0leKh0o>
JAILHOUSE ROCK <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tpzV_0l5ILI>
LOVE ME TENDER <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HZBUb0ElnNY>
ALWAYS ON MY MIND <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VI94AsuvUUA>
MY WAY <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DfOj1URIcHs>
BLUE SUEDES SHOES <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T1Ond-OwgU8>
HOUND DOG <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FJsQSb9RFo0>
DON´T BE CRUEL http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KulIvSbA5Vk&feature=artistob&playnext=1&\ list=TL6p1slqzNRi0>
ALL SHOOK UP <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ATDJ8VPJG5s&feature=relmfu>
HARD HEADED WOMAN http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cN6DXflD7fU&feature=relmfu>
HEARTBREACK HOTEL http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PotB76gi2_4&feature=related>
TEDDY BEAR <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qhdUucs8AlY&feature=related>
"Little": Anita Wood
Minnie Mae Presley
"Ooshie": Ursula Andress
martes, 10 de enero de 2012
Elvis arrived at the RCA studio at McGavock Street. He worked from 2.00 tot 10.00 p.m. and recorded his first sides for his new label. Some musician from the studio played along with Elvis. Chet Atkins on guitar, Floyd Cramer on piano and D.J.Fontana on drums. They recorded Heartbreak Hotel, I Got A Woman and Money Honey. But everyone agreed: they didn't catch the sound Elvis wanted. There is too much echo effect and the sound is nothing like Sam Philips had created in the Sun studios. Elvis was very disappointed.
Elvis, Gene Smith, Cliff Gleaves and Bitsy Mott left by train for Los Angeles, where they checked into the Beverly Wilshire Hotel. Elvis was scheduled to record for RCA over the weekend before starting work on the soundtrack for his new Paramount picture.
Elvis took the train to Los Angeles with Alan Fortas, Gene Smith, Cliff Gleaves and Bitsy Mott.
In the RCA studio on Sunset in Las Vegas the rehearsals began. Ronnie Tutt had been unable to reach an agreement on salary and was replaced by Bob Lanning. James Burton recruited his friend Glen D. Hardin on piano. Elvis wanted to change the repertoire from his first Vega appearance. So Proud Mary, Polk Salad Annie, Walk A Mile In My Shoes and Sweet Caroline were added to the show, including some songs from his own recently recorded work.
The full orchestra was present now and the rehearsals continued with Felton Jarvis present to lend encouragement. Felton thought was still weak after his kidney transplantation which Elvis had helped to arrange and paid for.
Dr. Nick and his family flew out to Denver at Elvis' invitation. They returned the following day.
lunes, 9 de enero de 2012
The album "Elvis' Christmas Album" hit #1 in the U.S.
Elvis received a letter from the Colonel that there were rumors in the press about parties at the hotel. The Colonel cautioned
December 30, 1966
Elvis purchased another horse, along with a great deal of equipment for riding.
December 30, 1969
There were a lot of fireworks delivered at Graceland for the New Year's Eve party.
December 30, 1970
- Elvis returned to Washington D.C. with 8 friends, including ex-sheriff Bill Morris, for a visit to the headquarters of the National
- "Elvis' Golden Records, Vol. 1" hit #21 in the U.K.
- The Elvis Presley album "Worldwide 50 Gold Award Hits Vol. 1" hit #49 in the U.K.
Priscilla and Lisa Marie flew back to Los Angeles. Following their departure, Elvis announced to everyone that Priscilla was leaving him.
December 30, 1973
Elvis got a house call from the podiatrist who had helped him a couple of days before with an ingrown toenail.
December 30, 1974
Elvis sent the Colonel a telegram: "Dear Colonel, I appreciate your signing any papers necessary for me while I am recuperating.
December 30, 1975
Elvis left for Pontiac, Michigan around midnight.
December 30, 1976
|Date:||30 Dec 1976|
|Costume:||King Of Spades (white) suit|
Also Sprach Zarathustra
|Description: Great footage from a great show. Footage combines good picture with photo slides.|
|VIDEO FOOTAGE video footage presented by Tomek|
Elvis Is Back - Slimmer, Healthier Presley Shows Adoring Fans He's In Top Form Again By Scott Cain
The Atlanta Journal
December 31, 1976
There's good news for Presley fans: Elvis is back in the groove.
This Thursday show at the Omni was tops, the best possible year-end present for his Atlanta fans.
From a vocal standpoint, Elvis was operating at his peak, both in tonal quality and exertion. He has lost a little weight and looks much healthier than he did last June. His vitality is restored and he was full of pep. Furthermore, he was in a good mood. He was giving his best and knew it, adding a wonderful aura of self-confidence to the show.
The concert was unique in many respects. You haven't lived until you have seen the king of rock 'n' roll lying flat on his back on the stage. And who would ever have thought that the king of rock 'n' roll could be upstaged while in just that position?
This happened while Elvis was giving a particularly powerful rendition of "Hurt." He was going through an elaborate display of theatrics, culminating in a swirling motion in which he revolved closer and closer to the floor, finally lying down.
This brought a wild ovation, during which a determined mother pushed her young daughter, perhaps 6 years old, onto the platform. The girl boldly stalked up to Elvis, who was still prostrate. Elvis took this interruption in stride, bestowing a warm hug on the child.
The program also was unusual in that Elvis revealed himself as an acceptable pianist. He plopped down at the keyboard and accompanied himself as he sang a lovely version of "Unchained Melody." His piano playing which consisted largely of a few simple chords, has more in common with saloon technique than with Horowitz, but it was still an expected bonus.
Elvis gave an uncommonly long performance. He did 25 songs in more or less full form, plus snippets of numerous others. His part of the show lasted an hour and a half, which is substantially longer than has been his custom.
There were virtually no lags, either. Elvis stopped one song because he felt the tempo was wrong and he halted another because he was having trouble getting into the same key as his band, but these were only minor lapses.
Hie repertoire ran the gamut. He opened with "C.C. Rider," and performed such Presley classics as "Jailhouse Rock," "That's All Right, Mama," "Hound Dog," "Amen," "It's Now or Never," and "Fairy Tale."
Elvis shrewdly built the momentum of the performance, and the core of the show was centered on his no-holds-barred interpretations of "My Way," "Working on the Chain Gang," "Early Morning Rain," and "Love Letters."
The Presley audience was beside itself with glee. The fanaticism of his fans has reached such a peak that Elvis sometimes has difficulty staying in control of the situation.
He was able to restrain the fury somewhat. He has sharply reduced the scarf-giving and the kissing. He gave away about 15 scarves and kissed only three or four of his feminine admirers.
He did not accept as many gifts from the audience as he has done previously, but the ones he got were notable for their diversity. One girl gave him something that looked like a shrunken head. It had a tongue that went in and out and, when a string was pulled, emitted a hideous laugh.
Still another fan had baked Elvis a two-layer birthday cake, with a king's crown on top and an abundance of flaming candles all around. When Elvis accepted this donation. The audience warbled "Happy Birthday" to him, even though he will not be 42 until next month.
The concert had been sold out weeks in advance and Elvis reassured his squealing fans that he will return any time they want him.
The most notable member of the audience was the defeated candidate for the office of mayor of Plains, Georgia. When Billy Carter entered the auditorium during intermission, he attracted as much attention as Jacqueline Onassis did in her heyday.
Courtesy of Linda Helms
Live In Atlanta
December 30, 1976 Evening Show. Atlanta, GA
Sound: below average
Covers: [front] [back]