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View Full Version : Here's a great and very interesting write up for Elvis' last tour and T.V. Special!!!



nolvis
02-02-2007, 01:09 PM
:D
The February and spring tours of 1977 were somewhat disappointing compared to the December frenzy, there are many shows available in the import scene and even the latest Follow That Dream CD didn?t prove anything otherwise. He sounded tired, very tired for the most part, he was a very sick man and it started to show. In this light what he did for his last TV show was so unbelievable, it must have cost him every ounce of courage and willpower to deliver one of his greatest concerts ever, I am of course talking about the Rapid City, June 21, 1977 show..?.
What caused the Colonel to allow Elvis to be filmed that final time is open to suggestion. They did need the money desperately, Elvis needed a challenge, his records could use a boost. Whatever his motivation, the Colonel began discussions with CBS in early 1977 to do a TV show. He didn?t want NBC anymore as they hadn?t come up with a follow up to the Aloha show so this time CBS could try to sell it to the Colonel. They were very eager to do this special and came up with $750.000 dollars for the privilage. They also produced two of their top directors, Gary Smith and Dwight Hemion. Annette Wolfe did all the interviews with fans and fanclub bosses. On June 1, the CBS special was announced, it had of course taken months to set up the deal and Colonel Parker had months before organized that Todd Slaughter, the UK fanclub boss would take a couple of hundred fans to see two of the shows on that tour.
The producers originally wanted to film three shows, Omaha, Lincoln and Rapid City. The auditorium manager in Lincoln however, protested when he saw what kind of space the cameras took up. He was afraid a lot of fans wouldn?t be able so get a clear view of the stage. So ONLY 2 show were filmed in full, however, there?s more, we?ll get to that later?

The special was really no reflection of these two concerts, there weren?t enough songs included to begin with, there was no real sense of a concert as interviews(with sometimes very strange people indeed) kept interrupting the program, and they ?forgot? to include any candid footage. Some critic stated that it ??looked like Elvis was a guest on his own show??. They should have included some showstoppers like Tryin? To Get To You, It?s Now Or Never and Unchained Melody.
Only a few outtakes crept up from time to time, with the complete Are You Lonesome Tonight from Rapid City in This Is Elvis, Love Me from Omaha(excellent choice-not) on the extended This Is Elvis version from 1983 and Unchained Melody on the Great Performances vol. 1 from 1990.
In 1999 suddenly a black and white tape popped up featuring the bigger part of the Rapid City performance and what a joy it was to see the undoctored performance with a joking Elvis ?bit my tongue? and some outstanding songs like Tryin? To Get To You, It's now Or Never and Hawaiian Wedding Song. We had the songs on record but now were finally able to also see him sing them. What a treat. Then a couple of months later the same performance came in color and even the complete Omaha show appeared in color. Now we could see that Elvis was in much better shape in Rapid City. In Omaha Elvis seemed to be singing on automatic pilot, he sang okay but there wasn?t the edge that was on June 21. Rumor has it that Elvis performed with painkillers in Omaha and with uppers in Rapid City, I cannot verify any of this but the difference in the man was obvious. Even Gary Smith said that when he saw Elvis in Rapid City after haven seen him in Omaha he said that it looked like he had lost 10 pounds.
On the outtakes videos we finally got a glimpse of Elvis backstage. We see him arrive in Rapid City stepping out of his limo clad in a track suit complete with high collared shirt and shades, he walks by the camera and says ??Oh, hi there!??, quickly moving towards the dressing rooms. He?s surrounded by people like Joe Esposito, Dick Grob, Sam Thompson, AL Strada, Dean Nichopoulos, Ricky Stanley, Ed Parker and some more. After that we see Elvis with mayor Lacroix and little Monique Brave, a local Sioux Indian girl who presents Elvis with a medal of long life, how ironic. Although only lasting about 2 minutes we get to see a rare glimpse into the personal life of the man. He?s very gracious to the mayor and very kind to the little girl, she gets a kiss and a photo of the meeting!

For the 2 shows Elvis wore the beautiful Sundial Jumpsuit, this particular suit was made in 1974 and Elvis wore it for the first time in Lake Tahoe 1974. He suddenly started wearing it again in 1977. Now a lot of rumors float around concerning this suit, it?s said it wasn?t the same one as in ?74, that a replica was made and also the rumor that 2 copies existed, which makes sense as he was wearing the same suit every night during his last tour, with the exception being Kansas City, June 18, when he wore the King Of Spades suit. Originally Elvis was to have worn a complete new jumpsuit but the one that was being manufactured at the time kept needing refitting as it wouldn?t fit the man. Elvis at that time no longer tried on the suits first. The tailors had to guess his measurements. So as that fell through he reverted to the Sundial.

How did Elvis himself feel about this special!? Was he concerned about his appearance or not. According to Elvis? friend and bodyguard Ed Parker, Elvis had said that he knew he looked terrible. According to other sources Elvis was glad to be on tv again, and that his fans would be able to see him. All we can see is that during the Rapid City performance Elvis LOOKED happy and up for it. It was also obvious he wasn?t moving around as easily but the voice was there, boy was it there! His renditions of Tryin? To Get To You, Now Or Never, Hurt and Unchained Melody send shivers down your spine. And Hound Dog gets a rocking treatment it rarely got anymore. Just compare the latter song to the Aloha version. Need I say more, the 1977 version beats the crap out of the 1973 one. Also it?s been said that Elvis? voice was slipping, now I?m very sorry but I just can?t hear it at this particular show. Just exactly where does it slip, each song gets the royal treatment. His voice just kept getting richer and richer. Just listen to Hawaiian Wedding Song, pure bliss?
Now I?ll face some rumors. As far back as 1977 fans who had been to the Cincinnati show stated that they saw cameras in the auditorium. I have personally spoken to 2 fans who were there and they DID see them, stationary cameras fixed at the stage Elvis was on. And although no paper work has surfaced supporting this claim, it is very well possible as most directors have the tendancy to overshoot, they don?t want to be short of some shots when they start editing, so yes there must be footage of at least one other concert! Then there is definitely more backstage footage of Elvis talking with his dad, make up being applied and even some footage of Elvis putting on his jumpsuit with Elvis heisting it over his shoulder, this footage will blow our minds when and if it finally emerges. But make no mistake, it IS there. There?s also about twenty minutes of footage left of Elvis standing at Indianaplis Airport, June 26. We have some clips in In Concert, The Great Performances, Elvis? Graceland and the UK fanclub put about a minute?s worth of this footage on their 1984 fan club video of their visit to the US. Todd Slaughter would present Elvis with a trophy and Elvis in turn would give one to Todd. Todd paid off a local camera man to film their meeting.
But perhaps the strangest clip of this meeting I have is about 5 seconds and comes from a local tv station in Indianapolis!!! You can make out some name underneath but alas the quality is too poor to properly read it. But is goes to show that footage WAS shown on local television! Hey mr. archivist start searching?.The strangest and most persistent rumor, be it in a very small circle, is an interview that was to have been filmed at Graceland with Elvis sitting by the swimming pool and fooling around with little Lisa Marie. Now how?s that for a shake up. A camera crew did go to Graceland following the concert tour as can be seen in the original special with Vernon walking around the premises. Now one might wonder why this footage hasn?t aired yet if it exists, but then again the backstage footage of Rapid City hasn?t seen an official release either has it, heck even the original special hasn?t been released!!! Don?t forget the Estate has no desire to project ANY image later than 1973, 1974. The want to protect his image and all that jive, to me personally Elvis was more candid and genuine in 1977 than ever before but that?s my opinion. He was somehow stripped of most of the glamour and yet he shone more brightly than ever, why, because he had such an unbelievable charisma and presence, I feel that the Estate sometimes forget this.
What?s interesting is the fact that CBS had decided to film some more shows on Elvis? August tour starting in Portland, Maine. If Elvis had lived, the June shows probably would never have been shown at all!
Then what?s left is the question whether Elvis himself ever got to see the special. No evidence exists if he saw the actual special, but what he DID see were the raw video tapes of the shows and the backstage footage. He was handed some copies by Gary Smith himself after the tour, probably when they did the filming at Graceland later that summer. How do we know this, well, Elvis in turn handed his own copies over to his good friend Janelle McComb, while saying that she could have them as he had no use for it...
On October 3, 1977 the CBS special was shown on US tv
2002/07/23 Simon de Wit / EpGold.Com
posted by scatter at 12:26 AM-By the way,i love the new FTD cd-Unchained Melody!!!!!:king: (y) :king:

nolvis
02-02-2007, 01:36 PM
I also really love seeing Elvis sing If you love(let me know) with the women dancing in their seats at the front ,near the front and everywhere!And a cute moment when he is having alittle trouble at times during the intros and realizes it,by telling the audience that he can't talk,but he can still sing!

elvis himselvis
02-02-2007, 03:17 PM
nice post nolvis(y)
I like the special too and can't understand why they left all those great performances out of the special.
I hope EPE ever releasethis stuff included that interview at the swimmingpool at Graceland(as itexcist)and the whole rapid city concert.

Tony Trout
02-02-2007, 03:32 PM
For me, it's very painful to watch Elvis during the Omaha, NE show on 6/19/77....I would much rather see a nicely edited version of the special with only the best songs from Omaha, NE and Rapid City, SD in the special. You can tell Elvis is really struggling in Omaha, NE (especially during the dialogue, which at times I find myself cringing at and wanting to crawl under my chair because some of the dialogue during the introductions is just plain embarrasing to watch Elvis as he struggles through it).

Although I would love to see a DVD release of this show, I honestly don't believe that it's ever going to happen....and it's prolly better off that it stays in the vaults.....even though there are some magical moments on the show such as "Trying To Get To You" and "How Great Thou Art" and "Hurt"...

Sitting here listening to the dialogue during the "I Got A Woman"/"Amen" routine is just heartbreaking......Elvis just seems to have trouble controlling his vibrato....and Charlie "Cholly" Hodge's voice overriding Elvis's is so danged annoying!!

KPM
02-02-2007, 06:01 PM
I thought the Vernon Graceland footage was shot after Elvis died to end the special. Vernon tells everyone this was the last filmed concert of Elvis onstage. I never heard of the interview of Elvis by the pool or a film crew there before he died, at least in all the books and articles I've read. You'd think one of the Memphis inner circle would have put it in a book somewhere.

nolvis
02-02-2007, 11:51 PM
Elvis' version of See See Rider is as rocking a version as he ever did,and his vocals are superb!!!And the I got a woman from Rapid City is a joy to finally witness,and i just love the vocals and i just love his movements during this song!!!His comment about his mom not being able to put diapers on him is so classic!You gave me a Mountain and I really don't want to know are great,Early morning Rain,And i love you So.....

nolvis
02-03-2007, 12:51 PM
Thank's for your responses!(y) :king: (y)

Tony Trout
02-03-2007, 01:55 PM
I thought the Vernon Graceland footage was shot after Elvis died to end the special. Vernon tells everyone this was the last filmed concert of Elvis onstage. I never heard of the interview of Elvis by the pool or a film crew there before he died, at least in all the books and articles I've read. You'd think one of the Memphis inner circle would have put it in a book somewhere.


In the original television special, Vernon was interviewed at Graceland on June 22, 1977 and the footage at the end of Vernon acknowledging the fans cards and letters was was added after Elvis passed away, obviously..not sure of the date, though. There is no evidence that has ever surfaced of Elvis being interviewed by the pool at Graceland for the television special....

nolvis
02-03-2007, 03:33 PM
I'm sure that there is some real fascinating stuff that has yet to be released!!!??

Tony Trout
02-03-2007, 03:43 PM
I'm sure that there is some real fascinating stuff that has yet to be released!!!??


Released in regards to what? The CBS special? I highly doubt it because there wasn't much of anything else filmed other than the two concerts and the fan interviews and the interview with Vernon....the concert in Lincoln, NE was supposed to be filmed but when the manager of the building saw how the cameras and equipment might block the view of the fans and the daners that the cameras might cause because of their size, he decided against it...and it's a **************** shame because I've heard that this show (along with the one from Rapid City, SD) is a pretty darn good show!!

KPM
02-04-2007, 01:35 AM
In the original television special, Vernon was interviewed at Graceland on June 22, 1977 and the footage at the end of Vernon acknowledging the fans cards and letters was was added after Elvis passed away (not sure of the date, though). There is no evidence that has ever surfaced of Elvis being interviewed by the pool at Graceland for the television special....

Was the June 22nd, 1977 interview of Vernon actually used in the special? Its been so long since I watched that last special -I don't recall the interview. I do recall Vernon at the end and fan clips.

elvis himselvis
02-04-2007, 09:14 AM
yes the footage of the interview with vernon is used in the special.
When Elvis starts to sing Can't Help Falling in Love,you get the comment of Vernon
I really hate this,because i want to see elvis perform that song!!

Tony Trout
02-04-2007, 12:05 PM
yes the footage of the interview with vernon is used in the special.
When Elvis starts to sing Can't Help Falling in Love,you get the comment of Vernon
I really hate this,because i want to see elvis perform that song!!


If you want to see the song, "Can't Help Falling In Love" performed without the comments from Vernon inserted in the song, pick up a copy of "Love Coming Down" from STAR productions. IMO, the STAR DVD of "Love Coming Down" is the way the CBS special should have been done in the first place and it's probably the best compilation of the CBS tapes and "Elvis In Concert" that we'll ever see!!! STAR really did a fantastic job with this DVD! :clap: (y) :D

elvis himselvis
02-04-2007, 12:23 PM
thanks for your information tony

Tony Trout
02-04-2007, 12:33 PM
thanks for your information tony

You're quite welcome...;)

nolvis
02-04-2007, 01:30 PM
Yes,thank-you very much for the great info!(y) :king: (y)

Tony Trout
02-04-2007, 06:32 PM
IMO, the fan interviews is what ruined the special...it's like Elvis is relegated to the role of a supporting actor in his own television special...the fan interviews (as is the case with the original 1970 version of TTWII) detract from the special and take your focus off of Elvis....if there's ever a release of this show (and I'm still undecided as to whether I want to actually see it released) the fan interviews should be removed.....

elvis himselvis
02-04-2007, 07:36 PM
you're right Tony
I think this special will never be release(n)
how to convince EPE to release it??
are they scared that Elvis's image will be destroyed???
we(the fans)have seen the special so many times and have seen the footage..so what's the problem?
are they scared the media will elvis give a bad name???
I think everybody knows what went wrong,and besides in the special were really good performances which are really great!!!

nolvis
02-05-2007, 10:12 AM
There sure are some outstanding performances that can only ehance Elvis' overall image!!!!!(y) (y) :king: :king:

Tony Trout
02-05-2007, 10:19 AM
There sure are some outstanding performances that can only ehance Elvis' overall image!!!!!(y) (y) :king: :king:

Sorry...but I have to disagree...the CBS special is light years away from the 68 Special or Aloha...Elvis is a much different person in the "In Concert" special and his voice is much different in this special than in the previous two special....I honestly think that releasing it would do more harm than good to Elvis's image.....