pretty papers, pretty ribbons of blue
I think that you've got a point there. Elvis clearly did pay a little bit more attention to rock in the era you prefer. He was so physically active and strong; though from EOT and Aloha on it seemed pretty clear that rock was still a part of the show, but that the main part consisted out of gospels and big ballads.
In these interesting times it is perhaps usual that tribal and/or spiritual leaders are given só much ritual tasks as if to weaken them.. I feel that this happened to Elvis, making him even more vulnerable than he already was; remember that Elvis was quite often hungry as a child (influences the internal organs).. All the touring and performing was really getting to him, though it was his true passion and choice to perform.
Elvis appeared to be rather healthy in the era you prefer, but after that things started to go out of control physically. The marriage with Cilla was difficult and he didn't have the protection from his childhood anymore, which was his mother - the love between Elvis and his mother was so.. 'oceanic' (to put it that way) that after she passed away, he was a different Elvis... He didn't really get the chance to mourn her death after she died because he had an army duty in Germany coming up..
After the era you prefer, he did sang his heart out reaching for spiritual safety. That was the most emotional period; the voice at its ripest (though the physical condition had an influence on him).
Elvis really didn't care that much for being the rock 'n roll king.. He was só much more than that..! He loved só many other styles; from Aretha Franklin to Caruso..
He remained so musically versatile and there was this great love in his eyes; He was the total androgynous beauty.